By Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
This is the first book in the Magisterium series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I will always be a fan of Cassandra Clare’s writing, so I wanted to give this series a shot. Callum Hunt has been dreading the day where he will be tested by the Magisterium, a secret and elite school of magic (sound familiar?) Callum’s dad, Alistair, has begged Call to fail intentionally so he doesn’t have to go. This fear and loathing of the Magisterium is partially due to the fact that Call’s dad blames magic for the death of his wife and doesn’t want Call to suffer the same fate. Obviously things don’t go as planned and Call is forced to enter the Magisterium, despite having failed miserably at the test. Although Call goes into the experience thinking he may be doomed to a life of suffering under the hands of the Masters, he exits his first year of magic school with a new set of friends, magic skills, and a new destiny to face.
Although this is a middle-grade series, it had a lot of mature themes and issues within the plot. I liked how each of the main characters felt defined and had a real purpose. I was left guessing the direction of the plot at times and I enjoyed that element of mysticism. I hate being able to guess who will turn out to be the bad guy, where they’re ultimately headed for the final battle, etc. and it was great to be surprised. Overall, I would definitely recommend this to younger readers looking to get into fantasy or any fans of Rick Riordan’s work.
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