The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

iron trialMost kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

Published: 9th September 2014

Pages: 295

Rating: Try It

copper-gauntletCallum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict — and a whole world’s fate.

Published: September 1st 2015

Genre: Magical School, Children’s

Pages: 264

Rating: Try It

Format: Ebook

Read from 28th November to 11th December (I read other books in this time)

So I picked up the Iron Trials earlier in the year and I enjoyed it. It was quite a simple and quick read and I understand why people enjoyed it. I’m not criticizing it for the length but it was just something I read as more of a break from my world of extremely fantasy, si-fi and ya.

This leads off on the new school year for Call but things don’t go so smoothly and it starts off pretty rocky for him. The overall story and plot was alright but it did feel a bit flung together for me. There was a central focus and instead of us getting a whole year we got only a few weeks to a month or so of it which isn’t what I was really expecting especially after leading off of the previous book. This is a seriously short book and there isn’t any reason that there couldn’t have been more to it. We don’t really get to enjoy the magical system in this book or the school and the relationships between our three main characters don’t really develop. Instead a whole new main character is introduced into the book and I found it difficult to connect with this change.

In terms of the plot it was a pretty simple hide and seek adventure game. The last three or four chapters did make up for it in terms of the plot getting a kick forward but I don’t think that’s really good enough to justify the whole book. I did enjoy the book but it is more simplified and diluted down into its key parts and ingredients. I don’t know if it is fair to compare it to other children’s fiction/middle grade but it just doesn’t have the depth that stories such as Percy Jackson does. It’s a really interesting premise and I think that’s why I want more from it.

The main thing I did enjoy in this story was the world exploration, yes, it’s still our world, but I mean in terms of the elementals and magical beings. There is a much better explanation of how they came to be and you get to see a more up close and personal view of them.

I don’t really know where the story is going and I don’t have that strong impulse to pick up the sequels. I think I’m going to kick this onto the back burner and repack it up when I need a quick and short book to get through to make myself feel better.

I like the character but they still feel quite flat and thin to me. With Call I do feel reminisce to Magnus Chase but a younger version who has not yet developed the wit or sarcasm quite as well. Aaron was great in the first book but he went really funny in this book and it is understandable when you consider what he’s being put through but it also makes me wonder if there is some foreshadowing going on or as if he isn’t what he first seems. And I just don’t like Tamara, she is smart and clearly an important part to the group but she is not a likable character especially considering her untrustworthiness and stuck up and spoilt personality.

I don’t know if I can recommend this book wholeheartedly but I do think that it’s a casual book if you just feel like some magic school with a twist storyline. It honestly won’t take you long to read. And that’s hugely important for someone whose average book length for this year is sitting close to 500 pages. A fun, enjoyable 264 page book….. easy.

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