[Review] The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare


Callum Hunt must fail the Iron Trial. His whole life, his father has warned him about the mages, their experiments, and how magic is the reason his mother is dead. When the time for the Iron Trial comes, he does his best at failing and despite being the first applicant in mage history to receive a negative score, he is selected by a most prestigious mage to be his apprentice.

Now Callum must attend the Magisterium, face new challenges and uncover most perilous truths.


Writing (world building, characters, style, etc.): 

I think this is the first time I’ve read a low fantasy book. It was actually very enjoyable. Although, sometimes I would forget that this was taking place in the “real” world and the change of settings would confuse me. I loved that the characters were so diverse. There is a character with a physical disability, and orphan, and a female of color. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book were a protagonist had a disability of any sort so this was quite intriguing. The style is easy to read, but the writing doesn’t feel childish despite it being middle grade. 

Did I learn anything? Did it make me think?

I can’t honestly say that I learned anything or that it made me ponder too much about the characters or plot, and I’m fine with it. It was enjoyable and interesting, and the ending left me wondering what’s going to happen next! The more I think about it, the more I want to know!

Overall feelings:

Even though I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t really exciting. It just didn’t have me on the edge of my seat, but I can certainly see how this book might appeal to a younger audience. I really want to know what happens next, but I’m not sure if I really want to spend time reading the next book. Has anyone read the sequel? Does it get more intriguing? More exciting? I do recommend this book if you’re in the mood for easy-to-read low fantasy. I think if you don’t go in expecting too much it’ll be quite a fun read!

Score: book 3 icon


  1. This is basically how I felt, it was a bit to far from the mark for me and read like it was trying to be a fantasy every fantasy book rather then something original 😦 I think younger readers would enjoy this though so that’s something 🙂
    I’m still tossing up whether I should bother with the next one :/ maybe if I find it somewhere cheap I’ll pick it up but until then it can sit on my TBR list with the others 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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