Kiki’s Letter Essay #9: The Iron Trial

I just finished the first half of the book The Iron Trial, a 300 page Fiction book written by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Cassandra Clare is the author of the Mortal Instruments Series she is 42 years old and was born in Tehran, Iran. Holly Black is the author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, she is 44 years old and won a John Newbery Medal for her book Doll Bones. The Iron Trial was published on September 9, 2014. I chose to read this book because it is one of the 2017 Nutmeg Award Books and I really liked one of the authors, Cassandra Clare, series, The Mortal Instruments. This is the 46th book that i have read this year.

In the book, Callum Hunt, Call for short, a boy who as a child had his leg completely shatter and because of this he has had no friends. Of all the things in the world, Callum doesn’t want to go to the Magisterium, the school that teaches how to control magic, his father Alastair Hunt had told Call that magic was the worst thing in the world, he told Call that the teachers at the Magisterium didn’t care for anybody and that they hurt people and that’s how Call’s mother had been killed. When Call goes to take the test to see if he has to go to the Magisterium he tries his best to fail the test but in the end he is still chosen to go. Once he is there he is put under the teacher Master Rufus and is not allowed to leave the Magisterium without permission and has no way of contacting his father. As Call slowly learns to control his magic, he starts to find that the Magisterium isn’t as bad as his father had told him and that the people there, Mages, weren’t that bad at all and he finally made some friends, Aaron and Tamara. But, when Call sneaks into Master Rufus’s office to use a communication device to try to contact his dad, his dad tells him that Call must find a way to leave the Magisterium, he also tells him that Call isn’t who he thinks he is. This is on page 128:

“‘What?’ Alastair’s eyes went wide. he looked furious — and afraid. ‘And I get why you never told me about it. I’m not mad. But that was war. They have a truce now. Nothing’s going to happen to me here in the –‘

‘Call!’ Alastair barked. His face was pale. ‘You absolutely cannot stay at the school. you don’t understand — it’s too dangerous. Call, you must listen to me. you don’t know what you are.’

‘I –‘ Call was cut off by a crashing noise behind him. He spun around to see that the lizard had somehow managed to knock its cage off the edge of the workstation. It was lying on its side on the floor, covered by a flurry of paper and the remains of one of Rufus’s models. From inside, the elemental was muttering weird words like Splerg! and Gelferfren! Call spun back to the tornado, but it was too late. His concentration had been broken. His father had vanished, his last words hanging in the air. You don’t know what you are.”

The authors made this passage full of suspense which make me want to read on and want to find out what Callum’s dad means by You don’t know what you are. It makes me wonder, is Call different than the other students at the school, is he unique in some way. it really makes the book very interesting. This book reminded me of the Mortal Instruments series because both books are about magical worlds where the magical “government” is not always the best type of people and that kind of relates to how our world works where the government or ruling power can never be truly perfect.

I like how in the book the authors have a little picture of something before the chapter to symbolize what the chapter may be about which makes me want to read on to find out the meaning of the picture and if the picture is a good thing or a bad thing in the book.

Something that I wished the authors could add to this book is a multiple perspective view. This way I could better understand the other characters in the book and what they are thinking and what there background story is and what they all think about Callum.

I would rate this book so far a 8 out of 10. It is definitely not the best book that I have ever read but it has an amazing plot line.



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