The Iron Trial Review


Genre: Middle grade | Fantasy
Series: Magisterium #1
Goodreads rating: 3.92
My rating: ★★★★


Most 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 . . . (Goodreads)


A lot of people have criticized this book for being similar to Harry Potter. I have to admit there are similarities, but honestly I think that’s a given when it comes to a Middle Grade book set in a magic school. People will always see similarities, there are certain tropes and at the end there’s a plot twist that reminded me a lot of Harry Potter and did annoy me a little bit, but overal I think the similarities are small and didn’t ruin the book for me.

I loved the setting, the characters, the worldbuilding and the friendship, but what I really missed was Cassandra Clare’s humor. I expected to laugh out loud at least a few times, but all I did was snort once or twice. If I had never read anything by Cassandra Clare I might have given the book five stars, but it was just a disappointment for me. I did fly through this book, which is a good thing. I can’t really elaborate on many things, since I don’t want to spoil anything. I think you’ll enjoy this book best when you go in hardly knowing anything (and ignoring your inner Potterhead, though really, mine was only screaming at the end and when I thought it through, it’s not exactly the same). I also want to applaud the plot twists (even though one of them really reminded me of Harry), because one I didn’t see coming at all, and the other one I was wrong about. I’m really glad, because otherwise I would’ve seen it coming since I think chapter three, which would’ve been a disappointment.

If you like books that take place in magic school and anything by Cassandra Clare (I’ve only read Holly’s Spiderwick Chronicles years ago, and that was cowritten as well, so I can’t say much about her), I think you should just give it a go!

– The Writing Hufflepuff


10 thoughts on “The Iron Trial Review

  1. Yeah it’s so hard to write a middle grade magic school book and not have people call it a Harry Potter knockoff. (Even books like Percy Jackson that are nothing like Harry Potter get accused of copying) I thought it was funny, but you’re right it wasn’t as funny as Mortal Instruments. Maybe there will be more in the next books once the characters know each other better. I LOVED the ending!

  2. Many people have been comparing it to Harry Potter. Is it really like HP? I’ll probably still read it even if it was, but just wanted to know. I’m glad you enjoyed it! It’s been on my TBR list for a while but for some reason I never got around to it. <3 I'll try to get to it soon. Have a nice day!

    • I think that because it’s middle grade, takes place at a school for magic and has a trio of friends (two boys and a girl) people are screaming ‘IT’S A HARRY POTTER RIP OFF’. There were small similarities, but I think that’s hard to avoid when writing a middle grade book that takes place at a magic school! It’s a bit similar, but not too much! :) I think you’ll enjoy it! At least I hope you will :)

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