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Author: Black, Holly
Book one--All his life Callum Hunt has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. So he tries to fail the Iron Trial to avoid being admitted to the school of magic, the Magisterium, that has dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future. But he unintentionally passes and is admitted anyway and his biggest test is still to come.
Magisterium, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 167615
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 20.0 Quiz: 64104
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/14)
School Library Journal (09/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2014 It’s a tall order in this day and age to write a book about a young boy in magic school without being held to the Harry Potter standard, but that’s exactly what Black and Clare attempt in their first collaboration (and Clare’s first middle-grade offering). The premise is simple: 12-year-old Callum Hunt has been warned about the dangers of magic for as long as he can remember by his father, a former mage, who blames the Magisterium, a magic academy, for the death of his wife. Despite Cal’s best attempts to fail the entrance exam into that academy, his inherent magical ability gets him accepted, and he begins the first of five years of his training. Occasional comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable, but Cal isn’t the Boy Who Lived—although his friend Aaron might be—and the Magisterium isn’t Hogwarts. Expectations are bound to be high for this powerhouse duo’s first cowritten effort, and although it doesn’t quite live up to the authors’ respective works (Black’s Doll Bones was a 2014 Newbery Honor Book), and there are several missed opportunities, the end offers a few intriguing twists and perspectives that hint at what’s to come in the next installments. And with four Magisterium volumes still in the works, Black and Clare have ample time to hit their stride as a team. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The six-figure initial print run may still be shy of the demand from the fans of these two wildly popular authors. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2014 Gr 5–8—All his life Callum Hunt has been warned by his father that practicing magic is a guaranteed death sentence, the only certain way to make sure he doesn't reach his 18th birthday. When Call is summoned to attend the entrance exams for The Magisterium, a more-sinister version of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, he promises his father he will deliberately fail the test to avoid the dangerous lure of magic school. Unfortunately, magic is in Call's blood, and though his permanent limp and sarcastic attitude do not appear to serve him well during testing, he is selected with two other "Iron Years" to be a pupil of the greatest mage of all, Master Rufus. Black and Clare have created a unique world in The Magisterium, adroitly sidestepping reader fatigue with the many post-Harry Potter "magical academy" fiction series. The underground school's labyrinthine tunnels, mysterious caverns, and strange rivers are an alternately wondrous and creepy setting for this hero's quest. The diverse main trio's multidimensional portrayals leave aside easy characterizations in favor of complex motivations which add depth to each character. Best of all, a late-stage reveal of the novel's true hero and villain neatly turn fantasy tropes on their heads.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.