Parents' Guide to

The Iron Trial: Magisterium, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Intriguing twist on magic-school tale lacks polish.

The Iron Trial: Magisterium, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 9+

Great series of books!

I've read the series and I'd be inclined to say there's a bit of violence and things that children below 8 probably wouldn't understand. I think the main character has great depth and is very relatable to kids the same sort of age. My 12 & 10-year-olds have read them all and they LOVED them, but I think my 8-year-old twins might not be quite able to comprehend it well enough yet! If your children like Harry Potter, I think they'll love it.

This title has:

Great role models
age 9+

Great start to a series that can only get better!

I'm not going to go into detail about this book, but overall I thought it was really good! Cassie Clare is my favorite author so of course I'm going to be a fan of anything she writes (or, in this case, co-writes). This book has some violence (and some of it can be intense) but nothing an older grade schooler can't handle. This being a first book in a fantasy series, there is a lot of world building, as well as some character development to be done. It is something that is unavoidable but it can make the story a little bit of a trudge at times. It is the (only!) reason that I'm not giving The Iron Trail 5 stars. Read it! Get your kids to read it! It's really good and looking so promising as an epic series!

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (10 ):

With fantastic fantasy authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare working together, readers' eyes will light up with excitement as they think, "This is gonna be good!" Yes, of course the ideas are there. Magic school gets a darker makeover with some Eastern philosophy mixed in, and the main character is not who he seems -- or is he? And the labyrinthine cave setting is pretty cool.

So the idea meetings went really well. But the careful execution isn't there. This magical world is hastily explained and confusing, and the plots aren't carefully laid out -- often readers stumble upon what's supposed to be a nail-biting scene without any building of tension beforehand. For writers this good, this doesn't feel like the final draft. Here's hoping Book 2 gets the spit and polish it needs to keep loyal readers engaged.

Book Details

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