Series Review | Magisterium – Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

Today I wanted to do a little something different for my review. This week I read the last three books in the Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare so I figured it would be a great moment to share my review for the complete series with you all. I’ve never done a series review before so let me know if you liked the format in the comments! Because I hope to do these more often in the future. For now, let’s get into it!

The Magisterium series is a five-book series of fantasy novels, one book for each year of Call’s life between twelve and seventeen. The series is cowritten by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Because I’ll be talking about all five books in this series, there will be some spoilers.

The Iron Trial

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. To succeed at the Iron Trial and be admitted into the vaunted Magisterium school would bring bad things. But he fails at failing. Only hard work, loyal friends, danger, and a puppy await.

When I started this series it was being compared to Harry Potter, there is a magic school, a trio of friends at the core of the story and villain that was kind of defeated years ago. So yes, I definitely saw the comparison to Harry Potter, but at the same time this book has a very different vibe and I could already tell this story was going in a different direction than HP.

“Fire wants to burn
Water wants to flow
Air wants to rise
Earth wants to bind
Chaos wants to devour
Call wants to live”

The setting of this story is one of my favorites, a magical boarding school! Since Call and his friends are new at school, they get some magical training and I love reading about that. Call is an interesting main character, he isn’t the typical hero and I enjoyed that a lot. Tamara and Aaron are his best friends and I really liked their friend group. The first book sets the series up nicely and gets you excited to pick up the rest!

The Copper Gauntlet

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

Another very enjoyable book in this series. In The Copper Gauntlet we get to learn a bit more about the world and about the school, Magisterium. I love reading these things so I was definitely enjoying that part a lot. The whole book was a pretty fast read and I loved the plot in this one. It once again makes you want to quickly read the last of the series. I also adore Havoc, that dog is wonderful and I need more scenes with him. Like I said, this is a pretty quick read, but it’s also a fun book and just overall a great MG story.

“I don’t know,” Call said. He was starting to worry that there weren’t any good guys. Just people with longer or shorter Evil Overlord lists.”

The Bronze Key

Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.

Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.

I listened to the audiobook for The Bronze Key and I really enjoyed it, the narration is great so I would definitely recommend it. The characters were once again great and I think Jasper has really grown on me and might actually be my favorite character. I love the friendship dynamic with all these kids, and that’s absolutely why I love reading MG novels. Call keeps on growing (and keeps on trying to make sure he isn’t an Evil Overlord).

“The human soul is the opposite of chaos, of nothingness. The soul is everything.”

We get quite some plot twists in this third installment! I saw a couple of them coming from a mile away but the ending really shocked me! As soon as I finished this one, I started listening to The Silver Mask because I needed to know what would happen next. This series is just a lot of fun and quite addictive!

The Silver Mask

A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt. Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war.

As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to-and how he lives on. But Call has no idea. It is only when he’s broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine’s plan is suddenly in his hands . . . and he must decide what to do with his power. In this spellbinding fourth book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take us beyond the realm of the living and into the dangers of the dead.

I didn’t like this fourth installment as much as I liked the first three books. It was still an enjoyable read that had some great parts, I just liked it a little bit less. One of the reasons I liked this one less was the romance that happened here. The romance is just a small part of the story but to me it seemed completely unbelievable and I don’t think it was needed at all. I just didn’t feel any romance chemistry between these characters and really wish they didn’t go this route for these characters.

“Secrets hurt the keeper more than you think.”

Another thing I disliked was one of the villains. He seemed to just be evil and didn’t have a great backstory in my opinion. One of the other villain did actually have a great reasoning behind what she was doing and I really appreciate that. Just because this is a MG doesn’t mean we can’t have well developed villains. The plot in The Silver Mask was interesting but not my favorite, I did love the ending though!


The Golden Tower

The final, thrilling installment in this extraordinary series from bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

A generation ago, powerful mage Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt.

Facing up to what he is, Callum has battled chaos and evil across four years of magical training at the Magisterium, eventually defeating the armies of chaos in an epic battle.

It came at a cost.

Now, triumphant and heartbroken, Callum Hunt has just about had enough, and is ready to complete his training. But the evil Callum faced has not given up just yet…

And all of a sudden I’m at the end of this series! This was quite a fast ride and a very enjoyable one. I really like Call, Tamara, Aaron, Jasper and in this installment Gwenda. These characters are so much fun to read about, I love the humor in these books. I’m still not a fan of the romance, of any of the romances to be honest, but they’re such side plots, they don’t bother me to much.

“Grounded and kept home from the Collegium for a whole year for making out with Evil Overlord Alex. Also for joining his evil army of evil.”

What did bother me was the main villain, he was the most annoying character ever and such a bad villain. He just wanted a big tower, his girlfriend and to be left alone. That just didn’t make any sense to me! I did enjoy the plot but thought it was a bit rushed. There was a lot happing to get to the ending and we only got about 250 pages for all of that. I did really like the ending and would love to get a novella or something about what everyone of the characters is currently doing!

Overall rating:

A very enjoyable, fun, and quick series. I loved the characters and the world but thought some of the villains could’ve been developed a bit better. All in all a good MG series!

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