The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare was a book that really gets you into the writings of these two authors. To be honest, I wasn’t originally looking forward to this book. I mean, who would want one of their favorite authors to lose your interest because of a collaboration book that had been influenced by some author you didn’t know? Fortunately, I was sucked into this book before I got to the 30th page and was disappointed when I got to the page explaining that the sequel was coming soon. A year later is not soon!
In this book, North Carolina resident Callum Hunt is a notorious bad boy who has an injured leg from a tragic incident when he was a baby. (I’m not sure if he’s really in North Carolina, because the book doesn’t explain where anything really is.) As explained in the prologue, this tragic incident was caused by the most powerful chaos mage (Constantine Madden, or the Enemy Of Death) killing all mothers, children and old citizens who were connected to the mages he was at war with. Callum’s mother was one of these people as Callum’s father was Alstair Hunt, a mage in the war.
From before the very first chapter you know something is wrong about Callum. The last sentence in the prologue states that his mother (Sarah) engraved the words “KILL THE CHILD” in ice behind her back. Sarah had been living in an Ice Mountain, next to some secluded villages. It’s not until near the end of the book, though, that we find out what had been the reason for the note of the long-dead mother. In fact, even I couldn’t predict this, with as many Holly Black books as I’ve read.
(Spetzi has put the rest of her thoughts behind a spoiler tag – there may be major plot points revealed.)View Spoiler »Instead of meeting my guess and being chaos ridden, he was in fact, the man himself, Constantine Madden. The actual Callum is dead, killed in the fight that killed his family. Constantine transferred his own soul into the carcass of the real Callum. His memories and powers did not go with his soul, he just lived. After Call finds out, instead of telling the professors at the magic school all worthy mages are sent to (the Magisterium), Call heads through the gate signifying that his magic can never be bound by a professor and keeps his secret identity from even his closest friends. « Hide Spoiler