Authors: Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Title: The Iron Trial, book one in the Magisterium series
Published in Australia by Penguin Random House Australia
RRP: $19.99

About the book

The publisher sent this book to me some years ago and as soon as I read it I was hooked. I was working in a public library at the time and it soon became one of my favourite go to books for recommendations. Since then I have given this booktalk to many classes. The book goes on loan immediately and there is a waiting list. We order multiple copies as each new book in the series is published and they hardly ever stay on the shelves, it is a hit. As far as our students are concerned they cannot be published quick enough! It featured on our top ten titles for year seven in 2016 and I will be giving this booktalk to our new year seven students each year.

Cal grows up with his father. Each year, at a certain age, students complete a test to admit them into a school where they can further their passion, or area of gifted skill. The school is really the Magisterium, a school of magic, and the screening is for gifted magicians. Cal’s father has taught him to fail this test at all costs, and fail he does, very well. However the school wants Cal, and no matter how hard he tries to fail or appear unlikeable, he is made to attend. The prologue, the only section of the book included in the booktalk, hooks prospective readers immediately, as it shows what happens to Cal’s mother and what she inscribed in the ice.

Please be aware, if you have a member of class who has lost a parent recently this may not be an appropriate time for this booktalk.


This booktalk is suitable for grades 7 and older.

Read the entire prologue at the beginning of the book.

Call grows up not knowing the special skills of his parents. His father has taught him to avoid magic at all times and when the time comes to sit for the tests for admittance to the Magisterium school, Cal must fail. And fail he does, at all levels, but he is made to go, and for a very good reason.

This is the first book in a gripping series.

Show the Book Trailer

For more information about Booktalks see my Booktalks page.