The Bronze Key – Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
*Warning – may contain spoilers*
Publisher: Scholastic Press
First published: 2016
Blurb: 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.
History of my copy: I’ve been a fan of the Magisterium series since the very start and so I received The Bronze Key as a Christmas present last year.
As per the previous books in the series, The Bronze Key was quite short and so it only took me 4 days to read. Whilst I feel like the books could be longer, I do find it refreshing to only read a smaller book from time to time. It does, however, make the time between installments seem even longer!
Plot: The third installment in the series definitely picks up the urgency and threatening nature, with someone trying to assassinate Call. Things start to take an even darker turn as the spy, who has the Alkahest, succeeds in killing Aaron, for which Call is blamed. Ending up in the mage prison, we are left with a cliff-hanger as Call’s true mother is revealed…
The plot was hard hitting and dark, especially for a kids book, as the intensity starts to build up. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Setting: Just like the majority of the rest of the series, this book takes place in the caverns of the magical school, the Magisterium. Even though it’s the third installment now, I still get wowed by some of the gorgeous descriptions of the vast caves and narrow tunnels that Call and his friends both live and study in. When we find ourselves leaving the stone confinements, the descriptions are just as vivid.
Characters: Call is starting to make a really interesting main character, an intriguing mix between Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and his own unique self. I think Black and Clare have done well at capturing Call’s age and the difficulties he is facing, whilst keeping the character likable and humorous. I’m also starting to warm to Tamara.
Whilst none of the characters still are hugely memorable, I think they are starting to find their niche in the literature world and are becoming a little more iconic.
To read or not to read: Read. This series has a huge amount of potential and whilst it isn’t the best books going, they’re easy to read, funny and have a great plot. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.