Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Book Summary
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.

Flo's Review
I admit, I have been forgetful. I'd forgotten how much Cassandra Clare likes her cliffhangers. And I'd forgotten how surprised I was at the end of The Iron Trial.


Admittedly, I knew something big was happened at the end of the book, due to minor spoilers on Goodreads. (I knew what, specifically, just not the details.) But that didn't stop me from being completely floored. I was so not expecting THAT. I have already read some theories on where they are going from here which make sense. I am eager to see the next steps, as they are not as evident as they have been at the end of previous books. 

That being said, it took me awhile to get into this book. For some reason, there was nothing really keeping me turning the pages until I found out about the end. But as I read, my motivation to keep going was that I needed to get the book back to the library (it's totally overdue) and not an overwhelming desire to see what happens next. Definitely the events in the book were all important, as they laid the foundation for the end. But I don't know. It read a little slow. Maybe more theorizing that action? Maybe a little too much of the Celia thing? Luckily, these books are short and easy reads, so it wasn't long before I was tied up in the end. 

Can't believe I have to wait another year until The Silver Mask!

Jacque's Review:

Call, Aaron and Tamara are on a quest to uncover who the "spy" is within the Magisterium and why he or she is targeting Call.  The most obvious reason is the fact that he is a Maker, which is someone who specializes in chaos magic.  There are very few Makers in each generation and very little is knows about their form of magic.  As a result, many people are afraid of them or perhaps want to be them.  The students don't believe that is the reason for the threats on Call's life because Aaron is also a Maker and he hasn't been threatened.

Call does have a secret that only his father and closest friends are aware of, which is most likely the reason for the attacks.  They can't share this information with anyone.  Call, Aaron, Tamara and Jasper must work together to solve this mystery on their own.

The conclusion of this book was not at all what I was expecting.  This is a middle grade series, but Holly and Cassandra certainly aren't coddling these characters or their readers.  There is an epic battle as one would expect and the fallout was more than a little shocking.  I have no idea what direction they will take the series next, but it probably leans more to the "Evil Overlord" side of the spectrum.

Overall, this book wasn't as fast paced and gripping as the first two books in the series, but that is often the case with middle books in a series.  Hopefully things will pick up again with book four or I'm afraid they will lose their appeal to younger readers.  I have a sixth grade son that probably would enjoy the first two books in the series, but he would likely struggle to get through this one.  

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