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The Silver Mask

Book Review: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare | Jest Kept Secret

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here.  Title: The Silver Mask Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare Series: Magisterium #4 Genre: MG Fantasy Content Warning: Thematic elements and mild language Blurb 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. – Goodreads My Thoughts The Silver Mask is as enjoyable and light as the others in this series have been, but it also starts to delve into some deeper questions like, if we could raise people from the dead, should we? Or how far should we go to help our friends? The kids are just as believable and entertaining as ever, and the villains get even more interesting. Well, some of them do. Anastasia Tarquinn is a bit flat and uninteresting—I wish we got more of a sense of danger from her. She could really be interesting if they focused more on her obsession with Call and less on her just showing up at opportune moments. I also wish we’d seen more of Alistair Hunt. His kid has been kidnapped. You can’t tell me he wouldn’t fight against the Assembly to get him back. And where was he in the final battle and the aftermath thereof? Still, despite some flat characterisation and plot holes, I’m really looking forward to the last book, The Golden Tower, which is due out this year. Bring it on. Score:   And don’t forget to save this book to your Pinterest reading list! Thanks!

The Bronze Key

Book Review: The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare | Jest Kept Secret

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here.  Title: The Bronze Key Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare Series: Magisterium #3 Genre: MG Fantasy Content Warning: Brief mild language and thematic elements Blurb 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. – Goodreads My Thoughts This series is pretty much Harry Potter repackaged—three kids (two boys, one girl) form an unlikely friendship at a school of magic and team up to fight a guy who is trying to cheat death. Yep. But there is an interesting twist, which I shall not share here because SPOILERS, and it makes the series more unique than one might expect. And unlike Harry, Callum Hunt is no angsty teenager with a Chosen One complex. He’s snarky, insecure, and all too happy to let someone else take the lead. He’s a refreshing change of pace from your typical hero in MG/YA fantasy, and that’s why I keep reading. Add in some very likable sidekicks, a sassy frenemy, and some crazy cool monsters, and you’ve got a fun read for the weekend. This series would be great to read with kids. In book three, the stakes get a little higher as Callum, Tamara, and Aaron continue their fight against the Enemy of Death. We get some new antagonists who are a nice shade of gray, Jasper (my favorite) gets funnier, and the ending is a real punch to the gut. This is a great continuation of the Magisterium series. Score:   And don’t forget to save this book to your Pinterest reading list! Thanks!

The Copper Gauntlet

Book Review: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare | Jest Kept Secret

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here.  Title: The Copper Gauntlet Author: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare Series: Magisterium #2 Genre: MG Fantasy Content Warning: PG for some mild language and crude humor Blurb 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. – Goodreads My Thoughts This is the 2nd book in the Magisterium series (and I just realized I haven’t reviewed the first one, The Iron Trial, on the blog yet. I’ll fix that.) This series is pretty much Harry Potter repackaged—three kids (two boys, one girl) form an unlikely friendship at a school of magic and team up to fight a guy who is trying to cheat death. Yep. But there is an interesting twist, which I shall not share here because SPOILERS, and it makes the series more unique than one might expect. And unlike Harry, Callum Hunt is no angsty teenager with a Chosen One complex. He’s snarky, insecure, and all too happy to let someone else take the lead. He’s a refreshing change of pace from your typical hero in MG/YA fantasy, and that’s why I keep reading. Add in some very likable sidekicks, a sassy frenemy, and some crazy cool monsters, and you’ve got a fun read for the weekend. This series would be great to read with kids. As for The Copper Gauntlet itself, it got off to a slow start for me, and then I realized it was because the narrator for the audiobook talks really slooowwwwllllyyyyyy… I increased the playback speed, and voila! Much better. Pitting Callum against his own father as the antagonist made for an intriguing plot, and I liked that Black and Clare touched on the pressure Aaron (Callum’s BFF) feels as the Chosen One. And Jasper. That kid is my favorite and I can’t tell you why because SPOILERS, but geez louise, he makes me laugh. Score:   And don’t forget to save this book to your Pinterest reading list! Thanks!

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