One of the biggest selling points, and for some readers, also its greatest weakness, is that The Iron Trial sounds much like a Harry Potter retelling/ripoff. This fantasy series is reminiscent of Harry Potter, but even though I was aware of that at the beginning, as the story progressed, I got into the characters, action, and plot twists, and really began to appreciate The Iron Trial for its own strengths and merits.
When he was an infant, Callum Hunt lost his mother in a battle between mages (magicians), and his leg was severely mangled. Raised by his father to detest magic and the Magisterium, the school that trains mages, Call plans to fail the Magisterium entrance exam, but is selected to the school despite his poor showing. His first year at the school takes place in book one, and is full of action, adventure, and the development of strong friendships.
The Iron Trial is the first book in what will be a five-book series. Readers who liked Harry Potter, will love this new series, which feels darker and more mature than the first books of the Harry Potter series. Scholastic has a very well-developed and interactive Web site to accompany the Magisterium series at irontrial.scholastic.com.