By Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Scholastic, 2014. 295 p. Fiction
This is the first in an exciting new series for J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan fans. Collum's father does not want his son to go to the Magisterium, a school for young magicians. Collum tries to fail the admission trials, but he is chosen by one of the masters and soon discovers the magic school is not as bad as his father made it sound. He makes friends with the other apprentices and gradually starts to learn to control the magic powers he was born with. Just when things are going well he discovers something about his own history that changes everything and throws him and his friends into in a life and death struggle against the forces of Chaos. At first this book seems like just another Harry Potter clone, but part of the way through the plot makes an unexpected turn that leaves that reader on the edge of his seat. As always Black does a good job making likeable characters in an interesting fantasy setting. Beware, after reading this first installment, it might be hard to wait for book two to be published in September 2015.