‘The Copper Gauntlet: Magisterium Book Two’ by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

copper guantlet

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

What do you get when you mix two bestselling authors and a middle grade fantasy setting? A series of books that lovers of Harry Potter will adore. The series is called “Magisterium,” and Book One was “Iron Trial” and now we have Book Two, “The Copper Gauntlet.”

There are definite similarities to the Harry Potter series. The protagonist is Callum Hunt, who is made to attend a school for mages (those who wield magic). His father has renounced magic and everything to do with it. The reader learns that Callum, or Call for short, may not really be who he appears to be. When the magic war killed many of the “good” mages, the “Enemy of Death,” the super-bad guy, was dying. He managed to insert his being into the body of a child. That child was Callum Hunt.

So is Call the Enemy of Death? The third person narrator manages to deliver Call’s thoughts and feelings with clarity. Call doesn’t feel like a super villain. In fact, part of the humor in the book comes from his thinking about his actions as making him less “super-villainy” or more “super-villainy.” He’s struggling to come to terms with the fact that he might be the reincarnation — in a sense — of a really, really bad guy.

This story has action to spare and a plot that twists and turns like a huge roller-coaster. Callum’s group of friends expands by one surprising addition in the book, but it’s a good addition. Those who have fallen in love with Havoc, Call’s chaos-ridden wolf pup, can rest easy. The dog lives through this book. And if Black and Clare know what’s good for them, they will make sure to keep Havoc alive through the whole series.

Great choice for fantasy lovers from fourth grade up. This would be a wonderful classroom library addition, too.

Please note: This review was based on the final hardcover book provided by Scholastic Press for review purposes.