Co-authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare really know how to grab readers and keep them turning the pages, and in the fourth book in the “Magisterium” series, “The Silver Mask,” the pages keep turning.
The story begins in the Panopticon, a prison for magic people. Call is chained and fed slop, questioned daily, and visited by no one. He doesn’t know if no one wants to visit him or if in fact they are not allowed to, but, as usual, he suspects the worst.
Finally, Call gets a visitor: his kind-of-friend, the self-absorbed Jasper. Unfortunately for Jasper, this is the day that Call’s other friends have planned a jail break. Call, Jasper, and Call’s best friend Tamara end up outside the prison, but in the clutches of the bad guys who also helped in the escape.
This is not a story that is a stand-alone novel. The plot is well done and really keeps the story moving forward, and it also serves to continue to develop Call’s character. He must make some important choices, and some of the decisions he makes turn out to not be good decisions, but readers will be able to sympathize. In many ways, from his limp to his insecurities, Call is very human. His frailties reflect the faults of readers everywhere, and they will sympathize with him and feel that they are not alone.
This series is wonderful for fantasy lovers and adventure readers. The story in this fourth book offers a lovely ending but also provides an anxiety-provoking peek at what is to come in the fifth book. Beware.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Scholastic Press, the publisher, for review purposes.