Book Review: “The Bronze Key” by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare (“Magisterium” #3)

Bronze Key_Black_Clare

In the third installment of the Magisterium series, Call and his best friends, Tamara and Aaron, are back for another year of magical training. What’s more, they’re being celebrated as heroes for defeating Master Joseph and bringing the Assembly the head of the most evil wizard who’s ever lived. The only thing putting a damper on things is that someone seems to be trying to kill Call (again) and the terrible burden of keeping hidden the fact that he’s Constantine Madden reborn.

I was on board with this series for the first two books, finding it to be a fresh, modern fantasy series that drew some of its best bits from Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Unfortunately, the novelty has begun to wear thin, and I’m left wondering if Black and Clare have anything else up their sleeves. For the most part, The Bronze Key rehashes old territory – even the big twist seems frustratingly familiar.

Of course, there are still things the authors manage very well. The dynamic between our trio of heroes is still fun-filled and compelling, as are the glimpses of life at the Magisterium we get from time to time (their diet of lichen is such a funny contrast to Potter‘s sumptuous meals). As Call is 13 now, girls and dating are starting to be of interest to him, and there is one bit of information revealed at the tail end of the novel that promises to lead somewhere interesting in the future. All in all, it’s probably enough to keep some younger fans of the series entertained, but The Bronze Key definitely lacks the excitement of its predecessors.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.