The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

“Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.

Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Hello! It’s Allison again, this time with a less favorable review.

“That’s what heroes did. They ran straight toward danger and didn’t ever give up.” 

Stars (Out of 10): 4

Overall Thoughts: Heroes may run straight toward danger, but this book ran straight toward an abrupt ending. Don’t get me wrong. I love Cassandra Clare’s writing and I loved the first two books Holly Black and Cassandra Clare wrote for this series, but this one definitely fell short. In fact, I felt like I read only half a book. This book is a great example on why foreshadowing and pacing is very important!

 

The Good: The characters developed, I suppose. We got to see more chaos magic. The series overall plot developed. The prophecy was figured out. 

The Bad: Pacing. Pacing is a super important part of every story. When writing a series of books where the first few take place over several months, but have the third book in the series take place over a matter of weeks, you’re going to have to make up for that by adding something in to make it feel like it has the same amount of substance as the first two books. Have more than just romantic subplots. Have more than just the main plot.

Spoilers begin below

The Characters: Okay, so Call doesn’t really like Celia, but he likes Tamara, who kind of likes Aaron, who kind of likes Tamara. Oh and Celia and Jasper become a thing, because Celia just wants to be in a relationship apparently and Jasper wants to also I guess? Why is it that I remember the romantic parts of the characters more than their actual character?

The Plot: If you’re going to have the older brother like figure be the big bad, foreshadow it. I mean I was able to predict it because it isn’t the first time, the friendly older brother like character is the big bad, but there was no sense to this one. Okay, so Alex is going to murder Call for being a murderer and then become a bigger murderer than Call was. . .no comment.

The Ending: So Aaron is dead. I cried. The wasted opportunities. The abrupt end to a character arc that never got explored. May he rest in peace, safe from a lowkey love triangle that brought nothing to the story and a plot that probably was going to the dogs.

The Stereotypical Tropes: Kill the Best Friend Because it Builds Character, What Do You Mean My Older Brother Like Friend is Evil? Low Key Love Triangle, Pair Off the Spares

The Favorite Character: Aaron

Buy it, Borrow it, Or Bin it: Borrow It.

 

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