Monday, August 5, 2019

Magisterium - #2 The Copper Gauntlet - Review

The Magisterium Book 2: The Copper Gauntlet – by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare

I had recently reviewed the first book in this series. Now I’m reviewing the second book that is called “The Copper Gauntlet”. (Minor spoilers)

Call will soon be heading off to his second year at the Magisterium. He feels unexpectedly relieved, at the thought of going back and escaping the strained silence that had invaded his home ever since he had gotten back. Alastair was angry at the fact that Call had attended the Magisterium and was going back. This had led to an awkwardness and had put a strain on their relationship that hadn’t been there before. With only one or two weeks left, he is longing for the holidays to end.

One day, Havoc, his pet wolf goes missing. Call is horrified to find him tied up in his basement. Adding to his horror are the pair of shackles that seem to be for a teenage boy. Call confronts his dad and it ends in a huge fight that leads Call to leaving his house. Call goes to Tamara’s house and goes to the Magisterium directly from there. His joy at being at the Magisterium is diminished when he realizes that someone had tried to steal the Alkahest, that was a dangerous object used to destroy Makars. He is even more shocked when he notices the uncanny resemblance between the Alkahest and a drawing he had seen in his dad’s notebook. Call is gripped with fear and uncertainty because he thinks Alastair tried to steal the Alkahest. He tells Aaron and Tamara who in turn tell the Masters at the Magisterium. Now, there is a manhunt for Alastair Hunt, involving all the mages in the world. Call decides to set out and find his father before the mages so that he could at least try to prove Alastair’s innocence. He knows he has to try because the alternative would mean certain death for his father. Aaron and Tamara insist on coming. The only hitch in the plan was having to kidnap Jasper, a fellow student to ensure that he didn’t snitch on them.

Now, Call and his friends are in a race against time to find Alastair before its too late. And on the journey Call must prevent his friends from discovering his secret, knowing that they would hate him if they knew.

The second book was as good as the first. Maybe it was even better. Holly Black and Cassandra Clare know how to spin a very good tale. They haven’t copied any of the age old clich├ęs but instead have created such fresh and new ideas you are surprised at every turn. My favourite character has to be Jasper. He adds the spice and sarcasm to the book. My favourite parts are when Call and Jasper start arguing. Then, you just can’t stop laughing. Their sarcastic and snide comments are hilarious. While the book has its humour, the series never loses the darkness that was so evident in the first book. In every chapter you can sense the darkness in Call and his frustration and fear that his friends would discover his secret. The air of mystery still remains and you are still amazed by the ideas and the plot.

© 2019, Anika Agarwal. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Magisterium: The Iron Trial, by Cassandra Clare

Magisterium: The Iron Trial (The Magisterium), by Cassandra Clare

(Minor spoilers)
This is a slightly unusual series in some ways. It is a mix of new and old. The old part comes from the fact that it is a fantasy tale and talks about magic, mages, unusual creatures, etc. The new part is the fact that the story has an unwilling protagonist. A 12 year old boy who hates magic and is unwilling to go to the Magisterium.

Callum Hunt, the protagonist of our story has a sad past, his mother is dead and his left leg was shattered when he was baby. Another thing that makes him unusual is his hatred for magic, but it is quite understandable as his mother was killed in the Third Mage War. Despite all of this he has a relatively normal life, far away from the world of magic. His life starts to unravel on the day he is taken to the Iron Trial. The Iron Trial is a mandatory test that any child who shows signs of magic has to take. At the end of the test, each Master could choose up to 5 apprentices to teach.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children, by Roopa Pai

The title of this book is the Vedas and the Upanishads. To give you a little information, I’ll give a short summary. The Vedas are one of the most sacred texts of the Hindus. There are 4 Vedas, which in order of composition are, the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. They basically describe the rituals, sacrifices, who were the Hindu gods, etc. Another important thing is that the Vedas were not written for a long time but were instead composed and kept in the head. The Vedas are also made up of four layers and this is where the Upanishads come in. The Upanishads are the last layer of the four layers that make up a Veda. They contain stories and myths that explain the different possible meanings of the first three layers. It is also kind of similar to the third layer of the Vedas. I know this is all very confusing and you also must be wondering why I am reviewing this.