Summary: There are exactly one hundred halls of magic to choose from. Ever since our parents were killed I knew exactly which hall was for me.
Aurelia “Aurie” Silverthorne is one of the best and brightest to ever apply to the Hundred Halls, the only magical university in the world. To be accepted, she must pass grueling trials that claim the lives of aspirants every year.
But more than her desire to practice magic is at stake.
Aurie’s little sister has been courting powerful forces in hopes of protecting herself from the beings that killed their parents, but alliances come with complications. As things spiral out of control, and dangerous foes arise at every turn, Aurie knows the only way to protect her sister is to pass the trials—even if it means making a terrible sacrifice.
Review: 4 stars
This book is one of those that sticks with you. I read this sometime last week and I am still thinking about it. I found the world and characters to be really well developed and they keep popping into my mind. The sisters in this book are both incredibly different from one another. Their contrasting personalities make for interesting family dynamics. I can appreciate them both, with their respective personalities. I find that I was more like Aurie when I was younger, and now that I’ve gotten older I am more like Pi.
I found the trials to be incredibly interesting as the author gets creative with the use of magic in them. I read a review where someone compared the trials to Divergent, but personally I think that it is way different than that. I love challenges like that though. I once did an escape room myself, which is the only thing that I have to compare it to in my life, and I loved it. These types of challenges really get you thinking outside of the box and show the individuality of the two sisters.
The second day of the trials had me literally yelling at the book and one of the characters because I was so engrossed and upset with a character’s actions. I really felt for Aurie and the anxieties of the trial had me on the edge of my seat. I found myself completely enthralled and stayed up really late to finish this book.
Aurie and Pi both experience discrimination because they are poor. Imagine bullies who can also perform magic. This discrimination, among other factors makes being an initiate of the different halls akin to the real world experience of hazing pledges at sorority or fraternity houses. I have always dreamed of living in a fantasy world, but high school was hard enough without bullies who wield magic.
Trials of Magic had a really cool plot. It also set up this incredible world with potential of a really cool series. I really admire the plotting and the world building and would also really love to continue reading this series. Thomas K. Carpenter fills a world with ideas that aren’t necessarily original, and creates a novel unlike anything you’ve read. Somehow it remains fresh feeling. I am left stunned and in admiration.