The Silver Mask by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Silver Mask is the fourth book in the Magisterium series, which is co-written by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. We dive back into the world with our characters reeling from the events of the third book. That being said, if you haven’t read the series I wouldn’t recommend diving into this review.
We find Call in the Panopticon, a prison for Mages because his secret was revealed and now the entire Mage-world fears him. He continues to battle against any decisions he feels might push him down the path to Evil Overlord-ness and assure everyone that he is Call, despite the soul inside him. He struggles with doing what he feels is right and righting his world after what happened in the Bronze Key. It’s tough to lose someone and just accept it when you believe that you might have the power to do something about it.
This middle-grade book was a little slow to start, though the pacing issues might have just been me as a reader getting back into the story after not inhabiting the world since the last book was released. Personally, though, I feel that the pacing wasn’t as swift as it should have been to keep readers engaged, especially middle-grade readers. A lot of the story just revolved around sneaking about, learning more about his abilities and being trapped in a house. It’s tough to make a plot exciting when the main characters don’t leave the same house for 75% of the book.
The second half of the book picked up more and by the end of the story, it was definitely engaging. It felt like it was leading up to a finale, but there is a fifth book in the series. Once you read the last few pages and the epilogue it will definitely make you wish the next book was written already. Alas, you’ll probably have to wait until the end of 2018 to continue. I would recommend this series to middle-grade readers who are looking to get into fantasy without having to delve into the intrinsic magic systems and vast world-building that some series have.
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