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Literature / The Magisterium

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The Magisterium is a five-book children's fantasy series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. The first book was published in 2014, with one book a year being published after that.

The series follows a boy named Call as he attends the Magisterium, a school for mages.

  1. The Iron Trial
  2. The Copper Gauntlet
  3. The Bronze Key
  4. The Silver Mask
  5. The Golden Tower


  • Arc Words: "Fire wants to burn. Water wants to flow. Air wants to rise. Earth wants to bind. Chaos wants to devour." This motto dictates the essential nature of magic in this series, and it is repeated often. The phrase "Call wants to live" is often tacked on to the end by the protagonist.
  • Body Snatcher: The Enemy of Death forced his soul into Call's body when he was an infant, pushing out Call's. Unfortunately for him, he lost his memories while doing so.
  • Braids of Action: Tamara is an Action Girl whose hair is almost always worn in two braids.
  • Evil Mentor: Master Joseph was one to Constantine Madden, and is heavily implied to be a large factor in Constantine's Start of Darkness
  • House Fey: The magisterium uses summoned elementals to tidy the dorms when the kids aren't there.
  • The Mole: In the first book, Drew is working for the Enemy of Death. The third book reveals that Alex is one too.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Drew initially seems like an incompetent student who's not very bright. He's actually The Mole, who faked his stupidity to avoid suspicion.
  • Power of the Void: Mages who can control the void are called Makars. The Enemy of Death is one, and the Magisterium is waiting for another Makar to be born, to fight the Enemy.
  • Power Trio: The books focus on three Magisterium students- Call, Aaron, and Tamara.
  • Red Herring: Throughout the first book, it's implied that Call may be a Chaos-Ridden Manchurian Agent. The truth is far more sinister.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Call's father convinces him to fail on the entrance exam to the Magisterium. Unfortunately, he fails at failing.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: At the end of the first book, it's revealed that Call is in fact the Enemy of Death, who stole the real infant Call's body, inadvertently losing his memories in the process.
  • Wham Line: Near the end of the first book, Call is trapped with the Enemy of Death. Then the "Enemy" takes off his mask, revealing he was actually Master Joseph in disguise, and tells Call what happened to Constantine Madden.
    Call: Aren't you the Enemy of Death?
    Master Joseph: No, Callum Hunt. I am not the Enemy of Death. You are.
  • Wizarding School: The series is set in the titular underground school for mages. There's also a magical university called the Collegium.