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REVIEW: The Bronze Key by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

The Bronze Key:

Following the previous books, we follow Call as he and his friends are at Mage School and they try and defeat the enemy of death whose soul happens to be inside Call. Woops.

After the events of the last book, the magisterium decides to throw the gang a party in honour of their bravery. Whilst this party is happening, Call is called away by Celia, his kind of crush, but when he finds that nobody is waiting for him, he decides to leave but not before Aaron and Tamara find him. Just as they do, a chandelier nearly falls on Call with Tamara saving him in the nick of time. The Masters burst in and realise that an assassination attempt was placed on Call. Not too shortly after, they all hear screaming and find that Jennifer, a student at the magisterium, is found dead in the water and that someone has killed her. Master Rufus tells them to keep a keen eye out on whoever could be the spy in their midst.

Another attempt is made on Call’s life and a meeting of the masters is called. The gang find out that the rooms that hold the Automotones, the monsters that almost killed them last year and the large elementals, have safe guards on them and that it would be pretty impossible for a spy to enter the rooms and release them. The gang put this theory to the test and they figure out that one of the passwords to get into them is the name Jericho, the enemy of deaths brother. They find an elemental that helped them in their first year called Marcus. Marcus tells them that the spy is the greatest Makar of their generation. But that’s not right, since the only two Makar’s in this generation are Call and Aaron themselves.

The magisterium fearing the enemy of death, decides that the chaos-ridden animals must be destroyed. Fearing for his chaos wolf Havoc, he decides to help stop them with the help of Alma but things go horribly wrong and Call ends up in the infirmary. After this, Call, Aaron and Tamara, go to see Alma and asks her to awaken Jennifer’s spirit and ask her about her death. But as always, something goes wrong and Call reanimates her and makes her chaos ridden. Alma and Anastasia say that they will deal with the whole ordeal. That night though, Alex, Anastasia’s stepson, awakes Call and Aaron and tells them that the spy has kidnapped Tamara.

Eventually, Call begins to grow suspicious of Alex and finds that his gut feeling is true. Alex is the spy and he is the one with the Alkahest from the previous book, proving that he is the one working with Master Joseph. They find out that if Alex kills Aaron or Call then he gets their Makar abilities. Master Joseph does not want him to kill Call believing that the enemy of death is still within him. Tamara pushes Call out of the way and Alex kills Aaron instead. The masters arrive and accuse him of killing Aaron and Alma calls him the enemy of death reborn. He refutes the first allegation but cannot deny the last. He is put in chains.

In our last scene of the book, we see Anastasia come to visit Call in prison. She reveals that she was Constantine and Jericho’s mother, which would theoretically make her Call’s mother too. She wants to help him.

This series is really enjoyable. That last twist was unexpected but now we know of the role that Anastasia will play in the next books. As always, both Cassandra and Holly Black’s writing is what I’m in awe of. They know how to truly grip an audience of all ages. All of the adventures that the characters have are filled with intrigue and mystery and trying to solve the puzzles that even the adults cannot. Though Call can be somewhat whiney at times and I believe that is due to his age as majority of children will understand and be like that. That is why although middle grade is meant for all ages, we are truly the secondary audience and the kids are the first.

4 out of 5 stars.

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