Thirteen-year-old Call is with his dad for the summer but their relationship is strained. His dad suspects Call is evil and when Call finds a nasty trap made by his dad he runs away to the Magisterium. Only there, the Alkahest, a copper gauntlet that can remove chaos magic from magicians, has been stolen. Call with the help of Tamara, Aaron, and an unlikely third person goe after the person Call suspects stole it. Some interesting twists occur at the end and Call has to learn to trust his team.
This is your familiar fantasy/school story with kids on a quest fighting good and evil. Call is a reluctant hero and there is less world-building in this book than the first one. The magic has been established and only the gauntlet adds a new mix in their world of magic. Alex and Kimiya's relationship didn't advance the plot and I wasn't sure why it was in there. I thought it might hint at some sequel at the end or maybe Alex was the mole in the Magisterium, but their story is not resolved or it is just tacked in as filler.
Call is jealous of Aaron and the attention he is getting as a Makar or chaos-making magician, but even that changes by the end. This will remove a lot of the tension from the plot which may be why Jasper's character has come more to center stage. He might be filling in for Aaron in creating future tension. Call and Jasper always have great tension in their dialogue. I wasn't sure Tamara was acting in character racing off to tattle on Call. That seemed a bit off but I have not read "The Iron Trial," in a year. I suggest reading book one before this as it gives more world building. The lizard keeps telling Call that "the end is closer than you think" but I couldn't help but think it wasn't close enough for me. Not bad. Not great. Just entertaining.