The Magisterium books are written by a duo of authors with a strong pedigree. Holly Black wrote the excellent Spiderwick Chronicles (books I’d recommend for year 2/3) and Cassandra Clare is responsible for the Young Adult series, Mortal Instuments (which I haven’t read).
Lots of books claim to be the ‘best thing since Harry Potter,’ but in the case of the Magisterium books, it might actually be true. Set in a hidden magical college, “The Magisterium,” they have a little more bite than certainly the earlier HP novels.
The books are more grounded in real-life than JK Rowling’s bestsellers. The problems central character Cal faces, more resemble the sorts of issues real children might have to contend with at school. There is more to the story than magic powers and an uber bad guy threatening the end of the known world.
For a start, Cal’s dad is set against him going, saying that the Magisterium is at least as evil as the dark and shadowy “Enemy” of the novel. This results in Cal not know who he can trust, and where to turn for help. The novels are filled with shades of grey.
The college contains the usual array of sinister teachers and benevolent mentors, and there are the inevitable magical high jinks. I particularly like the way magic works in these books.
The Magisterium books are great, particularly for stronger readers. There are currently three available in the series, with a fourth due out in the autumn,