So back in The Iron Trial (the link takes you to one of my favorite's of my reviews) the first book of the Magisterium series by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, the three main characters, students together at a school for magic, are given this following cheerful (not) prophecy about themselves: 'One will die, one will fail, another is already dead.' Cal, the main character, learned in the first two books that he is the one who is already dead, in a strange and twisted sense of having had his soul kicked out of his body in infancy, and replaced by that of the arch villain of bad magic, aka The Eater of Death, who is now dead (except of his soul, which is apparently thriving in the form of Cal, despite his reluctance to be an arch-villain himself). Which leaves the other two bits for Tamara and Aaron, the best friends Cal could ever imagine. In The Bronze Key (Scholastic Press, upper MG, August 30, 2016), the third book of the series, another part of the prediction is revealed (and don't go reading reviews on Goodreads, or it will be spoiled!).
But even though Cal knows he's the one that's "already dead" he doesn't want to be killed...and unfortunately someone is hellbent on doing just that. Tamara, Aaron, and Cal don't listen to the reassurances of the grown-ups, and try to find who is behind the attempts on Cal's life, and things go magically wrong and get worse.
And that's it from me about the plot.
But I can say that this was a cracking good installment in the series, and if you enjoyed the first two books, you'll read this in a single sitting! Cal and co. are not just caught up in tangled pasts and difficult magics, but they are young teens coping with being young teens, and each of them has particular difficulties to cope with--Aaron's dad is in prison, Tamara's big sister ended up, through magical mischance, as an imprisoned fire elemental, and a fellow student has an awkward crush on Cal, and Havoc, his chaos ridden wolf pup, is in danger (and he's the soul of the Eater of Death, which doesn't build Confidence).
The pages turn very quickly, and the ending is a whammer of terrible Feels.
I can't wait for book 4!
This is a series I'm happy to enthusiastically recommend to the fantasy loving 12 or 13 year old who wants the magical adventure to take center stage, and isn't interested in the romance that takes up so much time in so much (but by no means all!) YA. Which reminds me that I should tempt my own 13 year old with it...he will like Havoc the wolf cub lots.