Callum has returned to his father for the summer and things between the two feel "strained." Callum feels his father is still upset at him for getting accepted into the Magisterium, despite Callum trying to fail. Plus, entertaining and keeping Havoc hidden (Callum's Chaos wolf) at home has been challenging. When Havoc ends up missing, Callum goes to investigate and finds him muzzled and chained in the basement next to a bed with shackles. Fearing that his fathers has horrible plans for him and Havoc, Callum flees to Tamara and eventually returns to the Magisterium to begin the next year. But, Callum's problems only follow when he finds out that The Alkahest has been stolen by his father, and he plans to turn it over to the enemy. Call and his friends sneak out of the Magisterium to try to recover the Alkahest, because in the wrong hands it can be used as a weapon to destroy the Makar, Aaron.
Most of the action of The Copper Gauntlet takes place outside the Magisterium, which was both a good and bad thing for me. I kinda like the school, with its deep underground caverns, and there really weren't any classes with Master Rufus this time around. How are they so adept at using their abilities without a little training? Plus, there were less opportunities for getting to know more about Warren the lizard. Yet, with all the action Aaron, Tamara and Callum began to draw closer, so I'll take that. And with Jasper joining them on their quest for the Alkahest, there is the addition of some entertaining moments. Mostly because Jasper doesn't trust Callum, but also because you can never truly tell whether Jasper is on their side or not. His character is really growing on me. In the very beginning of the book Callum also kept an "Evil Overlord" list, or running tally of things that he felt put him in a"good" or "bad" category, so it was interesting to see how even Callum struggles with which side he falls on. One thing that did get tiring was the number of lies, Callum lying to Aaron and Tamara, Tamara lying to Callum when she says she wont tell about his dad, and Callum continuing to lie at the end to the Magisterium. Callum spends a large part of the time worrying about how everyone will feel once they find out his secret, so I'm glad that at least he was able to finally reveal it to Aaron and Tamara. Overall, I like how things are progressing in the series, and hope we will see more within the Magisteium itself in the next book.
Disclaimer, The Copper Gauntlet has been nominated for the Cybils award and my review reflects my personal opinion, not the opinion of the Cybils committee.