Title: The Novice: Summoner: Book One
Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genre: YA, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
Format: ebook, Paperback, Audio, Hardcover
Rating: 5 Lattes
Heat Level: Light Roast
Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.
Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . .
My first impression of this series came from the covers. I LOVE a beautiful cover and these caught my eye every time I walked through a book store. I snagged a sample of the ebook, and was hooked immediately.
What kept me reading (or didn’t).
Though this book is completely absent (for now) of anything romantic, I adore all the characters and the world building is fantastic. I resonated with Fletcher’s apathy for others and his anger at the social injustices in his world. That undercurrent alone kept me reading.
Fletcher quickly earns the respect of the underdogs when he stands with them, and he manages to befriend them even when they would rather have nothing to do with him. He is smart, quick thinking, and adaptable. I had trouble keeping all the other apprentices’ names straight. There were a lot of them introduced all at once, but it didn’t really slow down the story once the two or three main characters became clear.
The elves, dwarves, humans, and orcs all felt very familiar, as did the struggles to figure out alliances, but the author managed to give each race a fresh presentation so it didn’t seem like re-reading Tolkien or the like.
The story moves at a good pace, and there is enough action to balance out the obvious social and political themes. I LOVE a good romance, but a story with a deeper meaning – especially one that points out the flaws of racial prejudice and bigotry – makes my heart sing. I enjoyed this first book in the series very much and will be picking up the next.
The story is clean, and not overly violent in a gory sort of way. It is a great book for younger YA readers, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an epic fantasy that is a little lighter. (Though not much.)
About the Author:
Taran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.
Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.
Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.
Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.
After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.