The Novice by Taran Matharu
- The concept is amazing and really draws you in
- I loved how Matharu combines fantasy and action
- A bit slow to start
- A bit predictable
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The Summoner, written by Taran Matharu, is a book that combines fantasy with action and adventure. I came across this book whilst shopping in Dymocks, and was hooked by the blurb, which goes along the lines of this:
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs
Such an interesting blurb! What drew me in the most would be the whole concept of the Adept Military Academy. To me, that was a nod to Harry Potter, with Hogwarts being the magical teaching ground. As I read however, I found that Matharu really incorporates other fantasy series, such as Digimon/Pokemon demons, which kept me reading even more! I loved how subtly Matharu incorporated this, and how it took me a while to figure it out.
About the actual plot of the story... I liked it as well. Instead of one climax, there were plenty of scenes to interest me, and for me to worry about Fletcher and his friends' fate. Matharu keeps you reading and hooked onto this novel by always having a challenge for Fletcher and his friends to face, or a new place for them to explore.
My main complaint about this book would be the predictability of it. Especially for the touted tournament towards the end, I called who was going to win, and even Matharu's cliffhanger ending. The start yes, is a bit slow, and throughout the book, I kept questioning why Matharu hadn't talked about certain characters in a while, however, this was overshadowed by how Matharu makes everything so appealing.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and I feel like anyone who's into fantasy or action will love this book as well. It wasn't too hard to understand the world that The Novice is set in, and should be fairly easy for anyone to read!
Keep reading and loving books!