Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
~ GoodReads Synopsis ~
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.
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Wow. Applause for Taran Matharu.
It has been forever and my search is completed. I have found a book that brings me back to those Harry Potter feels. At first the theme started to bug me a little, honestly, because it was just so much like Harry Potter, but the story really came into itself about halfway through. The school setting resembled Hogwarts, at least how I imagined it. The teachers even reminded me of Hogwarts; Arcturus was definitely Lupin, Rook was an even worse version of Snape, and Othello was Ron in certain aspects.
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what I saw.
But don’t get me started on Rook that little… I don’t think I have ever blatantly hated a character from the very beginning like I hated Rook. Matharu crafted him so well as a villain. The reader usually, at some point, feels sympathetic toward the villain, but I felt none of that for Rook. As soon as he opened his mouth, I knew I wanted to kick him in the crotch, to be completely honest. He just has such a crappy personality, and he’s such a classist prick. Just thinking about him makes me angry, so I’m going to move on.
As for the demon summoning, it was fairly realistic. It did seem really real at times, like I forgot it wasn’t a thing when I stopped reading and I kind of wish it was. Other times it seemed a little far fetched, or even just too much of a hassle which bugged me a little, although I’m not sure why. I just didn’t like all the different tools they needed, specifically the leather they used to summon them and infuse. I like simplicity in a book. It didn’t seem real that the summoners infused the demons into the leather and needed it to summon it back. I think that’s just me, though, and it doesn’t hinder the story in any way. The history behind all of the summoning, as well as the history of the people and different character types, like the dwarves, elves, nobles, and commoners, is very in-depth. You can tell a lot of world building was done, and it is appreciated very much.
Initially, I imagined the main character being older, like 17 or 18, but he was actually 15. I kind of liked this because sometimes a little juvenile feel to a story is really nice, like the first few Harry Potter books and Percy Jackson. This doesn’t make it a middle grade though, it is definitely a YA fantasy, and I believe he gets older as the series progresses. Because of the ages of the characters, there isn’t really any romance, which I do hope appears in the next few books. Since I think Fletcher and Sylva will end up together. I would say Sylva and Othello, but Fletcher is the main character, so he has to get a love interest by the end.
ALSO the ending is great and the tournament they have to fight in is really well written. I was so tense while reading I actually got a little sore. So, if it’s slow in the very beginning, just wait it out, it’s worth it.
Will I be finishing the rest of the series? Heck yeah! By the ending I was so invested in the story, I was ready to read the sequel right then.
Would I recommend it you guys? Heck yeah! If you can, definitely give this book a read, especially if you’re not a muggle.
Thanks for reading!