- Age Range: 12 - 18 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
- Series: The Summoner Trilogy (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (May 5, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 125006712X
- ISBN-13: 978-1250067128
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 487 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Novice: Summoner: Book One (The Summoner Trilogy) Hardcover – May 5, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Fletcher, 15, an orphan raised by a blacksmith in the Hominum Empire's northern village of Pelt discovers he has the ability to summon demonic creatures in this exciting fantasy trilogy opener. After Fletcher and Ignatius, his ferretlike demon, attack the local bully, Fletcher is forced to flee his village. Through a chance encounter with a mage, Fletcher finds himself attending an academy for battle mages. Trained mages are needed in Hominum's ongoing war with the orcs and in the armed truce against the elves. At the Academy, Fletcher, a commoner, endures scorn from the more skilled second-year students of noble birth, especially a pair of snobbish twin siblings, who are particularly cruel to Sylva, the elf chieftain's daughter, and the dwarf Othello. Dwarves are despised and treated as second-class citizens by many humans in Hominum. Their studies culminate in a year-end tournament that determines their student rankings and the opportunity for a senior military position. Fletcher and his small group of allies also become involved in a plot that threatens all of Hominum. This debut's similarities to J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" books, Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" (Knopf), and J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" (Scholastic) (the novel even has a nasty professor with a prejudice against commoners and other races) are unmistakable, but readers won't mind. Fletcher's a sympathetic character whose impulsive behavior leads him to make understandable mistakes. VERDICT The appealing characters, fast-paced plot, focus on racial politics, and interesting demon varieties (demonology addendum included) make this an enjoyable read.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
“Fletcher is an orphan who lives in the small village of Pelt, not far from the elfen border and the farthest outpost in an on-going war against the orcs. Despite being a skilled hunter and apprentice blacksmith, Fletcher has little status in the village. A chance encounter leads to Fletcher discovering that he can summon demons. This rare skill is found primarily among the nobles of the kingdom and is essential on the battlefront. When his new demon protects him against the village bullies, Fletcher flees for his life and becomes a student at the school for battlemages. . . . [This] plot-focused fantasy adventure will be a satisfying read for a wide age range of readers, especially fans of role-playing games and Christopher Paolini.” ―VOYA
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When he gets to the city of Coricillum, where Vocans, the summoned academy he is to train at is, he finds a city rife with corruption, racism, and the excesses of privilege that the noble class abuses.
In the midst of this all, Fletcher finds himself making friends of misfits, fighting in scenes that are not overblown to unrealistic proportions, and fine tuning his craft, so he can excel.
The good guys are well developed, while the villains are portrayed as arrogant, greedy, and treacherous.
As a whole, the book does a good job not getting ahead of itself, and developing at a pace that is enjoyable and relevant.
The magic system is simple yet serviceable, and skillfully I corporates the familiar, or "demons" as the book calls them.
This book would fit in the teen fantasy fiction genre, as it has no graphic rape or torture scenes, but this well seasoned fantasy lover of 35 years still enjoyed it thoroughly.
Still I will say that the pacing was great for the most part but the story did contain several time jumps in which the characters have trained and learned off screen. It does so remind me of Harry Potter but with less class time as these future battlemages train for war.
Also this is not a stand-alone story given how the story ends. While many of the plot elements were wrapped up the story does feel like part one of a two-part book. It was rather infuriating to come up to the 88% Mark and realize the story continues in book 2. The infuriating factor is that the story is so good that I have to buy the next one despite the author's dirty trick.
Now this story is appropriate for young teens and above. There is no foul language that I can remember and though it does have violence and death it is not graphic. If I do have a complaint is that the hero of a story has to defend his life by taking another's life yeah he does not dwell upon it too much. It does feel as if this part is glossed over.
I love the character, Fletcher is a true delight to know. He sees the world as i would in the movies and stories I see. Fletcher is patient, understanding, unbiased, confident and modest. One could say he is Gary Stu (perfect) with him catching on to his powers quickly and just happening on a powerful creature. However I like the way Matharu handles this, I see it more as a reward for being kind, open and friendly to others and trying to be helpful.
I feel this read is a very good balance between the Percy jackson series and The Inheritance cycle (the eragon books) Its not too playful like Percy Jackson and its not too over bearing and complicated like Eragon.
I very much look forward to finishing the book and will be picking up the next two.
This is a good story for anyone who likes high fantasy, likeable characters facing hard and sometimes unfair circumstances, and great world building.
Overall I enjoyed this tale and will begin the next one.