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The Novice: Summoner: Book One (The Summoner Trilogy) Paperback – May 10, 2016
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
A New York Times Bestseller
“The appealing characters, fast-paced plot, focus on racial politics, and interesting demon varieties (demonology addendum included) make this an enjoyable read.” ―School Library Journal
“Fantasy readers should enjoy this entertaining, comfortably familiar-feeling adventure featuring an earnest soldier-schoolboy and his demonic sidekick.” ― Kirkus Reviews
“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
“Taran Matharu . . . racked up more than a million reads for his first novel, 'Summoner,' in only four months.” ―NBCnews.com
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
That being said, there was enough of a hook at the end that I got the second book. I won't be getting the third unless I can borrow it from the kindle library or it goes on a hefty sale. If you're looking for something with even a little depth save yourself the money and look else where. If you want quick, easy read....decide carefully. If you're just looking for something to fill time or you're getting it for someone younger there is probably enough here to keep you entertained.
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.
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.