The Novice by Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner (#1)
Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group and Hodder Children’s Books
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Two strikes in a row! After Uprooted I’m spoiled with another amazing book, the Novice! This debut of Taran Matharu has been a great hit on Wattpad.com, on online story sharing platform. It’s actually incredible that the Novice really is his debut. The ease with which the book is written promises a lot for the author’s future.
This first book in the Summoner trilogy is fantasy, with a bit of Harry Potter and Pokémon. While I’ve voiced my disgust with authors writing something unoriginal with bits and pieces of famous writings before, the story and world Taran Matharu created is still very original. And let’s be honest, who wasn’t waiting for a real-life book about Pokémon?
The story brings us to the village of Pelt, where young orphan Fletcher finds out he has the ability to summon demons. In a country drained by the war against orcs, every summoner is valuable. He travels to the Adept Military Academy to be schooled. There he not only has to learn the tricks of summoning, but also how to deal with the nobles, who will do everything in their power to secure their own status.
First I would like to say that this literally is the book about a magical/fantasy school where the classes actually make sense. Demonology, Spellcraft and Etherwork all seem like things the young summoners should learn. Together with the voluntary sword practices, this is quite a complete package. The only thing missing might be Military Tactics or something, as they will be trained to be officers in the army. At least these make sense in a practical way, not like the courses in Harry Potter or Akarnae for example.
Typical main character is a hero and the rest of the world is against him – kind of story. Surprisingly, this did not bother me at all. Due to the lovable characters, the fast-paced story and the originality, my attention was kept from beginning to end. And what an ending that was! Super cliffhanger, I’m looking forward to the sequel. The fact that it will take almost a year before that one will be released is almost too much to bear!
Final rating: ★★★★★
*** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review ***