The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #1)
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The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer #1)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  6,853 ratings  ·  321 reviews
The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jared’s dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor. Tris flees with three friends: Soterius, captain of the guard; Carroway, the court’s mas...more
Mass Market Paperback, 637 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Solaris (first published January 29th 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Michael
I can't tell what was greater: how insulted or how disgusted I was by this book. Not by the content (saccharin prince with evil brother forced from his birthright... um, something about ghosts). No, the writing is, to be blunt, shit.

I have rules that I live by, that define what I believe is a good book. Want to know what they are? The opposite of everything that this book is.

Anyone here want to read about 12th century characters with 20th century values stapled to their paper-thing character dev...more
Crystal
Mar 02, 2010 Crystal rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Eragon
I'm usually not very critical of books outside of whether I liked them or not, but The Summoner is an exception to this rule. The cover is excellent, the summary intriguing. One does not see necromancers as the good guys very often, or at all, really. With even the protagonist using what's generally considered dark/evil magic, I expected a dark, gritty fantasy.

What I read was not. In fact, it reads very much like YA. I don't know if the book was miss-marketed or what, but this is definitely not...more
Heather
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
First of all this book should be burned, I am a book lover, so I do not say that lightly.

The writing is bland, no emmotional high lights or sweeping prose, a 13 year could have written this book.
The plot which revolves around a young prince who is exiled cause his big brother killed the king, and them he has to start a rebelion, all the while tying to control his powers of the dead. You can see the plot coming from miles away, the story scream GENERIC, and there is no big battle of even decent c...more
Doc Opp
To be honest, I think the two star rating is a bit generous. There is no confusing Gail Martin for George RR Martin, that's for sure. This is the prototype of the trashy fantasy novel. The characters are cliche, and entirely unmemorable. The plot is predictable and contains every hackneyed element you can think of. The plot twists, to the extent that you can call them that, are entirely predictable because they are so cliche. The writing is generally poor - especially anything involving emotiona...more
Jason Pitre
This novel was an easy read, it barely took me 2 days of casual reading to breeze though the 600+ pages. While there were some portions which impressed me (specifically the 8 faces of the goddess), much of it was unoriginal. It was fun enough to read, but failed to grab me. There were also a few major editing errors to be found.

Many folks love the book and I suggest you read it. It won't take long and you might be captivated where I was not. Simply consider borrowing before the purchase.

Catrine
Oh dear. What can I really say about this book? Honestly I want to rip it apart. There's cliché after cliché after cliché after cliché, nothing is at all surprising, even for me who skimmed a lot of the book, the characters are stereotyped cardboard cut-outs, the action is predictable and feels like a video game, the prose is lacking, there is a great deal of space dedicated to events that drag out for too long and are not in any way important to plot or character building, the dialogue is chopp...more
Mark Howell
Truthfully, this isn't a book...not in the stand-alone sense, anyways. It's fairly reminiscent of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which he himself describes as sort of "one big novel spanning several books"... if you look at it in that sense, it's an excellent book.
No, there is no typical build-up, rising action, climax, denoumont, etc, if anything, the whole book itself is the "introduction-->rising action" part of the entire story.
Taken by itself, the book is well-written, though it so fa...more
Lucinda
Here is a new fantasy series that should rightly stand alongside the other great writers within this genre, on the bookshelf next to Kate Elliot, Brent Weeks, Janny Wurts and many others who all have produced something of outstanding caliber. The chronicles of the necromancer is a four part series comprising of the summoner as book one, the blood king as book two, dark haven and dark lady’s chosen as book four which concludes this epic saga that is overwhelmingly good. These eye-catching books s...more
Inara
May 25, 2008 Inara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: novels-fantasy
I gave this book three stars but it should really be a 3,5!
"The Summoner" is the first book of the Chronicles of the Necromancer and introduces to the world of Matris Drayke (Tris), prince of Margolan and his family. Tris has always been able to communicate with ghosts and could always see them hang around all over the palace. At the day of the Feast of the Departed the ghosts are usually even more visible even to the other people but this year there seemed to be very few of them around. When a...more
James
Not a very good fantasy book, overall, but it did keep me reading just enough to want to finish it, hence the two stars.

I had a lot of probelms with this book. This is the type of fantasy book that perpetuates stale stereotypes and lends to the myth that fantasy is "not smart writing", or rather that it can't contain deep issues, moral expositions, big ideas, or character development. Fantasy CAN do these things, and I would argue that it should, just like any other well-written book. This book...more
Sheena
Good first novel! Regicide begins our story with Tris, the second son of the newly dead king, running for his life. Tris has always been content to take a back seat to his elder brother but now that evil is afoot he must come into his own and reclaim the throne from a tyrant and his evil cohorts. As you might guess from the title, Tris's emerging powers have to do with the spirit world, where one must walk a fine line between good and evil, power and corruption.

Meanwhile in a neighboring kingdo...more
Emily
So many bad reviews about this book!

I personally actually really enjoyed it. Sure the premise (King killed by "evil" son, "good" son escapes and has struggle with who he is and what he can do) isn't original, but the tale is well told.

As some others have mentioned, it's an interesting thing to see a necromancer as the good guy for once. I enjoyed seeing Tris, the main character discover more about himself and meet up with new friends along the way, getting into a fair number of scrapes as he goe...more
edifanob
I liked it. A lot of things have been predictable.
Anyway I will read THE BLOOD KING (it's on my bookshelf) and DARK HAVEN (will be released in 2009) because I want to know how the story continues.

As soon as I find some time I will go into details :-)
Kira
Matris Drayke is second in line for the throne of Margolan of the winter kingdoms. As much as he doesn't want to be king, Tris knows he has to reclaim the town after his evil half brother murders the rest of the family with is vyash morue mage. On a journey with the castle's bard and two soldiers, the friends journey to Principality with a guide who's hard to beat and a group of people from a captured caravan. However, on the way, Tris has to master his power before it consumes him and be on th...more
Fred
This was a pretty good book that exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. It was surprisingly original in terms of it's world building and the function of magic as far as fantasy goes. I love that there is he emphasis on the dead and the undead in this series and I want to learn more of the voyesh moru (spelling). I think that character development is sometimes a little bit weak, but generally the characters have developed into their own people by the end of the book even if they started as so...more
QS
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerri
I don't usually write reviews but I felt I had to have a small rant about this book given how disappointed I am with it.

It looked like it was going to be enjoyable, probably a case of judging a book by its cover on my part, but I also read the review quotes on the front and back cover. "Attractive characters and an imaginative setting combine in an excellent, fast-moving quest novel." - David Drake

"Adventure with whole-hearted passion!" - SFX

I disagree with both of these statements. Initially...more
Femmy
After reading a non-traditional fantasy in Among Thieves, I was ready for an old-fashioned one. The opening chapters of The Summoner showed some promise. A prince with undeveloped magical abilities was forced to flee from his home because his evil brother killed the rest of his family and seized the throne. I expected to read exciting adventures as the prince journeyed to a neighboring country and learned magic.

Well, he did experience some adventure with a ghost inn, a caravan, slavers, a haunte...more
Dark Phreak Arts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth
"c2007: Who was the target market for this one? Certainly, not fans of the fantasy genre! Courtesy of Amazon - used because I don't think that the book is going to be memorable in itself. ""The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jared's dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor. Tris flees with three f...more
Petra Eriksson
The first few chapters I found quite painful to read, becuase they had several of the things I have been thought to avoid when it come to writing, with sentences such as "with a twinkle in the eye" and unrealistic features in apperance, and I also, I thought Tris weak. But I stuck with it and soon I found myself enjoying the story that moved forward in a fast, but not rushed, tempo. And the characters grew on me, Tris found some backbone and it was clear that he was developing during the story a...more
Chris
Nice idea, but an idea itself isn't good enough to be a great story.
I like the idea of this book...main character has to flee home, his brother wants to kill him. Check. I like a good reluctant hero, especially a good one, entwined with magic talents..
But it wasn't enough to carry me through the entire book. The main character was mildly interesting...his magic talents were a little silly (i.e. didn't make much sense), and the story wasn't packed with a solid foundation.
You can have the greatest...more
Alice
I like this book, not least because it is hundreds of pages long and still has tons of plot left. A big brick of a novel like this lasts me only a few commute days, but that's longer than typical books and this one actually held my interest for most of the time. There are some skim-through parts, but the characters are interesting and the mythology of the world the author has created is quite interesting. So far, there are a few female characters that I like, but they're not as well-developed as...more
Shanshad Whelan
I admit I skimmed about a third of this and probably will not read the next. It's written well enough, plotted well, and it has all the ingredients to make it a sprawling epic fantasy tale of wrongful deaths, treachery, battles for the crown and good vs. evil in an environment of warriors, magic and monsters. But that's the problem. There's nothing to really make it shine out from the dozens of other stories of this general description--nothing to give a fresh and interesting feel. It might be f...more
Mome Rath
So to start off, this book is pulp. That having been said, there is a place for this kind of book in my library. Sometimes you really want an easy read that is plot-driven, that doesn't make you think too much. This is that book. While it reads a bit like "let me write a book series about my D&D campaign" and it adheres to traditional role-playing rules somewhat slavishly (healers cannot carry swords, duh. Doesn't everyone know that?), it was a fun read, and I continued to read the rest of t...more
Ellen
I've seen a few reviews about this book and even though I believe that everybody has a right to their own opinion, I couldn't help but think that they were a bit harsh with their words about telling us why they didn't like this book.

I for one actually did like it and am kind of sad that I didn't bring book 2 along today so I could start on that one. I loved the story, loved the world and even though the premise has been done I'm not bothered by it at all. I actually really liked her uptake on i...more
Matt
Excellent story!! About a prince who sees his family killed, and then has his dormant powers to summon the dead awoken inside of him. Writing style is unique and the story is just really fun to read. The first two in the series are already out, and they follow the prince, Trist and his friends. The third book is schedualed to come out soon but that follows one of the other characters, so if you dont want to be left behind, go grab a copy!!!! It was good enough that i've read this book three sepa...more
Deborah Mcnemar
I was looking for something different when I ran across this title. Now, usually anything that has Necromancy in it, I avoid. The ick factor is usually abused with blood and guts and simply isn't worth it for me. This time, however, I was glad I read it.

The world was well crafted and well presented with ghosts and death magic (even vampires) being part of the religion and every kingdom worshiping a little differently. The Necromancy was less yuck and more fundamental which I appreciated.

There we...more
Lucas Demolliere
Je trouve que c'est un assez bon livre même si le tome 1 n'est pas très bien écrit.
Néanmoins, on voit que l'auteur a fait de très large progrès entre le tome 1 et 2(j'ai lu le tome 2).
L'histoire est assez captivante pour ceux qui aime l'heroic fantasy. Mais, le titre est trompeur, Tris(le héros) est un Invocateur et le livre s'appelle Chroniques du Nécromancien, jusqu’à la, tout va bien, sauf que Gail Martin nous dit que Tris devra lever une armée de mort pour reconquérir Shekerishet mais même à...more
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Gail Z. Martin discovered her passion for science fiction, fantasy and ghost stories in elementary school. The first story she wroteat age fivewas about a vampire. Her favorite TV show as a preschooler was Dark Shadows. At age 14, she decided to become a writer. She enjoys attending science fiction/fantasy conventions, Renaissance fairs and living history sites. She is married and has three childr...more
More about Gail Z. Martin...
The Blood King (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #2) Dark Haven (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #3) Dark Lady's Chosen (Chronicles of the Necromancer, #4) The Sworn (Fallen Kings Cycle, #1) The Dread (Fallen Kings Cycle, #2)

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