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The Summoner (Chronicles of the Necromancer #1)

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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,513 Ratings  ·  405 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
Sep 28, 2009 Michael rated it did not like it
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
Heather
Sep 05, 2010 Heather rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cymas
Mar 02, 2010 Cymas rated it it was ok
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
Catrine
Aug 29, 2011 Catrine rated it did not like it
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
Andrew
Jul 31, 2009 Andrew rated it did not like it
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
Jason Pitre
Mar 03, 2008 Jason Pitre rated it it was ok
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.

Lucinda
Aug 14, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Howell
Jun 03, 2009 Mark Howell rated it really liked it
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
CiCi
Aug 06, 2014 CiCi rated it did not like it
I literally signed up for Good Reads because I was so outraged by this book. By doing so, maybe there's the chance of (hopefully) saving anyone else the pain of picking this book up and getting even ten pages in. If giving this a zero star rating was an option, I'd do it.

I couldn't finish it. I just couldn't finish it. There are so few times when I cannot finish a book and this is one of them. Nothing is decent about it except the pacing. All of the characters are cliché, ripped off from every b
...more
Doc Opp
Aug 03, 2012 Doc Opp rated it it was ok
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
Kerri
Feb 08, 2013 Kerri rated it did not like it
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
Inara
May 25, 2008 Inara rated it liked it
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
Emily
Jun 24, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
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
Ryan Mueller
Jul 18, 2015 Ryan Mueller rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
I was a bit hesitant going into this one because I'd read a lot of negative reviews. I'm glad I ignored those reviews and read it anyways. This was the kind of action-packed story I enjoy, and I don't care if it recycled quite a few common fantasy elements. As a reader, I want a fast-moving story and characters I like, and Martin gave me both.

The writing had some rough spots for me (which Martin has really smoothed out in her subsequent books), but they never pulled me out of the story. I was in
...more
James
Sep 20, 2009 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
QS
Jun 06, 2015 QS rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dark Phreak Arts
Mar 11, 2013 Dark Phreak Arts rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheena
Dec 02, 2008 Sheena rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Shanshad Whelan
Jan 18, 2010 Shanshad Whelan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, series
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
Unwisely
Apr 05, 2015 Unwisely rated it did not like it
I really tried to read this book. But it has so many of my most-loathed tropes packed tight I couldn't get past page, let's see, 134. Let's count:
1. Protagonist has unique special power!
2. Book opens with humungous tragedy (what're you going to do in book 2? Red Dwarf could do it, but it's a tough opener.)
3. All protagonist's friends are also special snowflakes (amazing/magical bard, super soldier).
4. Magical protection ghosts that don't even seem to make sense within what I know about the ru
...more
Jared
Sep 01, 2015 Jared rated it liked it
First off, let me say I really enjoyed this book. I was totally taken in by the story like I haven't been with other books in the genre in a good while. I enjoyed the characters, the plot, every action scene, etc. It truly made me forget the world outside the book, which to me is a fantastic thing and I am eagerly going to read the next book in the series.

However, I rate this a 3 for several reasons. This is not a ground breaking, genre-busting, blockbuster hit. This is full of cliché, one dime
...more
edifanob
Sep 10, 2008 edifanob rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
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 :-)
Heather
Aug 12, 2015 Heather marked it as dnf
Update: Aug 12th. After thinking about it for some time and realising I dread picking this book back up, I've decided I'm adding it to my DNF pile, along with Sworn. This book just isn't for me, even though the premise is really interesting.

I'm kind of close to DNFing this book, which is a shame because the plot sounds really interesting. My biggest problem, besides the pedestrian writing, is that this is a high fantasy novel pretty much set in the 12th or 13th century and yet, it is so riddled
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Jan 05, 2012 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Another good fantasy book, but then I knew that from the start. It was the kind that I enjoy, a good adventure, friends on the run and wicked bad guys.

I do like this kind of fantasy where the young man (or woman) is on the run or something like that. He dodges bad guys and tries to come to terms with his power. And there are always a good set of side characters. I can't say who my favorite here is cos they all have different things to offer, but I do think I want more of the young captain of the
...more
Kira
Sep 13, 2009 Kira rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews-are-done
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
Jan 19, 2012 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Miranda
Mar 28, 2011 Miranda rated it really liked it
My rating is more a high three due to my love hate relationship with these books. I find them compelling and easy to fall into. I also enjoy the character development and how they grow over the years but I shall talk about that more in a minute.

The Summoner takes you on an ‘epic’ adventure of magic, betrayal and yadda yadda yadda. I assume you can read the above description of the book so do you really need me to summarize? I think not!

Published back in 2007 and ironically enough I picked it up
...more
Femmy
Mar 31, 2013 Femmy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
James
Jun 22, 2007 James rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young adult and adult readers of epic fantasy
[Note: This review was originally written in 2007.]

I opened to the title page of The Summoner, where the author had written in my copy, "Thank you for believing." I gave her comment only cursory thought at the time, but it only took the reading of a few pages before I began to believe in Martin’s well-developed fantasy world and in her ability to lead her readers through it with an enchanting grace that obscures the fact that this is her first published novel.

This epic fantasy quest begins with
...more
Cynthia
Jun 27, 2016 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
THE SUMMONER, Gail Z. Martin, 2007
This is my second reading of Chronicles of the Necromancer which begins with The Summoner.
If you like magic, wizardry, conflict, and suspense, you will like this book. Also, if you are a follower of The Goddess, you will like this book.
Tris watches as his father is killed. There is the evil older brother with his blood mage. There are a host of good guys and gals along with Tris as he learns how to be a mage and avenge the deaths of his parents and sister. This
...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...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of the Necromancer (5 books)
  • 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 Shadowed Path: A Jonmarc Vanhanian Collection

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