Sheena's Reviews > The Summoner

The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin
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Dec 01, 2008

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bookshelves: fantasy
Read in December, 2008

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 kingdom, Princess Kiara flees her ill-fated betrothal to none other than the dastardly new Monarch of Tris's Kingdom. A swordswoman on a divine mission, her fate becomes entangled with Tris's own as together they seek to overthrow the powers of darkness.

Martin manages to take stock characters and plot devices and elevate them to a readable (if predictable) story. If she keeps at it I could easily see her following in the footsteps of my favorite author, Mercedes Lackey. She clearly has the imagination, writing skill and heart to sit among the greats. What this first attempt lacks is maturity and cohesion. There are a few too many characters to keep up with, most of whom are painted with a broad brush. She almost achieves taking Tris and Kiara into three dimensions but misses the mark by a hair's breadth. By the end of the novel I felt enough of a connection to want to read more, but less for the story itself than excitement to see how she advances as a writer.
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