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Summoner #1

The Novice

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When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

398 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 5, 2015

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About the author

Taran Matharu

21 books4,007 followers
Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies in English. He was born in London in 1990.

Taran began to write the SUMMONER series in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on Wattpad.com. The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. THE CHOSEN is his first book in his new CONTENDER series, out now.

His books are published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,288 reviews
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 21 books13.5k followers
March 17, 2017
** Just finished re reading for the second time and its even BETTER a second time. I love this world, time to jump into book two **


I picked this book up yesterday and have just finished it!
IT WAS SO AMAZING! I literally can not get my thoughts together right now due to the amazingness of this book!

But my plan is to film a book review ( i know.. i only film book reviews for books i love) and then i will have it up for the release of the book!

JUST AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Dear Faye.
492 reviews2,124 followers
July 25, 2015
Definitely one of the most underwhelming fantasies I've read this year.

I was really excited for this after knowing it was originally a WattPad story. I always get excited when a book becomes published through unconventional means, because it means people like me who just writes stories for fun for others online can be discovered for the very reason our stories are simply good enough. And knowing it was a fantasy? Heck yeah, my favorite genre of the year, represeeent!

However, reading this book was like eating unseasoned, hard meat... it didn't taste anything. It was bland and forgettable. I kept on chewing and chewing and chewing in hopes it would suddenly turn into a gourmet dish, but in the end, I swallowed it feeling nothing. It didn't bring anything new to the plate, nor did it engage the reader in me. I started reading this in May. I finished it in July. I mean, that speaks volumes, I think.

Despite this having obviously Pokemon/Digimon/Monster Rancher elements (except with "demons") in a typical fantasy setting (world filled with humans, orcs, elves, and dwarves), it failed to instill a feeling of awe within me.


Because of the writing, that's why.

That cover is goddamn misleading. It made me think I'd be reading about grown teenagers finding their place in a world strife with war, in a world where everyone was against each other, but that was all a lie. The characters here all sounded like they were ten year olds who were on a field trip to a Harry Potter-like academy. It was awkward, quite stilted, and flat. It was so uninspiring and it resembled bad fanfiction so much. It reminded me a lot of Lucy Saxon's Take Back the Skies where the style felt so young and in need of good polishing. Like the two have the following in common:

☑ A lot of telling than showing
☑ Very uninteresting chapter finishers... like every chapter ends in such anti-climactic ways
☑ Blunt way of showing character feelings, giving a feel of disconnection
☑ Boring, narrative-style info-dumps in dialogues
☑ Lack of real and genuine character development/emotional connection

I wish I liked this more, but the writing really made me feel nothing towards the characters. Didn't help that Fletcher, an orphan (who we know will be the son of someone important later on...), was a Gary Stu in the making - having no real flaws except his being friendly with everyone, being automatically gifted without bloody working for it, overcoming hurdles without any real tension. I mean, yeah, pokemon-like demons are cool and all, but if the main character doesn't have a personality, then what else does he have going for?

The rest were so uninteresting as well, having characteristics that were stereotypical of their fantasy-races. Who did the mining? The dwarves! Who were the agile and graceful ones? The elves! Who were the enemies who did nothing but grunt? The orcs! Like, oh my bloody god, can it not get any more cheesier than that?

All in all, a big and utter disappointment.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews42 followers
March 14, 2022
Summoner: The Novice (Summoner #1), Taran Matharu

Summoner: The Novice is book one from trilogy of Summoner, written by British author Taran Matharu, book one first published: May 5, 2015, Genre: Fantasy Fiction.

Fletcher was nothing more than a humble blacksmith's apprentice, when a chance encounter leads to the discovery that he has the ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, he must travel with his demon to the Vocans Academy, where the gifted are trained in the art of summoning.

The academy will put Fletcher through a gauntlet of grueling lessons, training him as a battle mage to fight in the Hominum Empire's war against the savage orcs. Rubbing shoulders with the children of the most powerful nobles in the land, Fletcher must tread carefully. The power hungry Forsyth twins lurk in the shadows, plotting to further their family's interests. Then there is Sylva, an elf who will do anything she can to forge an alliance between her people and Hominum, even if it means betraying her friends.

Othello is the first ever dwarf at the academy, and his people have long been oppressed by Hominum's rulers, which provokes tension amongst those he studies alongside. Fletcher will find himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with nothing but his demon Ignatius to help him. As the pieces on the board manoeuvre for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سه شنبه نوزدهم ماه مارس سال2019میلادی

عنوان: کارآموز کتاب نخست از سه گانه احضارگر؛ نویسنده: تاران ماتارو؛ برگردان بهنام حاجی زاده، دبیر مجموعه: نیما کهندانی، بازبینی و تصحیح نهایی: عبدالله زارعی، زینب احمدی؛ امور میدانی: امیرمحمد آقائی؛ مدیر هنری: خسرو خسروی؛ مسئول چاپ: پوریا شرح دهی مقدم؛ تهران، نشر بهداد، سال1394، در468ص؛ شابک9786009584765؛ شابک دوره9786009584765؛ چاپ چهارم سال1395؛ چاپ سوم تهران، باژ، سال1396، در470ص؛ چاپ چهارم نشر باژ، سال1397؛ شابک9786008941361؛ موضوع داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده21م

نقل از پشت جلد کتاب: (هنگامیکه «فلچر»، شاگرد آهنگر می‌فهمد، که توانایی جادوگری، و فراخوانی اجنه، از دنیایی دیگر را دارد، به آکادمی نظامی احضارگران می‌رود، تا همراه با سایر کارآموزان، در آنجا هنر احضارگری بیاموزد؛ «فلچر» برای شرکت در جنگ امپراتوری «هومینم»، علیه «اورک‌»ها، آموزش‌های دشوار و توانفرسای ساحران مبارز را، پشت سر می‌گذارد، و با دوستان احضارگر خویش از فرودستان (الف، دورف) با اشراف‌زاده‌ های خودپسند، برای دست‌یابی به پاداش پیروزی در مسابقه‌ ی احضارگران، رقابت می‌کند؛ ولی فضای آکادمی احضارگری «وُکانس»، بسیار مرموزتر است، «و فلچر» خود را، در میان دسیسه‌ ای بزرگ می‌یابد، که سرنوشت امپراتوری را تعیین خواهد کرد....؛ با جور شدن تکه‌ های پازل، «فلچر» باید برگزیند که به کدام سو وفادار باشد، و تنها همراه او در اینراه، جنش «ایگناتیوس» است..)؛ پایان نقل؛

هر سه جلد سه گانه ی «احضارگر» را، پسر ته تغاری و هنرمندم، در روز زادنم در روز پایانی از سال1397هجری خورشیدی، همراه با کتابهای دیگر، هدیه داده اند، این فراموشکار بازنشسته که شدم، دیگر توان خرید کتابهای ارزان قیمت این روزها را ندارم، کتاب نخست از سه گانه را، همانروز نوشیدم، دنیایی که نگارگر جوان آفریده، دنیایی تازه است، هرچند هر رخدادی، در نگاره های دیگران در این ژانر، و استادان به نام دیگر نیز، پیشتر بوده اند، نویسنده جهانی را که ایشان آفریده اند، برای نوجوانان و جوانانی همچو این فراموشکار پیر، دنیای دل انگیزی است، به ویژه کتاب دوم سه گانه نیز، مرا میخکوب کرده بود؛ برگردان فارسی نیز بسیار نیکو بود؛

در این کتاب: جنها به رده های گوناگون دسته بندی شده اند: هیره ها سطح یک؛ شنگ ها سطح چهار؛ سنگ چشم ها سطح چهار؛ سمندر ها سطح پنج؛ سنگ چشم رهبر ها سطح شش؛ بارکلینگ ها سطح شش؛ وولپید (ثعلب) ها سطح شش؛ سگ سان ها سطح هفت؛ گربه سان ها سطح هشت؛ آنوبید ها سطح هشت؛ گولم ها سطح هشت؛ هیدرا ها سطح هشت؛ شیردال ها سطح ده؛ مینوتور ها سطح یازده؛ هستند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 31/02/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 22/12/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Leonor (Ellie).
277 reviews2 followers
March 7, 2015

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Hodder Children’s Books for providing me with a copy.

- Initial quick review posted on Goodreads when I finished the book (it earned me a few likes so I won’t delete it :P):

My thoughts about the book:

My thoughts about the author:

- And now the full review:


I can already see this book on a lot of favourite books of 2015 lists! It will definitely be on mine, you rest assure!

When I picked up this book I already had my expectations slightly high towards it. The plot sounded amazing, the cover is GOR-GE-OUS and Ben, from Benjamin of Tomes, had loved it! So, when I finally entered this amazing world of summoners, demons, orcs, elves, dwarves, magic and pure, raw fantasy, I fell in love. Let’s say that my expectations were high and it didn’t disappointed me. Not one bit!

The story follows Fletcher who by reading an old scroll summons a demons, not an evil creature but more like a extension of a Summoner. After being accused of a crime he didn’t committed, he flees his village, Pelt, and journeys to the capital of Hominum and there finds his place at Vocans Academy, a school for Summoners to learn to control their power.

Fletcher’s character was amazing. He had this freshness to him that made you like his character instantly. I felt that the author didn’t tried to create a character that would be someone beyond his young age but someone who would mature with what life threw at him. Being accused of something he didn’t do, thrown out of his life and the only family he had certainly changes a person. And his relationship with his demon, Ignatius, was adorable.

The whole universe that Taran Matharu created was really well developed and felt real almost as if I belonged there. You enter this new world and you get a vibe of other books and stories you’ve read but it manages to stand out on his own. I’m looking forward to explore this universe in more books.

The magic was impressive though I’m pretty sure a lot more is going to happen. I’m beginning to understand that this book only shown us a glance of the bigger picture. In here the magic was new and unexplored by Fletcher. It was dangerous and focused on mana as the fuel to use it. I really want to know more about that parallel universe, the ether, from where Ignatius comes from.

Speaking of Ignatius, I just have to let this out of my chest ’cause I’ve spent the whole book with this idea on my mind. I kept picturing this salamander as a small version of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon. I loved Ignatius, perhaps my favourite character in the book despite the fact that he doesn’t talk. I guess that my visual resemblance between Ignatius and Toothless is to blame.

As for the writing, can I just say that Taran Matharu really has a talent to tell stories. He draws you immediately with a few sentences. I kept saying to myself that I could spend the entire day reading this book without getting bored not only because of the story, but also because of the way the author writes.

The Novice was a delightful book filled with everything you can expect from a fantasy book. It was captivating, exciting, interesting, entertaining, fun and simply THAT good! You can expect a battle between orcs, elves and dwarves fighting together for a better world, an orphan boy trying to find his place in the world and a whole bunch of adorable demons that will make you want one for yourself. I will definitely be anxiously waiting for a great sequel to this book.
Profile Image for Mogsy.
2,073 reviews2,635 followers
April 25, 2015
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/04/18/y...

I don’t know what it is, but something about this book totally appealed to me. One would think I’d have had enough of elves and dwarves and orcs by now, but then I tried to remember the last time I read a Young Adult novel set in a world like this, and it actually made me realized just how refreshingly different it is from the sort of YA I’ve been reading lately. It’s free of a lot of the usual tropes, anyway. Plus, something about the storytelling just gives off this down-to-earth and easygoing vibe. It feels like the author wrote this book from his heart, to have fun, not to hit up all the items on some imaginary checklist of what makes a YA novel successful. In fact, I read somewhere that The Novice began life as a personal NaNoWriMo project, and that doesn’t surprise me at all.

The story follows Fletcher, an orphan raised by a village blacksmith after he was found as a baby abandoned in the snow. One day, on the cusp of Fletcher’s sixteenth birthday, a chance encounter with a veteran soldier at the market left him in possession of an old scroll. And like all curious teenage boys, Fletcher just couldn’t resist reading it, and in doing so he unleashes a demon from the Ether. But it’s not as ominous as it sounds! The demon – a cute little imp-like creature that shoots fire – is a Salamander that quickly bonds to Fletcher and becomes his loyal companion.

However, Fletcher’s summoning of the demon does reveal him to be a mage. And with the war going on with the orcs, the army needs all the summoners they can get their hands on, noble-born or commoner; elf, dwarf or human. On the run for a crime he didn’t commit, that’s how Fletcher ends up at the Adept Military Academy, a school that teaches young summoners and prepares them to become full-fledged battlemages before sending them to the frontlines. Fletcher learns to control his demon familiar – whom he names Ignatius – alongside the new friends he meets, but also has to contend with the snotty noble children who try to undermine him at every turn. As the war effort becomes increasingly more desperate, the Academy holds a competition to weed out the brightest and the best for leadership positions, and even first-years like Fletcher are included. Fletcher wants to win, and not just because he wants to teach the nobles a lesson. There are shady dealings afoot; political plots and conspiracies abound, and Fletcher knows he can make a difference for the better, if only he can overcome the challenges of the trials and best his opponents to win a position of command.

A quick look at Taran Matharu’s author page tells us that his passion for reading began at a very young age, and it probably wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out he was a fan of Harry Potter as a child. If that’s the case, the influence is pretty strong. I also see shades of influence from other literary sources, like Lord of the Rings, and the use of mana to summon demon companions of varying species and power levels also reminds me of role-playing video games and even Pokemon. Taken by themselves, the ideas are familiar and derived from what we’ve seen before, but taken as a whole, they actually come together here to form something quite new and interesting, not to mention also a whole lot of fun.

Like I said, Taran Matharu’s approach is very straightforward and uncomplicated; it doesn’t feel like he’s sacrificing his vision to adhere to a fixed set of conventions, nor does it feel like he’s out to subvert any norms. At the heart of it, I just see an author telling a story about characters that he obviously cares a lot about. For that, I can overlook some of the novel’s weaknesses, such as the simplistic writing style and on several occasions where it felt somewhat skewed towards younger audiences like Middle Grade. The writing is perhaps my only big issue I had with this novel, which I felt could use a fair bit more polishing, but this is not an area I’m overly concerned with when I read YA.

Plus, there’s a lot to like too. I found the different kinds of demons and their little quirks charming, plus the Demonology treatise found at the end of the book was a nice touch. I liked reading about the magic school environment and the interactions Fletcher has with his fellow students, especially his relationship with the dwarf Othello and the elf Sylva. The tournament at the end definitely made for an entertaining closer as well, though I also can’t wait to finally step out of the academy setting into big wide world. Thus far we’ve not seen much of the ongoing war with the orcs, and I hope we’ll get a chance to get out to the front. Well, after the cliffhanger at the end of this book gets resolved, of course. Just in case you can’t tell, yes, I’m looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,597 followers
July 16, 2017
*** 3.85 ***

A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group:):):)

I thoroughly enjoyed myself! This book is written in the more classic Fantasy style and although it is targeted to Young Adults, it is in my opinion, perfect for all who love the Fantasy genre.

"..."A warrior's greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher.” ..."

Now, if you are anything like me, a good cover can totally make you buy a book without having any idea what the book is about. I saw the AWESOME cover, deduced it was a Fantasy, and bought it right away! No questions asked. How can anyone resist the beautiful art and coloring??? I know I am a sucker for it... When eventually I got to reading it, I was happy to find that it was worth it:)

Fletcher is a 15 years old living in a mountainous village, in a middle-ages like world. When he was a baby, he had been abandoned by whoever his parents were, at the village gates, naked in the snow... None of the citizens would take him in, but one of the town's blacksmiths who lived by himself close to the gates of the settlement. They did well enough together, working hard and getting by, but for some reason, the son of a prominent local moneylender who is about the same age as Fletcher, had taken a dislike for the less fortunate bloke and never missed a chance to make his life harder. However, while attempting to intimidate him once again, Fletcher and a new friend embraced Didric in front of a crowd and he decides that the only way for Fletcher to pay for this is with his life.

"...“Fight dirty, and go for the face. Gentlemen’s rules are for gentlemen,” ..."

Meanwhile, through various circumstances, Fletcher finds out he is a Summoner - a person who has the ability to summon Demons from the Ether. Somewhat by accident, he summons a small Salamander Demon who steels your heart from the beginning. So, the small creature and Fletcher find themselves on the run, away from home and trying to survive in the war-torn land of Hominum Empire, fighting on two fronts against the Elves and the Orcs. On the way he meets some Dwarfs and an older grizzled warrior-summoner who takes him to the school for those who have that talent, the Adept Military Academy. There he is enrolled in a school deeply divided by class into Nobles and Commons... The rest is the story of an year of learning which culminates in an exam for a commission as an officer in the Empire's army.

"...“What have we told you dwarves about carrying weapons in public? Why can’t you get it through you thick, dwarven skulls? Only humans have that privilege!” ..."

"..."Keep everyone in their proper place, that's the way to do it. Everyone in their rightful place." ..."

Yes, on top of the war, there is this embedded racism between the Humans, Dwarfs and Elves, who all seem to hate each-other and the Orcs. The first three are supposed to be working together against the threat of the Orcs, but they don't seem to want to put the hatreds aside, as well as putting the noble's very capitalistic drive for lording over the world's weaponry market and the financial gains its monopoly would provide. Although I agree with the premise, I did find those parts to be a bit heavy-handedly shoved in our faces with some cartoonishly-evil bad-guys... But that is on par with the genre, I guess. I know some were bothered by the similarities with other books, but that never bothers me really - if it did, we would not have more then some very, very old books to read, because just as in all the arts, dance and music, storytelling is a craft that builds on its history and traditions, all trying to relate to humanity in the most effective way the author can find. This is why composers of all times have "variations on" and all of us have different variations as our favorites - one of those is bound to touch someone deeper than another, and if you don't like the one I do, it is all good - you are bound to find joy in something that is out there:) An artist might paint a portrait of one subject all of their life, and you can always find the beauty and nuance in each and every painting, or at least some of them. Same with books.

"..."A warrior's greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher." ..."

Right now, today, when I read this book, I enjoyed it very much. Mostly because I have been reading some dark and bleak reads as of late and having a more classically told tale where the protagonists at least try to be on the side of decency and honor, which is closer to the more idealistic times when this is what Fantasy was all about, becomes a breath of fresh air in a sea of stifling negativity. Ooo yes, I appreciate a dark and "gray scale" tale just as much as the next person, but I am an optimist at heart and my soul seems to crave a Happily Ever After. It is not a perfectly written book, in full honesty, the prose has some left to be desired. But the characters are likable and the pet-like demons absolutely adorable! Also, the "infusion" is very interesting and the ending left me wanting to know all that happens after! So yes, I realize that there is room to grow, both for the author and the story, but I am hooked and will happily continue with the series. I still think the perfect audience for this one are young people and kids (nothing I would not read to a very small child), as well as those who love Fantasy with a clearer drawn lines between good and evil.

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a Good Book!!!
Profile Image for Paige  Bookdragon.
938 reviews612 followers
June 12, 2015

I was about to dnf this one because I find the "magic school-hero is not a noble born-magic/enchantment-fucking evil bastards were noble spoiled brats" a bit cliche.

But then, the story did a wonderful turn and I was starting to get entertained! I was like:

"What's happening?What's going on?This is soo cool!More!More!More!Yeees!Take that bastard!"

And then the author dropped the bomb at the ending.

And again, I went:


So yeah.
Profile Image for Heather.
319 reviews290 followers
May 14, 2017
2 stars
Find this review and other at A Thousand Lived of Frankie Lovely

Harry Potter meets Pokémon meets Tolkien .... but not in a good way?
But like … I really wanted to love this book :(

The Story

Fletcher, an orphan and blacksmith’s apprentice, is forced to run from the only home he has even known. After accidentally summoning a demon, Fletcher finds himself at the Adept Military Academy for summoners. It is a time of war and summoners are needed now more than ever. Does Fletcher have what it takes to keep his past a secret, keep his friends safe from growing tension, and survive the academy?

What I liked

The world was interesting and easy to understand. The demonology was again … interesting an easy to understand. And the fighting was pretty badass.

What I did not like

The biggest issue I had with this book was that there was not enough of any of these above listed elements I actually liked because the story spent too much time of other things that I did not feel added to the plot.

The very beginning of this book throws the reader into a dark and ominous world filled with dangers and cruelty and I loved it so much. Unfortunately the rest of the book took a turn from this initial atmosphere and became a bit too light for my taste. I felt like this book read a little on the juvenile side, at times feeling like it would definitely fit better as a middle grade book than a young adult. The writing was decent but not groundbreaking, and some of the situations were sporadic or simply underdeveloped.

Besides being super cliche’ (which, ok I'm actually not that mad about), the story spends an awful lot of time talking about the growing racial tensions between the elves and the humans and the dwarves … I mean a LOT of time. In fact I felt like when I wasn't hearing about how mistreated the dwarves or elves were, I was watching a situation where dwarves or elves were being mistreated. That was pretty much the entire book until the end. Talk about overkill! I just felt like these elements could have been discussed and implemented in a better way without becoming the main focus of the entire book.

Which brings me to another thing I was less than happy about with this book. So much of this story felt borrowed which was rather un-refreshing to read. At one point, Fletcher is experiencing an ancient battle between the orcs, specifically an albino white orc, and the humans and the elves, who are riding white stags. And of course the dwarves all ride boars and carry battle axes … any of this ringing a bell? I mean I'm totally ok with applying classic ideas from well known stories in a fresh and new way, but this did not seem unique to me at all.

Furthermore, the characters themselve were flat and bland. None of the characters including Fletcher felt well developed. And Fletcher was perfect in almost everyway. He was absolutely your quintessential special snowflake. He had no real flaws besides being too nice perhaps? I don’t know … I just didn't buy it. I was looking for a badass, strong minded, bow wielding fighter and what I got was super nice boring guy. Ugh.

In Conclusion

Honestly, there were very few redeeming factors to this book for me. The last 40% became at least interesting, but it still lacked depth in both the writing and development. Basically, I didn't love this. But I do own The Inquisition (The Summoner #2) and will be giving it a chance to change my opinion of this series as a whole.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,130 reviews270 followers
April 17, 2015
The Novice is a scintillating, magical adventure.

As a baby orphaned, Fletcher, was taken in and raised by the town black smith.

Helping his guardian sell his wears at the fair, Fletcher comes face to face with a war veteran with a journal from a battlemage. Fletcher helps the man out of a sicky situation with the town's bully only to find himself running for his own life. But before the warrior leaves, he gives Fletcher the journal.

While reading the book, Fletcher accidentally summons a demon of his very own named Ignatius. Leading him to Hominum and ultimately Vocan Military Academy, the school for battlemages.

This world is filled with political and physical battles between the Elves, Dwarves and Humans; even though they battle admists themselves they are all at war this the orcs...with the machinations of humans being the most deadly threat, even among their own kinds.

I never expected that opening this book would have me on an all night marathon, but it did. I have to admit that it was a 4 star read for me until Ignatius appears then I was completely hooked. Keep in mind this story is written with the young or young at heart.

The social prejudices abound with the division of species and classes which only elicited more suspense and tension.

Matharu has woven an intricate world with marvelous fantasy favorites but adds the demon realm beyond the ether, which was icing on the cake for me.

I honestly can't wait for more.

I received this ARC copy of The Novice from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Feiwel & Friends in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication May 5, 2015.

Written by: Taran Marharu
Series: The Summoner Trilogy
Sequence in Series: 1
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
ISBN-10: 125006712X
ISBN-13: 978-1250067128
Genre: Fantasy | Action | Adventure
Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Reviews and More Check out: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Fares.
246 reviews314 followers
November 3, 2019
You know what this book taught me?
To not really trust Goodreads average rating and trust my friends more.
I don't mean that as a bad thing bc I enjoyed this to some extent, but I feel like too many things might have deceived me, things like that cover, the shelves this is on and that average rating now feels higher than it should.

I thought this would be darker than it was, I thought it's gonna be for the older end of YA but honestly, it feels more MG than YA.
The MC is 15 years old and while I really liked him at first by the first third of the book I was hoping he faces more hard decisions, I wanted him to struggle, maybe not the world depends on me kind of struggle but any would've been welcomed, instead, it was easy and sometimes very convenient.

The writing and somewhat the interesting plot kept me going, and let's not forget the fast pace this was going on, it all was good to grab my attention and I wasn't complaining. But there was a point when I needed more and I didn't get it.

This has some very typical fantasy stuff, a young boy from a village, school for magic, animal-shaped demon companions, Dwarves, Elves and Orcs.
I liked that more than many other books tbh, they weren't bad at all but it's not the kind of series that I'd be adding to my favorite shelves.

I like that this was about friendship and accepting others, I like that it wasn't focused on romance.

I don't know if I can recommend this but if you feel like reading a fast read that is a cross between LoTR and Pokemon (as many has said before me) then this book is for you.

This Buddy Read is brought to you by The Sap Ninja Association
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
March 16, 2017
The Novice, is a fun filled high fantasy adventure that was an impressive entertaining escape. I had a lot of fun reading this book and really enjoyed the concept. It has it's share of politics and war between the commoners, nobles and fantastical beings such as; orcs, elvens, germlines, summoners and demons, but the flow and pace of the story was even and always intriguing, the world building was rich and vivid, the writing was crisp and the character were all witty and wonderfully likeable.

Fifteen year old, Fletcher Wulf was abandoned at the gates of Pelt when he was just a baby, but was raised by Berdon, the villagers blacksmith when no one else would take him in. He's never forgiven his mother for leaving him, but he's got a good home where he is given affection and respect and even though some of the villagers are arrogant, Fletcher can more then handle his own. But his whole life changes the moment he receives a parting gift, a Summoner's book. When Fletcher manages to summon a rare demon and gets in some trouble, he finds himself landing at the Vocans Adept Academy where he will learn spellcrafting and be trained as a battlemage.

A little LotR, some GoT and a dash of HP, this particular escape has just about everything I love in a fantasy book. Though, for those who know me wont find it surprising that my favorite part of this book was the academy. I have a thing for academy books and this one is just as fun as I imagined . I loved learning along with Fletcher and the students about how to connect, control and channel their demons, the history, the Ether and the magic of it all. It was really cool to see the training and different races throughout the school while Matharu throws in a few twist and turns to keep it suspenseful, gripping and exciting. I also really enjoyed the characters, Fletcher, Genevieve, Rory, Othello and Sylva and of course all their demons, but Ignatius was my favorite. They all brought something fun and unique to the storyline. The ending left us on a bit of a cliffy, so I'm really looking forward to the next book and there isn't any really romance in this one, but the action and intrigue more then makes up for it that it's not an element I missed.

In all, The Novice turned out to be a great story that combines fantasy, paranormal and magic that was intense, captivating and wildly entertaining. This was indeed a promising start to a series I greatly look forward to continuing. Well done!
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,110 reviews6,574 followers
November 3, 2020
0.1). The Outcast [ON TBR]
1.) The Novice ★★★★★
2.) The Inquisition ★★★★
3.) The Battlemage [ON TBR]


“That’s the difference between a good warrior and a great one. Don’t fight hard. Fight smart.”

representation: chronic illness (asthma), amputee, side character of colour (described as having dark skin).

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]



I'M OBSESSED. This book is everything I could EVER want - it's like pokemon but it's a medieval fantasy with elves, orcs and dwarves and the main character goes to a magical school!! It reads a lot like Lord of the Rings, or Eragon and you can definitely see the influences of these! I loved the characters so much (especially Othello!!). I can't wait to read on and find out more about this world because I. AM. HOOKED!

trigger warnings: graphic animal death (hunting wild animals), war themes, child abandonment, fantasy violence, vomit, torture, racism, shitty teachers, animals being hurt during battle.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,745 reviews1,306 followers
March 29, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.)

“If it wasn’t for the summoners, we would be in serious trouble.”

This book felt like a cross between Harry Potter and how to train your dragon, with some politics and racism, and backstabbing thrown in too.

Fletcher was a boy who had never had much, and who had always worked hard. He stood up for people, even when he was being bullied himself, and went out of his way to be a good person. He was also a good friend to the people he met, and a good son to his adoptive father.

“He had been abandoned with nothing, not even a basket or swaddling. Just a naked baby in the snow, screaming at the top of its lungs outside the gates.”

The storyline in this followed Fletcher as he summoned his first demon, and then travelled to a place where he could continue his studies. We got bullying, racism, action, and demon fights, not to mention sword fights too.
I have to say that bullying and racism were a big thing in this book, and the way Fletcher and the dwarves were treated was just shocking and awful.

“What have we told you dwarves about carrying weapons in public? Why can’t you get it through you thick, dwarven skulls? Only humans have that privilege!”

The ending to this was good, but was also a massive cliff-hanger! I hate Didric so much!
6 out of 10
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews235 followers
August 15, 2017
The themes in this book are old school with a definitive line between the good guys and the bad guys. The world itself is also tried and tested but the story is well written and fun. I read a lot of darker books so reading a traditional story mixes it up and feels fresh.

The demon types and their personalities are particularly entertaining. I'd like one of my own.
Profile Image for Saimi Vasquez.
1,431 reviews68 followers
June 23, 2023
Fletcher es un huerfano criado por un herrero soltero en un pueblo de las montanas lejos de todas las grandes ciudades, su vida siempre ha sido dificil, siempre luchando por la proxima comida, por sobrevivir con lo poco que el su "padre" ganan en la herreria. Pero un dia, un soldado llega a su pueblo con un extrano libro escrito por un hechicero, y desde ese dia su vida cambio para siempre. Despues de darse cuenta que tenia la "chispa" para ser hechicero y tener que huir de su pueblo, se diriguio a la academia Volcans donde consiguio una plaza como estudiante. Sin embargo, su estadia ahi le ensena muchas cosas sobre politica y divisiones, ve con sus propios ojos como la diferencia de clases los trata dentro de la academia, y sabe que la unica foma de lograr el mismo conocimiento que los nobles es esforzandose, pero sera eso suficiente para lograr derrotarlos? o su pasado en el pueblo lo alcanzara antes?

Comence con este libro por que me lo habian recomendado muchisimo, y no puedo negar que tienen razon, es un libro excelente. Tiene todo lo que esperas de un libro de fantasia juvenil, un heroe huefano que viene de la pobreza, un poder escondido que descubre por accidente, un viaje a su destino lleno de personas que lo ayudan y otros que buscan enterrarlo, y aunque esta lleno de cliches, resulta facil y entretenido de leer.
En fin, si este es solo el comienzo de la trilogia, me anima muchisimo mas saber que va a pasar a continuacion, asi que voy a seguir con ella, esperando que los demas libros sean tan entretenidos como este.
Profile Image for Akira.
48 reviews
February 28, 2015
Disclaimer: I got this e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This was one heck of a book!

Where to start? The first time I heard about this I knew I wanted to read it. I mean, a book that started off on WattPad about people who can summon demons and train in a specialised academy sounds like Harry Potter meats Pokemon! Who doesn't want to read that?!

In this world, summoners are getting rarer and more are needed to fight in the war against the Orcs. So any summoner, noble or not, are trained at the Adept Military Academy - where they learn all sorts of magic to get them prepared for battle.

I loved Fletcher's character and the way he was written. The other characters were also great, they were well developed and had great personalities. I also really liked the world this is set in - the different kind of demons that exist and the area that other demons live in, the ether, is really intriguing. The magic is also great, powered by mana, there are lots of spells you can use. The book was action-packed and thrilling and the plot was really good.

I enjoyed every page in this book - it was gripping, fun and exciting. It was a really solid start in the Summoner trilogy and can't wait to see what will happen in the future!
Profile Image for Tina ➹ lives in Fandoms.
412 reviews417 followers
September 30, 2019
4.5 Silver Stars
with Golden Sparks

the Novice; Summoner series, book 1
by Taran Matharu

a world when there's people with special ability to summon demons from another world. & a military school in which the gifted are trained in the art of summoning & learning more about the demons to be ready to battle the war against the Orcs.

I was grinning after I finished it! it was like ages I hadn't have this much Satisfaction about a book.

Plot: ★★★★★/5
that competition!
what an ending!
& cliffhanger.... my old friend
Characters: ★★★★/5
i was like 'GO FLETCHER, GO FLETCHER, GO!' all the time... yeahhhhh... my obsession over main male character has been shown again.
& AWWWWWWWW Ignatius!
World building: ★★★/5
the world was like Harry Potter, but very primitive one & in a different universe. I could spot them all when I was reading it; a school castle, a trio (one girl & even one had red hair :D ), different kind of magic & even 2 sides of people (royalty & not royalty) & even we had different kind of Dudley & Malfoy :D
I don't say I didn't liked it, I like it. it was a cute story & a good one :)
it has a point, I usually don't like other universes stories, high fantasies; but I liked this one.
writing style: ★★★★/5
it was good written. easy to read & actually a fast read (not a pace of story, pace of my reading.)
Idea: ★★★/5
I found it a new look in monster fantasy. summoning & taming demons
Profile Image for Kathy Martin.
3,508 reviews79 followers
March 28, 2015
I enjoyed this fast paced beginning to a new fantasy series. Fletcher is an orphan who was abandoned at birth outside the town of Pelt. He was taken in by the blacksmith. As an orphan, Fletcher has become the target for the local bully who happens to be the son a rich man. When he is given a book that contains a scroll, the bully wants it. Fletcher discovers that the scroll lets him call a demon. When he is ganged up on by the bully and his stooges, Fletcher has to run away from the town.

Fletcher and his demon make their way to a larger town where he tries to find work. However, that town has its share of bullies too. When he is cornered by some, he is rescued by Arcturus who sees his demon and decides to sponsor him to the Adept Military Academy. Students are trained there to summon demons and to use their demons in the on-going war with the Orcs.

There is all kinds of prejudice at the academy. Not only do the nobles look down on the commoners but most of the humans look down on the dwarves and the elves. Fletcher befriends Othello who is the first dwarf summoner admitted to the academy and he also befriends Sylva who is the first elf to enroll and who is an ambassador for her people.

The kids have to learn quickly because an upcoming tournament will seal there places in the war effort. Outside of school, Fletcher gets caught up in a plot by nobles who want to start a war with the elves and corner the market on firearms.

There was lots of adventure in this story. I really liked Fletcher and his relationship with his demon Ignatius. I look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy.
Profile Image for Vippi.
505 reviews17 followers
August 22, 2015

~I received this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review~

What can I say? This book was a delightful surprise.

But first things first.
So, let me suggest you to give the cover a closer look. It’s not just amazing, it’s even a good compendium of what you will find in this book… and if you look carefully, you can meet the most adorable demon I’ve ever seen: Ignatius!

Okay, let's get down to business.
The Novice follows the adventures of Fletcher, a 15-year-old orphan who lives in the North of Hominum, quite close to the elven border. His life in Pelt suddenly changes when he discovers by chance that he has the ability to summon demons and finds himself bound to a cute little salamander-like imp.

(Ok, Ignatius certainly looks nothing like Toothless. Nevertheless in my mind I keep linking them)

This book was a funny, compelling reading. The world-building is well crafted and I really appreciated the political depth that Matharu gave to his story (the on-going war against the orcs, the tensions between the elves and the humans, the demands for equal rights claimed by the dwarves…). Even though the magical system contains some familiar echoes of the Pokemon world (the summoning mechanism and the mana stuff), the overall result was quite original and really interesting.

Of course, it had some flaws. The plot was full of twists (and ended up in a huge cliffhanger), but at times they were quite predictable. Furthermore, I had the feeling that the characters are somewhat simplistic: they were depicted in black and white (totally good or totally bad), missing some shades that could have given the whole story a greater complexity.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book: a great debut!
It is definitely targeted to a Middle Grade/YA audience, but can easily have a much broader appeal.
Profile Image for Museofnyxmares .
233 reviews6 followers
October 23, 2018
This book was so good! I haven’t read a fantasy book in a while and was so glad to get back into the genre and this book gave me exactly what I needed. It had hearty characters, thrilling action and a world full of such unique magic and danger. I don’t think I disliked a single thing about this book, everything was just right!!

Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,966 followers
August 29, 2015
THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!! I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy when it comes out!

Fletcher is so cool, but can get into so much trouble just walking around! He's a blacksmith's apprentice, who is Berdon. Berdon actually brought him up as a baby. But I won't go into that story. Fletcher ends up getting into trouble with the punk Didric in their little town of Pelt. He has to leave in a hurry so they won't catch him since Didric is a high figure in the town.

Berdon gives him a wicked blade and some gifts with money to get away. I was saddened that he had to leave Berdon and I hope he is ok. Fletcher also has a little demon named Ignatius, but you will have to read the book to see how that came to pass.

Fletcher ends up in the town of Corcirllum. And her sure seems to do some dumb things at times like taking out a big bag of money in a tavern is one of them. He gets followed by some roughnecks but is saved by a man named Arcturus who takes him in and gets him set up in the academy for adepts where they teach you all about summoning etc.

He meets some wonderful friends here. My favorite is Othello the dwarf! He is a wonderful character. Dwarves are treated like trash, but Fletcher treats everyone equal. My other favorite is Sylva the elf. She is really sweet and cool. They make the best of friends and I love their demons. They certainly don't seem like demons. They are sweet :)

There are some other characters in the book that I like and that you are going to hate naturally. I like one of their teachers Lovett. She is just too cool!

All of this training is for a battle with the Orcs.

I really loved this storyline! There are so many things that are great about this book. The author used a lot of details and I didn't have any trouble keeping up. Well, on some of the names of things, I'm not good with remembering names right away, but that has nothing to do with the book.

Seemed like a mix of Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings. Just certain things reminded me of those books and that just makes it all the better :)

I recommend this book to anyone that loves this type of a read.


Profile Image for Varlan Georgian.
18 reviews135 followers
November 29, 2018
Seamana foarte mult cu "Eragon" doar ca aici nu moare nimeni apropiat personajului principal. Pentru ca este o carte cu si despre demoni, na asteptam sa semene cumva cu trilogia "Barthimeus", dar in afara de folosirea pentagramelor nu exista nicio asmanare, clasificarea demonilor si a puterilor lor fiind identica cu cea a creaturilor din HOMM.
In concluzie, o carte usoara pentru a te relaxa in weekend.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sanny.
337 reviews6 followers
March 6, 2015
4 Stars - loved this one!

The story started out slow with quite a bit of world building but then the pace picks up towards the last third of the book, so much so that the ending even felt a bit rushed. Small warning here: prepare for a cliffhanger ;) I truly enjoyed the several plotlines and can’t wait to see how they’ll all play out and even more. I won’t spoil any plot details, you should definitely experience them yourself, I definitely wish that I could move right on to book 2.

At the beginning of the book I had the reoccurring thought that at times it felt like a curious mix between Pokémon and Harry Potter with a bit of Lord of the Rings mixed in for good measure and in a YA setting. But even if either one isn’t for you, don’t be discouraged. The book also had its very own charm with a sometimes naïve but absolutely lovable main character in Fletcher. And there’s the whole grew of supporting characters ranging from awesome to mean to shady and then, just to round up the picture: a few characters about whom I haven’t made my mind up yet. And I have to admit, I love the demon idea. Of course they can be badass, but they are also portrayed very cutely, especially in their bonds to their owners.

But most importantly, the story took me to a new world that I didn’t want to leave just yet. The writing was descriptive and compelling with a pacing that made it hard to take breaks. Each chapter I finished always had me reading just one more chapter until I finally reached the last chapter.

So in short, if you are a fantasy lover, give this one a try and you might just end up loving it.

ARC kindly provided by Hodder Children's Books via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Bella.
527 reviews214 followers
February 11, 2015
I want to start off saying I loved it, I am not a huge fan of reading book with the male being the main character in a book I just never seem to connect with them unless it’s a book with the males POV form a previous book but I LOVED THIS one a lot and I think it has helped make me look at books like this in a different way! Taran thanks for writing this and making me enjoy a book I did not think I would!

You want something with a little Lord of the Rings and maybe Game of Throns but YA-ish? Then this book is right up your alley! There is action, adventure and so much more! What an awesome supernatural/magical world Taran built and delivered in the pages of The Novice!

After Fletcher finds he can summon demons from another world its time leave the only place he knows, and head to the one place that is can help him control and train his new powers. Adept Military Academy, a place there I he makes new alliances and fights through crazy training. But the past might catch up to him and all his fight might be for nothing.

I loved Fletcher’s little demon Ignatius, you will see what I am talking about once you read! So much happens in the book that I can’t get it all out on paper, It will take you into a world you will not want to come out of. Orcs, Demons and so much more all through out the pages of this one so have fun and get ready for a story you wont forget!
Profile Image for mith.
762 reviews265 followers
March 27, 2015
Although I'm not quite done with this year (as of right now, I'm 71% finished), I can say this is a solid 4 stars.
I am not disappointed by this, despite the fact that it did take quite a while to really make some progress on it. It kind of felt slow sometimes, because every single thing was mentioned, but also because it leaned more towards middle grade for me.
However, the writing is impeccable; I found the world building to be very well done. I liked most of the characters and the world the author built.
Full review to come closer to release date!
(I got it on netgalley, I miraculously got it on netgalley and I'm going to be reading it soon)
I am really interested in this. Sigh, wish it was possible to get an ARC.
Profile Image for Roy.
201 reviews
March 24, 2015
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this was totally awesome. I went into The Novice with modest expectations. Recently I found myself disappointed with the YA High Fantasy genre and never really felt satisfied especially when it comes to the world building which always felt lacklustre. Not so with this one.

In The Novice we follow Fletcher, a young blacksmith's apprentice, who discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from the ether, a skill that is very rare in this world. Because of some troubling events, Fletcher is forced to leave his home town and heads for the city of Corcillum where he is offered the chance to hone his skill in the Vocans Academy for summoning. There, Fletcher and his demon Ignatius get sucked into the conflict between the humans, elves and dwarfs and must prepare themselves and train to eventually fight in the war between Hominum and the orc front waiting to overrun their kingdom.

The book had me instantly hooked from page one. The writing flowed nicely and the author did a great job at describing the world, the characters and their demons. I really loved the boarding school storyline but also that it wasn't the lone focus of the book which gave the author the chance to explore the world beyond the confines of it, something that I always find problematic with other books with the same setting.

Fletcher is an amazing main character. Something that I really loved about him was that he wasn't "the chosen one", or the one was special abilities or any other trope that we often find in High Fantasy. Instead, Fletcher was just a good guy. He always tried to do the right thing (even though it wasn't always beneficial for himself) and was just overall a really clever and kind person. Everything he acchieves throughout the story he earns solely because of his hard work and that was something I really admired about him. It was just a delight to read from his perspective. I really enjoyed the cast of characters in general and loved the relationships between them. Especially Fletcher's and Othello's friendship warmed my heart and I loved to read about their adventures together.

The world building was solid. The whole concept felt very original to me, especially because it included races like the elves, dwarfs and orc, something that isn't really common in the YA High Fantasy genre. The medieval-ish world is rich with cultural background, something I always love to read about. We learn a lot about Hominum's history, the wars with the orcs, the conflicts with the elves and the dwarfs and their respective culture. The world just felt very vibrant and populated instead of just being there as a backdrop to the story. I also liked the deeper political intrigue that was incorporated which added even more layers to the plot.

The magic system suprised me with its originality and complexity. The author presents a detailed and well thought out summoning system with a great variety of demons and techniques to summon and control them. One thing that I have to say is that it can get a little confusing at times and hard to grasp and I would have hoped that we would have spent a little more time exploring it. It was also kind of hard for me to picture all the different demons and to differentiate between them but the little glossary of the demons in the back helped with that a lot.

Overall, The Novice was fantastic. Great worldbuilding, loveable characters and a compelling storyline made for a great adventure. An added bonus for me was that we didn't really have any romance in it which I think really helped focussing the book on the important parts of the storytelling. I would recommend this for fans of Brandon Sanderson's The Rithmatist because the two of them definitely have a similar feel to them. But I think everyone that loves the YA High Fantasy genre and wants something different that is still so much fun to read should definitely check this one out.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
March 31, 2016
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the author for review.

I loved the beginning where we see how Fletcher lives and how he came to be. It gave me a sense of where he was coming from and what point in his life we're about to take part in. The writing is excellently detailed especially when Taran describes a setting and scene. It felt like I was dropped into that world. Even though this is a young adult novel, I thought the setting and the experiences were more targeted towards a middle grade audience. He talks more like a twelve year old child than a teenager.

Tons of similarities to the Lord of the Rings , Golden Compass , Ender's Game , and Pokemon , The Novice isn't bringing anything new to the fantasy genre. I was hoping for a whole new world world filled with new creatures and races, but it felt too similar to other books I have read. Orcs, dwarves, elves, humans? Sound familiar? Also the Demon companionship was too similar to the Daemons in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The writing is good, but it's also weakened by the modern dialogue and the lack of a central story.

I kept trying to wonder what the plot was..Was it Fletcher trying to prove himself to his adoptive father? Was it him beating the school bullies? Was it winning the tournaments? I liked it, but I had trouble getting into it and promptly stopped reading to pick up another book in the meantime. It doesn't have that stickiness quality that other fantasy books bring. When you're wanting to know what happens next and you definitely don't want to stop reading but you have to because it's so late into the night. This didn't have it. I couldn't remember how many times I stopped reading it so I extended my reading duration by a week when I can usually finish a book within two days or so. Maybe it had something to do with the tiny tiny font size? What is the setting supposed to be? They have guns, but are also living in a renaissance like world? I didn't understand it. Was it a modern setting or was it something earlier? There were too many holes and not enough story to fill it in.

Overall, I think this is a good start, but I needed something to keep me glued to the pages and the biggest thing that was lacking was a major story-line. Hopefully things will be answered in the next book if I'm still interested in it, I might still pick it up.



"Keep everyone in their proper place, that's the way to do it. Everyone in their rightful place." (125)

"A demon is not an item to be tossed like an old shirt." (213)

"This doesn't change anything between us, but it is how things must be." (253)

"If we cannot stand united in the face of adversity, then we have already lost." (278)

"A warrior's greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher." (312)
February 28, 2015
The Novice was viewed close to 6 million times on a writing community site called wattpad. I think that alone says the book is damn good, and it was damn good.

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
This book digs pretty much into the core of the fantasy genre, which is common with young authors. They like to stick to the roots because there are lots of influences and guidelines from which to work off. The road has been paved before them, smooth and easy to travel, and people will follow the road because it is the quickest way to the things they love.

Most authors might have a bit of trouble selling there first novel after it has been published, due to being a new entity, a new player. The Novice won't suffer that fate. This book is being published and Taran knows that 6 million people have read and enjoyed it. Just to highlight what that means. The 1st book (The Novice) has already been read by most of the people likely to buy it, so I don't think it will do well for awhile. However if Taran does not put the 2nd and 3rd books on wattpad, which I think it would be silly of him to do, then 6 million people are going to be wanting to read a book and they only way, will be to buy it.

The main character is Fletcher, a 15 year old orphan and apprentice blacksmith. Until he gets his hands on a summoners book and becomes a summoner himself. There is not much depth in the character, as Taran has decided to keep most of it a mystery revealing titbits as the story progresses. As is common with this genre, we have a main character that we can root for and enjoy reading about.

The best part about this book is its plot, yes it does grab a portion of the story form a few other 'vendor', but it is exiting and a very enjoyable read and I think that is important in a book. A good character and a exiting plot.

If you enjoy the fantasy genre at all then you will enjoy this book, because it is fantasy at its core.


I was able to get a copy of this book from Net Galley.

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42 reviews
March 1, 2015
Score: 4.5 stars

This book was very nice and pleasing to read.

I won't spoil the plot, but it's solid. Of course it is predictable at times, but I think this is because of the author's writing style: descriptive, and with quite a few "Chekhov's gun"s.
Overall I like the author's writing style. It's not perfect, but it blends very well so that it doesn't hinder the reading.

The pacing is very good too. I always felt like wanting to read the next chapter as soon as I got to the end of the previous one. I was reading the novel with a friend who thinks it's a bit slow at times, so maybe I'm biased, idk.

About the characters.. well.. I really like what I think are the main characters.. unfortunately the rest of the cast could be developed a little more.

All in all, as the first book in the series, it's very good and accomplishes its purpose of introducing us to Fletcher's (the main protagonist) world, to give us some basics of how demons "work" and to prepare the ground for the next novel. (oh-that-cliffhanger-ending ... can't wait!)

I don't know why I didn't give this novel 5 stars.. it still felt like something was missing somehow.. but I do recommend this book to everyone.
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