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The Novice

(Summoner #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  26,434 ratings  ·  2,937 reviews
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 powerf ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Hodder Children's
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Taran Matharu No. The inspiration is a mix between pokemon/digimon, the summoning class in video games and of course all the wonderful creatures from the world's fo…moreNo. The inspiration is a mix between pokemon/digimon, the summoning class in video games and of course all the wonderful creatures from the world's folklore and mythology.

Pullman's daemons are the embodiment of the person's soul, or "spirit animals". They are all depicted as real world animals, and are always present. My demons are alien entities from another world, fantasy creatures such as griffins and minotaurs that can be absorbed into the body. His animals can speak while my creatures cannot.

Some have said they see a similarity between the two because of the mental connection. My connection is inspired by the trope of dragon masters sharing their creature's emotions and senses as well as my love of telepathy. Pullman's exists because they are literally that persons soul. They are able to communicate with each other directly while mine only sense emotion and intent.

I think the main similarity is in the name. For me, it was always going to be demons, the summoning of demons is an idea older than the bible. As for Pullman's name, I imagine it is a play on the idea of "inner demons" and part of the religious themes that feature in his book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  26,434 ratings  ·  2,937 reviews

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Ben Alderson
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
** 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
Faye, la Patata
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 wa
Ahmad Sharabiani
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 th
Leonor (Ner)

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 expectat
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

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, some
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
*** 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 wa
Paige  Bookdragon

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:

May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 tak
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
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rea
April (Aprilius Maximus)
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 everythi
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.

Sarah Elizabeth
(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
Scott  Hitchcock
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.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 no
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
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!
& cliff
Kathy Martin
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

~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
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!!

Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
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 an
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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? The
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 aut
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t
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
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 tra
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
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 beginni
Jan 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another amazing trilogy started, I can't wait to see how they tie together. When reading this I get the feeling of a YA Trudi Canavan or Robin Hobb, both amazing fantasy trilogy writers and this one is up there with them for me. Our main character is a typically loveable hero, a bit naïve having grown up in a simple life as a blacksmith apprentice, far away from war and magic and all those dangerous and exciting things. Until he meets a strange man and reads a strange book, then his life is very ...more
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“That’s the difference between a good warrior and a great one. Don’t fight hard. Fight smart.”

Fletcher is a blacksmith’s adopted son and lives a plain and simple life until the day an old solider comes to Fletcher’s village, with him he brings a book. This book is special and in a tricky situation Fletcher uses it and summons a demon – he’s a summoner. Summoners are incredibly rare especially in commoners. But things turn bad when he almost causes a death and suddenly he’s on the run. That’s whe
Michelle (Spiderg1rl)
I received this as an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is also posted on

The Novice by Taran Matharu is about a young boy named Fletcher. Fletcher is an orphan. He was abandoned at the city of Pelt's gates in the winter without a single item of clothing or even a blanket. He was lucky to be found by Berdon the town's blacksmith. After everyone was asked if they could take the baby in Berdon himself took Fletcher in.

I personally think Fletcher wa
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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 The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching ove

Other books in the series

Summoner (4 books)
  • The Outcast (Summoner #0)
  • The Inquisition (Summoner, #2)
  • The Battlemage (Summoner, #3)

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From the sprawling territories of Erilea to the 12 districts of Panem, YA superfans have covered a lot of familiar ground. To...
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“Fight dirty, and go for the face. Gentlemen's rules are for gentlemen.” 83 likes
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