Title: The Novice, The Inquisition and The Battlemage
Author: Taran Matharu
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
I have tried to write this review so. many. times.
Cramming everything about a single book into a single review is hard enough, but an entire trilogy? Haha. Funny. There’s so much I want to screech about, but I keep writing really long rambling paragraphs which I’m sure no one wants to read, so um…I’m gonna try something new.
I’m gonna try bullet points.
So, here goes the incredibly condensed version of my review for The Summoner series by Taran Matharu!!
(Spoilers ahead for the whole trilogy btw)
- World- building is just. On point. Simple enough that I can follow, yet complex enough to be believable. Love it.
- Lots of How to Train Your Dragon vibes because of the setting and, y’know, the demons and stuff. Ignatius reminds of Toothless and it’s much appreciated.
- Lots of Harry Potter vibes because there’s a magic school – I really wish we got to see more of it??? Fletcher spends a single year there and we don’t get to know much about it at all and I really really need more okay??
- There are a lot of metaphors for racism, what with the rifts between humans, dwarves and elves. It’s a good shout, all things considered.
- The second and third books basically run on from one another, which makes it a very quick read. (Though, there’s a year gap between the first and second books, not that much happens in it on Fletcher’s end).
- That being said, you could kinda split both of these books into two separate books each?? They each have two very distinct halves, and (spoilers) it’s kinda weird to remember that they’re in the ether for the first half of book three? Especially when considering the fight at the end?? (spoilers over)
- I loved the twist on the ‘Chosen One’ plot, which was admittedly becoming old. It was a smidge predictable (only a smidge, mind you!) but it was much appreciated!!
- Fletcher is such an awesome protagonist. Witty without becoming irritating and the ‘Chosen One’ plot is never forced down our throats; he’s exactly the strong ‘poor boy turned strong leader’ type character that my heart continues to melt for.
- OTHELLO MY FAVE CHARACTER HELLO WHAT A COMPASSIONATE SWEETHEART. The scenes between him and Fletcher are either hilarious or heartfelt, and they talk about feelings and bad memories and that one line where Fletcher says “Thank you for telling me that”??? That never happens between male characters guys. Well. Rarely anyway.
- Sylva, who is very amazing and badass and, *le gasp*, capable of admitting she was wrong??? What a gal. Seriously, Sylva is the best, the boys can go home. #morethanjustaloveinterest
- Now that I’ve said that, where the hell was Seraph in the second and third books, huh? Huh? WHERE WAS HE. MY OTHER FAVE CHARACTER.
- Cress is another completely amazing female character, and I really appreciated the scene between her and Attila regarding her not wearing the traditional dwarven veil.
- Okay but now something I really REALLY loved: the adult characters. You know how in fantasy, the adults and parents are kinda…absent? NOT HERE. They’re all there, all the way through, and they are just as intricate and nuanced as the teenage characters and gah it’s so amazing.
There’s so much more I could say about this series, but let’s be real, it’d be a rambling mess…
Was this format better than my normal paragraphs? Let me know! (Also let me know if you’ve read these books because the fandom is tiny.)