Review Blog

Aug 14 2015

The novice by Taran Matharu

cover image

The Summoner book 1. Hachette, 2015. ISBN 9781444926644
(Age: 13+) The Novice is a young adult, fantasy novel by Taran Matharu. It is deftly written and is a great introduction to a new world filled with strange magic, demons, and the people who summon them. Although written in third person it still has a personal feel to it, and the writing style is easy to read and understand. I believe it is a book that would interest readers aged thirteen to seventeen (though don't let that stop you if you're older!)
It all starts when the young protagonist, Fletcher, comes across a summoner's book. Inside is a scroll to summon a demon, and when he speaks the words, the demon appears. Soon, he is in a situation where it appears he is guilty of committing a crime, though he is innocent, so he flees with his demon and his book.
He is soon admitted to a Summoner's Training School, in which he bravely faces all his trials in an attempt to earn enough knowledge for the challenge at the end of the year. But with vicious nobles, teachers who are dead set against him and a past that is just dying to come haunt him, Fletcher encounters a lot of hurdles.
Nonetheless, he makes some rather unlikely friends and struggles towards his goals, his demon never too far. However, it always seems like there is someone plotting against him, and that the odds are not in his favour.
It makes for an exciting, fun read you just can't put down. The antagonists (and there are a few) will make you grit your teeth, but it's all worth it to see how things play out amongst Fletcher and his friends, in this school of demon raisers.
The Novice is definitely a worthwhile read that could interest a wide variety of readers, and will most likely leave you wishing for the next book to be in your hands right away, though there will be a wait for the sequel!
Annie-May S. (Student)

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