Browsing at my local Barnes & Noble store looking for a new interesting realm to explore. I found two books side-by-side with the words “Summoner: Book One, The Novice” and “Summoner: Book Two, The Inquisition.” My interest was piqued because the titles imply magic exists in this story, yet the person on the cover was holding a bow and carrying a quiver of arrows.
Without hesitation, I pulled the first book off the shelf and read the summary.
“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.“
The beginning of the first sentence reminded me of the books in the Inheritance Cycle. But when I got the “travels to Adept Military Academy” part, my mind switched to Earthsea (Note: I watched the miniseries, but did not read the novels, thus I am comparing the plot in the movie with this summary. So if there is a big difference between the two, I apologize.). The rest of the summary pulls elements from all sorts of fantasy plots. I think the defining piece that cinched my interest was the fact that Fletcher gets help from a demon. This reminded me of the Bartimaeus trilogy and the His Dark Materials trilogy. There aren’t too many stories where demons play a key role in aiding the main character.
I was ready to buy the first book, but the critical side of me stopped my hand and made me look up the reviews on goodreads.com. At the time of this post, “The Novice” had an average rating of 4.15/5 stars from 5060 ratings. I browsed through a few good and bad reviews to see if there were any common items that readers enjoyed and hated. From this perusal, I found out that the author, Taran Matharu, actually started this book on WattPad.
With my analysis complete, I grabbed the first book and purchased it. Cross my fingers that the story will be great enough to make me rush and get the second book!