Review: The Novice

The Novice 
Author: Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner, Book 1
Release date: May 5, 2015
Published by: Feiwel & Friends/MacMillan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Orphaned Fletcher has been learning to be a blacksmith his whole life under the tutelage of the man who took him in as a baby after he was left naked in the snow outside the village gates. As an orphan is treated as the lowest of individuals, but has been able to not only learn much about blacksmithing, but also hunting and weapons as well from his adoptive father. Sadly, one night of curiosity ends in a horrific incident which sends Fletcher fleeing from the only home he's ever known. Will he be able to hide from those who are surely chasing him? Then during a mugging in the King's city he's helped by none other than a battlemage who then sends him on to Adept Military Academy to learn to fight the orcs with his newfound talent. Will he be able to keep up with the noble's children who have been trained since birth? What about Ignatius, his demon? Will he learn to work as one with him? Whatever may come he must learn to help the empire in any way he can.

My thoughts: I LOVED THIS! This was so well written and different! I cannot believe he first wrote this when he was just in primary school! That's SO crazy cool! I wasn't quite sure about his one when I started thinking it might be really dark because of the orcs and demons, but it isn't dark because of that at all. It's dangerous because of them, but not dark. What makes parts of Fletcher's story dark are the evil people around him who use their power they have or think they have to violate, bully and degrade him just because they don't feel he's a worthwhile person in their society.

Fletcher is an amazing character who has grown up with amazingly difficult times around him. There has been a war going on against the orcs his whole life and before, while a new "war" against the elves is now going on as well. From his learning to be a blacksmith to learning what it means to by a summoner. 

There are so many great characters in this book though: from his adoptive father in the battlemage's he meets at the school, and especially the one who sponsors the other commoners who are also starting at Adept Military Academy with his demon, Ignatius. In fact all of the demons are really cool, and honestly they are really characters as well in the book adding a whole level of interest in the book.

I cannot wait for the next book and seriously hope that it comes out quickly! I'm SO glad I got an ARC of this to try from MacMillan. Thanks MacKids! 

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