Book Review: The Novice

General Information:

Pages: 398 (Paperback)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Summoner

Author: Taran Matharu

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Source: Purchased

ISBN: 1-4449-2397-8

Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Book Format: Paperback

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: 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.

My thoughts: When I started this book, my first intake was, ‘Oh, just another average fantasy book; person coming of age, growing into their magic/ powers, don’t know that they have the fore-spoken powers, and they need to save the world, with a couple of friends. And they are the only person who can save the world.’ I was totally correct. This book is not an original idea. Taran Matharu used a Harry Potter style school, the Mortal Instruments style plot, I could go on. Numerous people said in the comments, ‘This book is a perfect mix of Harry Potter and Pokemon.’ just showing that this book idea is not very original.

This book started off slow, remained slow, right until the end, when there was a chapter or two of good, gory fighting. At the end. I also found that exclamation marks were overused. A lot. I also noticed that on pages 26 and 47, there is the exact same sentence on both pages, down to the punctuation, the punctuation being an exclamation mark. As such, I noticed a lot of repetition.


Another point I picked up was that there was a lot of telling, not showing. You all remember English classes, with your teacher standing over you, drilling the sentences, ‘Show don’t tell! Showing makes the story more engaging!’ Well, this book had a lot of telling. ‘They had arrived, it was the summoner’s book, Fletcher was afraid…’ Not up to scratch, Taran Matharu!

Ok, so I have raved on, made you seriously dislike this book… Now onto the one thing that Taran Matharu did right, he made up an entirely new kind of character; one that already knew what Summoner’s are. Harry Potter knew about wizards, but he didn’t know that they existed. Clary Fray did not know that there were such things as Shadowhunter’s but she did know a little about Demons. These character’s had limited knowledge on the world that they would soon enter but they had very limited knowledge as such. Fletcher knew quite a bit about the world that he would soon be plunged into. That is one thing that puts this book on a different level to being a total imitation to Harry Potter, et cetera.

Severely disappointed,



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