Mini-Post by The Belle
Title: The Novice
Author: Taran Matharu
Summary: Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Subsequently chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.
Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships, and rivalries are formed at this school. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. As he soon learns, the fate of the Empire is in his hands…
Belle Rating: B+
Target Audience: Young Adults
*Minor Spoilers Below* – may include plot details such as: important names or events.
While reading this book, I was pretty impressed. The writing flowed well and I was easily lost in the start of Fletcher’s journey in becoming a sorcerer, but the story seemed familiar to me somehow…and then it hit me: Pokemon! The storyline, itself, has nothing to do with the popular franchise, so if you are not a fan of Pokemon, do not be deterred. But the way the demons and sorcerers interacted with one another was definitely Pokemon-esk! I won’t go into too much detail, but I think once you start reading you will also notice the similarities between the two.
I also enjoyed the struggles that you see Fletcher go through. Nothing he does is easy. Nothing he gets is handed to him on a silver platter, unlike some of the other prissy characters in the book. This makes him, and his less fortunate friends, very relatable.
The writing was clean and I, personally, did not have any problems with the plot jumping around all over the place. I think my favorite thing is the little details that I had overlooked at the beginning of the book and they end up popping back up at the end. All I could think was “AH HA!! I see what you did there!!! Brilliant!! How did I not catch that before??” Maybe you will do better at spotting them out than I 😉
I wanted more of Fletcher and Ignatius. Sure, reading about the schooling and the drama between the upper and lower class novitiates was nice, but I would have appreciated some good ol’ team building between the two. I’m sure that will be different in the later books, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.
As I have stated before, the way Taran Matharu was able to use such subtle details in this book was excellent. Not to mention the ending has me craving for more, which to me is usually a good sign.
If magic and cute/powerful demons is your cup of tea, this book is for you. Leave a comment below on your thoughts about the book and don’t be afraid to send us ideas of what to read next 🙂