The Novice by Taran Matharu


By Taran Matharu

  • Series: Summoner Series
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Genre: Fantasy, Teen Fiction
  • Released: May 5th, 2015
  • ISBN-13: 9781250080059

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. 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 grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . 



A Taco Review

Hello my beautiful turtle doves. This week I bring you The Novice by Taran Matharu, it is book one of the Summoner series. This is the second book I read towards the Summer Reading Challenge. It is #20 on the list, “a book you bought without reading the back”. Let me tell you that was one of the scariest book related things I’ve done in a long time. Not going to lie, I was tempted so many times to read the back but I resisted and didn’t read the back until after I was done. Such an awkward thing to do, but I excel at awkwardness. 

The story follows Fletcher, a poor kid from a poor family and nobody loves him. No, I’m kidding but only a little bit. Baby Fletcher is left in the woods like bear poop. The village blacksmith that found him was like “Okay guys, since no one wants him. Finders keepers.” and took him under his wing. I picture Fletcher a little like Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, only a little less Viking and a little more capricious. That’s not to say that Fletcher is a brat. I just don’t think he measures his actions all the way through. Typical teenager. 

Some of the world building in this story feels a little rushed while the rest of it seems like I’ve visited before. In my opinion, Matharu was heavily inspired by J.R.R Tolkien or Terry Brooks and that’s why it felt so familiar to me. Humans, orcs and elves, like I said, it was familiar  BUT WAIT! There’s more! We’ve got little (and sometimes not so little) demons that get scooped up from another plane of existence and you train them to be more powerful. Does that sound familiar too? It should. It’s inspired by both Pokemon and Digimon. It’s the first time that I’ve read a book where my childhood played a major part of the storyline.

It was a fun story. Most of the story takes place in an Academy of Summoners. It’s kind of like Hogwarts but even more selective but not as awesome. There’s an array of characters to choose from, the human peasant kids that are trying to keep up with the royal kids (who are total feminine cleansing products and the bag that it comes in) and there’s a dwarf and an elf trying to make peace with men. There’s lots of action and group bonding between clans. 

I give this book 3 tacos out of the Taco Scale of Awesome. Like I said, the book was a very fun read and I finished it within a couple of days. It had the feel of a Disney Channel original movie: it was a little cheesy and a little rushed sometimes but entertaining as hell. I definitely recommend it for 6th graders and up or if you’re like me (an overgrown child) that wants something fun to read. There are some definite parallels between middle eastern culture and the awful discrimination they suffer through, don’t worry you’ll see it right away. Mr. Matharu doesn’t even try to hide it. I won’t pick up the sequel right away but I’ll add it to my never ending list of TBR.

Also, don’t forget to join me tonight for our Nerd News in Taco Takeover Thursday on SnapChat.

Taco Takeover Thursday SnapCode

Until next time. This is Mon, over and out.

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