I’ll be honest, I first picked up this book because of the cover, with an awesome blue glowing background, symbols, a guy with an awesome coat armed to the teeth with weapons and marks on his hand which are producing a ball of magic, how could I not pick it up and have a look?
Then I flipped it over and read the blurb and as soon as I finished I knew this book was going to be something amazing, after returning home and doing a little research into the series (and avoiding spoilers like they were the plague!) I found out there was a prequel called Origins, so before I started The Novice I read the 102 page prequel and I was so glad I did. The prequel helped get me into the world of summoning and even explained in perfect detail everything you would need to know about the magic, I would highly recommend reading the prequel before starting this series, although it is not required. All I will say is that if you have read The Novice and love Arcturus you need to read this prequel!
The Novice follows the story of Fletcher a blacksmith apprentice who 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.
Taran’s characters are very well written giving the story the right mix of personalities to cause friendships, conflict and even suspicion within the story. Fletcher is funny, smart, loving and adventurous making him the prefect protagonist, he is never too angsty and is always making the best of the situation or thinking up a plan, which I love in a protagonist.
The world is explained beautifully and brings the magic of it to life, from the way summoning works, how battle spells are preformed and even the appearance of the demons are perfectly explained. The way that Taran writes had me hooked and I found myself going from page to page until there was no more pages to read. His smooth writing style is filled with action and mystery that kept me guessing how this first book would end, and I will say I was not disappointed!
I gave this book 5 stars- Amazing! I loved it!!
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, magic and exciting action scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This book has gotten me really excited to continue on with the series to see where it will all end; it also has me excited to follow Taran Matharu’s work more closely to see what else this talented writer can bring us.
This book has definitely made it to my top reads of 2016 and I will be recommending it to all of my fantasy loving friends!
Happy reading everyone!