The Novice by Taran Matharu

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Title: The Novice
Author: Taran Matharu
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Square Fish


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. . . .


This book has a little bit of politics, some racism – racism against elves and dwarves, and magic.

Overall, I thought the book was somewhere around 4 stars of 5. There were moments of pure fear for Fletcher and his friends wondering how they were going to get out of whatever the latest situation was they found themselves in. I have to be honest though…the ending…saw that coming. This left, like a nasty taste in my mouth. Even though I’m giving this a 4, I’m honestly not sure I want to continue.

The characters are all greatly developed, and their histories are revealed at like the perfect moments. There is nothing missing from any of them. I feel I know them like we met on the street and started talking.

The story is well written, but let’s face it. It couldn’t have ended any way other than how it did. Which is how the end was spoiled for me. I can’t really explain how I saw the ending coming, without spoiling the end a little, so I’m going to have to leave this thought train here.

I do want to thank my sister for lending me her copy of this book, and not begging me for it…after it took me almost 6 months to read. I wasn’t reading the book the whole time, that took like 3 weeks, but I had her book for 6 months. Now I can finally return the book and not stress about having her book and worrying I’m going to mess it up somehow. Well, time to go read another book.