Title: The Novice
Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
When blacksmith Fletcher discovers he can summon demons his whole world is turned upside down. Sent to Adept Military Academy to train in the art of summoning, he has to prove himself by completing a number of trials against other students. Students who are ambitious, power hungry and who definitely do not want to be beaten by someone as low born as Fletcher.
It has been a while since I have read a book containing demons but this book was nothing like any I had read before. Taran has described his books as a mix between Harry Potter and Pokemon and I couldn’t agree more. The novices all get a demon to start their training with and it is all about who has the most powerful. I actually met Taran Matharu at YALC and he asked me who my favourite character. After having the initial, omg I have forgotten every character moment, I was able to come up with my answer. I told him my favourite characters were the demons. They are so interesting, each having their own unique appearance and power. I can only wish that there were pictures so that I could visualise them a little better. However, despite that I am really looking forward to how they evolve in the next book.
I loved the magic and politics that were in this book. Matharu managed to balance this out in a way that didn’t leave you bored or overwhelmed. You learn about this new world as Fletcher does. It means you are given information slowly and when it is relevant, rather than overwhelmed with it all at once. There is also a lot of prejudice in this book that you can relate to issues that are prominent today. Except instead of using the colour of skin or sexuality the story focuses on the prejudice shown to the dwarves and elves. Fletcher is also look down upon by the nobles because of his social status.This leads to interesting alliances and politics in nobility.
This book was gripping, magical and an all around good read. I would definitely recommend it and I cannot to read the second in the triliogy.
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