Book Review: The Novice
Fletcher, a disliked and a not so popular teen is about become one of the most well known teens of his age. Starting as an apprentice to a local blacksmith in an unknown village, he becomes the best summoner of his age in the entire kingdom of Hominum. Fletcher, the main character of the book is an adopted child by a blacksmith named Brendon. His life was normal, working in the forge from day till night with some breaks in the day until one day, when a creepy looking soldier gives him a summoner’s book. The summoner’s book has all the spells, incantations, scripts, diagrams, and the description of how to summon a demon. Summoning a demon is not a very common skill among people, especially among commoners.
Not trusting his luck, Fletcher tries to summon a demon, and succeeds in summoning a red solomon. This conflict raises the question about his lineage. Is Fletcher really a blacksmith commoner, or is he related to a noble bloodline because only a noble can summon demons as commoners do not have that power in them which it takes to summon a demon. Also, on the same day he summons his demon, Fletcher is charged for a crime he does not commit. This is why, to stay alive, he has to run away from his village to prevent himself from getting arrested. Constantly on the pursuit, he arrives in the major city of Corcillum where the Vocan Military academy for the nobles is there. In Corcillum, he meets Arcturus,who is impressed by Fletcher and sends him to the best academy in the kingdom, the Vocans. In this school, Fletcher is curious, excited, and extremely grateful for the opportunity he just received and tries his level best to succeeds in the school. However, his tries are suppressed by the noble kids who are present there. He also meets different races such as dwarves, and elves. These cause him to walk on a different and a dangerous path. There he meets Sylva, Othello, and Tarquin.
Now Fletcher has to choose the right friends, and allies to stay alive and succeed in the school. Will he able to do it? This exciting and adventurous book by Taran Matharu is perfect for anyone who likes young adult fantasy. It has many ups and downs with cliffhangers which will make the reader grip their seats and to not lose interest. The Novice, the first in the trilogy has many realistic social problems. For example, the inequality between the different social classes is an important theme in this book. Also, racism and suppression of the different and the not so popular races is demonstrated throughout the novel.
This debut novel is recommended for anyone who loves Pokemon, and all the games in that genre. If you are someone who love to read books like Harry Potter, Eragon, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and are comfortable reading them, The Novice is a perfect book for you because many of magical information, demonology, and the spells are included. There were many things I liked in this novel. For example, the book is very descriptive and detailed throughout. This prevents readers from getting confused very often because there is a huge amount of information in this book. For example, the author has a description of every demon, its powers, its feature, who can summon it, how it works, etc,. Also, I loved the cover. It is so eye catching, and so descriptive that the cover itself is gives an insights about what the book is going to be about.It has all the major componenets that on might get confused if they do not see the picture properly. The one thing I did not like about this book is the amount of struggles the character has to face. Due to the class inequality, Fletcher had to face many struggles and a lot of disappointment. Even though it is very inspiring and focuses on the social issues of prejudice, it is a little bit sad to read at some parts. Nonetheless, it is wonderful and a suspenseful novel that teens would love to read.