Light reading, elegant descriptions, a vivid fantasy
The Novice is a rewarding start to the Summoner series by Taran Matharu. It has an original feel, refreshing storyline, is simple to read, with short punchy chapters, and is moderately paced. Those familiar with The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, will find it less intense and slower-paced.
The strongest features of this book are the rich descriptions, which provide the reader with great immersion in the storyline and interaction with the characters. You get a very strong sense of place. I found the interplay between the lead character and his "demon" enchanting, whilst also sprinkling the pages with warmth and cheerfulness.
Don't be put off by the somewhat gruesome start, it is not a feature of the story in general. There is, however, an undercurrent of mild violence/darkness throughout.
The only slight disappointment, was the ending. Just a little too predictable. Due to the uniqueness of the storyline, it was still fascinating to see how the novice progressed throughout. Fingers-crossed for the ending in Book 2.
I liked the little touches too. One example, was the small, unique symbols accompanying the start of each chapter. Tiny details, but thoughtful.
Would suggest this book as a light reading and rewarding introduction to fantasy writing. Although suitable for readers of all age groups, I would say it is slightly more suited to a younger audience, or mind! Could be an interesting follow-up to something like Harry Potter.
Review by Mark Perfect
8.3/10 from 1 reviews
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