Hello everyone! Today I’ll be writing about one of my favourite books of 2017: The Novice by Taran Matharu!
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher 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.
As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.
“How are we supposed to win?” Fletcher took a deep breath and looked him right in the eye. “We train.”
I had shelved this book in April last year already, but I didn’t buy it until August or September and I actually started reading it at the end of December. In the beginning, we were introduced to Fletcher and the blacksmith, with whom he has been living with since he was a baby, Berdon. We are introduced to the village they are living in, Pelt.
Fletcher helps Berdon at the annual market where a lot of travellers stop by and he meets a deserted soldier who says he has a book written by a Summoner, the people who can summon demons from the Ether. Fletcher gets into a fight with Didric and the soldier helps him out. Afterwards, they go back to Fletcher’s house where they talk and eventually fall asleep. When Fletcher wakes up the soldier is gone but the book is not. Fletcher goes to a quiet place where he accidentally summons a Demon. That’s where the story really begins.
I just loved it, the book was amazing, the writing was so easy to read and it was funny and it had a lot of inequality and racism towards Dwarves and Elves in it, which I thought was a good thing because it resembles our world so well (it really made me angry though), the three main characters resemble a bit of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas from the Lord of the Rings and Ron, Hermione and Harry from Harry Potter but I didn’t mind, it made the story even better.
The world is very interesting, the empire Hominum is at war against the orcs in the south and at the same time are undergoing an industrial revolution of which we don’t see much but we do see the very beginning of it. The Demon lessons are so interesting and it’s described so well! It’s like a bestiary and a fiction book in one (if you understand me). I really loved both aspects.
I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars and the review of the second book will be coming soon!