The Novice by Taran Matharu

May 1st, 2015 Kimberly Review 76 Comments

1st May
The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Novice
by Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner #1
Published by: Macmillan
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

coverlove fantasy Young Adult

The Novice by Taran Matharu is the first in the Summoner series and one readers will enjoy. From the stunning cover to the supernatural creatures this young adult fantasy delivered. I will warn you the cliffy is draw dropping but I promise this one is not to be missed.

First line: IT WAS NOW OR NEVER. If Fletcher didn’t make this kill, he would go hungry tonight. Dusk was fast approaching and he was already running late. He needed to make his way back to the village soon, or the gates would close. If that happened, he would either have to bribe the guards with money he didn’t have or take his chances in the woods overnight.

Five reasons to drop everything and read The Novice

  • I love a good fantasy particularly when the world and characters draw me in. Matharu’s tale grabbed me from page one with its Middle Earth Harry Potter vibe. Toss in magical creatures from the cute to the downright ugly, add a few Elves, Dwarfs, Demons and Humans, and you have the makings of a cool fantasy.
  • Our protagonist is an orphaned boy who was taken in by a blacksmith in the village of Pelt. Bullied by the town’s wealthy children and one snot-head in particular he is a likable character from the onset. By accident and curiosity, Fletcher discovers he has the ability to summon demons from the Ether. An encounter with the local bully has him fleeing his home and fate has him attending the Adept Military Academy. Here he will train and learn the skills necessary to become a Summoner.
  • The world has a Middle Earth vibe and it made me giddy. How demons are summoned reminded me of Lord of the Rings with its use of mana to summon their companion demons. Each Summoner has levels and this determines the type and quantity of demons they can possess. Sings “Gotta catch um all!” Yep, reminded me of Pokémon. We have feuds, alliances, social classes and power hungry nobles. The Orcs are winning the war and more Summoners are needed to stop them. This war has been going on for over three hundred years. Despite familiarity  Matharu made it his own. Easy to read and evenly paced this is a great crossover book for non-fantasy fans looking to dabble. Twist, turns and power struggles kept me enthralled.
  • I mentioned Harry Potter the academy brought forth those vibes from classrooms on demonology to casting spells and entering the Ether. The professors are odd ducks, and we even have an arse who does not like muggles, I mean commoners. Fletcher quickly befriends others and I enjoyed the different students and their different demons. The noble students were kind of cliché with their “we rule, you drool” attitude but each had distinct enough personalities.
  • The Novice was such a fun read and I consumed it in just two sittings. This book originally published on Wattpad and over six millions folks read and loved the book. It is easy to see why. I will warn you once again the ending was climatic. Just when we were cheering Mathura dropped us a curve-ball that had my jaw dropping and my blood boiling. *shakes fist* There was a prequel, which I would love to read for the history of this world and hope Macmillan makes it available soon. In the meantime, I will be awaiting news of book two!


“What have we told you dwarves about carrying weapons in public? Why can’t you get it through you thick, dwarven skulls? Only humans have that privilege!”

“I could do with one of those flying lights right now, don’t you think, Ignatius?” he whispered.
The shadows shifted unnaturally as he moved down the corridor, the dark slits of every suit of armor staring at him as he walked past.
It seemed odd that whoever was ahead was moving so quickly, their pace closer to a jog than a midnight stroll. Fletcher hurried to keep up, his curiosity getting the better of him. Even when he reached the atrium, all he could perceive was the dim light and a swish of cloth as a figure darted out through the main entrance.

“If it wasn’t for the summoners, we would be in serious trouble.”

About Taran Matharu

Taran was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old. Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013. Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’. Thanks to and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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76 Responses to “The Novice by Taran Matharu”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you decide to pick it up Kelsey 🙂

  1. Nick

    I’m really glad you enjoyed this one, Kim. I loved the cover and was excited to read it, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters so I wound up DNFing it. But I think I’ll pick it up again because your praise makes me want to experience the same awesomeness as you did. 🙂
    Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you did, I really had fun with this

  2. Faye

    Oooooh. I had thought the author was female. It’s actually a male, and a good-looking one at that, too. Go, you, Taran Matharu! I have an eARC of this and I can’t wait to get started on it myself 😀 I’ve read the first few pages and the writing was a bit simplistic for me, but I see the potential!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      All of my followers are mooning over

  3. Micheline

    I am LOVING all the positive reviews this one has been getting but to be honest, your review got me excited the most! Harry Potter + Middle Earth + Pokémon = AWESOME 😀 I love the sound of this world and the characters seem just as engrossing. Thanks for the wonderful review^^ and I’m happy you enjoyed this one so much!

    Micheline recently posted: ARC Review: The Wrath & The Dawn
  4. Ro

    I don’t know that I’m a fan of the cover, Kim (lol) which I know I’m not really supposed to pay attention to, but as a serious Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fan (Have the books and the toys), I’ve definitely got to check this one out because it sounds totally fun. Hugs…

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was fun Ro, and hope you give it a go 🙂 *hugs*

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a good book to experiment with..not high fantasy, but has an easy flow.

  5. Ramona

    Hello awesomeness! I like the sound of this more than chocolate, because it ticks so many boxes for me. A fantasy that echoes both Harry Potter and LOTR – what more can a girl wish for? And you’re right, that is a stunning cover!

    Ramona recently posted: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed, I really had fun reading this one Ramona 🙂

  6. Heidi

    I just added this into and upcoming Friday Forecast. It looks good and sounds great. I like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter feel. Is it adult, YA or MG?

    Heidi recently posted: Friday Forecast May 3rd-9th
    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is YA…but totally ok for MG audience.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, I look forward to your thoughts.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have too Melissa, it is a nice mix up to my usual go to in YA which is dystopian.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It does address social classes and prejudiced but it is also fun and captivating

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Cyn, hope things are well with you

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think you will like picking out all of the books, videos etc and I liked how he blended them and made them his own

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Lindy, yes I liked the vibe too and the ending gads

  7. Tash

    I have been dying to read this one and this review makes me want to read it more! This year seems to be the year of the epic fantasies ! I have to hunt down a copy ASAP now. There goes my ARC pile lol

    Tash recently posted: Book Beginnings #33
    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL..everyone loves the hottie and this was a fun read

  8. Tanja

    I really feel bad for DNFing this book. I see why you enjoyed and I truly hope that everyone will. But it seems that both author and I grew up on same stories so that some things here seemed too predictable for me. Great review, Kim 🙂

    Tanja recently posted: Review: Confess by Colleen Hoover
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes..I can see predictability but felt it held enough to stand on its own.

  9. Rita

    Yes, I want it, lol! I do like me some Middle Earth similarities and the plot sounds original enough on its own from the other stories you were reminded of. And okay, we can we all agree that he is one handsome guy. If he wasn’t so talented at writing he could be a model 🙂 …now I will act my age, but I will be on the lookout for this book coming this week, so thanks, Kim!

    Rita recently posted: Weekly Wrap-Up: 5/1 - 5/3/15
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Everyone agrees he is a hottie. Yes, this was such fun and had a nice blend while still holding its own

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Bwahaha…all you ladies are swooning. Hope you enjoy the book too

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, somethings felt familiar or cliche but the author added his own twists and mark making it quite an enjoyable read

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was and a fun way to introduce YA readers to fantasy

  10. Sarah

    Ohmigosh. Harry Poter you say??? I’m not generally a HUGE fan of high fantasy because I’ve read some in the past that went really, really wrong. I did love Harry Potter so maybe one of these days I’ll give in to curiosity and purchase a copy of The Novice. Great review, Kimberly, it made me laugh!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This reads easily Sarah, I think you would enjoy it.

  11. Adriana Garcia

    Wow, The Novice sounds like the ultimate fantasy read. It makes me think of some particular video games I used to play with my brother. I like that it reminds you of so many great fantasy books because there is so much to like. I noticed that there were no negatives so this must have been really amazing. Looking forward to see what you think of book 2!

    Adriana Garcia recently posted: Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Adriana, it was fun, and a great YA fantasy