Matharu, Taran The Novice (The Summoner #1), 368 pages. Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan), 2015. $19. Language: PG (3 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (lots of fighting).
Fletcher has a raw deal. Abandoned as a brand new baby, he has spent his life working hard as a blacksmith’s apprentice because no one else in town would take him in; he is also the main target for the bullies in the small town. Then he discovers that he has the talent of summoning demons, a talent that is sorely needed in his country’s fight against their orc enemies. Fletcher is an orphan, hiever, which complicates manners considerably. And the magic of summoning used to only belong to the aristocrats, and they are not happy to now be sharing with commoners and bastards. Fletcher and others are needed so desperately, however, that they are being fast-tracked to the front lines – as soon as the final round robin testing, pitting them all against each other to see who will win the best assignments.
Matharu has created a splendid new series for kids who enjoy Flanagan’s or Delaney’s series. I wish this first book had ended at a slightly different place, hoever, instead of at such an obvious “by the way this is a series, so stay tuned” point.
MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS.