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Book Review: The Novice by Taran Matharu

 * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *

Title: The Novice
Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads Storygraph)

Book Summary:

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 manoeuvre 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.

Book Review:

The Novice is a book that I have heard of for the longest time and last year, I decided to read it on a whim. I was really supposed as I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

I have to say that even though I had a physical copy of the book, I listened to an audiobook and this was a good shout. The audiobook for a fantasy novel is quite short so it makes for easy listening and was one of the reasons why I read it so quickly.

The other credit is due to Taran's writing which makes the fantasy world easy to understand and easy to get into. The fast-paced story also allowed me to race through it as I also wanted to know what was going to happen.

The best part is also the plot. It has been described as Lord of the Rings meets Pokemon and this is something that I can agree on. The idea is that Fletcher is made a novice so his job is to catch these creatures and learn to do so.

This also adds a boarding school element to the story which was another part of why I enjoyed the book. Seeing Fletcher learn to catch the creatures and gain better skills was great to see. There was also a class system in the book which was interesting to see unfold.

The book also has a lot of action towards the end and I liked seeing it come together and unfold. He knows how to write them though as I felt like I was on the edge of my seat and just wanted to keep reading.

I loved seeing Fletcher make connections and have relationships form. Unlikely friendships often tend to be a favourite of mine and there are definitely some in this book that made me happy.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I can't wait to read the next in the series to see what happens.

The Verdict:

The Novice is an underrated fantasy story that had been lost in recent years but is still worth the read and hype. 

Have you read The Novice? If so, what did you think? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.


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