The Novice, by Taran Matharu | Book Review #177

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from 25901556another 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.


I had thought that The Novice would be a lug of a book. That the story would drag and be incredibly boring. I mean, we’ve all read a book like that. But what I read had me pretty interested and intrigued. I couldn’t tell what would happen, and while there was only one scene that felt forced to me, the rest of the book flows quite nicely, and everything seems natural. Aside from the paranormal aspects, of course.

I happened upon this book at the library, read the synopsis, thought I’d give this book a chance (thank you, libraries!), and I’m glad that I did! I honestly thought that this book would be one of less caliber than what I had imagined the book would be. I must be way off my game though, because what actually transpires in The Novice is somewhat akin to what I had previously imagined.

What’s nice about the book is that the story stars with Fletcher just doing his everyday thing. And then we’re shown how he deals with anger because of some jerk. Then the story moves on and we’re given a peak into his history. Once again he’s doing his own thing and then we’re given a smidgen of this worlds history, which had shown me that the story is a fantasy novel! Which is obvious anyway, but I like how the book doesn’t necessarily throw us into the fantasy aspect of this novel.

The Novice is a YA Fantasy book, featuring one point of view from the main character, whose name is Fletcher. Unique name by the way! I don’t see many books with the main character called Fletcher. Throughout the book, we see Fletcher have the will to prevail. In a world that seems to be against him, Fletcher has proven to himself (whether he knows it or not) that he always finds a way.

Fletcher is an interesting character. He seems to think outside of the box, and with that thinking and with what he learns along the way, those tools will ultimately help him survive.

What I enjoyed most about The Novice, after reading the book and realizing it, is that Fletcher doesn’t have a love interest. Which is great in my opinion, but Fletcher would want someone; he’s shown interest in girls before, but has had no luck. So I definitely enjoyed reading a book without someone trying to get the main characters interest.

I enjoyed the writing! The writing in my opinion flows quite nicely. And the overall story moves incredibly fast. The pairing of Matharu’s writing and the way in which the story flows is very nice. I haven’t read a book in a while that feels like The Novice does.

It seems that I very rarely get to read a book with a male protagonist. One from a book that doesn’t have any other points of view. So when I do get around to reading a book such as this, I can be very….speculative. Surprisingly though, I actually like Fletcher’s character.

The Novice turned out to be a very interesting read with an even more intriguing ending. I’m looking forward to reading the next book, The Inquisition.

I ended up giving The Novice 3 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Happy Reading!
Adele

 

 

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