Friday, 15 May 2015

The Novice

The Novice
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy won from the publisher!

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher comes across a special book courtesy of a passing soldier, he doesn't yet realise that his life is about to change. He soon discovers he has the ability to Summon and an after an accident, he and his new demon flee as far from Fletcher's home as they can. Chance has him finding a place at Adept Military Academy. There he finds new friends, and finds himself studying the art of Summoning and everything to do with demons. Fletcher and his fellow commoners not only have to put up with the nobles treatment of them, but also have to undergo the gruelling training to take part in a competition an entire year early, putting them a year closer to being battlemage's fighting in the Hominum Emire's war against Orcs.

Fletcher is surrounded by the power hungry, those seeking alliances and the constant fear of betrayal. Sylva needs to do what's going to be best for her fellow elves, even if it means buddying up with the nobles. Othello and his fellow dwarves are fighting for equality. Fletcher just wants to know who he is. Fletcher and Ignatius need to decide where their loyalties lie, and they need to win. But will his past come back to haunt him?

Oh my god guys! GUYS! This book is SO AWESOME. I can't even. I won a proof of this book in a Twitter competition from the publisher, but this book just came out not too long ago, so I thought I'd review it because I loved it so much to be honest! This is one of those books I'll re-read because it's the start of what's going to be one of my favourite series, and it's the start of an imaginative and original new series.

I was sucked in from the first page, and unable to put the book down, I've honestly been glued to the book the entire time. I devoured this book. Seriously. And then right at the end? The ending of the book? I am one of those people who talks to book and I shouted at it. Right at the end. Shouted. I couldn't help myself because of the freaking ending and then having to wait for the next book that I don't even know when it's out. I was literally just like "SERIOUSLY YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME GOD DAMMIT". Seriously. It's going to be a horrible wait for the next book and I don't know how I'll cope to be honest. I really don't.

While The Novice is easy to read, and I whizzed through it, it has a very complex plot with complex politics going on. I'm not going to get too political in this post, but the equality issue the dwarves are dealing with is one that I feel is echoed in the real world. Anyway, the background, history, peoples, stories, and politics of the world of the Novice are all very rich and complex, and this comes across in the book without smothering you with information, over the course of the book you gain an intense understanding of the world of the book and how it works.

I love all things original and a little bit different so it's no surprise I love this book, sure it has echoes of other books, but the book is original. I loved all the different demons, with the classification at the back. There where so many, and we only met some in this book. The Novice stretches your imagination and gives it a workout, and I loved reading about all the different types of demons and the magic used in the book and the rules for it, I've not read demons or magic quite like this, with the summoning. It felt a bit like Pokemon at one point when they where talking about capturing new demons. It's new and original and different, and I loved it. Especially Fletcher's idea for his tattoo!

The world building was vivid and cinematic, it sucked me in to the world and I felt like I was there with the characters. Everything was described in such a way that you could picture what was going on or picture the setting, without overly done descriptions. And what a world. It's clearly extensive, I'm hoping we get to see some more of it, and it's imaginative, with the elves, and the dwarves and the orcs and the the different types of people, nobles and commoners and so on. It's a world you can get lost in and forget about whatever's going on in your life, and that's the best kind of world really!

Fletcher, my poor, poor Fletcher. I liked Fletcher, he was easy to connect with and understand, and like Fletcher, you want to know who he is, clearly he's not who Arcturus thinks he is, but I can't quite work out the answer. I have a suspicion but I think I'm wrong, because it's too obvious. Fletcher is the kind of character you can root for, and who isn't entirely perfect so seems all the more realistic.

There's an entire cast of rich, likeable characters, and those you like to hate. Tarquin. In particular. I really don't like Tarquin. Anyway. Each secondary character is brought to life with as much as detail and care as Fletcher and the demons. Sylva, I want to know more about, I really liked her, she's a total badass, and another character I connected with, she has her duty but she's also got her friends who she's going to back, and she's a fighter, not a pushover. Othello, I wasn't sure about his character in the beginning but he's awesome, and I'm intrigued to see what's going to happen with him and his brother and his people after the incident in the cave, and after the end of this book as well. Seraph, I felt like we didn't get to know Seraph well enough and I'm hoping the next book will change that! Arcturus, where did he go!? Come back! Lovett, please can she come back in the second book? Although I do love her way of keeping an eye on the gang, can we have her back please!? So many well written characters to get to know and love! Dammit Didric. Ruining everything though.

I just really loved this book guys. The Novice is original, it's fun, it's complex, it's got action and magic and demons and a whole load of characters you can root for, as well as a colourful and imaginative world to get lost in. The Novice perfectly sets up the next book without sacrificing the plot of this book, almost as an after thought, and leaves you with a cliffhanger that's going to have you shouting "NOOOOO". The Novice is an utterly fantastic start to a promising trilogy and I can't wait for the next book!

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