I've got a brand new YA from Feiwel and Friends to review today, The Novice- Summoner Book One by Taran Matharu. Its expected release date is May 5, 2015.
Fletcher is an orphan raised by the blacksmith in the small mountain town of Pelt. Things change when he gets a hold of a book once belonging to a mage. In the middle of the night, hiding in the cemetery, he reads the words of the book and summons a salamander demon. That same night, the town bullies find him in a mausoleum and try to kill him. The salamander saves his life, at the cost of one of the bullies, the town's most prominent son.
Fleeing into the forest, Fletcher makes his way to the one place he might find sanctuary, the Adept Military Academy, a school for other mages with demons, Fletcher is accepted and trained. A battle with a neighboring kingdom has demolished the Academies ranks, and Fletcher finds himself forced to learn five years of study in one year. His only hope of getting assigned to a decent unit lies in beating the noble children in an end of the year contest, a contest against students who have been studying for years.
Okay, the premise hooked me right away. An orphan who summons a demon that is unable to be summoned by normal mages. Great start! And the rest of the story delivers. Fletcher is an engaging character who fights the odds and doesn't give up. He is brave, loyal and a true leader. He gathers his friends around him and trains with them to beat the noble children and second year students. Plus, he does not show prejudice towards any race, but relies on the character of the person to tell him their story.
The plot is fast and filled with action. Another premise I enjoy is when the hero is the underdog and must pass some type of skills challenge to overcome the naysayers. The author handles this challenge in a fun way that kept me at the edge of my seat. Plus, there is a twist on the very last page that will make you wish you already had book two in hand. 5 Stars!
I'd pre-order this one :)