Monday, April 30, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: The Outcast (Summoner Prequel)

Release Date: May 1, 2018
Author: Taran Matharu
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Length: 400 pages
Source: Thanks to Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours for including me on their tour, click the banner above to see the full schedule!

Enter an immersive world where the chosen few have the ability to summon demons...

Arcturus is just an orphaned stable boy when he discovers he has the ability to summon demons from another world. He is sent to Vocans Academy where the lost arts of summoning, spell craft and demonology are taught to the noble children of the Empire. As the first commoner gifted with this ability, his discovery challenges the nobility and the powers that be and Arcturus soon makes enemies. With no one but his demon Sacharissa by his side, Arcturus must prove himself as a worthy Summoner...

Set before the events of SUMMONER: The Novice this is the perfect introduction to the New York Times bestselling SUMMONER series



Protagonist: Arcturus was just a common stable boy, with dreams of leaving and forging his own destiny, he never could have dreamed he was a Summoner, an elite group of fighters who can summon demon companions and work magic, a group believed to only be among the nobility of Hominum. As the first common Summoner in history, Arcturus finds a lot of disdain at Vocans Academy where he is sent to train his summoning skills, however, there are a few friendly faces among the stuck-up nobles. With tensions mounting between the common folk and the nobility, Arcturus may just get caught in the middle. Of course, I love Arcturus from the main series and seeing this adventure from when he was young is a lot of fun. Honestly, Arcturus felt very much like Fletcher in terms of his personality, I mean he's a brave, moral, and kind person, just like Fletcher, though their adventures are very different.

World Building: Going into this book I wasn't sure what to expect, I've never read the previous Arcturus story, entitled Origins, though from my research I'd say the first sixteen or so chapters of this book ARE Origins, with the rest being an expansion on that story and really the main plot of this book. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to not only see familiar characters from the series, just younger and less experienced, but we also get to see characters that are only mentioned in the main trilogy. I loved seeing the familiar characters and loved getting to know the ones I only knew by name. Still, there were a few characters I wasn't so happy to see, characters who believe if you aren't a human noble that somehow you're beneath them. While this book focused more on the class divide in Hominum from the King's heavy taxes, there is still obviously a racial divide between humans and dwarves as well, even worse so than the main trilogy. If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that there was a tad too much fan service, characters involved in the story who felt sort of crammed into the story or put in the story, just for that feeling readers sometimes get when they recognize a name or a place from the series they know and love. In the end, it was really only one bit of fan service that really bothered me, something that truly felt as if it added nothing to the overall story and felt like it served no purpose other than to be recognized.

Predictability: Even though this is a trilogy, and I know the fate of all of the main characters, not to mention the state of the kingdom at the start of the main trilogy, so I wasn't expecting to be surprised very often in this book and in all honesty that was true. That isn't to say I was never surprised, I mean this story does have a few fantastic twists that really kept me on the edge of my seat. There wasn't anything too mind-blowing if you've read the main series, but the story is still exciting nonetheless.

Ending: For some reason, I was expecting a larger final climax that we got, but honestly once it came it felt like everything fit perfectly. I mean, I couldn't see this adventure ending any other way and while we didn't get a pulse-pounding one on one action scene, the ending still has some action and again, how everything is resolved, for better or worse, makes sense, again especially if you've already read the main trilogy. The final chapter feels like an epilogue of sorts and it's a great one, you can see where things are going, but nothing it too defined, it perfectly ties up this story in a way that only really leaves open things resolved in the main trilogy.


This prequel was (nearly) everything I hoped for and more, while I could have done with a tad less fan service, particularly in one area, I still loved this book so much and hope that the author won't leave this world forever, it's just too rich to leave alone.

About the Author:

Taran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey and Unieboek in the Netherlands.


No comments:

Post a Comment