The Novice by Taran Matharu

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The Novice by Taran Matharu

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Mollie Randtoul
Reviewed by Mollie Randtoul
Summary: Unpredictable, fast paced, brutal mayhem - fantasy lovers will feel right at home!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 400 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444923971

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The Novice, Taran Matharu’s Wattpad sensation has already received a staggering five million reads. This book doesn’t just survive the hype; it deserves it.

Throughout the tale, we follow Fletcher, an orphan boy who is not aware of his magical potential until one day, in his small, provincial hometown of Pelt, he comes across an ancient tome that allows him to summon demons from an alternate world called The Ether - a journey of action, violence and humble beginnings, Fletcher holds the fate of an empire within his hands...

The story contains many interesting plot lines and twists that will keep you immersed, and as a classic example of its genre, Matharu has spared no opportunity for a fantastical battle scene, all of which are delivered in a film-like style.

The characters are well developed throughout the story, if not slightly stereotypical for their sort - I was frequently reminded of Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings by the different races, character appearances and racial division.

When reading books similar to this, I have often found that the main character or hero is spectacular and unprecedented in every way; Matharu has not presented our protagonist in this manner - Fletcher is somewhat special in his magical abilities, yet not so much that he is unrealistically abnormal. I liked this very much, as it added a sense of authenticity to the story. In addition, the world building is very intricate and real; this further engaged me in the book as everything is so competently imagined.

My only quibble is that with so many characters and location names being thrown around, I found it rather difficult to keep up with who’s who and where’s where; however, this was not a large enough issue to effect my following the storyline. Furthermore, Matharu has given the places and characters a huge amount of background and history - everything has a framework and nothing is merely mentioned and left without its archives.

Tarquin, the supercilious Noble boy who attends the magical boarding school "Vocans" along with Fletcher, is presented so well with his evil persona that I felt a strange level of resentment towards him, considering the fact he is a fictional character; Matharu's writing style so easily manipulates the reader in to feeling whatever emotion he is trying to spark.

Although the book doesn't break new ground in the teen fantasy genre, the monstrous cliffhanger ending has undeniably left me counting down the days until book two is released.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury or Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

Buy The Novice by Taran Matharu at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Novice by Taran Matharu at

Buy The Novice by Taran Matharu at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Novice by Taran Matharu at


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