2018 · ARC · Read · Review

Review – The Outcast by Taran Matharu

The Summoner Series is a series I have had my eyes on for a very long time and it’s featured in my Older series I want to try post I did not so long ago. When book 4 popped up on NetGalley I requested it expecting myself to read the first three books first, then the forth. Then I realised the fourth book is a prequel. That means I should have no problems reading this fourth book before the first book, right? – so I did 😏

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This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.


The Outcast

by Taran Matharu

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Synopsis by NetGalley

ONLY THE CHOSEN FEW HAVE THE POWER TO SUMMON DEMONS …

The highly anticipated PREQUEL to the New York Times bestselling Summoner trilogy – an extension of the eBook novella Origins, The Outcast continues Arcturus’s story in a feature-length novel.

Arcturus is just an orphaned stable boy when he accidentally summons a demon. As Hominum’s first common summoner, he becomes the key to a secret that the powerful nobility would do anything to keep hidden. And with rebellion simmering among the masses, the nobility is more desperate than ever to keep in control.

Arcturus is immediately whisked away to Vocans Academy where the lost arts of summoning, spell craft and demonology are taught to the noble children of the Empire. In no time, he finds himself surrounded by enemies as noble teachers and students question his right to be there.

But before he can even attempt to make friends, Arcturus unexpectedly finds himself right in the centre of the conflict, on an adventure that takes him deep into the Orc jungles, where allies and enemies are blurred. As his newfound summoner skills are put to the test, Arcturus must choose a side . . . or watch the Empire crumble.

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


My Opinion

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Highlights

Sacha

Poor against rich

Outsider becomes insider

Magic school


Overall

I loved this book, the magic system, the characters, the world and obviously Sacha (she’s soo cute!).

Not having read the original trilogy, I had never been in this world before nor meet the characters. However, the book really is an independent story. I’m probably going to figure out exactly what things means, who people are and how much bigger this world is when I read the other books, but so far I didn’t feel I needed them to be able to read this one.

I did not see the twist at the end coming. Took me by surprise, but I’m glad it happened as it would have almost been too easy if not.


Story 

The story takes place in the Summoner universe, but this book is the prequel to the first book in the series. As mentioned I have not read the original trilogy, but I thought I would read this to see if it could actually be a prequel and therefore would not be linked to the original trilogy as much. And yes it’s independent. It stands its own ground. It builds its own world. Creates its own evils. I made a good choice 😁 (I think)

The book starts off with Arcturus trying to steal a noble’s horse but instead summons a demon. Ops 🤭 He gets sent straight to Vocan School of Summoners where he finds himself unwanted. The school is filled with nobles who have the birthright to be pricks sorry, to be there. And this was really well done. There were almost two types of nobles; the kind and humble type, and the “being an asshole is my birthright” type. The humble type welcomes Acruturus to their ranks but at the same time are ignorant about his life as a poor. They don’t take the time to understand him or care too much to get to know him and who he is when it comes to his poor side. They are very friendly and inclusive, and that’s good, but there is one scene when someone can’t find his room because it’s not with the others without making too much effort asking around. For the record, Arcturus room is in the far tower, far away from the others. The lack of effort just sends a message that they don’t invest time to get to know him but accepts that he is there and doesn’t mind that he is different. I felt this was important and true in our world about anything and everything, and it’s very well done in this book, quite subtle. The ignorance from the nobles adds a boundary between Arcturus as a commoner and his friends who are nobles. While the pricks are just making his life difficult and dangerous.


World building

Even though this book is number four in the series, but a prequel, it did its own world building. For me, it was the perfect amount of world, not too big, not too small, and not based in one location.

The world starts off small with Arcturus being a stable boy and badly treated. Then a whole new side of this world is introduced as Sacha is summoned and he gets sent to this badass school for summoners aka noble firstborn. The change is sudden and abrupt but there is still more to it. The school slowly builds on the divide between the commoners and the nobles, and other creatures.

It’s the travelling part in the second half of this book which really puffs up the world and makes it denser and more colourful.

I really liked the add on of the soldiers and Rotter. It added another middle layer to the flavour of the world.

I wouldn’t call this world epic, not yet.


Magic System

I loved the idea of summoning demons which were actually mythical-type creatures from a void-type world inbetween worlds, if that even makes sense. It reminded me of catching pokemon (in the old days before Pokemon GO) 😂 Like you have to weaken it before you could catch it.

I also liked the mana source and limitations though I’m not 100% sure how it works or where the mana comes from, maybe I shouldn’t know. I also really liked the rune-type marks for spells and how well it blended with the demons without being the same. I’m looking forward to getting a better understanding of it in the next books.


Characters

There are three characters that really stuck with me reading this book:

Arcturus is a character is really liked. The entire book is from his perspective. You don’t get a complete understanding of him but you get all his views and feelings. I enjoyed reading about his worries without expressing them to others (just me 🤗).

Sacha the Canid. A puppy demon that looks like a black wolf-type creature with super soft fur you just want to cuddle. She is protective and amazingly badass female in this book. I would go as far as saying she is the most badass female character in the entire book. She doesn’t speak but at the same time, she has character and a personality. The canid character was very well written and I believed her to be the most loyal creature in existence.

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Elain annoyed me so much! But at the same time, the writing made me kind of like her, though she is still very annoying. She is the youngest and tries too hard to fit in and be just as brave as the older kids at school. In my head, a 13-year-old is not a child, though Elain, being a noble and third born, do behave like it. This is so annoying. Just do as you’re told, child! Grr 😡


Romance

There is hardly any romance in this book which is really nice. This book doesn’t need romance, it has everything else.

The existing romance is in the background between two side characters which I can see could develop deeper in the other books (or even into a different direction, I’m looking at you Harold, eyeing someone else…🧐)


Writing

The writing was immersive and flowed through the story. There were no quirks which I often tend to notice as hiccups in the text and it stops my reading flow. This book had none and it was lovely to read.


Have you read this? What did you think?

Have you read the rest of the series? What did you think?

 

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4 thoughts on “Review – The Outcast by Taran Matharu

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