4 stars

Book 2 in the Summoner series.


***Spolier Alert***

Completely devoured it. This book should come with a warning: high chance of book hangover. Thank you Mr Matharu for a wonderful sequel to The Novice. Gripping from page 1. Could not put it down.
I love the return of my beloved Arcturus (even though he is only in it for a heartbeat (I would love for him to have his own book)), and I am glad that Ms Lovett is back with us. Didric is a thoroughly detestable character. I was slightly annoyed that he gained special talents courtesy of Fletchers self-defence. Why couldn’t he just fall down a well and disappear?
I love the addition of the Alchemy and Herbology elements, those should totally be taught to all the novices. Jeffrey was an absolute surprise – never saw that coming… tricky tricky!
I am not sure I liked the idea of turning the mission into a type of competition. By putting a monetary value on the mission and rewarding the winners they were creating a situation in where they would be less likely to work together, and perhaps even attempt to sabotage the others in an attempt to get the upper hand. The entire mission could have been jeopardised in the name of competition. Shouldn’t beating the orcs and wiping out the eggs be the central objective, and ensuring the security of your realm reward enough? 
I would have liked to have a couple of chapters showing what the other teams were up to before getting to the pyramid. It felt a little one dimensional only getting to see Fletchers team. Also what happened with Blue and his little friends? Did they succeed? I was hoping they would come help out towards the end of the pyramid scene there. 
Also what was happening with the rescue unit outside? We get a brief note from the scrying stone that only Arcturus and a couple of others are left – I can’t imagine Arcturus leaving without Fletcher as they seem to have a bond, but he can’t stay out there with the Orcs either… I need book 3 immediately.
But can I just say…. OMG what are you doing to us Taran? You can’t end it like that! Whoa! I love a good cliffhanger, but I prefer them when the next book is ready for me to rush out and buy so I can delve straight in and find out what happens. I am not so patiently waiting to see the next instalment.
Full of tension and intrigue that keeps the reader completely entranced until the last moment. A compelling tale that will have any fantasy lover hooked. Very visual – please make this into a movie one day. Taran has created a wonderful fantasy world. I would love to see some illustrations in the books of the different demons, they are so well described but I would love to confirm that they appear as I have imagined them.
Eagerly awaiting book 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A year has passed since the Tournament.

Fletcher and Ignatius have been locked away in Pelt’s dungeons, but now they must face a trial at the hands of the Inquisition, a powerful institution controlled by those who would delight in Fletcher’s downfall.

The trial is haunted by ghosts from the past with shocking revelations about Fletcher’s origins, but he has little time to dwell on them; the graduating students of Vocans are to be sent deep into the orc jungles to complete a dangerous mission for the king and his council. If they fail, the orcish armies will rise to power beyond anything the Empire has ever seen.

With loyal friends Othello and Sylva by his side, Fletcher must battle his way to the heart of Orcdom and save Hominum from destruction…or die trying