Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Summoner - Review

Well, I certainly did not expect to hear from one of the authors of my last book haul! But Ms Martin did leave me a comment, which got her books bumped up my reading queue. Now I've finished reading the first, and there is what I think of it:

The Summoner, by Gail Z. Martin
A review

Martris Drayke is a prince. A second son, and quite content that he won't have to be king one day. Indeed, life for him would be quite spiffy, if his older half-brother were not a cruel psychopath, his father blinded by love, and his mother ineffectual.

And when his brother murders his family and seizes the throne, it is up to Martris and his companions to safe the day, the kingdom and the world... If Martris can safe himself from insanity as he comes into his birthright as a necromancer, that is.

I quite liked the idea of the "Chronicles of the Necromancer" duology. You don't often see a necromancer as the hero, and I was hoping for tale of dark magic, and the sacrifices made by fighting evil with evil.

But this is not the mood of "The Summoner" at all. Rather, it is typical "Epic Fantasy". Which is not necessarily a bad thing - and "The Summoner" is not a bad book, as long as you are not looking for anything original. The plot is of the typical "Quest to save the Kingdom"-variety. Engrossing, and fast-paced though - you won't be bored.

Unfortunately, it is very predictable. When the heroine was introduced in chapter five, it is immediately clear that she will fall in love with our hero - although they will dance around each other until near the end of the book. I also would have liked to see a bit more characterisation - Martris' companions Harrtruck and Soterius never did take on life for me, and I kept confusing them with each other.

Oh, and a final nitpick: I hate, hate, hate the protagonist's nickname "Tris". Sorry, I just do. If I were a Prince called Martris, I'd have anybody calling me "Tris" executed. At once. With blunt pliers.

In the end, "The Summoner" is a nice read despite it's faults, and I am looking forward to reading it's sequel, "The Blood King". And I am still hoping for some zombie action!

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