Review: ‘The Outcast’ By Taran Matharu

‘The Outcast’

By Taran Matharu

Book #0.1 of The Summoner Series

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Date: 2018
Pages: 192
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Fantasy
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle
Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

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.

‘The Outcast’ is the prequel in another series that I had yet to start, but really wanted too. Even though the prequel was published after the first 3 books, when I start a series that has been established I find the Prequel books to be more interesting if I read them before beginning the series. When I begin a series most of the time I just want to know what is going to happen next and don’t really want to spend that time reading a prequel, so what better way to start a series?

In ‘The Outcast’ we follow Arcturus an orphan who winds up having the ability to summon demons, something that has previously been thought to be something only people of Nobel blood are able to do. Obviously this is where our story kicks off and we follow Arcturus as he learns how to properly summon and all the magic that comes along with that.

Arcturus is an underdog character, and I feel like I am always rooting for the underdog character. This is definitely the case throughout Arcturus’s experience. I want him to succeed and when he has run ins with other characters particularly a set of notoriously unlikable nobles I want nothing more than for Arcturus to show them whose boss. He’s true to his kind nature though and is always trying to find a way out of the situations he finds himself in without compromising himself – sometimes this is not always possible- as well as keeping his demon Sascharissa.

Once we get into the story we spend some of the time learning about Vocans Academy, the school where Summoners go to practice magic and refine and develop their skills. I found that some friendships developed rather quickly which I didn’t quiet get but I still enjoyed where it led. The plot really jumps into the rebels and the nobles, with the rebels attempting to take noble children hostage to get the King to listen to their cause.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. Obviously reading so much fantasy it becomes easy to draw comparisons between different stories. I will say this was something I struggled with reading ‘The Outcast’ and ‘The Red Queen’ at the same time, I saw similarities between the 2 and struggled at times to enjoy them for their own merits and for what they are. I am happy to say that by the end of the story I was enjoying following Arcturus too much to compare it to another read. I felt focused on his story and engaged in learning where things were going to lead from here.

Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 7/10
Stars: 3.5/5

Have you read ‘The Outcast’ By Taran Matharu? What did you think?