Recently I finish the novel, Inquisition, a 368 page book by young author Taran Matharu. Taran, who is 27 is from London, UK made his fiction debut with the Summoner Trilogy, one of which is Inquisition. The first book, Novice got 3 million reads in less than six months. Matharu is a New York Times Bestselling author and started his first book at 9 years old. Right after he graduated with a degree in Business Administration, he began work on the Summoner series in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’. Once Taran was featured on NBC news, he left all business dreams and became a full time author.
The book Inquisition, starts with the main character, Fletcher, a summoner who had been thrown in jail for the attempted murder of Didric Cavell, a corrupt noble (In Novice, it ended with him getting arrested). After spending a year in prison, he finally gets a chance for a trial that could either result in death or freedom. Fletcher wanted to return home to Vocans academy for young summoners that would train them to fight in the war against the orcs but he has to be proven innocent, so his half brother Arcturus presents strong evidence and fletcher gets cleared from all charges. Suddenly after the trial, another charge is given to him, treason. He and his dear Dwarf friend were accused of killing 5 soldiers from Hominium’s army, which he had, but it was over self defense. Fletcher wanted to live but knowing that if he was proven innocent, there would be a rebellion by the people erasing dwarf kind so he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death, “hung until dead.” Fletcher accepted his death, but then, King Harold decided to give him pardon, because he was a noble. Furious the Judge put him to the test, of the noble family Raleigh (the family he was rumored to be in). The test was a manticore sting, the most deadly in the world, but his family could survive. He was stung, and lived. After he returned home, he was selected for a deadly mission. Fletcher wanted to do the mission because it is in his nature to try and save lives but he had no team, so he gathered other students to help him. The mission was to infiltrate the orc ritual pyramid, destroy all their eggs, and save a noble woman who was located in the prison. Fletcher wanted the mission to go on but he had no guide so he enlisted in two scouts and a old prisoner who knew the jungle like the back of their hand. Fletcher wanted to enter the orc pyramid but he couldn’t so he asked for help. The help came from an enslaved species, the gremlins who granted him access to the pyramid. They completed the mission, but one of the scout betrayed them leaving them to die. But then Fletcher gets a plan.
I like how the author had a magical theme but never left the ideas of medieval times, an example of this is race mixing and how that was disapproved. In the book, Sylva, an elf wants to be with Fletcher, but she knows that if she ever gets into a relationship with him, she will be cast out by her people for mixing races. This helps younger readers understand that ideas change with time and that everyone can be who they want to be with.
I was quite surprised when the scout betrayed the group because during the whole book he seemed peaceful and eager to please Fletcher and his team, however, that was probably his plan in the first place. When the scout explained his motives, Fletcher finally remembered the kid from the Vocans academy, but his anger got the best of him and he killed the scout.
The main character Fletcher has a lot of good instincts when it comes to leading because when they were ambushed by orcs he acted fast and came up with a good strategy that won them the engagement. In action filled books like this I think that that quality is very important because if the main character was clueless, a lot of readers would lose interest because of the constant failure.
One passage that i enjoyed reading was the part of the book when the team was creeping through a goblin nest it reads, “Mason stumbled just once … they would all fall.” (PG:319). I like this passage because it adds suspense to the moment, it gets the reader excited and want to read more. It is also a metaphor but why I liked it was because the use of the metaphor added a deeper understanding rather than if he described it plainly.
I rate this book a 6 out of ten because it was a very intense book with a lot of description and a surprising ending.