Outcast by Tarun Matharu
Publication Date: May 3, 2018
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
ARC received from Feiwel and Friends for an honest review.
If you have read the novella Origins, then you know how this story starts. Which explains why I kept thinking that I had read this story already for the first 100 pages. This is full fledge novel that starts with Origins but then continues the story.
If you have not yet read the Summoner books, this is an ok place to start. It explains a lot of the story that happens before that series starts. It might be a little confusing as there isn’t a whole lot of world building, but there is enough that you get the main points of the world. Like the other books this one is pretty much non-stop action and very hard to put down.
This is the story of Arcturus, who we meet as an adult in the other books. This is the story about how he became a summoner and friends with King Harold (only a prince in this story). I always like Arcturus, he was one of my favorite characters from the original book and I was glad to see him get a story of his own. He had a tough childhood, but was a pretty resilient young man. When his circumstances change, he is little bit intimidated, but soon proves his worth to those around him. He is daring and clever, and often comes off as a bit rough, but he has a kind heart and tries to help those who need it.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, mostly because it foreshadows some things that happen in the series. But it is also a plot that is best left to self discovery. It is full of action and well thought out. The many characters that Arcturus meets are well thought out and many of them fleshed out as much as Arcturus. I love the world that these books take place in. The demons are quite fascinating and how they help the summoners with their magic is also very clever and unique. The cover doesn’t quite cover what Sacharissa looks like in my mind. She is described as being a dog, jungle cat and fox hybrid with four blue eyes. The picture makes her look too much like a dog, and for the life of me I can’t see four eyes, but whatever. They have a special bond, like all of the summoners have with their demons, and Sacharissa would do anything to protect Arcturus, even taking on demons twice her size.
This is a great addition to the series. It is still one that I continue to recommend to reluctant readers, especially those in middle school. I think they can relate to the characters and it is fast moving enough to keep their attention.