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Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu

The Inquisition by Taran Matharu

Book Stats:  

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Hardcover: 350 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: May 10, 2016

Series:  The Summoner, #2

Source: Library

Reviewed by: Kara

Order: Amazon | Book Depository

A year has passed since the Tournament. Fletcher and Ignatius have been locked away in Pelt's dungeons, but now they must face 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, in this sequel to The Novice by Taran Matharu.

All our favorite villains are back and they've banded together! However, our beloved heroes are together again too, this time having to work together to accomplish a mission that could mean the end of their world--overrun by orcs and goblins!

Since the cliffhanger at the end of The Novice where Fletcher won the tournament, earning his place at on the king's counsel, Fletcher was also immediately hauled away to await trial for supposedly killing Didric (who's still alive?). Some things get a bit murky or too far-fetched to believe here for the adult reader, but the intended audience probably won't notice. Despite this somewhat muddled beginning with trials and accusations, the real meat of the story comes more than halfway through as Fletcher is back with his team and other summoners along with newcomers and old enemies to journey as four teams to infiltrate the orc stronghold and destroy their horde of goblin eggs.

There are still a lot of underlying tensions other than our heroes/villains. The politics of the day have King Harold mostly powerless against his scheming father and the Triumvirate. There's also the rising potential of a civil war between the men, elves, and dwarves as there have been lots of violence perpetrated by supposed dwarf allies or, as accused, the dwarves themselves. With the infiltration of the orc stronghold, Fletcher's team of elf/dwarf allies carries the added weight of the political tension, especially as each team is led by a strong demon who is broadcasting their efforts to their society (i.e. The Hunger Games). Fletcher and his crew have the potential to make or break alliances for their society as a whole, and this tension plays out between their teams and their relationships within the team itself.

I was totally not prepared for the ending though I had sneaking suspicion there was going to be a pretty nasty twist in the story. (Pssst, I was right!)

Quick! I am anxious to read book 3 after another such shocking cliffhanger! (I realize these keep kids reading and are typical for younger grade books, but I find it torturous. *agonized emoji*) Alas, my library currently has a holds' list, so it'll be some time before I can find out and share a review with you all. Happy reading!

Kara is a teen librarian living in the southeastern US with her husband (who listens to books), young daughter (who sleeps with books), and dog (who tastes the books). She loves all sorts of books, but mostly YA, and will never catch up to all of the wonderful things to read.

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