The Summoner

by Gail Z. Martin

Reviewed by Coral

When his family is murdered by his older half-brother, Prince Martris Drayke must flee to save his life. The mage, Foor Arontala, who serves his brother is seeking to awaken an old and evil wizard and only Tris' developing powers can stop him.

The only hope Tris has in stopping Arontala lies in making it to his uncle's kingdom. There he can raise the army that he needs to overthrow his brother, Jared, and defeat Arontala. But the journey will be treacherous. Dark beasts have been called back into the world and all manner of things are drawn to Tris' power. But the greatest challenge may lie in Tris' heart. To become a good wizard he must make the right choice; is he looking for justice? Or revenge?

I have read a lot of books about quests/journeys/treks and have found many of them to be very tiresome. Thankfully this one had a more lively feel to it despite the fact that a lot of characters took up quests; besides Tris there were two other characters or groups of characters on their own individual quests. Out of all of them, I was only disappointed with how one of the quests ended up (that of Kiara Sharqsequin's).

Some of the characters felt like characters I had seen before: dark mage, independent Princess who will do as she wants, wizard just learning his powers.

It was also a little annoying how the author used new words for dragons and vampires but then used dragon and vampire one to make sure we knew what these new words meant. To me, that's just lazy. If you want to use a new word to mean dragon, then I better understand that it means dragon through your description of the animal and not because in one place you tell me it's a dragon. Same thing for vampire.

I also thought the plot point of Tris' earlier lessons on how to use his powers being magically blocked from his mind - though it was explained why in the book - was kind of a weak point for me as well. I don't see how that could have protected him as much as it weakened him by not knowing how to use his powers and endangering him in case he used them wrong.

Overall, it was a promising start to the series.

Grade: B