As second son to the King of Margolan, Prince Martris Drayke never expected, nor wanted to be, in line for the Throne. After witnessing his cruel and vicious older brother take over the Kingdom in a night of bloody violence, he is forced to flee or be killed along with everyone that had been loyal to his father. With few options, Tris and his closest friends set out on a journey to find allies, avenge their dead and come to terms that their world has now changed forever. Their best chance is Tris himself, able to see and speak to ghosts, he is the untrained heir of his Grandmother, a Summoner of great power who could work with the living and the dead. He must find a way to unlock his potential and become the one thing King Jared and Arontala, his twisted sorceror, fear most. The Summoner.
I’d been looking for a good, epic fantasy to sink my teeth into again lately, and happened to notice The Sworn by Gail Z. Martin in a prominent place in the bookstore. I liked the premise, but realised it was the start of a second series. Since I like to start from the beginning, I went looking and found book one of the Chronicles of the Necromancer – The Summoner.
I had no expectations, I’d never read Gail Z. Martin’s work before, but I have to say I found it compelling right from the very first page. The characters are really well rounded and expertly written, and I grew to like and then love them very quickly. Of course when the author is not afraid to write about the darker side of life, this can create a slight pang to the heart!
The story was excellent and I must admit, I do love quests and being on the journey with the characters, joining them to do whatever they must, to see their world safe. There is of course a danger of many tropes and cliches with this type of fantasy and some of them are unavoidable. Where Martin excels, is when she takes some of them and uses them to further the story, turning them into a positive thing instead of letting it become ‘yet another epic quest fantasy’. Instead she created an engaging and intriguing tale that kept me gripped right to the last page.
The pace of the story is good, the writing very smooth, easy to read and I couldn’t put it down. By the end I was so absorbed and wanting more, I immediately ordered the rest of the series.
An astonishingly good read that does much to revitalise the genre.