The Battlemage by Taran Matharu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
According to that (new) cover, it's welcome to Mars, I guess...with Fletcher looking very, very dangerous. And of course, Ignatius in the background, having evolved...sorry, metamorphosed from a cute little Salamander to a bigger, be-winged, and now, more Toothless-like than ever, Drake.
So at last we come to the end of the Summoner series...or is it? Not with this level of high action, and highly relevant social commentary as the previous books' allegory for the rampant prejudices of today's world continues to develop, and deep emotional investment because we the readers need Fletcher and Ignatius and all their comrades-in-arms to survive these trials, gorrammit!
Naturally, some of them don't.
But the ride there is loaded with all that action, right up to the very end. I'm not kidding - Taran Matharu gives this series a Deathly Hallows, Allegiant, Mockingjay-level final battle that takes a lot of lives, and a lot of energy, and propels the reader nonstop.
This one's going in with King's Cage, Nemesis, and The Hate U Give in serious contention for this year's Pinecone Awards for sure. And thank God we're not done with this story world yet - even though the ending to this book, not unlike City of Glass or The End of Oz, leaves room to expect further adventures, Matharu's next book, The Outcast, will be a much-needed prequel centering on a younger Arcturus.
Can't wait to read that one!
And until then, to the original Summoner Trilogy, now's the time to say ave atque vale, and also vas ir...anoshe.
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