The Inquisition by Taran Matharu
Reviewed by Adrienne
In the second installment of the Summoner series, a year has gone by since the events of the last book and we are reintroduced to Fletcher, who has been in jail the entire time. He is being charged for the attempted murder of Didric at the beginning of the last book, and Didric and his friends have fabricated a story to pin the entire thing on Fletcher. Throughout his year in prison, Fletcher has practiced his summoning skills through two books that were hidden for him by an unknown benefactor, later revealed to be Arctrurus, his old instructor at Vocans. Didric shows up in Fletcher’s cell and reveals that he has been gifted with the ability to summon through Fletcher’s demon’s attack and is now a noble. Didric then leads Fletcher to the courtroom where he is to be tried for attempted murder and where Arcturus shows up to represent Fletcher as his lawyer. After hearing the Didric and his posse falsely recount the events of the night any hope that Fletcher could get out of his situation is lost. Arcturus saves him just in time for Fletcher to be accused of yet another crime, treason, punishable by death. It is revealed that Othello, Fletcher’s dwarven friend, is being tried along with him and a second trial starts. It is revealed to Fletcher while awaiting the start of the second trial that if Othello is sentenced to death another dwarven rebellion would start and any peace between the races would be lost. So, Fletcher takes all of the blame for committing treason and is sentenced to death. He is saved yet again, however, by the reveal of his true origins. Fletcher is a Raleigh, a noble family wiped out by orcs days after Fletcher’s birth. Because of his noble status being revealed, Fletcher is pardoned for his crimes by the king. From there he is sent on a mission with the other graduates of Vocans into orc land to rescue the noble Lady Cavendish and destroy as many new goblin eggs as possible to decrease numbers in the orc army.
As the second installment of the series, The Inquisition gives even more insight into the world that Fletcher and his friends live in. Whereas in the previous book readers were mainly introduced to the dwarven way of life, this book shows much more variety. Readers are brought into elven and orc territory and learn much more about the different races. In fact, it is very interesting how Matharu decides to portray the orcs. For the entire first book and half of the second, the reader is led to believe that orcs are just mindless brutes who kill everything in their path but that is revealed to not be the case. In this book, orcs are shown in a very humanizing light being under a dictator’s rule and having their own issues to deal with.
I really liked The Inquisition, it had a lot of twists and was very good at keeping me on my toes. One things I have to gripe about is the trial at the beginning. I understood where the author was trying to take it but overall, I felt that it was too long and some of it was unnecessary. But once the story got going with Fletcher and the gang starting their mission, the book became very interesting. I thought this book turned out to be more interesting than the first, The Novice, and I would definitely recommend continuing the series.