The Inquisition (Summoner Trilogy Series #2)

The Inquisition (Summoner Trilogy Series #2)

4.9 21
by Taran Matharu

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A New York Times Bestseller!
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller!

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.



A New York Times Bestseller!
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller!

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A New York Times Bestseller!
A Publishers Weekly Bestseller!

Praise for The Novice:
"A young orphan makes friends (and enemies) at a magic school in this solid series opener. Fletcher is appealing precisely because of his Everyman qualities: he is not the smartest or the strongest, but he is a loyal friend and a fierce fighter against injustice." -Kirkus Reviews

"The appealing characters, fast-paced plot, focus on racial politics, and interesting demon varieties (demonology addendum included) make this an enjoyable read." -School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews
An underdog and his unlikely companions go to war in this sequel to The Novice (2015).It's been two years since Fletcher Wulf fled the village of Pelt and one year since he won the tournament at Vocans Academy only to end up imprisoned. Now on trial, 16-year-old Fletcher (pale of skin and dark of eyes and hair) confronts both his hometown foe, Didric, and academy rivals, and he sees the racial and class tensions dividing the land. Although a last-minute revelation frees Fletcher—and offers the orphan an origin story—Fletcher's possible nobility wins no favor with gloating villains who surpass schoolyard bullying for serious violence. An Everykid hero, raised as a commoner but now magically gifted and martially trained, Fletcher reunites with friends dwarf Othello and elf Sylva and earns new allies. But the Hominum Empire is at war, so Fletcher and his friends—and enemies—fully armed and assisted by an expansive menagerie of animal-sidekick demons, embark on a mission behind orcish lines to sabotage their opponents, earning acclaim as their deeds are broadcast back home. Matharu offers a derivative story with continuous action and occasional gross-out humor; its worldbuilding is a cheerful mishmash of geography, chronology, and mythology blending guns, magic, and exoticized indigenous tropes. Given the last, its blunt message against injustice and prejudice feels a smidge ironic.A fast-paced, familiar tale with strong echoes of Tolkien, Pullman, and Pokémon. (Fantasy. 10-16)

Product Details

Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
Summoner Trilogy Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Read an Excerpt

The Inquisition

By Taran Matharu

Feiwel and Friends

Copyright © 2016 Taran Matharu, Ltd.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08689-1


Fletcher opened his eyes, but all he saw was darkness. He groaned and nudged Ignatius, whose claw was splayed across his chin. The demon complained with a sleepy mewl before tumbling onto the cold stone beneath them.

"Good morning. Or whatever time it is," Fletcher mumbled, flaring a wyrdlight into existence. It hung in the air like a miniature sun, spinning gently.

The room was bathed in cold blue light, revealing the cramped, windowless cell that was paved with smooth flagstones. In the corner lay a latrine, a simple hole in the ground that was covered by a jagged piece of slate. Fletcher stared at the large iron door embedded in the wall opposite him.

As if on cue, there was a rattle as the small flap at the bottom of the door eased back and a mailed hand pushed through the gap. It groped around for the empty bucket that sat beside the door. The sound of gurgling followed and the bucket was replaced, sloshing with water. Fletcher watched the flap expectantly, then groaned as he heard the echo of footsteps walking away.

"No food again, buddy," Fletcher said, rubbing a crestfallen Ignatius under his chin.

It wasn't unusual; sometimes the jailer just didn't bother bringing food. Fletcher's stomach growled, but he ignored it and reached for the loose stone he kept beside his bed to scratch another notch in the wall. Though it was hard to tell the time with no natural light, he assumed that he received food and water once a day. He didn't need to count the hundreds of notches on the wall to know how long he had been imprisoned — he knew them by heart now.

"One year." Fletcher sighed, settling back into the straw. "Happy anniversary."

He lay there contemplating the reason for his imprisonment. That one night when his childhood nemesis, Didric, had cornered him in a crypt and tried to murder him while telling Fletcher about his father's plans to turn the entire village into a prison. That they would put Berdon, Fletcher's adoptive father and village blacksmith, out of business.

And then came Ignatius, from out of nowhere, burning Didric as he advanced on Fletcher giving him time to escape. The little demon had risked his own life to save Fletcher's, even in the first moments of their bond. In the aftermath, Fletcher had become a fugitive, for he knew Didric's family would lie through their teeth to frame him for attempted murder. His only consolation was that if it hadn't happened, he might never have made it to Vocans Academy.

Had it really been two whole years since Ignatius entered his life and he first stepped foot in that ancient castle? He could remember his last moments there so clearly. His best friend Othello had earned the respect of the generals and convinced his fellow dwarves not to rebel against the Hominum Empire. Elven Sylva had cemented the peace between their races and had proven herself and other elves worthy allies. Even Seraph, the first commoner to be elevated to nobility in over a thousand years, had impressed his fellow nobles during the tournament. Perhaps most satisfying of all, the Forsyth plot to create a new war with the elves and dwarves to profit their weapons business was foiled completely. It had all been so perfect.

Until Fletcher's past came back to haunt him.

Ignatius gave Fletcher an owlish blink from his amber eyes, sensing his master's despondency. He nudged Fletcher's hand with the end of his snout. Fletcher gave him a halfhearted swipe, but the demon dodged out of the way and nipped the tip of his finger.

"All right, all right." Fletcher grinned at the boisterous demon, the pain distracting him from his misery. "Let's get back to training. I wonder what spell we should practice today?"

He reached under the pile of straw that was his bedding and removed the two books that had kept him sane over the past year. He didn't know who had hidden them there for him, only that they had taken a great risk in doing so. Fletcher was eternally grateful to his mysterious benefactor; without the books he would have been driven mad with boredom. There were only so many games that he and Ignatius could play in the tight confines of the cell.

The first was the standard book of spellcraft, the same one they had all used in Arcturus's lessons. It was slim, for it contained only a few hundred symbols and the proper techniques for etching them. Before, Fletcher had been vaguely familiar with them so he could pass his exams, preferring to focus on perfecting the four main battle spells. Now he was able to picture every single symbol from memory and could etch them in his sleep.

The second book was thick, so much so that whoever had hidden it had removed the leather cover to make it more easily concealable in the straw. It was James Baker's journal, the book that had started Fletcher on his path to becoming a trained battlemage. Within its pages, Fletcher had found a dozen new spells, diligently copied by the late summoner from the walls of ancient orcish ruins. Moreover, Baker had studied dozens of orcish demons, detailing their relative power, abilities and statistics. Now Fletcher was an expert too. Perhaps most fascinating of all, Baker had compiled all of his knowledge of orcish culture, including their strategies and their weapons, in the journal. It was a veritable treasure trove of knowledge, which Fletcher had devoured in a few days, only to immediately begin again and hunt for details he might have missed.

These two volumes were all that distracted him from the deafening silence of the outside world. Every night, he dreamed of his friends, wondering where they might be. Did they battle on the front lines while he rotted in the bowels of the earth? Had they been killed by an orcish javelin or a Forsyth dagger?

Perhaps most torturous of all, he knew his adoptive father Berdon was close by, in the village above him. He remembered when the prison transport had brought him back to Pelt in the dead of night. He had peered through the cracks in the armored wagon, desperate to catch a glimpse of his childhood home. But before he could get a proper look, the jailers threw a sack over his head and dragged him away.

As Fletcher lapsed into miserable silence once more, Ignatius growled restlessly before snorting a tongue of flame that singed the straw beneath them.

"Wow, we are impatient today!" Fletcher exclaimed, powering up a tattooed finger with a blast of mana. "Okay, you asked for it. Let's see how you like the telekinesis spell."

He allowed a thin stream of mana through his fingertip, the spiral symbol glowing violet until a strip of air shimmered above it. Ignatius began to back away, but Fletcher whipped his hand at the mischievous demon, curling the ribbon of energy around his belly and flinging him upward. The demon splayed his claws and dug them into the ceiling, showering Fletcher with a trickle of dust. Before Fletcher had time to react, Ignatius hurled himself down, twisting in midair like a cat with his claws and tailspike pointed at Fletcher's face. It was only through a desperate roll that Fletcher avoided it, then spun on his heels to find the room cast in darkness. Ignatius had lashed out at the wyrdlight during his attack, snuffing it out like a candle.

"So, that's how you want to play it," Fletcher said, powering up his index finger, the one without a tattoo. This time, he etched in the air, using one of the rarer symbols he had learned from Baker's journal. He twisted his finger so it was pointed directly at his face.

The cat's-eye symbol looked almost exactly like its namesake, a thin oval within a circle. Through trial and error, Fletcher had learned the spell had no effect until its light was shined into his retinas.

The glowing symbol gave away his position, as did the flash of yellow that soon followed, but Fletcher rolled to the side so Ignatius would lose him in the darkness. He could feel his eyes slowly changing, his pupils elongating into feline slits. It was not long before Fletcher's vision brightened and he could make out Ignatius's figure, crawling toward his previous position like a lion stalking a gazelle. Though Ignatius had far better night vision than Fletcher, in the pitch black of the cell even the demon was struggling to navigate.

"Gotcha!" Fletcher yelled, diving across the room and bundling the demon into his arms. They tumbled back into the straw, and Fletcher laughed uproariously at the demon's barks of protest.

The door burst open and the room filled with light, blinding Fletcher's sensitive eyes. He scrambled to hide the books beneath the straw, but a boot kicked out, slamming into the side of his head and throwing him against the wall.

"Not so fast," a voice rasped.

There was the telltale click of a flintlock being pulled back, and Fletcher felt the cold metal of the weapon's barrel pushed against his forehead. As the effects of the spell faded, he could make out a hazy, hooded figure crouched beside him, holding an elegant pistol.

"One twitch from you, and I blast you into oblivion," said the voice. It was hoarse, like a man dying of thirst.

"Okay," Fletcher said, slowly raising his hands.

"Ah, ah," the figure tutted, pressing the muzzle harder against his temple. "Are you deaf? I've heard what you can do with those tattooed fingers. Keep your hands by your side."

Fletcher hesitated, aware that this would probably be his best chance of escape. The gunman gave Fletcher a husky sigh of exasperation.

"Rubens, give him a little taste of your sting."

Fletcher caught a flutter from the depths of the man's hood, then a bright red Mite buzzed out and alighted on his neck. He felt a sharp pain, then a cold sensation spreading through his body.

"Now I know you won't be playing any tricks," the figure croaked, standing up so he was silhouetted against the torchlight from the open doorway. "Speaking of which, where is that Salamander of yours?" Fletcher tried to twist his head, but it seemed locked in place. At the mention of the word "Salamander," Ignatius stirred from beneath him, and Fletcher knew that the demon was preparing to attack. He quelled Ignatius's intentions with a stern pulse through their mental link. Even if they managed to overpower the man, Fletcher wouldn't be able to crawl out the cell door, let alone pull off an escape.

"Ah, he's in the straw there. Well, keep him quiet if you want to keep your brains inside your skull. It would be such a shame to kill you after all the preparations we have made."

"Pr-pr-preparations?" Fletcher managed to stutter, his tongue clumsy and numb from the Mite's venom.

"For your trial," the figure replied, holding out a hand for Rubens to perch on. "We delayed it as long as we could, but it seems your friends have been very persistent in their petitions to the king. A shame."

The figure stowed the Mite within the confines of his hood once more, as if he could not bear to be apart from him. The skin of his hand was smooth, almost feminine, with carefully manicured fingernails. The man's boots were made from hand-stitched calfskin, with fashionable, figure-hugging trousers above them. Even the hooded jacket was made from black leather of the finest quality. Fletcher could tell the stranger was a wealthy young man, most likely the firstborn son of a noble.

"I will allow you one more question, then I must take you to the courtroom. Take your time, so the paralysis can wear off. I don't want to have to carry you there."

Fletcher's mind flashed to his friends, to Berdon and the state of the war. But he had no way of knowing if the stranger would have the answers he sought. Did they know each other? He pictured the other summoners that he had met at Vocans, but none of them had a hoarse voice. Could it be Tarquin, playing a cruel trick on him? One thing was for sure: His opponent would keep the upper hand as long as he remained anonymous.

"Who. Are. You?" Fletcher asked, forcing each word out through numbed lips.

The fact that he could speak at all meant that Rubens had only pricked him with a low dose of venom. He still had a fighting chance.

"Haven't you worked it out yet?" the stranger rasped. "That is disappointing. I thought you would have guessed by now. Still, I do look quite different from when we last spoke, so you are hardly to blame."

The figure crouched again, leaning forward until Fletcher's vision was filled with the dark confines of his hood. Slowly, the man pulled it back, revealing his face.

"Recognize me now, Fletcher?" Didric hissed.


Didric leered with a lopsided smile, leaning back so his face would catch the light. The right side was waxy and mottled red, with the edge of his lip burned away to reveal a flash of white teeth. His eyebrows and lashes were gone, leaving him with a wide-eyed appearance, as if he were constantly alarmed. Patches of his scalp were almost bald, covered only by a sparse scattering of hair that pushed through the melted flesh beneath.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Didric said, stroking the ruined skin with a long, tapered finger. "My father paid through the nose for a summoner to be brought in the night you did this to me, to perform the healing spell. Lord Faversham, as a matter of fact. Funny that he was unknowingly cleaning up his own son's mess, wouldn't you agree?"

Fletcher was dumbstruck, though whether it was the paralysis or shock he didn't know. How had Didric heard about Fletcher's supposed relation to the Favershams? A lot had changed in a year.

"In truth, I should probably thank you," Didric said, brushing the long hair on the unburned side of his head to cover the burned scalp. "You are the reason for both the best and the worst things that have happened to me this past year."

"How?" Fletcher choked out, watching Rubens crawl onto Didric's chest. Didric wasn't a summoner ... was someone else controlling the Mite, to trick him?

"It's all thanks to you, Fletcher." Didric gave him a lopsided smile and flared a wyrdlight into existence, casting the room in electric blue light. "It is a phenomenon that has occurred only once before in recorded history, though legends of it have always pervaded the summoning world. A magical attack that brings the victim close to death will occasionally pass the gift on to them. Something about the way the demon's mana interacts with the body. Your Salamander's flames may have charred my vocal cords and ruined my face, but they imparted a priceless gift as well. For that, I thank you."

"There's no way." Fletcher's mind reeled from the implication.

"It is true," Didric stated, stroking Rubens's carapace. "It happened with another noble family, centuries ago, in a sibling argument gone wrong. Manticore venom, straight into the younger brother's bloodstream. A lethal dose that should have killed him. Instead, he inherited the gift."

Didric grinned at the horror on Fletcher's face. He was enjoying this.

"Come, it is time for your trial. Don't worry, you'll be back in your squalid hole soon enough. I can't wait to lock you in here and throw away the key."

Fletcher staggered to his feet, swaying slightly as his muscles shivered and tensed from the venom. A trial ... justice, finally? He felt the faintest glimmer of hope, for the first time in what felt like a lifetime.

He pointed his tattooed palm at the straw, where Ignatius was hiding. The pentacle on his skin burned violet, and the demon dissolved into threads of white light that glided into his hand. It was best to keep the demon infused within him so nobody could separate them. He didn't want to imagine being imprisoned without his little companion.

"You first," Didric said, jerking the pistol toward the open doorway.

Fletcher stumbled out of the cell. For a moment he delighted in his newfound freedom, enjoying the feeling of walking more than a few paces in one direction. Then the cold tip of the pistol's muzzle was pressed into the back of his neck.

"Try not to make any sudden movements. I wouldn't want to blow your head off before the fun begins," Didric snarled as they walked down a long, stony corridor. Doors identical to Fletcher's own cell door were embedded in the walls. It was deathly quiet, the silence broken only by the echo of their footsteps.

Didric halted him at a staircase built into the wall. On either side, the corridor stretched for hundreds of feet before disappearing into gloomy darkness.


Excerpted from The Inquisition by Taran Matharu. Copyright © 2016 Taran Matharu, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

YA fantasy Wattpad sensation, Taran Matharu, is the author of the The Summoner series, which includes two New York Times bestsellers: The Novice and The Inquisition. Taran began to write the Summoner series in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in the internet writing phenomenon Nanowrimo. On Wattpad, The Novice has been read over 7.5 million times! The third book in the series, The Battlemage, will publish from Feiwel & Friends in May 2017. Taran Matharu is a half-Brazilian, half-Indian author, born and raised in London.

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The Inquisition (Summoner Trilogy Series #2) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At times, you are sure you know what will happen next. Then, Matharu spins the tale just enough off track that you're surprised and intrigued. Had a hard time putting it down. Read it in two days.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This book keeps you on your toes and makes you feel like your being hunted.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
An amazing sequel to the Novice. I can't wait for the next book!
Anonymous 10 months ago
Can't wait for next book
Anonymous 10 months ago
Loved it
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
Been reading Tarans books since wattpad and love how it's going
Anonymous 10 months ago
Just couldn't put it down. Twists and turns the entire time. Well done!
Iamlilu 12 months ago
No spoilers here. Nothing more than what is given on the book jacket. Ok, I needed a day or so to think about this before actually taking finger to iPad. I was blown away and couldn't think of how to start. Soooo, I guess, I will begin with saying I was blown away. I really liked the first book and rated it as a four. So my expectations were high and I was not let down. The characters became more defined and relationships a bit more tangled; but that is the spice. The story itself just flowed for me with each page that I turned and I turned them fast, believe me. The story doesn't begin where The Novice drops you off... Fletcher being hauled off to jail on a trumped up attempted murder charge. Oh, no. It starts a year later, the same time as the second book debut. Coincidence? I think not. Rather a great ploy. Fletcher has spent a year in a prison cell. I mean, how much catching up do you need here? You are brought up to date about the rest of the characters as you went along. Again, nice. Very quickly, however, things change. Obviously, Fletcher is set free and the reason comes out of nowhere. Again, I'm taken aback. My attention and my heart is racing by this time. A mission is put into motion to save their world from the ferocious orcs and somehow solidify relationships between man, dwarves and elves. Four teams are sent in with an exact extraction time and place. Anyone not at the extraction point at the designated time will be left behind. Ok, my brain is going 100+ miles per hour. Soooo many things could go wrong. Espionage, betrayal, cowardice, weather and just plain random acts. I knew from the start that this was not going to end well for Fletcher. I mean, there is one more book in the set. And I was right. BUT, I did not expect this! It literally blew me away. I did not see this coming! This is evil! I repeat pure evil! Taran Matharu, you are truly, EVIL! PS. I would love a map! That would make my day!
yobago More than 1 year ago
Poor Fletcher never seems to catch a break! I really enjoyed reading The Novice and The Inquisition. Matharu is skilled at world building and it is very easy to get pulled into the world of the summoner. These books remind me a little of His Dark Materials Trilogy and Harry Potter, with a little of Lord of the Rings and Pokemon thrown in there. It is fun to watch the main character, Fletcher, grow from a bullied boy into a skilled and confident man. His character is one that I find very likable, as he always seems to care for the outcasts and those in need. I love the demons too. They are probably my favorite part! Ignatius is adorable and I wish I had one of my own. They add a bit more magic and intrigue to the story. If you are looking for a new fantasy series with lots of action, I would definitely pick this up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's a a way to end a book! Amazing from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending left u wanting more, so ready for the next book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ending is such a cliffhanger. Now I wanna know what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an amazing book it's hard to put down. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got. I am on 8th chapter. So far so good! If you write back put to Facon on top.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg cannot freakin gosh darnit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago