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The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin

CoverThey say never judge a book by its cover, however in this case judge away! The attractive cover art for Gail Z. Martin’s The Summoner is dark and ominous. It was the final push that sent me into her realm of magic and betrayal.

The boundaries between life and death are thinning and Martris Drake finds himself the heir to his grandmother’s position as Summoner. He must learn the craft and fill her enormous shoes while surviving an all out assault by his half brother, Jared.

Martris is confronted with a word of caution from the palace spirits, who seem to be dwindling during the kingdom’s Feast of the Departed.  As the celebration commences Martris finds his mother, father and twelve year old sister murdered at the hands of his half brother. With the king dead, and Jared now sitting at the throne, Martris must escape or lose his own life. Two of his closest friends, Ban Soterious and Carroway the bard, accompany him in his fight for survival and for his kingdom.

The trio must find out or who is imprisoning the palace spirits, evade Jared’s demand for their lives, and find a way to unseat the nefarious brother from the throne.The story immediately grabs hold with sublime settings and charmingly real characters. Martin’s style is easy to read but never lacking in detail. I found it a chore to put the book down rather than to pick it up.

Martin cultivates an engrossing tale with the perfect combination of character development and gripping action. The Summoner will take you to a place you will want to return to again and again. The story is tinged with romance, but not so much to eclipse the sword fighting and dark undertones of the world of the undead.

The only con of Martin’s novel is that it is so difficult to put down. Chapters roll by quickly carrying you to the books conclusion. But fret not! She has crafted the next two titles in the series, The Blood King and Dark Haven.

Fans of adventure fantasy called and Martin answered, securing her place as a benefit to the genre. Her strong characters, beautiful imagery, and fast paced action make The Summoner a staple for your summer book list.

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