Book Review - Summons of the Majestic by Tim Reed
I have read many of Tim Reed’s short stories in the past and when asked to read this first book in a new series, was more than pleased to take up the offer. Let me first say that Reed’s style of writing flows beautifully, with more than a hint of the poetic and this work keeps true to that style.
The story itself is from the point of View of Teepo, an orphan who has magical ability and known to his people as a ‘Gromancer’, or at least, a potential Gromancer. Taken in and trained by an older Gromancer, the people of their village become anxious as there is only meant to be one in each generation. When an ill omen is noticed by the elders, both are exiled from their home and sent out into the Eight Islands. This exile happens just as Teepo’s shadow becomes cursed by his master’s magical flute, a dark side of him that nobody can trust, including Teepo.
The descriptions of The Eight Islands is where Reed comes into his own as a literary magician. He has created an intricate and genuine world of monsters and personalities within a blanket of a fantastical realm. Each Gromancer has the ability to Summon, or call and bind certain creatures to them to do their will. They somehow need a certain number in order to make a wish come true, and each Gromancer has a different desire. Teepo must abide with his master’s wish and battles a darkness within himself and grows into his magical ability on the journey.
The story isn’t the usual arc the reader might expect, but rather a series of small arcs within each chapter when a new Summons is captured (or not captured), each taking us a step further into the unknown to the destination Teepo is convinced will be a place called ‘Calamity’ while struggling forward as the evil Darkness hunts them down. It is a very long novel and to be honest, I am not certain it needs to be so long, but if the reader is one to enjoy the journey, it is an enjoyable one.