The Battlemage: Summoner, Book 3

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Battlemage: Summoner, Book 3 Book Poster Image
High-action demon battles thrill in trilogy finale.

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Orcs, elves, dwarves, humans, and their demons, goblins, and gremlins interact in this fantasy world. Straightforward learning involves comparing the lore about each species in other books, such as Lord of the Rings, with the world created here. Book 3 continues to explore the idea of racial conflict, here among elves, dwarves, and humans. The Orcs are the evil "other." For some outside-the-box thinking, readers can fathom when in real-world history very different cultures that had not traditionally gotten along had to band together, relying on the idea that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Book 3 also shows refugees starting a new settlement. We see each inhabitant's skill put to work: the carpenters, blacksmiths, hunters, army guards, cooks, traders, and more.

Positive Messages

As with the first two books, class struggles and racial tension are shown in their complexity, with hope that friendship and trust can help bridge the divide. While before the focus was on the evil enemy -- the Orcs -- here it's on the pride, a love of power, and prejudice that all get in the way of different races working against evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Fletcher grows into a great leader, making difficult decisions and taking responsibility for their outcomes. He takes his responsibility for others seriously and strives to get the different races to work together.

Violence

Two lengthy back-to-back battles at the end show many deaths on both sides from gunfire, close combat with poleaxes and blades, demon attacks, and fiery magic. Much blood flows (some decapitations); friends are mourned if they are too far gone to be magically healed; a necklace of goblin ears -- war trophy -- is flaunted as an intimidation tactic. A few more skirmishes involve magic, fire, demon attacks, arrows, and injuries. A beloved pet is bludgeoned and killed, and another pet-like demon dies in battle and is mourned. Large tentacled demons attack in a pit, grabbing at their prey. People are poisoned and given hallucinations but recover. There's a graphic description of the hunting, killing, and butchering of a large demon for food. A mention that Sylva's mother was poisoned when she was young; Fletcher's mother was tortured and starved by the Orcs, and his father was murdered.

Sex

A few kisses that end quickly.

Language

Versions of "damn" and "goddamn" come up. Plus "hell," "bloody hell," and "arse."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Older teen characters drink beer in a tavern with many drunken patrons. Fletcher is handed wine at a party but decides not to drink it because he needs his wits about him.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Battlemage is the third book in the Summoner series featuring a world of demons, humans, Orcs, elves, dwarves, gremlins, and goblins. Like in the first two books, there's tension among the races. In Book 2, The Inquisition, we're caught up in the drama of the evil Orcs. In The Battlemage, prideful and power-hungry humans are shown as the other enemy to peace. They plot to divide the races in animosity when the Orcs can only be defeated if everyone works together. We're spared the mass sacrifices and blood rituals of Book 2, but there's still much battle violence. Two lengthy back-to-back battles at the end show many deaths on both sides from gunfire, close combat with poleaxes and blades, demon attacks, and fiery magic. Expect much blood flowing (with some decapitations), friends being mourned if they're too far gone to be magically healed, and a necklace of goblin ears -- a war trophy -- flaunted as an intimidation tactic. A few more skirmishes involve magic, fire, demon attacks, arrows, and injuries, and there's the graphic description of the hunting and butchering of a demon for food. There's a bit of older-teen drinking, some swearing that doesn't go beyond "bloody hell," and a few quick romantic kisses. Fans of the series will enjoy that the main character, Fletcher, has become a great leader figure in The Battlemage. He takes responsibility for a whole town of refugees and an outnumbered team of soldiers.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byEthan Buse May 26, 2018

Great

this book is amazing.
Teen, 14 years old Written byShamoney562 May 23, 2017

The battelfield

This review will be devistaded to have please read it

What's the story?

In THE BATTLEMAGE, after Fletcher, Sylva, Othello, Cress, and Alice escape from the Orcs into the ether with their demons, they know the danger is far from over. They've landed in the parallel world full of the demons and won't be able to stay alive in the noxious gases without a steady supply of special plant petals they discovered at the Orcs' temple. Unless the ether is much smaller than they think, they'll need to find more petals before they get to an exit portal on the Hominum side -- if they can find one. Also, predators lurk all around: both the larger demons of the ether and the Orcs who cross over into the ether to try to recapture them, flying on their giant Wyverns. The odds of Fletcher and friends making it out of the ether are not good, but what awaits them back home drives them on. The big war with the Orcs rages on, and everyone is needed at the front lines. And Fletcher has offered a new home to the villagers of his hometown in the long-abandoned estate of Raleighshire, the family home he only just learned was his. He needs to train up soldiers to defend it before the Orcs invade.

Is it any good?

This trilogy capper (but not series end) takes time to get rolling, but when it does, readers are in for a runaway epic demon-battle thrill. It's exciting at first to find the brave Fletcher and friends in the demon world from Page 1 of The Battlemage, riding on a giant demon, having no idea how they will find their way out again. But the excitement wanes as the chapters drag on -- 21 of them. Not that there aren't flying demons and crazy tentacled demons and Orcs to fight, but readers are missing that sense of grounding in the story as a whole.

When Fletcher and friends are finally home again, the nail-biting starts. Everything has to go right or they're all doomed -- good vs. evil done right. The political conspiracy subplot weaves well into the overall tension. And when Fletcher trains up his soldiers and resettles his refugees, it's always engaging (these are parts in stories that usually drag). And then the battles begin and you're on a runaway train until almost the very end. Readers who crave nonstop action are in for a huge treat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the racial tension in The Battlemage. The author is half-Indian and half-Brazilian and lives in London. How do you think his background helps him write about issues like discrimination and racial tension?

  • What do you think of the violence in The Battlemage? Is it easier to take when it's fantasy violence with demons, goblins, and magic? 

  • A prequel about Arcturus follows this trilogy. Will you keep reading about this world?

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