This was such a fun, fast ride and I can't wait to hop into the actual trilogy. I wasn't aware that the author recommends reading the prequel after the trilogy but hopefully I haven't unknowingly read any spoilers!
↠ Let's talk about the premise. This is a world where a chosen few can summon demons. The commoners are looked down upon by most of the nobles. when Arcturus, a common stable boy realizes he can summon demons, his world is turned upside down, so is the state of the kingdom. Arctucus must navigate his way among the nobles while trying to solve the mystery of his very existence.
↠ The worldbuilding. There's a lot of information in the first few chapters but they're not complex. The part I liked best was learning about the kinds of demons. And since a part of it is set at the academy, I found it interesting to learn all about demonology and spell casting along with our protagonist. I especially liked that this edition features a Guide to demonology at the end with artwork of the demons. This was really helpful in visualizing the demons while I was reading the story. But I do feel this book needs more world building? I'm guessing there's more information about the various races and cultures in the actual trilogy so I am looking forward to reading it.
↠ The characters. This was probably not my favourite part. I liked the characters but they somehow didn't feel fully fleshed out to me. I wanted to know more of each character's personality and was looking for a reason to care for them. I think that since this was originally a shorter novella that has been expanded, the author didn't focus on the characters too much? All the same I'm looking forward to seeing where the characters of this book stand in the actual trilogy.
↠ The writing. This is something I really liked. The writing flows so well and made sure I didn't put the book down till I finished it. Even at parts where the plot was a tad bit slow, the writing made everything so lush and interesting. Kudos to the author for the engaging prose.
↠ The Plot. Although some parts of the plot are predictable, it's entertaining throughout. You know how there are some movies where you kind of know what's going to happen, but you still enjoy the ride? This was that book. A wonderful entertainer with a lot of action at parts. The journey scenes reminded me a bit of The Hobbit movies and I enjoyed the old-school fantasy feeling they gave me. While the book is often shelved as YA I think it falls somewhere between Middle grade and Young Adult.
An entertaining prequel that sets up the stage for the trilogy to follow. From what I hear, the original trilogy starts years after this prequel which makes me really curious about where the characters are then.