“A warrior's greatest enemy can also be his greatest teacher.” — Taran Matharu, The Novice
Much like any other kid who looked different and liked odd things, Taran Matharu was bullied as a young child. With temperance, grit, and a whole lot of imagination, Matharu empowered himself and other kids just like him by creating a hero out of an outcast.
A native of London, Matharu was born in 1990. He became a passionate reader at a very young age, which developed into a love for writing his own stories. At only nine years old, Matharu started his first book.
Matharu had been a victim of racism from a very young age. At the age of four, his classmates would tell him to return to his own country. When this failed, they gave him the nickname “Poo-Skin.” Teachers saw and heard this but barely intervened. He switched schools after an incident where a bully chased him into a bathroom stall, but nothing changed. In his new school, he was accused of being a thief and sending a hate-filled letter.
Throughout his childhood, he felt extreme loneliness and coped with bullying through different means. One of these was reading. He empathized with characters like Darren Shan, who was the only boy in a world of vampires. His first book featured an olive-skinned boy named Narat, who fought against an evil witch with his wizard uncle, Nilrem. As he matured with his writing, he became more interested in fantasy races, such as Tolkien’s elves and orcs and Brian Jacques’s anthropomorphic animals.
In his third school, Matharu finally felt liked he belonged. His schoolmates all came from different backgrounds, some of whom were foreign. He never let go of his dream of becoming an author but compromised with his parents, who wanted him to have a more stable career in business. He finished a first-class degree in business administration and landed an internship at Penguin Random House from June to September 2013.
After the internship, Matharu took some time off to travel. He started writing what would be his debut novel, Summoner, in November 2013 as an entry to that year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Matharu updated the novel consistently on the online story platform Wattpad.com, where it gained immense popularity. Summoner garnered over three million reads within six months of its posting date. Originally planned as a Wattpad exclusive, the first book of the series was published in 2015.
The Summoner series is the story of a blacksmith apprentice named Fletcher, who discovers that he has the ability to summon demons. In The Novice, Fletcher travels to Vocans Adept Military Academy, where he is trained further in preparation to fight a war against orcs.
There are currently three books in the Summoner series: The Novice, The Inquisition, and The Battlemage. A fourth book, The Outcast, and a prequel, Origins, are set for release in 2018.
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