by Melanie Card
Scheduled for Release in August 2011 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
ISBNs: 978-1-937044-08-4 (epub); 978-1-937044-09-1 (print)
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, YA/Adult Crossover
Here's a young necromancer who can't catch a break. Coming from a long line of necromancers, Ward de'Ath is still young and trying to make a name for himself.
The story begins with Ward performing a "wake." This means Ward has been hired by nobility to bring a young woman back from the dead for fifteen minutes to say a final "goodbye" before burial. What Ward doesn't expect is the dead Celia Carlyle to awaken and enlist Ward on a quest to find out who murdered her.
The plot picks up early on. Ward risks everything, his life and career, to aid Ms. Carlyle and solve the mystery of her death. Ward quickly realizes he can't trust Celia, and it becomes obvious that Celia views him as a means to an end. The reader immediately gets some action, as Celia and Ward have to flee from the recently (but no longer) deceased's father, and a guild of assassins. The author fluidly changes perspectives from Ward to Celia with third person, limited narrator.
In a literary world where vampires and werewolves abound, it is nice to see something as fresh and unique as Card's hesitant necromancer, Ward, and his fantastic world. The story's society, history, geography, culture, and religion are quite a remarkable achievement for the literary senses (especially the setting with the active volcano, one word: awesome). Although, there were times while reading where I wish there were more descriptions as every now and then I did get a little lost.
The author's goals are to keep the reader guessing, and interested in the sexual tension in between Ward and Celia (which, by the way, gets to be quite funny as Ward contemplates the necrophilia-tic nature of his attraction for her). Card does a fabulous job at doing both.
What a great debut for Ms. Card. I look forward to reading the second book in this series which is scheduled for release in December.
Come, we shall have some fun now!