Title: Ward Against Death
Author: Melanie Card
Synopsis: Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job–bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon–the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying–so bringing people back from the dead it is.
But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.
However, nothing is as it seems–including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive..
Rating: 5 stars
Review: I haven’t given a 5 star rating to a book in a while, but this book – an ARC I got from Netgalley in exchange for a good and honest review – wholly deserves it’s five stars.
Ward de’Ath (yep, that’s his name. Reminds you of Cruella de Vil, right?) does what he assumes is another routine necromancy job, bringing the body back to life for fifteen minutes so the family can have a proper goodbye. However, the body has other ideas. Celia Carlyle is determined to find out who killed her, and drags the hapless Ward into a whirlwind of danger and adventure.
I was drawn into this fantasy world from the get-go, and loved every second of it. There was no dragged-out explanations of things, you find out everything as Ward does, and right from the first page you’re thigh-deep in the action. There was no introduction, just starting right off with him bringing Celia back to life, and that was especially refreshing with most YA books now having an excruciatingly long intro before you get to the actual action.
Ward was by far my favourite character in the whole book – he’s nerdy, and sweet, and so full of good morals. I mean, he won’t even kiss Celia for most of it, for the pure reason that she’s technically dead. He’s a total contrast to Celia though – she’s the leader in their adventure, and the one with all the skills. Where she drops silently like a cat down from a wall, Ward almost falls down off the same wall. Some of their interactions made me laugh so much, but I’ll leave those for you to find when you read the book for yourself.
I can’t wait to read the second and third books in the series when I can get my hands on them. If you liked Maria V. Snyder’s ‘Poison Study’, you should give this a go, because you won’t regret it.
The conclusion to the Chronicles of the Reluctant Necromancer is coming this October, so I’d better read the other two books first!