Author: Melanie Card
Publication: Entangled Publishing, LLC (August 2, 2011)
Description: Twenty-year-old 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...
My Thoughts: This was a very readable but complex fantasy filled with lots of intrigue. Ward De'Ath is a reluctant necromancer. He comes from a family of necromancers but his real love is medicine. In fact, he is fascinated by the idea of surgery. However, surgery is forbidden in his world. He has been pursuing his dream of being a surgeon even though it has gotten him branded and forced him to flee from other countries. Now he has come to Brawenal City and been hired by a nobleman to raise his daughter from the dead. He thinks it is so that the family can say good-bye.
When he wakes Celia he learns that she was murdered and that she is determined to discover who did it. They end up fleeing and Ward needs to do another ritual to extend Celia's life. Because they are being pursued, Ward has to make changes in the ritual the keeps Celia alive. He is much more successful than he could have imagined. She is behaving just as though she were really alive.
Celia doesn't trust Ward or anyone else but she needs to keep him by her in case the ritual needs to be repeated. Her father is the crime lord of Brawenal and she, herself, is a member of the Assassin's Guild and a skilled assassin. She should be able to determine who killed her and why she was killed. She and Ward do a number of investigations to try to unravel the tale.
I liked both Celia and Ward. They were complex and interesting people. The plot was very convoluted and required a lot of concentration to figure out what was happening. I felt a little like Ward when he said,
Damn, and he thought Calbournians wove complicated sleuth-stories. If he had a big blank wall and some chalk--not to mention a couple of days--he might be able to unravel all the threads. Although he still didn't know anything for certain.The story was interesting and action packed. I think readers who like well-developed fantasy worlds and political intrigue will like this story. I think the plot complexity is what makes this one more suitable for older young adults.
He had just never done anything like this. He read books, studied medicine, solved problems. He suspected Celia's version of solving a problem involved stabbing it in the heart.I received this eARC from Entangle Publishing via NetGalley. You can purchase your copy here at Amazon.