Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
Reading Level: New Adult/Mature YA
Ebook: 308 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1
Source: Ebook Review Copy for Blog Tour
Reviewed by: Lili
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…
I was so excited for this book, but even I wasn’t prepared for the amazing elements that can be found in this story. A bumbling and entertaining necromancer, a deadly beautiful assassin, a villain so seductive she can steal your soul with a kiss, and an unlimited amount of fight sequences, spells, and deaths, I couldn’t get enough of this! It’s hard to believe that this is Melanie Card’s debut novel because she certainly knows how to hold a readers attention.
What I found to be the most interesting concept in this novel was Ward. He was a very unique hero in the sense that he wasn’t that heroic. He didn’t know many things and more or less went along with what Celia tells him to do because she’s the trained assassin that knows what she’s doing. He’s honorable, dead set on doing the right thing, and he desperately wants to make the past generations of great necromancers in his family proud. He slowly discovers his powers and capabilities while journeying with Celia to solve her own murder. And while doing so, he shows he’s good for a thing or two by helping their escape attempts. But what I really enjoyed about Ward was that he was not an “in your face” hero. He’s no Average Joe because he’s obviously a skilled necromancer, but he can be comparable to a normal unskilled person being taken on a journey and proving his worth. I very much enjoyed him.
The world that Card created was captivating as well. Celia and Ward were constantly on the move, going different places, fighting different fiends, meeting different people and carrying out new plans. I enjoyed it a lot, as well as her writing. Both Celia and Ward were unique characters and it was fascinating to see Celia’s thoughts. Murdered and then temporarily brought back to life by Ward, she must uncover the secrets of her murder using her seductive ways and awesome assassin skills. It doesn’t help that Ward is inconveniently attracted to the undead girl who is dragging him along on her journey.
The usage of magic was very clever, as was all of the medical terminology and knowledge because of Ward’s training to be a physician (though that is an entirely different story). All in all, it’s really hard to say anything negative about this one. This crossover is written beautifully and easily keeps your attention. Magic, unlimited action, a kick-ass heroine, death, and intrigue, this is definitely a book to check out. Though I do not recommend it for younger audiences, I think that anyone can give this one a chance and love it.
Don’t forget to check out the blurb for book two, WARD AGAINST DARKNESS, releasing in June of 2013!
The last thing Ward de’Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can’t allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters–human and undead–and Ward has no way of telling who’s friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She’s still dead and he’s still alive . . . for now.
Enter for your chance to win a WARD AGAINST DEATH prize pack including a signed copy of the book, a mug, and a tote bag, as well as 9 copies of the e-book! 10 winners in all.
12/31 K-Books – Ch 1 part 1
1/1 Fiktshun – Ch 1 part 2
1/2 Tynga’s Reviews – Review – TODAY
1/3 Always YA At Heart – Review
1/4 Bibliophilia Please – Ch 1 part 3
1/7 Refracted Light – Q&A with Celila and Ward
1/8 Chapter by Chapter – Ch 1 part 4
1/9 Book Briefs – Ch 1 part 5
1/10 Rants & Scribbles – Review
1/11 My Life With Books – Ch 1 part 6