Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

12:05 PM

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, # 1)Title: Ward Against Death
Author: Melanie Card
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release: August 2, 2011
Pages: 306
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1
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 first spotted this title on Goodreads and admired how unique it sounded. A reluctant necromancer? The only books on necromancers I had read were Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy, so I was very excited to read this book. When I saw it on Netgalley, I knew I would have to read it. After reading it however, I was confronted with some conflicted thoughts.

The cover of Ward Against Death did not play into my decision to read the book as much as usual. Usually, I am choosing a physical book and I am drawn to those which catch my eye. This book was online though and I did not see the cover every time I read it. For these reasons I am unsure of how I feel about this cover. On one hand, it is not the kind of cover I am usually drawn to. On the other hand, this cover does have a sense of uniqueness that can be lacking in many covers. Altogether I am unsure with this cover and how much I like it.

Ward Against Death is set in multiple points of view. At times I found it to get a little confusing trying to remember who knew what and who was keeping what from others. As for the characters specifically, I did not find them to be all too great. I thought Celia was too pushy, always bullying Ward around. Ward on the other hand, I felt was not too strong, and he let himself get pushed around by Celia too often. I didn't like how he never put his foot down on anything with her. As for other characters, I did not find any stand out characters, mainly because for a good portion of this book, the characters were on their own.

The story line of this novel was okay. It was not my favorite because at times it just felt too slow for my tastes. By the end of the book, the plot had sped up. The writing in Ward Against Death was a weak point for me as well. I found myself feeling lost and confused about recent events. Also, there were quite a few terms used that I didn't understand, because I felt they weren't quite as well defined to the reader as I would have liked. Apart from these factors, the rest of the writing and plot were fairly good.

Though Ward Against Death was not my favorite book, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes books with a historical feel and a twist of fantasy thrown in. I give Ward Against Death a 3/5 overall.

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  1. The description seems quite interesting but it just isn't for me. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. I keep considering this one. I'm torn. It seems like a book I'd like, but I'm not sure. But your review has me definitely thinking about it.


  3. You know, initially I was attracted to this book when I saw it on another blog. Thanks to your very honest review, I definitely won't be buying it, even though there is a print version. (I don't like ebooks.)

    From what you've said, it just sounds like I'd be ENDURING this book, rather than enjoying it. Not good at all!

    Thanks for the review! : )


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