Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1)
Published: 1st December, 2012
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…
What I liked: This book has lots of action to it and plenty of surprises that I wasn’t totally expecting. For a while I was unsure if there would be a romance between the two main characters Ward and Celia, and was also unsure if I even wanted there to be a romance between them because this story really didn’t need romance. Ward himself is not the character I was expecting when I started this book, he’s a lot more honorable that I figured and he always seemed to want to do the right thing but he also didn’t strike me as someone who would be interested in someone who is, well, dead. That’s a little weird to think about really. Even if she is reanimated she’s dead. Celia is a good heroine for this story, I liked her for a few reasons throughout the book and the main reason was that she was more fixated on finding the person who killed her than the guy who was with her, she didn’t want a romance she wanted to find the person who killed her. That was both a nice change and an interesting one that I found enjoyable for the most part. The world building wasn’t overbearing to me, it was done right and it flowed into the story very well for the most part.
What I didn’t like: Some of the world building didn’t feel like it was spread out, more like it was just dumped into the story and there were many times where I was just confused with the story and the direction it was taking. It also felt really predictable after a while with how Ward and Celia would act to each other when alone so I felt like I may have skimmed those scenes quite a bit because it just felt…similar when looking at each one. Also, de’Ath still bothers me as a name since it spells “death.” I wish there had been more creativity with that, like a name that means death, not one that spells it.
Overall Review: While it was more predictable that I was wanting it to be and I find de’Ath a cliche name simple because it spells “death” when you take the apostrophe out. Ward Death. It just seems really off and weird to me. Other than that, I did find the story confused me in places and I had to reread some sections to understand certain things (sometimes a few pages too) and so it took longer for me to read this than I was expecting. While the characters were mostly interesting to me, I do with I could have felt more connected to them than I did since the story moved quicker than I was expecting. On the plus side, the title is still enigmatic to me as it could be interpreted in several different ways so that’s interesting.
Recommend?: This is a fairly interesting book, and while I did have problems with it overall I feel glad to have read it.
My Rating: 3.7/5
Ward against Darkness (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #2)
Published: 19th July, 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. When Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous spell book, his duty leaves him no choice: get the book and get out. Unfortunately, human and undead monsters block every winding corridor 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 every day. But there are laws in the way of anything except friendship. She’s still dead and he’s still alive . . . for now.
What I liked: Celia is different in this book. Being thrust into a world where her set of skills are basically outclassed by magic and the things it can do tampers down how arrogant she can be, but even then she was still confidant about herself. Ward though became more confidant about his abilities and the powers he has, yet maintains the qualities of what made him stand out to me in book one. He’s serious about what oath’s he takes, he wants to do what he believes is right. I like him because he’s not like most of the guys in books I read about, he’s different. The romantic aspect of this series does develop more in the sense they both know they like the other (without knowing that the feelings are mutual of course) but refuse to act on it, which I’m pretty okay with. Celia’s dead, so that still kinda bothers me. I liked how Ward developed, how he’s dipping more into the moral grey area than what he seemed comfortable with. It was good character growth for him. This story is also quite a bit darker than the first one was which complements with the title of the book.
What I didn’t like: There seemed to be some things that weren’t answered or just didn’t seem to fit in with the story. And the romance is just, complicated in a way that I don’t quite understand. Since Ward is more emotionally in tune with himself (is that even the right phrase with how I want to say this?) I thought he would be a bit more open and revealing about how he feels, but again, Celia is dead and this bothers me. Celia on the other hand is the dead person and has feelings for Ward which is…very odd and I’m not sure how I feel about it from her angle. I just know from Ward’s angle it bothers me because he likes a dead girl. Like I said, very complicated but maybe that’s just me.
Overall Review: Clearly this series is going to be a lot darker than I originally thought it would be when I first started this. With Ward and Celia basically beating around the bush of how they feel and not airing anything out it complicates some things for these two. Ward and Celia also are basically in reversed roles for what is considered “normal” for males and females in books which is still my favorite part of this series. The character development is good, it’s nice to see how throwing these two into different places where their skill sets are either not as handy or better suited change how they see things. Ward’s abilities become much more relevant now that his abilities are what level the playing field for the while Celia’s, while not entirely useless, aren’t always the most practical or resourceful to use.
Recommend?: A very good follow up to Ward Against Death, this was a satisfying read and I’m looking forward to continuing with the third book.
My Rating: 3.9/5
Ward Against Disaster (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #3)
Published: 19th January, 2015
Ward de’Ath should be dead by now. Instead, he’s chasing after a soul-eating creature—that he unleashed— and is bent on stopping her before she slaughters more innocents. Fortunately, Celia Carlyle remains by his side, a nobleman’s gorgeous and deadly daughter, who is…well, dead.
Celia claims she’ll champion Ward wherever he goes, even when she thinks his quest is hopeless. He can only hope her pledge comes from her heart, and not because she’s bound to him through his magic.
When they enter Dulthyne, they stumble upon a dark power that threatens the entire town. Ward, with his unreliable necromancy, is determined to help but finds himself ensnared in the lure of white-hot magic…blood magic he struggles to resist. But if Celia’s love is a lie, it might just doom his soul to the dark arts forever.
What I liked: Dulthyne is a name of a town that seems to spell bad news, it just sounds like a place dark things happen and since this series just seems to get darker it was a very good name for this city. I loved the history to it too, it was interesting to read and see how Dulthyne came to be as it is by the time Ward and Celia reach it. Ward and Celia develop a bit more in this book, though not as much as they did in Ward Against Darkness. That said, I felt the romance between them (while it has taken a very long time to even become what it is now), still has complications to it though we finally to see some changes to how they act about it. It takes a long while in this book to happen though.
What I didn’t like: There are questions that we still don’t have answers to that I’ve had since book one, so that they haven’t been answered just yet it a bit..frustrating to say the least. I was hoping for some resolve and hopefully we’ll have answers in the next book, and I really hope there are answers before this series finishes to tie up these loose ends. Not to mention, the side characters felt a little less relevant to this story and they lacked since having three main characters narrate the story is a lot more to keep up with than just two.
Overall Review: With the ending this book has it leaves plenty of questions for the readers to try and figure out while waiting for the next book (which based off the release dates for the first three so far will likely be mid-2017 maybe?). That said, the this book is packed full of action and wondering what is going to happen to them next through the chapters. While we do see the resolve to Ward and Celia realizing they have mutual feelings, it took most of the book before we reached that point but with the ending it’s kinda…still up in the air I guess?
Recommend?: A good third book with good world building, I’m interested in seeing how this series continues with its next book.
My Rating: 3.8/5
About the Author
I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love and started my journey as a writer.
I write fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join me on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.