I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #2
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
Note to self: I really have to stop picking up books that are not the first in a series and trying to make sense of them. Luckily, most stories are built with the same basic elements, so it wasn’t too hard to catch up with this one!
Ward de’Ath is on the run with Celia, the young woman he brought back from death in the last book (and he’s still not quite sure how he did that). We jump right into the action as these two are trying their best to escape from the bounty hunters that are after them. They leap off a cliff into a river, and when they wind up on the shore they discover that they’re right at a way station, a place where they should be able to rest and recuperate before leaving.
Unfortunately, this place is more than it first appears to be–it’s a mansion belonging to an evil necromancer named Macerio who is in possession of one of the only remaining grimoires, and Allette is begging Ward for his help in rescuing her from Macerio’s clutches. And while Allette was begging for help and trying to seduce Ward, Celia was left to her own devices. She stumbles across Val, a man who knew her in her former life and is now one of the vesperitti controlled by Macerio.
There is a lot of tension between Celia and Ward in this book. It’s immediately obvious that they have feelings for one another, but they’re both fighting those feelings. Ward doesn’t want to get involved with Celia because she is technically not alive, and Celia is doubting her feelings and wondering if she’s tied to Ward. It’s a struggle between these two because as a reader you just want them to admit to it, but then it’s the tension that keeps it interesting and makes it better in the long run, isn’t it?
The pacing in this book was good, though there were a few places where it felt like it was dragging. For the most part, though, the story was fast-paced and full of action, magic, adventure, and fear. Ward is coming into his own as a powerful spell-caster and maturing, while Celia seems determined to be by his side, even if she isn’t sure what or who she is anymore. Even without a romantic relationship, these two are cultivating the seeds of a very strong friendship that can only work well in the long run. I look forward to reading the next books in this series!