Friday, August 12, 2011

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1) (Volume 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'd have to say that most of this book revolved around the theme of light and dark. Good and evil. Even so, it did not make these distinctions wholly black and white. Some of it remained in the grey area and so did Ward. To me he was fully on the side of the light and stuck to what he believed. In other words he was who he said he was. Doesn't mean that his life was therefore without inner conflict, but he allowed his beliefs in what was right to guide him. He also wasn't rigid in these beliefs and so we saw a bit of growth in his character in the end. I really enjoyed Ward's character. I mean how could I not? His last name was de 'Ath (death) and although he was a gifted necromancer (unbeknownst to him); he rather be a surgeon which was illegal to do in this world. Loved his angst!

Now, I couldn't fully connect to Celia. I suspect in a way that was on purpose. She was a assassin, and a good one. She couldn't have come across as sympathetic to our senses or it wouldn't have rung true. I did enjoy her struggles in finding that there might be someone within the world that she may fully trust and fall in love. I also enjoyed her struggle with being dead. I know that sounded weird, but it was true. If she didn't struggle with it I would have hated her more. I will say this... In the end, I did like her and I wouldn't mind knowing more about her.

My biggest complaint was Solartti. I thought his roguish and mystery solving attitude so interesting. I was upset that he was only a small part of the book and would have loved to have gotten to know him more. I really want that book! :)

I find this book a very good start to a series and give it 3 stars. Oh, and you'll be happy to know there is no cliffie! Everything is solved by the end of the book. Well, almost everything. There is one thread missing, but it doesn't cause you total anxiety in not finding it out. You know you will eventually!
I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.

Come back tomorrow for a author blog post and a giveaway!!


  1. I agree Ward was a great character. However I struggled with this book at times as it is not my usual genre. Great review Melissa :)

  2. Sounds mean the hero isn't hiding any deep dark secrets that will change the world? Sounds refreshing! Will be checking out the blog post tomorrow! :-)

  3. Sure I will come tomorrow, sounds like I might like this book as well although I am not exactly a fan of necromancers...or surgeons...not sure who is worst...ok, it's my personal angst, great review!

  4. On my library list, I love the cover of this though it seems to be one of those books that bloggers either love or hate, thanks for your opinion.

  5. Yay, for it not having a cliffhanger. Pfff, those kill me. ;) I love a good fight between Good and evil. That always gets my attention. ;)

  6. I felt the same way about the book. I just couldn't connect with the characters. Love the review!

  7. Wohoo no cliffie! They are just so evil

  8. Too bad on not being able to connect to Celia, I can see how her being an assassin would make it more difficult, but then I think about how much I love Gin in the Elemental Assassin series:) No cliffhanger is a huge plus though, woot!

  9. @Nic.. I think the next might be better tho. Thanks.

    @Mel... welll.. maybe... ;)

    @anachronist... angst... poor thing. ;)

    @...Petty... I think so. I was sort of in the middle.

    @Nina... I know! I hate cliffies!! Yep, good/evil abound here. :)

    @Savannah... It was easier toward the end of the book, so I'm thinking the set up is done on to the sequel! :)

    @Blodeuedd! I SO agree! :)

    @Jenny... So true w/Gin, but she was the central character. Ward was the main character in this book. Maybe that made a difference?

  10. It's always nice when things wrap up all neat and clean!

    Okay, so dead... as in zombie? Vamp? Ghost? Should I re-read it? I am tired... Maybe I missed what Celia is, besides just 'dead'.


  11. I like it when there's no cliffies, I think they've been over-used lately. Thanks for the review :)

  12. This sounds like an interesting story though it's a shame that you weren't able to really connect with Celia. I usually have a hard time really enjoying a story if I feel distant from the characters, but you seemed to have enjoyed it anyways. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  13. No cliffy but leaves you wanting to know more about the characters?! Well, certainly points to a good story IMHO.

    Great review, Mel.

  14. I so want to read this book - it is on my wishlist and keeps teasing me:) Thanks for sharing today.

  15. Sounds like a nice start to a very good series. :) Thank you!

  16. I'd love to read this! Glad it's a series.



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