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The Death of the Necromancer
     

The Death of the Necromancer

4.5 9
by Martha Wells
 

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First published in hardcover by Avon Eos in 1998, and was a nominee for the 1998 Nebula Award.

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien. Under cover of darkness on the

Overview

First published in hardcover by Avon Eos in 1998, and was a nominee for the 1998 Nebula Award.

Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past. Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline. He is also the greatest thief in all of Ile-Rien. Under cover of darkness on the streets of the gaslit city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance: the murder of Count Montesq. Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas's beloved godfather Edouard on false charges of necromancy, the art of divination through communion with spirits of the dead, a practice long outlawed in the kingdom of Ile-Rien.

But now Nicholas's murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, fatal events. Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him, and traces of a necromantic power that hasn't been used for centuries appear. And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit old house, the truly monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The setting echoes with the lively sounds and sights of turn-of-18th-century France, with a mesh of dark magic woven throughout. In her third novel, Wells (City of Bones; The Element of Fire) continues to demonstrate an impressive gift for creating finely detailed fantasy worlds rife with many-layered intrigues and immensely personable characters.
Library Journal
Set in the same world as The Element of Fire (Tor, 1994), Wells's latest novel depicts a society reminiscent of Europe in the late 19th century. An enchanting blend of detection and sorcery, it features a memorable cast of characters and a wealth of "period" detail. Highly recommended for most fantasy collections.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940016225951
Publisher:
Martha Wells
Publication date:
02/15/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
359
Sales rank:
189,860
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Martha Wells is the author of fourteen SF/F novels, including The Element of Fire, City of Bones, Wheel of the Infinite, The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy (The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods) and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her most recent novels are The Cloud Roads (March 2011), The Serpent Sea (January 2012), and The Siren Depths (December 2012) published by Night Shade Books. She has a YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, due out in April of 2013 from Strange Chemistry Books, and a second YA fantasy due out in 2014, and a Star Wars novel forthcoming in 2013. She has had short stories in Black Gate, Lone Star Stories, Realms of Fantasy, and the anthologies Elemental, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, and The Other Half of the Sky, and essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She also has two Stargate Atlantis media-tie-in novels Reliquary and Entanglement. Her books have been published in seven languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch. Her web site is www.marthawells.com

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Death of the Necromancer 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating and riveting story, which held me on the edge of my seat. Full of twists and turns, it was enticing and enjoyable. The characterizations and rich settings are a treat to the imagination, lush and vivid. It is both a fantasy and a mystery, deftly combined.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Martha Wells is one of the few authors whose works I will buy without even glancing at the back cover. Death of the Necromancer was the first book of her's I ever read. I've now read it at least seven times and I still enjoy it. It has the best aspects of mystery, capers (two different topics), adventure, politics, and magic. Her characters are multi-dimensional with their own flaws and reasons for their actions. Each character has a backstory that both makes sense and informs their actions and drives the plot. In summary, this is the book that I reference as my favorite whenever someone asks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As to be expected from Martha Wells, this is an interesting and unique fantasy book with great characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Skuldren More than 1 year ago
The Death of the Necromancer is a tale of revenge, magic and thievery set in a fantastical version of the Victorian era. The story stars Nicholas Valiarde, a somewhat honorable criminal mastermind who has a vendetta with a local noble who wronged, and possibly murdered, his father. Nicholas’ co-conspirator in this adventure is Madeline, a washed out sorceress-turned-actress who uses her talent for disguises to help him along. Yet Nicholas’ scheme for vengeance turns sour when he crosses paths with a powerful necromancer. As things delve into the dark arts of forbidden magics, the characters must strive to outsmart their opponents by any means necessary. I have to say, Martha Wells really has a knack for creating colorful characters. In this story, the main protagonist is a rather gray character. Nicholas isn’t some noble do-gooder, a simple detective, or a talented magician. Rather, he’s a thief. Of course he’s a very good thief. At this point in his life, Nicholas has amassed a little criminal empire of informants and skilled tradesman who can help him break into almost any building or uncover nearly any piece of valuable information. His lover and co-conspirator in crime is Madeline, who plays a sizable role in the story. Now since Nicholas has no magical abilities whatsoever, you might expect Madeline to be some overpowered sorceress who balances him out. But the story avoids such predictability. Madeline did have a talent for magic, but instead of pursuing it, she decided to be an actress. Thus she can’t perform any handy spells, yet she can whip up a nice disguise or infiltrate enemy territory. Still, the main characters do get some help from the magically inclined. You also couldn’t ask for a better example of how Martha adds flavor to her characters. Nicholas and Madeline’s magical ally is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the land…at least when he’s sober. Arisilde is indeed powerful, but for reasons the book will explain, he’s also a helpless opium addict whose gone a bit mad and has a hard time remember things or keeping focus. When he has his wits, he’s unstoppable. Unfortunately for him, that’s a rare occurrence. As a reader, I thought it was great. It balances the story out while adding a immense measure of fun. And there are plenty of other great characters too, each with their own distinct personalities. As for the story, it has a bit of a Sherlock Holmes feel with a touch of Edgar Allan Poe. There are detective-mystery threads and there are also darker elements involving necromancy and ghoulish creatures. Plus it all has a Victorian era feel to it. The characters ride around in horse drawn carriages, streets are lit by gas lamps and people arm themselves with pistols. The world building takes a backseat to the characters and the plot, but it’s more than sufficient to keep things easy to understand. There are mentions of the fay, ghouls, sorcerers, witches and magic early on, but the story takes its time in slowly seeding those elements into the plot. The build up works well, and once it gets rolling, it’s hard to stop. Criminal schemes become struggles to stay alive. Sorcery is pitched against sorcery. Plans fall to pieces and chaos ensues amid intertwining plots. It’s a lot of fun. If you like good stories that include a touch of fantasy combined with great characters, The Death of the Necromancer is definitely a story worth checking out. I typically don’t read stories in this kind of setting, but Martha Wells created such compelling characters that it was easy to get into and enjoy. It’s also worth noting that this book takes place in the same setting as The Element of Fire, but several hundred years later. I haven’t read the other book yet, or any of the other books in Martha Well’s Ile-Rien series, so I can definitely say readers can enjoy this book on it’s own. I give it a five out of five.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago