Author: Melanie Card
Reading Level: Older Young Adult/New Adult
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Paperback, 276 pages
Date Published: August 2, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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...
The different organizations are introduced early on and aren’t explained right away, so I felt some confusion for a bit. Adding all the political-like mystery and Celia’s illusive past to the mix makes the plot a little convoluted, but if you follow along and pay attention, everything clears up perfectly. If you like urban fantasy with some seriously vivid characters, then Ward Against Death is just for you.
Celia, the newly dead, but also newly risen, daughter of a very powerful man is a spitfire, both in her attitude and her actions. She’s as likely to take down a bull of a man with just a knife, as she is to turn a man like Ward into an incoherent puddle. Speaking of Ward, I kind of loved him. He’s a necromancer, but doesn’t feel like he’s a very accomplished one. He has this innocent charm to him and takes his oath as a physician (even as one whose been ordered to never practice again) very seriously. Despite his bumbling nature, it’s clear to the reader that he’s far more talented than he thinks.
Ward Against Death is a thrilling debut that satisfies as a standalone, but offers so much as a series. Melanie Card has opened up a world that, though similar to regal days of the past, is unique and holds this darkness in it. I’m eager to see what happens next for Ward and Celia and just what it all means for the shady organizations that they’ve found themselves entangled with.
Opening line: Even in death, Celia Carlyle was beautiful. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines/passages: “I’m a necromancer. Superstitions are merely forgotten truths.” ~ pg. 34
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.