Review: Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer (# 1)
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Pages: 292
Source:  Publisher

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…


Review: To have the power to bring one back from the dead…fascinating topic. What happens when you DO bring someone back and they insist they have been murdered? The storyline was so captivating that I just had to give this book a try.

Book one of this series chronicles the bizarre place that Ward finds himself when he brings back Celia Carlyle from the dead. Her character immediately intrigued me. Ward described her as extraordinarily beautiful but from the moment her eyes opened, she was all action and I didn’t get the impression that someone so high society and beautiful was uppity since she jumps right into a sewerage pipe to escape with him. The plot of the story grabbed me since she’s convinced someone did indeed murder her. Ward’s discomfort and disbelief that someone could hurt such a gorgeous young girl made him very endearing in a puppy dog sort of way.

There was unexpected humor in the scenes where Ward brings Celia back to life as she is quick and nimble the minute she becomes conscious. Their incessant bickering also lent a lighthearted tone to the story and was one of the things I enjoyed the most. He was so lost and cowardice at times that she simply overpowered him yet in his mind he is a eighth generation necromancer with great power and should not be wary of or fall victim to her pleas for help.

As Ward and Celia ran for their lives, she began to question her true mortality and seemed to soften a bit yet still remained sharp and every vigilant to the danger around them. She struggled several times with wanting to leave Ward behind but, again, in this area she was soft. I laughed as she tried to seduce him but instead frightened him. As their fondness for each other built, the action never stopped.

A very enjoyable first story in this series. Card has many questions to answer in the sequel!