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Review Ward Against Death by Melanie Card

Title: Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1)
Author: Melanie Card Entangled Publishing logo
Source: Publisher Request
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: Paperback, 285 pgs
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Author Website
Ward Against Death Book Cover
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...
Bat Divider1

Rating -
a pack howl

Sexual -

My Review:

Necromancers, assassins, murders, re-animations, black magic, tackers, inquisitors, a sinister plot to create a shadow walker, humor and a romance are the stars in this paranormal romance. Such a fun story, one in which the girl is the hero and the guy gets pulled along for the ride unable to really help or defend. This story is full of non-stop action with a slow romance building almost from the second chapter. The humor is delightful. There is even a little fantasy in that the setting is in a make believe world.

While the publisher also categorizes this as a New Adult title, the only things that could possibly put it there are the main characters being in their twenties and, with the exception of some kissing and touching, there is no sex - but only because the Ward de'Ath -- what a great name for a necromancer -- is afraid of it being necrophilia since Celia is technically dead.

Ward, necromancer and physician, can wake people from death but he is not in tune with his gift. He wants to be a surgeon but surgery is illegal. He has also just been expelled from the physicians' academy. He thinks Celia is so beautiful with a very shapely behind. He thinks he is so dumb when it comes to women. He knows Celia is using him. Still, he is so attracted to her and has to keep reminding himself that she is the reanimated dead but she doesn't look or act like the others he's awakened. She acts so alive. He is so afraid that with her it would be necrophilia and there are laws against that as well as eewww!

Celia, Guild assassin, brought back from death by Ward, tells him she was murdered and must find out who killed her. He tells her there is a special spell that will keep her awake for longer than the normal 15 minutes. She is having a hard time remembering to keep Ward at a distance, to not fall for his cuteness. She plans to seduce him to find out if he's working for her enemies or not. But he doesn't react the way other men do around her - it isn't working. Seducing him is going to take some hard work. Good thing he's handsome, even if he has "all the grace of a beached porpoise".

I really enjoyed reading this story. I think paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans will enjoy it as well.

Warning Spoiler Alert!!!
This does have a HEA ending ... sorta ... they go "off into the sunset" together.
Ward Against Death banner


  1. Thanks for the informative review. This one is in my TBR and I am looking forward to reading it.
    Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews
    lauriej170 at gmail dot com

  2. @Laurie: It is a very interesting twist on the traditional necromancer character. I think you'll like it.


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