Tag Archives: Necromancers

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

Overview
Amazon.com: Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer Series, 2) (9781250034151):  McBride, Lish: Books

Title: Necromancing the Stone
Author: Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Humour, Necromancers
Dates read: 21st – 27th February 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “That god help is hard to find.”

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Synopsis

“SOMEONE LEFT A KNIFE IN THE DOOR.”

Her voice was nonchalant, trying to mask her fear, trying to make it sounds as if someone had simply left flowers.

With the defeat of the evil necromancer Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned to be a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well… not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a were-bear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which turns out to be kind of a problem when someone close to him turns up dead.

Thoughts

As with all of the other McBride stories that I’ve read so far, this is funny, humorous and brilliantly written. It’s a fantastic ending to this duology. One that I seriously enjoyed and couldn’t put down. After all, Sam is not even remotely what you would expect as a necromancer. And, as you slowly begin to realise, he has a whole heap of other powers at his disposal… ones that I wanted to know more about.

Douglas was one scary SOB in Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. He gets worse in this. Total Voldemort vibes. Although, to be fair, he is much, much less freaky than Voldemort. And so much less devilish. Yet, there is a bit of a redemption arc – one that didn’t necessarily redeem the villain, but did make him a little less despicable. And horrifying.

As much as I loved this story, I didn’t really love the fact that this story ended with Brid and Sam being… unresolved. It was seriously frustrating. To the point that I kept turning the final page back and forth. I just thought I was missing something! Although, it does leave the end open to the interpretation that there was a happily ever after for the two of them… just one that took a little bit more work than there was time for within this story.

I love that Sam seems to jump from the frying pan into the story. Repeatedly. And consistently. Not necessarily a great thing for him and his friends, but a wonderful journey for me. You just kind of feel him blundering from moment to moment, trying to figure out what on earth he is doing. Kind of like how I feel most days of my life if I’m being truly honest here…

I can’t wait to read more McBride books. They’re all sitting on my wishlist, ready and rearing to go. I just have to find a little more funding… and I just hope that I get to have a few appearances from Sam and Brid again. They’re just too damn wonderful and cute. Even if they could both kill me with their hands tied behind their backs…

<- Hold Me Closer, NecromancerMore Lish McBride ->

Image source: Amazon

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Overview
Image result for book cover hold me closer necromancer

Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author: Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Humour, Necromancers
Dates read: 22nd October – 22nd November 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “How’s school going?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

NEC·RO·MAN·CY – conjuring the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events

Yeah, you heard me. Conjuring the dead – it sure beats flipping burgers.

Meet Sam, just your average guy rocking that fast-food career.

Enter Douglas, a powerful and violent necromancer. Douglas immediately recognizes Sam as a fellow necromancer – whish is news to Sam! – and Douglas is not happy to have a competitor. Sam is given one option – join forces with Douglas… or else.

Now with only one week to figure out his mysteriously latent powers, Sam needs all the help he can get. Not only does he have an undead friend on his hands and a hot werewolf girl for company, but luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin and find a way out of Douglas’s clutches?

Thoughts

I keep picking this book up and putting it back down. Mostly because I’ve not been entirely sure if it’s what I’m in the mood for. Turns out that this is the kind of book I’m probably always going to be in the mood for. It’s funny, witty and supernatural. Filled with fantastic sidekicks and unforgettable characters. The storyline is also intriguing and filled with twists and turns that I hadn’t expected. This is also really, really addictive. So maybe don’t read it when you have more “adult” things to do… it got me into a little trouble.

The addictive nature of this story is probably why I stopped reading it quite quickly – I have a busy few weeks of work, so getting sucked into an amazing story wasn’t high on my list. However, I did read through it really quickly when I set aside a night to actually enjoy myself… once I got into it, I didn’t want to stop. Actually, McBride is now most definitely on my favourite authors list. Her Firebug series is on my wish list now for the next time I get the privilege of doing a nice book shop…

McBride brilliantly interweaves Sam’s past, future and present together. It has a funny, relaxed, small-town America feel. As he tries to figure out his future, he is also discovering himself, and the past that he never knew existed. Finding out more about what and who his mother is and the ways in which it’s affecting his current life. Oh, and there’s a friend who is now a talking head, which is absolutely brilliant.

This novel has a larger ensemble than I’m used to in a novel. Normally there’s a lead with one faithful sidekick. Instead, Sam has two best friends, a talking head, and a potential love interest in a half werewolf… far less simple. Even the villain isn’t quite typical and tends to have some more off-kilter sidekicks. This is also the most paranormally diverse collection of characters that I’ve had the pleasure to read. Definitely one that I will be sinking my teeth into again and again and again.

<- Death & WafflesNecromancing the Stone ->

Image source: Overdrive

Heads Will Roll by Lish McBride

Overview
Heads Will Roll

Title: Heads Will Roll
Author: Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #0.1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, GhostsNecromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Tor.com
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: The harpy used her own talons to slice into the manticore’s flesh and tear muscle.

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Synopsis

Lena’s not your typical animal trainer. And when she and her unicorn partner, Steve, decide to enter a fight, it’s definitely not your typical fight….

Thoughts

Every time I pick this short story up, the song “Heads Will Roll” gets stuck in my head… it’s actually my current ringtone. Which is maybe why I haven’t read this so far – I get too busy singing the song to actually start reading the story. But, I finally pushed through the soundtrack playing in my head and decided to read this. And I really, really, really wasn’t disappointed.

A fighting unicorn really isn’t what I was expecting, and when I explained this tale to my partner, he kind of gave me this incredibly confused, dear in the headlights kind of look. Which is the perfect explanation of how wickedly awesome and random this story is. And how much I want to pick up another piece of McBride’s writing.

I think that my favourite moment of all in this 51-page tale was the ending, the attempt at riding off into the sunset, and kind of epically failing at it. And the hint that there are more adventures to come for this small team of do-gooders and vigilantes.

<- Necromancing the StoneDeath and Waffles ->

Image source: Kobo

Death & Waffles by Lish McBride

Overview
Kisses and Curses

Title: Death & Waffles
Author: Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #0.5
In: Kisses & Curses (Lauren Burniae)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, GhostsNecromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “And this” – I waved my hand at her image, this time in jeans and a KISS T-shirt – “is this also for my benefit?

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Synopsis

Matt’s childhood friend, Ashley, has been stopping by a lot lately. That might seem pretty normal, but Ashley died years ago and now she’s Death.

And tonight she wants waffles and fries.

Thoughts

This story was cute, funny and really fun. Even though there was a death. But the peppy Harbringer of Death made it fun and adorable. Her friendship with Matt was also sweet, albeit in a slightly creepy kind of way. But it worked.

Mostly this story makes me feel a little hungry – it mostly takes place in a dinner and there are waffles. Which I haven’t had in a while… which I really feel like… anyone else got a waffle craving at the moment? Maybe with a side of death?

<- Heads Will RollHold Me Closer, Necromancer ->

Image source: Goodreads

To Hold the Bridge by Garth Nix

Overview

Hold the Bridge_CVRTitle: To Hold the Bridge
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #3.7
In: Legends of Australian Fantasy (Jack Dann & Jonathan Strahan) & To Hold the Bridge (Garth Nix)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia & Hot Key Books
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘Go and meet my Seconds,’ she instructed.

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Synopsis

Far to the north of the magical Old Kingdom, the Greenwash Bridge Company has been building a bridge for almost a hundred years. It is not an easy task, for many dangers threaten the bridge builders, from nomad raiders to Free Magic sorcerers. Despite the danger, Morghan wants nothing more than to join the Bridge Company as a cadet. But the company takes only the best, the most skillful Charter mages, and trains them hard, for the night might come when only a single young cadet must hold the bridge against many foes. Will Morghan be that cadet?

Thoughts

It’s always nice to revisit a fantasy world that you have loved over the years. One that you have visited again and again and again over the years. To Hold the Bridge was a great way to do this. The Old Kingdom series has been a favourite for years, and, although this novella doesn’t fit into the overall storyline, it does serve as a fantastic reminder of the years of joy that these stories have given me.

To Hold the Bridge is a great story about overcoming the past, and the tragedies of one’s childhood. Although Morghan has been dealt a hard hand in life, his desperation (and gumption) helps him to find a new future in which he finds contentment, and possibly even happiness. Yet, it isn’t until the final battle in this story (after all, what is a story without a final, epic battle) that he is able to realise that he has finally found a place to which he belongs. Revisiting the dead, Free Magic and the Charter was a great way to spend an afternoon, and it has certainly left me craving more tales of the Old Kingdom.

<- An Extract from the Journal of Idrach the Lesser Necromancer Review Goldenhand Review ->
Image source: Allen & Unwin

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

Overview

abhorsen

Title: Abhorsen
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: And what part did his friend Nicholas have to play in it all?

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Synopsis

WHEN THE NINTH GATE CALLS, WHO CAN RESIST ITS SUMMONS?

An ancient evil has arisen – freed from its subterranean prison and seeking to escape the binding silver hemispheres which prevent it from finally unleashing its terrible powers.

Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, knows that the fate of the world is in her hands. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the uncertain help of her companions – Sam, the Disreputable Dog and Mogget – Lirael sets out on her perilous mission. The answer must be found somewhere in Life or Death – but can a former Second Assistant Librarian possibly discover the means to defeat the Destroyer… before it is too late?

Thoughts

To me, Abhorsen is all about duty and honour; it’s importance and how difficult it can truly be to pursue such a calling in life. Saving the world from certain doom is a great calling, if you are not the one who has to shoulder that responsibility. Lirael grabs this responsibility and her birthright with both hands and clings on. The way that she takes on a world of pain and obligation that she never thought was hers is inspiring and beautiful. It is a great reminder of the ways in which we should all grow a backbone and take charge of our own lives and destinies.

Abhorsen, like Lirael, is very much a story about Sameth and Lirael. Sabriel and Touchstone appear occasionally, but it is Lirael’s footsteps that we follow in. Since Lirael is the character that I most identify with, this perfectly suits me. Likewise, Sameth’s new-found courage and place in life help to build upon this and the way that the two are able to relate to, and support one another is one of those great and seamless relationships that seem to only happen in books.

Throughout The Old Kingdom series, The Charter, The Beginning and Free Magic are elusive concepts that are briefly touched upon, but never truly explained. Abhorsen goes a long way to changing this, although there are no hard and fast rules outlined, the story goes back to The Beginning and allows a window into such a complex world.

This tale feels like an end of a series (which it was for a long time), so I can’t wait until I receive my copy of Goldenhand, and find out more about Lirael’s life after Orannis.

<- Lirael Review Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case Review ->
Image source: Garth Nix

Lirael by Garth Nix

Overview

lirael

Title: Lirael
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 2001
5th sentence, 74th page: But in the course of her regular duties, she often passed interesting-looking corridors sealed off with red rope, or doors that beckoned to her, almost saying, “How can you walk past me every day and not want to go in?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

WHEN THE FUTURE IS HIDDEN, WHO HOLDS THE KEY TO DESTINY?

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. She doesn’t even have the Sight – the ability to See into the present and possible futures – that is the very birthright of the Clayr. Nonetheless, it is Lirael in whose hands the fate of the Old Kingdom lies, while Abhorsen Sabriel is engaged in conflict elsewhere.

As an ancient evil casts its shadow – one that opposes the Royal Family, blocks the Sight of the Clayr, and threatens to break the very boundary between Life and Death – Lirael undertakes a desperate mission. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, to help her, Lirael sets out upon a perilous journey and comes face to face with her own fate…

Thoughts

Lirael has long been one of my favourite literary heroines. She doesn’t quite fit in with her family, is immensely insecure, and is seriously struggling to find her place in life. Her multi-layered creation and the vulnerability in her tale pulls at the heart strings, and makes her all the more relatable to everyone who has struggled to find their place in life. From their teens to adulthood.

Not only does Lirael tell the story of its namesake, but it also follows Sabriel and Touchstone’s youngest child, Sameth. He is the epitome of a spoilt Prince. Whilst he isn’t a bad character, he is spoilt and naïve in his own talents. Like Lirael, he is trying to find his place in a world of expectations and political pressures. He’s still kind of whiney though, and it’s only towards the end when he faces up to his own sense of self and courage that he becomes more tolerable and admirable.

The complexities of The Charter and its creation continue to build in Lirael, and this, alongside the beautifully complex and intricate characters make it an unbelievably loveable book. This is one story that will sit on my bookshelf to be read again and again and again.

<- Sabriel Review Abhorsen Review ->
Image source: Garth Nix

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Overview

sabriel

Title: Sabriel
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Old Kingdom #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Necromancers
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year: 1995
5th sentence, 74th page: I will help lure others to you.

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Synopsis

WHO WILL GUARD THE LIVING WHEN THE DEAD ARISE?

Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom – far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead.

But now her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross back into that world to find him. Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of – for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny.

Thoughts

I love that this is a series about necromancers – it is different and unique in a way that no other series I have read is. The binary distinction between life and death is echoed in the wall between ‘The Old Kingdom’ and ‘Ancelstierre’. The anti-necromancer, or Abhorsen, just made the entire tale all the more entrancing – partner this with beautiful writing and an entrancing storyline, and I dare you not to fall in love with Sabriel.

Nix uses Sabriel’s lack of knowledge and understanding to slowly feed through the details of the Charter, the Old Kingdom and the Abhorsen’s role in the world. This, combined with her innocence at the beginning of the tale takes the reader on an amazing journey. Her love for her father acts as a great driver in the story, undertaking a battle that she knows nothing about in his name. But, the character grows and as she does, so do her motivations.

The changes, both physical and mental that these characters go through within Sabriel are fantastic. Nix brilliantly takes the human’s psyche and places it under pressure, creating a diamond of a character.

<- Clariel Review Lirael Review ->
Image source: Garth Nix