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The Death of the Necromancer by [Wells, Martha]
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The Death of the Necromancer Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Length: 544 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Nicholas Valiarde is both a nobleman and a thief, perhaps the greatest thief in the kingdom of Ile-Rien, where magic is a part of everyday life. Around him he has gathered an unparalleled band of criminals, including a well-known actress, an ex-military officer, a hardened killer, and a sorcerer with a bad drug habit. Valiarde, in the guise of criminal overlord Donatien, is amassing a small fortune in gold and jewels with one purpose in mind: to take his revenge on Count Montesq, the man who leveled false charges of necromancy against Nicholas's beloved godfather Edouard, leading to Edouard's execution. But Nicholas's band of ne'er-do-wells isn't the only force stalking the dark streets of Vienne, and Nicholas is about to face a real necromancer in a battle whose outcome will affect all of Ile-Rien. Wells has created a fast-paced action-adventure story with a wonderful cast of characters and a twisting, turning plot that will keep you flipping pages well into the evening hours. --Craig Engler

From Publishers Weekly

Nicholas Valiarde is a man of several parts, or roles. One is that of disenfranchised nobleman, bent on revenge for the execution of his godfather, Edouard Viller, who was falsely accused of the capital offense of necromancy by the scheming Count Montesq. Another is that of the master thief Donatien, legendary criminal of Ile-Rien. These two roles collide when Nicholas encounters ghouls and a sorcerer known as Doctor Octave in the cellars of a duchess's house while carrying out a robbery. Sinister forces are at work in Ile-Rien. Citizens have gone missing, corpses have turned up vivisected, bones have washed up in the sewer gates. All the evidence points to a necromancer at work, very probably someone with access to the books of the infamous Constant Macob, believed dead for over 200 years. As he investigates, Nicholas and his misfit friends uncover a plot that leads them into a series of escalating confrontations with the evil creations of Macob, as the necromancer schemes to gather enough power to return to life. 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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1814 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (Nov. 11 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,453 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Martha Wells' 1998 book, The Death of the Necromancer, is a story of revenge in Gothic style. The book's title isn't misleading, as you are sent on treks through sewers infested with ghouls, fight off hungry once-dead Fay, and discover rooms filled with vivisected bodies. Necromancy, or using death to assist in divination, is at its nature gothic, ghoulish, and grisly. These are the very adjectives to describe a story set in a make-believe Vienne (not Vienna), lit by gaslights and filled with horse-drawn carriages, thieves, prostitutes, and evil Dukes and Counts. Magic orbs, a painting that acts like a hidden video camera, and a sorcerer named (get this) Constant Macob give the reader much to enjoy. But, like a symphony with amateur players, some of the chords are out of tune. The chief players in the story are Nicholas and Madeline; both are well accomplished in using disguises. Nicholas Valiarde's father figure Edouard Viller was executed some years ago on a trumped up charge of necromancy, but the charge was later found to be false. In great stories, the wronged person must be God's instrument for revenge, as no one else can or will redress the wrong. As in the Count of Monte Cristo, it may take a lifetime to seek out all those who wronged him. But in this story, the father figure's reputation has already been publicly restored. The act of bringing down the wicked perpetrator, Count Rive Montesq, is not justice or restitution, but pure revenge beyond the laws of justice and humanity. We learn that others are preparing a strong legal case against Montesq. The central revenge story is thus flawed. If fantasy is to have a moral component, this story falls short. Gothic tales of Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read "Wheel of the Infinite" also by Martha Wells. I loved that book so much I had to read her other works. So I read this one, and I enjoyed it very much! The story is compelling and the characters are witty and full of life. The setting is amazing! If this was adapted to the movie screen it would win the oscars for art direction for sure. Vienne reminds me of Paris(well a darker version of it). Most of the book takes place at night which adds a wonderful atmosphere if you read this at night. Highly recommended!
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I've previously read three of Martha Wells' other novels and thoroughly enjoyed them all, but she really outdid herself in "The Death of the Necromancer". This is the one of the most fast-paced, unpredictable, and exciting books ever written in any genre. The hero Nicholas is a thief in the Victorian-era city of Vienne. He and his gang of associates are working on a complex plot to bring down Rive Montesq, the criminal overlord who killed Nicholas' foster father. However, in this story little ever goes as planned. For instance, during the very first chapter, our heroes attempt a carefully organized robbery of a noble house during a party, but things go awry because some other seemingly supernatural force want to carry out a robbery in the same house on the same night. Virtually every plot event in the book has a twist of that sort, thus keeping you truly on your toes for the length of the book.
And how 'bout those characters, eh. Like George R. R. Martin, Wells has the ability to sketch unforgettable personalities in just a few strokes, rather than wasting long passages on character development. Her characters are suave, confident, and sexy, while at the same time being unquestionably real. For instance, leading lady Madeleine is a famous actress, and her experience in the theatre helps her work with disguises and assume different roles as she navigates the intrigues of Vienne. The relationship between Nicholas and Madeleine isn't a typical fantasy coupling where the characters swoon for each other and never experience any problems. It is, rather, and real relationship, complete with bickering and arguments, but there's real love there as well. Wells does a magnificient job with the minor characters as well.
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Don't judge this book by its title or cover. I read one other review that was "disappointed" because there was no true horror in the book, as well there should not be because this is a hero, or perhaps anti-hero book. What can I say, it is one of my favorite books read this year, but I would not have picked it up if I hadn't just read the other Wells' books and been impressed with them too.
Our main man came from the wrong side of the tracks years before and when his adopted father was killed, began using all of those old skills in an adopted identity to avenge the death (hello Bruce Wayne). Moving through society and having a loyal set of helpers who he has "saved" in various manners through the years (hello Lamont Cranston), he has a noble heart, but uses whatever methods work for him.
In his role as the great dark figure of the underworld (Moriarty), there is only one inspector who has gained his respect over the years (hello Sherlock) and who he might be willing to grudgingly cooperate with.
Now, someone is using devices very similar to those invented by his late adopted father, and he may have to choose between revenge for the past and justice in the present?
Strong characterization and a gothic (Gotham?) setting, with some magic and mystery thrown in, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
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