Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
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…
This story was a great surprise for me. I went into it not knowing what to expect but it had me hooked within the first couple of pages. Ward wakes Celia after she has deceased to intend on just asking her some questions, she won't be awake for long, but when she wakes up and takes off out the window it was a fantastic way to really grab the readers attention.
This book involved a lot of traveling, adventures and a mixture of entertaining characters. the mystery behind why Celia thinks she has been murdered and the people she must find to answer her questions is really handled well. I was never bored or got distracted while reading. The pace was perfect as the mystery and answers were coming unraveled.
We get a combinations of Criminals, Assassins, Necromancers, Trackers etc. It has great world building.
There was only one thing about the book that made me twinge a little. It is that Ward describes her at one point as smelling of death and that she had lesions on her body (from being dead). But then to imagine them falling in love, kissing or anything of the sort grossed me out. Even when I tried to picture her as a beautiful girl, all I could imagine was this blue skinned stinky corpse. But she had a great personality and was really feisty. I would have loved her myself, if I wasn't introduced to her as I was. The first couple of pages really do set the theme for the whole book.
What really made the book for me was the pacing and the characters. Besides the above statement I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading this story. It was my first venture into necromancy and I see myself reading more about it in the future.