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The Death of the Necromancer Kindle Edition

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Length: 544 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

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

  • File Size: 1814 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (November 11, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 11, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen fantasy novels, including Wheel of the Infinite, City of Bones, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Cloud Roads (Night Shade Books, March 2011), The Serpent Sea (Night Shade Books, January 2012), and The Siren Depths, (Night Shade Books, December 2012) and the novella collections Stories of the Raksura I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud and Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below. Her YA fantasies, Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World, were published by Strange Chemistry Books in April 2013 and April 2014. She has also written media-tie-in novels: Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary, Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and Star Wars: Razor's Edge.

She has also written the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, all currently out in paperback and ebook from HarperCollins Eos. She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, Lightspeed Magazine, and Stargate Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Other Side of the Sky, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, The Gods of Lovecraft, and Mech: Age of Steel. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. Her books have been published in eight languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch, and her web site is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Dennis on January 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nicolas Valiarde is a thief; but is he a thief with a noble purpose? His true goal is to discredit and eventually lead a Count to execution in vengeance for the wrongful death of his foster father. Meanwhile, unexplained deaths are discovered in Vienne--deaths which may have something to do with Nicolas's foster father's experiments into necromancy.
Wells's narrative immerses the reader into her world. The world of Ile-Rien is painstakingly designed and researched, a world not unlike late 19th century Europe. She invokes all of the senses to realize the ruined noble houses, the depths of the sewers, and the activity of the streets.
I can only describe this novel as a mixture of Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with a bit of sorcery thrown in for good measure.
Wells reveals hidden information about her characters throughout the novel, thus revealing their motivations and personalities like peeling back an onion. It's not until the end of the book that the reader sees into their core.
I probably would not have picked up this book on my own since I usually read books in the space opera or pure fantasy genres, but this was selected for my SF Book Club. I'm glad I didn't miss this one.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By R. Todd Ogrin on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Have you read "The Alienist" by Caleb Carr? Add magic, and an imagined world as textured and rich as our own, and you end up with "The Death of the Necromancer."
First, the good: Wells creates a fantastic setting that strikes closer to home than most fantasy offerings. Instead of knights and dragons traipsing around castles, she presents us with ghouls chasing gentlemen in the depths of a prison catacomb or the heights of society in a setting resembling the late 1800's. Everything good can be said about the author's ability to construct a fantasy world and populate it with interesting ideas, magicks, and a fearsome grimoire.
Now, the less-than-adequate: Nothing happens to the characters. Not quite true (they do have some exciting things happen to them), but on an emotional, spiritual, or psychological level the cast remains virtually unchanged at the end of the book. I understand that this is an adventure book, and as such I shouldn't compare it to "The Great Gatsby", but I would've liked more character development, not just characterization (which was excellent, by the way). For example, the lead character Nicholas begins the story with a cool head and a predatory disposition, and he ends the story the same way. The only thing he seems to learn from 300+ pages is that revenge is bitter.
Ultimately, I am trying to find something wrong in a book that is exceedingly original and well-written. The humor in the book is exceptional and dry, and the plot is paced like a freight train. Despite my one complaint, I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy, mystery, and horror.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By not4prophet on January 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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