A primeval fiend is loose in the ancient metropolis of Malkandrah, intent on burning it to a wasteland. The city’s leaders stand idly by and the sorcerers that once protected the people are long gone.
Maldren, a young necromancer, is the only person brave enough to stand against the creature. Instead of help from the Masters of his Guild, he is given a new apprentice. Why now, and why a girl? As they unravel the clues to defeating the fiend, they discover a secret society holding the future of the city in its grip. After betrayals and attempts on his life, Maldren has reason to suspect everyone he thought a friend, even the girl.
His last hope lies in an alliance with a depraved and murderous ghost, but how can he trust it? Its sinister past is intertwined in the lives of everyone he holds dear.
Can only evil defeat evil?
My Rating: 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an unbiased review.
Now, onto the good stuff! Before you read any further, I need you to scroll back up and take a look at the cover of this book. Go ahead, go look at it. Did you look? This is probably one of my favorite book covers. It is not only beautiful, but really kind of sums up the book well. It gives the reader a great image of Maldren in his robes (he was never really described so it was nice to have a good visual) and Ayla.I really can’t say it enough – I love this cover.
This book is very unique. As a reader of fantasy books, it is rare to stumble upon a good book with a Necromancer protagonist. Maldren’s world is well crafted and interesting – the spells, the different creatures he encountered and the inner workings of the Guild were all entertaining to read about.
Do you ever find yourself wishing a book character was real? I found myself wishing that Maldren and I were friends so that I could meet him for a beer. He really was an easy character to like and relate to. His inner dialogue kept me interested and entertained throughout the book. His relationship with Ayla, his young apprentice, was refreshing as well. It wasn’t a typical romance. Neither character seemed instantly attracted and this was certainly not a case of insta-love. The characters developed as people over the course of the book and their feelings seemed to develop with them. It was a natural progression and very well written. I even found myself invested in the secondary characters. I would love to learn more about Maldren’s mother and his family history. I especially loved his nose-picking mentor, Kolta.
The only part of this book that was difficult for me at first, was that Graeme Ing took more of a show, not tell, approach to world building. As someone used to everything being explained, it was a a little strange to get used to. While I did appreciate that the author didn’t waste pages explaining every little detail, I kind of wish that the spells had been explained a bit more. I feel like Maldren explaining them in the context of teaching Ayla would have been fun to read.
My Takeaway: Graeme Ing brings to life a captivating and unique world that I would love to read more about. Although the book appears to have been written as a stand-alone, I really hope that the author brings back Ayla and Maldren in a sequel (hint hint).