Review: Ward Against Darkness

ward darknessReviewed by Jen

Is it wrong that I want the necromancer to get it on with the dead girl he brought back to life?  Because if it is, I think I need to stop reading this series right now.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s ever gonna happen… at least not the way I want it to.

Ward and the lovely (but deadly) Celia are mooning over each other more than ever, but the whole “dead” thing keeps getting in the way of romantic progress. Let me back up.  The story picks up almost immediately from where the last book left off.  Ward and Celia are on the run from bounty hunters who think they killed her father. 

They seek refuge at a home that is much more than it appears.  Inside is Macerio, a Innecroestri, or in laymen’s terms: a former necromancer that uses bad magic to turn the dead into his servants.  Those vesperitti are bound to Macerio.  They feed on the souls of the living and are immensely powerful.  Anyway, Macerio thinks Ward is a one of a select group of necromancers vying to be his new apprentice.  Ward plays along, at first, to gain refuge from the bounty hunters.  Later, it’s to put a stop to what Macerio is doing and seize his powerful dark magic books.

I find that I enjoy these books.  Yes, the worldbuilding is a little complicated.  You have to keep track of the factions involved and some language unique to the series.  But it’s not so tough that you can’t roll with it.  Ward is a great young hero.  I stress the “young” part, because while he is 18, he’s not a worldly one.  He’s kind of gangly and naive and while I still consider this NA Fantasy, it’s closer to YA than adult.  But it’s Ward’s optimism and goodheartedness that make him to easy to root for. He is willing to make sacrifices to do the right thing — even sacrificing his safety or his soul if necessary.  How can you not root for that guy?

Meanwhile, Celia is coming around. And I like the questions surrounding what she is and why she is developing feelings for Ward. But. I wish we could spend a little more time on what is happening between these two. Better yet, let something actually happen between them, instead of having them ruminate over it.  Maybe in book 3.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Entangled

Click to purchase: Amazon

Ward Against Death by Melanie Card Release Date: August 2, 2011 Publisher: Entangled

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