&READ BOOK ⇕ The Death of the Necromancer (Ile-Rien, #2) ⇹ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free
4.5 stars The first IleRien book was fine, an entertaining fantasy story, but this one is on another level of sophistication Compelling characters, the right amount of tension, lavish descriptions, complex relationships, clever worldbuilding, mature romance just hinted at, topnotch storytelling and a hardtocrack mystery.Absolutely recommended This story shares the IleRien setting but it stands perfectly alone; there are a few spoilers about the previous book, so if you plan to read the The Element of Fire, pick that up first, but do read this one afterward because it’s not to be missed!!!I want this sorcerer because I want him, there’s no altruism about it He has challenged me, he has interfered with me, and I’ll see him in Hell if I have to escort him there personally. Irregulars in MoriaThis was a fun and fast read 19th c style cat and mouse featuring magic with an air of revenge, Sherlock Holmes meets Fellowship of the Ring story The characters are fun, the setting is detailed, almost too much, but it is rendered completely Nicholas Valiarde is the leader of these irregulars, a motley crew of unfairly wronged persons pursuing their own justice I suppose I should go read book #1, now He united the ferocity of a madman with the cognitive ability of the sane; this is not a pleasant combination. Victorian mystery with a splash of horror and a touch of sly humour Elegant prose, interesting characters, engaging mystery and great worldbuilding – on the whole a very good experience The only thing I could pick at – the architecture/surroundings descriptions could‘ve been condensed or skipped altogether in some places to keep up the suspense Still – a good read, if you enjoy Victorian fantasy/mysteries – highly recommended.
“i have a plan.” this was true “i just don’t know whether it will actually work or not.” this, unfortunately, was also true highly enjoyable gaslight fantasy with charming criminals and convoluted revenge plots right up my spooky victorian alley, to be frank.the start of the story instantly drops us on a heistinprogression, meeting our cast of somewhatloveable miscreants: unofficial protagonist nicholas valiarde, with a bit of a broody, sarcastic personality, wielding the alter ego of his criminal mastermind persona madeline denare, an expert in disguise, acrobatics, and cutting the bullshit, who is a stage actress in daily life there’s also reynard morane, a charming exmilitary man who found his downfall through scandal and disgrace.and in the background, arisilde damal, an incredibly kindhearted and hilariously powerful sorcerer who’s struggling with an opium addiction that’s slowly destroying his life.what initially looks like a simple heist turns out to be part of a revenge plot on nicholas valiarde’s part, only for the titular necromancer to thwart these plans and litter the streets of 19th century londonwithafrenchtwist (no, not the hairdo) with bodies and, of course, we also get a glimpse into the sordid histories of all the main characters.i really gotta give it to martha wells she killed it with this book.literally EVERY victorian mystery trope is in this story i probably even missed a few grisly murders, toeing the line between science and the supernatural, sneaky nobles, veteran thieves, vendettas, hidden chambers, dark and damp sewers, and a deductionbased approach to everything.heck, even holmes and watson turn up at one point only here, their names are inspector ronsarde and doctor halle, with a few twists and additions to their personalities that make them unique amongst all the holmes interpretations over the last… well, century (ronsarde is kinder and strangely adorable, and halle a stalwart and fierce protector.)and yet it never felt cheap, easy, or played for a quick laugh instead, we get a rich, expertlycrafted world around these character archetypes and tropes that feels genuine and lived in there’s this real sense of oldworld decay, of spiritualism and being haunted by one’s past, that permeates not only the characters’ struggles but is also shown in the physical world around them.societal traditions, historical events, and even architecture are lavishly described the city is as much a mask for its slowly modernizing society as the personas the main characters have crafted for themselves due to criminal circumstance it’s subtle, also in its humor there are a few moments that had me snickering to myself no loud oneliners, but rather clever observations and sneaky, cheeky comments you can read over them quite easily when you’re not paying attention.however, the weakest part of this book is undoubtedly the plot the ideas valiarde has concocted for his revenge are contrived and eventually easily circumvented there’s also a few hurdles very obviously thrown up to slow the protagonists’ progress luckily, the pacing remains largely unaffected, but it’s annoying when i feel like a sign pops up that says, “Stand Aside, Plot Device Incoming!”as a result, i enjoyed the setup and progress in the first two actsthan the eventual climax and resolution it simply feelsnatural when it’s kept small and personal, rather than Big Villain Battles and mysterious magic.but that still didn’t outweigh this story’s cool aspects, such as: casual inclusions of bisexuality, good banter without relationship drama, a fast pace, a wellresearched fantasy world, and entertaining side characters (not to mention a bold and daring female lead!).everything taken together, a lovely story for appreciators of criminalswithmorals narratives with a sherlock holmesesque backdrop without ever feeling derivative.✎ 4.0 stars. So take a Sherlock Holmes mystery, change the names, add magic Holmes and Watson are currently investigating a recent rash of disappearances, while having a longterm goal of gathering enough evidence to bring Moriarty down.Tell the story from the viewpoint of a character who is halfway between Holmes and Moriarty, and considers himself an enemy of both Then waylay everyone's schemes with a necromancer.Nicholas is out for revenge for the death of his mentor, and has set himself up as a master thief, with a small but loyal gang of criminals and an Irene Adler equivalent as lover and partner The story is enjoyable and the worldbuilding pleasantly recognisable as altVictorian It's not a perfect story the necromancer shows a sad tendency to not kill his enemies when he has them at his mercy, and unfortunately Wells has not altered any of the social s when she added magic, limiting the amount of things Irene/Madeleine can do (though I enjoyed Madeleine's willingness to dress up as a man and insert herself into the action anyway).There was only one brief conversation between women in the entire story, and Madeleine is participating in events solely as a support to her lover, so even though she's a strong character in herself, this is one of those books where I just itch for greater opportunities I also found it hard to like Nicholas, who had a distinct tendency to snap or run off to sulk when people didn't do exactly what he wanted or he was just feeling irritated.I liked quite a few of the secondary characters a lot and rather wished forof them instead of Nicholas. The Death of the Necromancer is a triumph of execution over concept This is not a bad thing It may, in fact, be a very good thing.What do I mean by this?Essentially, if you look at the basic concepts of the book, you will not find anything terribly special The characters are familiar archetypes the vengeanceobsessed conman, his plucky female companion, his loyal and taciturn henchman We've even got Holmes and Watson running around The plot is a fairly straightforward mystery as well,on the procedural line of things, with an evil necromancer killing people and causing trouble and our heroes tracking him and putting him down The setting is a familiar variation on 19th Century London, with sewers and slums and trains and a trip to FauxOxford/Cambridge.And yet Wells makes it work.The characters are familiar archetypes, but they are extremely welldeveloped They are fullydeveloped, realistic, and treated with respect The plucky female companion, for instance, is neither a useless damsel in distress nor some cardboardthin action heroine She's a vital member of the team, pulls her own weight, and her relationship with the protagonist is a very mature one they care for each other deeply, but they still periodically squabble, making the whole thing come off as very realistic Our Holmes is a brilliant detective with a penchant for disguise, but he's also his own person, with mistakes he regrets, and while he's definitely prickly and a bit quirky he isn't the autistic savant of so many renderings.The plot is likewise very elegantly done There is a mystery here, and it is a gripping one It's not as twisty and confusing as something by Brandon Sanderson or Scott Lynch, but it there is genuine complexity here, a real question of what's going on Further, Wells paces it to a perfection Both the characters and the readers are constantly gaining a deeper understanding of the plot, and Wells alternates plot development, character development, and action scenes very, very well.As for the setting, it's basically Fantasy London, but it's a rigorously researched Fantasy London It's not just trains and aristocratic parties Wells delves into many of the lesserknown aspects of the time period Spiritualism and seances, a major craze of the late 19th and early 20th century, is central to the plot There are interviews with sewer workers that could come straight from Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor And there are nice little touches all around One which struck me very early on was a character mentioning that while the old, male sorcerers were easy to spot due to their sashes and presentation medals, the women sorcerers would be trickier they'd only been admitted to the sorcerous academies in the last decade, so they'd be young and wouldn't be wearing their presentation medals This is an aside of only a couple of lines, but it tells us so very much about the world It tells us that there is gender bias, but it also tells us that there is progress, and that it is a world in motion I adore it.Overall, what I would say that what sets The Death of the Necromancer apart is that it treats its plot, its characters, its setting with respect Wells takes her world seriously, and she develops its inhabitants as genuine people (As a side note, I rather like how she handled LGBT matters one of the main side characters is bisexualleaninggay, and there are strong suggestions that the main protagonist is bisexual as well, but it's just treated as a part of the character, not something to ignore but not something to make a Big Deal Out Of, which I liked).Now, not everything is roses and sunshine Every so often Wells does concept things which even her writing can't mitigate, such as how both main characters come from rather exalted/intriguing bloodlines, which is plot relevant but feels contrived Likewise, there's a bit of Deus Ex Machina towards the very end.Still, I'd say this is a 4.5 star read at the very least, and one of my favorite books of the last few years. I have several of Wells' books sitting unread on my shelf I had this one, then also the Fall of IleRien trilogy and Wheel of the Infinite Decided to start working on the IleRien books so here we are.Since it is a Martha Wells Book, I knew I was in good hands She's a great author and the Raksuran books are among my all time favourite books This book has a Victorianesque world building It has gas and stuff, guns and trains Also magic The magic is vague since none of the POV characters are sorcerers The book is dualPOV and follows Nicholas, a nobleman and patron of arts at day, and Donatien, a thief/conman at night And he wants revenge A man in my taste so to say; and Madeline, a couldhavebeen sorceress who didn't wanna so she became an actress instead, and competent partner in crime They claim not to be married (Nicholas states so at one point) but they are very much married Still, the book has littletono romance which is great The book starts with your rundownthehill con/thievery which ends up not going to plan Nothing unusual, but our friends are unwillingly dragged into a scheme of necromancy Necromancy used to be merely frowned upon but is now very much illegal and punished with death Nicholas and his friends has to put aside revenge plans and instead find who's causing the necromancy It was a fun ride Wells created here The characters are super fun to follow and it has a fun worldbuilding. &READ BOOK ↷ The Death of the Necromancer (Ile-Rien, #2) ⇥ Nicholas Valiarde is a passionate, embittered nobleman with an enigmatic past Consumed by thoughts of vengeance, he is consoled only by thoughts of the beautiful, dangerous Madeline He is also the greatest thief in all of IleRien On the gas light streets of the city, he assumes the guise of a master criminal, stealing jewels from wealthy nobles to finance his quest for vengeance the murder of Count Montesq Montesq orchestrated the wrongful execution of Nicholas's beloved godfather on false charges of necromancythe art of divination through communion with spirits of the deada practice long outlawed in the kingdom of IleReinBut now Nicholas's murderous mission is being interrupted by a series of eerie, unexplainable, even fatal events Someone with tremendous magical powers is opposing him Children vanish, corpses assume the visage of real people, mortal spells are cast, and traces of necromantic power that hasn't been used for centuries are found And when a spiritualist unwittingly leads Nicholas to a decrepit mansion, the monstrous nature of his peril finally emerges in harrowing detail Nicholas and his compatriots must destroy an ancient and awesome evil Even the help of IleRien's greatest sorcerer may not be enough, for Nicholas faces a woefully mismatched battleand unthinkable horrors await the loser This is the first of Martha Wells' books that I read; it is still my favorite, although I love everything that she's written The book is set in IleRien, a world similar to Victorian England, although with the addition of magic Wells brings the setting to life, making it a character in itself; however, the plot and the charactersthan live up to it The plot centers around Nicholas Valiarde, who has spent the past twenty years attempting to destroy the man responsible for the unjust execution of his foster father Nicholas is a strange combination of hero and crime lord; something like a corrupt Robin Hood or a somewhat civicminded Moriarty Just as his plans to defeat his enemy begin to bear fruit, Nicholas is distracted by strange occurances in the city Corpses vanish, or take on the appearance of living people, strange creatures appear in the sewers, and traces of necromantic power unlike any used for centuries appears Nicholas is forced to put aside his own plans in order to discover who is responsible for the turmoil in the city, and work to stop the greatest evil the city has ever seen The storyline and characters are fascinating; nothing seems forced or awkward, and the conclusion is highly satisfactory I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy The trilogy which follows this novel focus on Nicholas' daughter, and are also excellent books. Well, I usually do not plunge into the middle of a series and so far, I came to regret most of these exceptions But rules are here to be broken; this book came highly recommended by a reviewer I trust who also mentioned, that the other books are not really worth reading and that it stands well on its own So, here I am (again).Unsurprisingly, I had some trouble to get my bearings in this new world that started in the middle of a complex plot to frame a notsoinnocent count However, these troubles might also have arisen because in the beginning I could read only short fragments due to a busy week Also, the author plunges us into a new scene with every new chapter revealing only later where and why the protagonists did what they did This was often coupled with some complex descriptions that somewhat interrupted my reading flow Having said that, I quite enjoyed the story, it was well written, humorous, but with a slight touch of horror and had a fascinating, authentic world I’m no historian and unsure about the actual timespan, but it clearly reflected some old European cities (Vienna, London) and I quite liked the stinky underground action in the sewers The group of protagonists were typically for “heists”: shrewd head, faithful henchmen, but they were also diverse (gay soldier, skilled and smart actress, drugaddicted sorcerer) and well developed I also quite liked the twist of (view spoiler)[ criminal meeting his prosecutor and the story of “how the enemy of my enemy might result in being my friend” (hide spoiler)]