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Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #1)

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  422 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
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 beautif
ebook, 306 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Entangled Publishing (first published June 23rd 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
This book is heaps and heaps of fun! I didn't know quite what to expect going into it, but I was hooked from the very first page and had a grand old time following Ward on his adventures.

There are so many awesome elements to keep you on the edge of your seat. Cool action sequences. People brought back from the dead. "Seeing smoke." A seductive villain who will steal your soul with a kiss. An assassin who kills someone by throwing a dagger through his throat. Oooo! Just the kind of action I like
Jillian -always aspiring-
(Actual Rating: 4.5 stars)

My first thoughts after finishing Ward Against Death: Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much, but now I have to wait a while for the sequel to meet these characters again. Darn it, I read this too fast!

Ward Against Death, debut novel from Melanie Card, is the kind of book that should make a first-time novelist proud. Great main characters, awesome world-building, gripping plot, suspense, action, humor. . .whatever could go wrong here? All of those elements, when mixe
“It’s just that I don’t tend to work on live patients.” He reached for his scissors, leaning so close he could feel the heat radiating from her body.
“Let me put you at ease.” She blew against his neck. The cavern grew uncomfortably warm. “I’m not alive.”

This was an interesting story, but I have to admit to getting very confused in places.

The characters in this were quite different. Celia was a dead assassin, trying to figure out who had killed her, and very much rocking to the beat of her own
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Imprint: N/A
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Warm

I don't normally start reviews off this way, but I honestly think that this was one if not the best books I've read all year, and since it's almost July
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
It's been a long time since one character simply outshined all others and carried a book. That is what happened in this book. Ward was simply adorable, charming, goofy, clumsy, brave, loyal, and so many other descriptive adjectives I could come up with. I wanted to hug him, scold him, laugh at him, fear for him, and congratulate him.

The story was good but really wasn't outstanding. My biggest problem with it is confusion. Especially in the beginning, I couldn't figure out the organizations invo
I read this Netgalley arc on my Kindle while sitting in my hotel lobby waiting for my airport shuttle to take me to the New Orleans airport (I had three hours to kill), and then finished it on the plane back to Denver.

Interestingly, I’ve now read two novels featuring young scholarly men who started out as surgeons, or studying to be surgeons, and ended up necromancers: this one, and Johannes Cabal the Necromancer. In Ward’s universe, surgery is illegal, while in Johannes Cabal’s, necromancy is,
Jul 09, 2011 Saly rated it it was amazing
Ward Against Death was pure awesome!It reminded me how much I loved the Trudi Canavan books when I was fourteen.

Ward is a necromancer, called by Lord Carlyle for the wake of his daughter Celia. He doesn't consider his magic that powerful and would rather be a physician but he was kicked out.
So, he wakes her up and is shocked to find not a noblewoman like lady but a woman who pulls a knife on him and then starts rattling tales of how she was murdered and can't trust anyone.

Ward comes across as a
Ward Against Death was an unexpected but welcome breath of fresh air in comparison with other paranormal romances. Actually, if I have to be accurate, I would call this book a (urban?) fantasy, although the hero does have a love interest in the heroine.

Let me start by telling how much I liked Ward. He put the freshness in the aforementioned breath of air. He was so different from the usual stereotyped hero, so clumsy, awkward and adorably naive, and yet so strong and faithful. It was truly impos
Kate (Nomalicious Reads)
More reviews can be found at my blog Nomalicious Reads

I started reading Ward Against Death in utter excitement and couldn't put it down.

I knew it would be good, but it was just so much more than I thought it would be!

Melanie Card, you astound me with your writing prowess.

Astounding, surprising, stunning, awe-inspiring, sensational, remarkable, spectacular, stupendous, phenomenal, extraordinary and incredible; are a few words to sum up my thoughts on this book.

First I'll say that Ward is a gre
Debbie I Heart YA Books
Jun 28, 2011 Debbie I Heart YA Books rated it it was amazing

Ward Against Death is fantastic. I loved this story. It’s a fresh, new Paranormal. I’ve never read about Necromancers before, but as long as the story has Ward, I will be counting the days for the second book in this series. Ward and Celia are awesome characters. They grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Talk about reversed roles: Celia is the one who is tough, fearless, the butt-kicker and Ward is the clumsy, unsure damsel in distress. These two are hilarious together. Poor Ward is trying so hard to
Amber at Fall Into Books
Jul 30, 2013 Amber at Fall Into Books rated it really liked it
Ward Against Death was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into this novel not expecting a lot, to be honest. The ratings on Good Reads aren't that flattering, but I decided I'd give it a try anyway. So I sampled it from Amazon and ended up downloading the entire novel. I'm glad that I did. This book is a fun and refreshing take on necromancers. The characters are unique and the plot is intriguing. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

Ward is an entertaining and endearing hero. He is a
Sep 26, 2015 Tara rated it it was ok
Don't even ask me how this book ended up with three stars and not less, I don't even understand.

Somehow I just got over having no clue about their world, or basically anything they mentioned.

Really the whole mystery or point behind this story seemed so convoluted and pointless. Not to mention we never really learned why Celia and not someone else. Or maybe I just zoned out when they explained it?

Really I only even liked ward and that other assassin guy that is sort of celia's friend. Celia re
Julia Ember
Mar 24, 2016 Julia Ember rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
This book was endearing and quirky. I really liked the juxtaposition between sweet, slightly-lovesick Ward, who understands he’s being manipulated and cold seductress Celia. Strong female heroine – Ward is definitely the clumsy, inept one. While Celia is an agile, somewhat sociopathic stone-cold killer.

I appreciated that Melanie Card didn’t fall back on using zombie or vampire tropes for Celia. I also liked that Celia could tell she was dead — lingering stiffness, slowing of the thoughts. That f
E. Anderson
Nov 08, 2011 E. Anderson rated it it was amazing
The first thing I noticed about Melanie Card‘s novel is how completely ensconced the reader is in the world. It isn’t that the author bogs down the narrative with details, or that there are hefty explanations for every little thing that is different from the way we live. It’s just there — the world that Celia and Ward live in is what it is and it’s completely believable.

WARD AGANST DEATH reads almost like a historical fantasy, although it exists in a completely different universe — comparable, p
Cristina Buzoianu
Jan 26, 2015 Cristina Buzoianu rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-paranormal
Originally posted on my blog,

The description of this book intrigued me a lot, so I was thrilled when I received it as an ARC.
This story got me hooked up from the fist page, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before! Secret societies, assassins who throw knives through one’s neck *shiver*…
Ward is different from the male leading characters I’ve read about lately, and I had a hard time getting to like him, bec
Stacey Kennedy
Apr 06, 2012 Stacey Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Ooo I adored this book! The world was so lush and vivid. The plot was woven beautifully and I was sucked right into the story. While that was all a bonus, the characters are what had me captivated. It was so refreshing to read a hero who isn’t an Alpha.

Ward is such a softy, a bit awkward, and seriously the cutest guy ever! More than once I wanted to reach into the book and hug him!! I loved how Celia was this strong gal and I kept cheering her on throughout the story.

There is one scene that wa
Dec 16, 2011 Ron rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to have had a glimpse of the early manuscript of this novel in 2004, and I’m happy to see that the finished product lives up to the brilliant premise I saw back then. The thing that surprised me most was how the action in the novel obeys laws of physics—something I wish more authors of adventure thrillers would do.

The dialogue and internal monologue is witty and clever. (There is a lot of mental dueling between the protagonists.) The world-building is very well handled –
Sep 18, 2015 AH marked it as to-read
Kindle free download - 9/16/15.
Sep 14, 2015 Earicka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On The Run With A Corpse?!

This series must be read in order. This is the first book.

Ward always waned to be a physician but his true obssession was surgery... And surgery is forbidden as being against the Goddess' will. He was(of course)caught and forbidden from learning any more of medicine or practicing what he already knows. All that is left to him is the family gift/profession of Necromancy. Ward feels he is not that good at it as he cannot see magic in the least and yet he has never ever f
Tarra (Twilight Book Junkie)
Ok. I know it took me a VERY long time to read this book. But that said it was not because of the book. I actually really liked the book. Its the story about a boy named Ward, who wants to be a doctor but has the job of a necromancer. Well he is hired to wake a man's daughter, now this means that she will wake up for 15 minutes so the family can say their last goodbyes. Well she wakes up, but she doesn't believe she is dead. Her name is Celia by the way. Once Ward is able to convince her she rea ...more
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Sep 12, 2013 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
I had no idea from the blurb that this book was supposed to be YA. And even after reading it, I'm not sure if I would have characterized it that way. Both of the characters are about 20 years old, with careers, so to speak. Then again, there is no sex and our male main character isn't quite the standard hero.

Ward is a necromancer, though his real dream was always to be a physician and surgeon. Unfortunately, in this past/alternative world, magics are a way of life and surgery is forbidden. Ward
Jul 25, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ward Against Death is amazing! One of the main characters Ward, is a necromancer with power he has no idea he has. While the other main character Celia, is a kick-ass assassin. The main villain (yes there is more than one bad guy in this) has the kiss of death.

You know the person that got made fun of in high school for ALWAYS having to do the right thing? Well, that is Ward. He is so good-hearted that he risks his own life trying to save a dead girl…Yeah read the book and that last sentence wil
I got a copy for review in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked the idea behind this book and i think the idea behind the story is really original. I really enjoyed the first part of the story, but somewhere along the way my interest in the story lessened.

The book is about a necromancer (something I don't read about that often)who revives someone from the death and decides her help find her murderer. I really was pulled into the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. After a
Jan 20, 2012 Kereesa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like darker, humorous fantasy/paranormal
Recommended to Kereesa by: Kate (Nomalicious Reads)
**A thank you to Kate from Nomalicious Reads for allowing me to pick a book in her giveaway, and for writing a review that convinced me to pick Ward Against Death :D**

Ward Against Death was a fun, dark, paranormal story. Set in a world half victorian England, and surrounded by gilds filled with supernaturals, necromancers, and assassins, the novel is about Ward, a necromancer, who's been called to perform a 'wake' (waking up the deceased for 15 minutes for a final conversation with loved ones) o
Aug 02, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it
Check out more of my reviews (and other fun things!!!) on my blog: Paper Cuts

I have quite a few friends who have read this book before me, and all have raved about it. I admitted it looked intriguing, but couldn't understand how they could love it as much as they did. Only once I started it did I understand. The idea of necromancers has intrigued me since I read Garth Nix's Sabriel years ago, but I don't seem to come across a lot of books focusing on necromancy. I didn't realize that that bother
Small Review
3.5/5 stars

Best couple ever!

Ok, here's the thing you need to know about Celia: She's an assassin. I was a little afraid that based on that blurb, she'd be a whining damsel. But she TOTALLY isn't. Not even close. I also wasn't expecting her narration, but when chapter two rolled around and her voice was the one telling the story, I practically crowed with joy. I loved seeing the story through her perspective. This really helped give depth to her character and she scores highly on the WWMCD test.
Jul 02, 2011 Larissa rated it really liked it
Review posted at Lari's Writing

Here's a young necromancer who can't catch a break. Coming from a long line of necromancers, Ward de'Ath is still young and trying to make a name for himself.

The story begins with Ward performing a "wake." This means Ward has been hired by nobility to bring a young woman back from the dead for fifteen minutes to say a final "goodbye" before burial. What Ward doesn't expect is the dead Celia Carlyle to awaken and enlist Ward on a quest to find out who murdered her.

J.C. Hart
Jul 06, 2011 J.C. Hart rated it really liked it
I heard about Entangled Publishing through a friend awhile back, and have been waiting eagerly for their book store to go live so that I could check out the type/quality of books they put out, so when I saw a tweet from them that they had just put this title up on NetGalley I logged straight in and requested it! Just as well, too, as I've since tried to get other books but they have been overloaded with requests!

I think the cover of this one is gorgeous, and I love that the series is called 'Chr
Jan 05, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the very beginning, I knew Ward Against Death was going to be a winner. It reminded me too much of my all-time favorite TV show, Pushing Daisies, for me to not enjoy it. Just like the show, Ward has the ability to bring back the dead for a limited amount of time. His latest job is to wake a nobleman's daughter after her suspicious death. It doesn't go according to plan at all, since Celia claims to have been murdered, then jumps out of the window. Ward is responsible for her, so of course h ...more
Cristina Buzoianu
Jan 26, 2015 Cristina Buzoianu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-paranormal

The description of this book intrigued me a lot, so I was thrilled when I received it as an ARC.
This story got me hooked up from the fist page, and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before! Secret societies, assassins who throw knives through one’s neck *shiver*…
Ward is different from the male leading characters I’ve read about lately, and I had a hard time getting to like him, because he’s not an Alpha male. H
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I have always been drawn to story telling. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling a story in my head or on paper. In grade school, we had journal writing time which I turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that I loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that I nurtured this love an ...more
More about Melanie Card...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer (4 books)
  • Ward Against Darkness (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #2)
  • Ward Against Disaster (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #3)
  • Ward Against Destruction (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #4)

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