The Bone Palace (The Necromancer Chronicles #2)
Death is no stranger in the city of Erisín, but some deaths attract more attention than others.
When a prostitute dies carrying a royal signet, Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and agent of the Crown, is called to investigate. Her search leads to desecrated tombs below the palace, and the lightless vaults of the vampiric vrykoloi deep beneath the city. But worse things than va
but then we began a slow shift into the fantasy genre and now everyone's getting all smart. i did not sign up for intellectua ...more
I would've loved this book back when I was still in my epic fantasy craze, when an eye-catching cover picture and a minimum 1.5" paperback thickness was all that was needed to earn my devotion. This series is like Melanie Rawn without the near-pornographic descriptions of clothing and appearance, or Jacqueline Carey (who provides a cover quote) without the S&M...huh, fantasy does seem to throw in lots of secks. Anyway, I might have drooled over this as much as I did for Rawn (Carey a ...more
How can this be so boring?
I'm at page 96. Now she's adding a conspiracy! With demons! And a swish dude! Maybe now it will get more interesting!
Oh. No. It didn't get more interesting. I give up.
The Empire Strikes Back. Toy Story 2. Road Warrior. No doubt most would recognize this pattern. Sometimes the second outing is just better than the first. That doesn’t mean there was something wrong with the original, it just got outclassed. This is something I rarely find in books though; the ‘middle book syndrome’ of lackluster filler is much more common in fantasy genre trilogies. Not this time though, The Bone Palace is the second book of The Necromancer Chronicles and is ...more
This is partly because it caused me to have an epiphany that, even if it isn't particularly novel, was still needed. But it's mostly because of the characters.
They aren't Romantic heroes -- they take tumbles down passageways, and they get taken out by ignominous bumps on the head, and afterward they hurt for days or weeks, and that affects their moods and their abilities. Their lives are messy, and Isyllt admits "[I] had never set grea ...more
Prior to this year, I hadn't read a great deal of fantasy, and I think I am still getting my feet wet to some degree. Practically every series I read about has passionate defenders that insist it does things differently/subverts cliché/breaks new ground/provides a fresh take on old tropes. And suddenly, my to-read shelves are bulging.
But then I read the books, and they feel old hat, despite intriguing elements. In the case of The Bo ...more
The biggest problem for me was ...more
It's hard to glimpse whether there's a larger story behind the politics and magic -- it feels like there should be; there's plenty of history and geography underlying the wo ...more
I guess first that I should applaud that she had females in male parts, captain of the guard, royal investigator. A woman born into the body of a man and treated as a woman. Eh whatever. I know I am supposed to be all, good! But I care about the story, ...more
The magic is complex and well-thought-out, the politics are dense and entertaining, and the cultures are analogous to the real world but dissimilar enough that it doesn’t feel lazy. Some surprising subcultures and customs make appearances, most no ...more
I LOVED The Drowning City. A kick ass heroine who the author wasn't afraid to handle roughly. That's how you make a point. I'm not cool with didactic fiction whether it's John Ringo's global warming denial or Amanda Downum's queer cheerleading. Entertain me, don't preach at me.
The Bone Palace's points are made to make a point and it distracts from the narrative. Having pee ...more
Plot summary from the author's site: (with some additions by me)
The city of Erisín is built on bones, named for the saint of the underworld--death is no stranger in its walls. But some deaths attract more attention than others.
When a prostitute dies carrying a royal signet, Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and ...more
A prostitute has turned up dead, her throat slit. Sad, but hardly uncommon. The only thing that draws this to Isyllt’s attention is that she was found carrying a royal treasure, and the scandal needs to be resolved before word can reach the king. ...more
The mostly unflappable Isyllt Iskaldur has returned home to resume her service as necromancer/investigator for the crown. When a courtesan is found dead with a royal ring on her person, Isyllt is called in to solve the mystery. What she finds leads both deep down under the city and far back into the past, as the royal family's secrets are laid bare and, for some, resolved...fatally.
Damn. See also, wow. Downum has done it again. Erisin is just as deadly as implied i ...more
This book continues the adventures of Isyllt, a necromancer in service to the King. When her orange coat (similar to police) friend Khelsea finds a royal seal hidden in the clothes of a dead prostitute, she brings in Isyllt to investigate. The investigation stirs up old secrets that dovetail into current assassination attempts and plots against the crown. Downum peopled the book with fascinating secondary characters suc ...more
Also of note: all sorts of inter ...more
The setting of Erisín is an elegantly drawn Greek fantasy, full of the kind of detail that Downum excels at. The cultural color pervades the setting deeply, from the way the nation of Selafai has close borders with others in every direction, to its Mediterranean cuisine and its deep esteem for the performing arts. This gives us a rich backdrop for a story that starts with a seemingly-small cas ...more
*** SPOILERS ***
Minor quibbles about the "big bad" and her allies. Given that they both spent considerable time supporting her rise to power, and therefore her ability to threaten the kingdom, the fact they both got cold feet late on seems a little silly. Surely they knew ...more
Other Books in the Series
Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals
"Oh," she said, and marveled at her own wit. "I thought you preferred living women."
His mouth quirked. "I do." Finally he looked at her and set the wine aside. She took the invitation and sat beside him again. "Even ones half-starved and pale as you." He dropped a kiss on her shoulder, but his heart wasn't in it. "But--"
"But she's beautiful anyway," she finished. "Do mice find cats beautiful before the kill? Or owls?"
"If mice have poets, I think they must.”