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The Necromancer's Apprentice

(Underground City #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Though Jyximus Faire lives in a crumbling tenement in the Underground City, he escapes the squalor daily to attend lessons in magic and sorcery at the prestigious Academy in the City Above. But the pace isn't fast enough for Jyx. He wants to learn everything – and he wants to learn it now.

Then the dread necromancer general Eufame Delsenza sets her sights on Jyx; she needs
ebook, First, 91 pages
Published March 14th 2014 by Dark Continents Publishing, Inc.
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  66 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Rab Fulton
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Icy Sedgewick's latest story had me hooked from the first page, with its brilliant sense of place, great rhythm and turns of phrase like the 'mindless chatter' that made the boy 'dream of dancing teacups.' What's more it had everything a great story should have. Mummies, wolfmen, huge dramatic battle scenes and glimpses of the World Beyond.

What is particularly lovely about the book is how effortlessly the story unfolds. Everything seems light and simple even as the young lad Jyx slips deeper and
D.C. Petterson
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book is much too short. That's a Good Thing. A reader should be left hungry for more.

The opening pages led me to believe I'd see another take on Hogworts, the story of the occult prep school education of a young wizard-to-be. The tale rapidly changed however into exactly what its title promised: a darker (but still YA-appropriate) retelling of the Sorcerer's Apprentice theme, complete with a nod to The Broom.

Among the many outstanding features are hints at the culture and history of the alt
Amy Burgess
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jyx is a frustrated student far ahead of his class. While his classmates cannot seem to master simple spells, he's reading forbidden magical library books beneath his desk and steadily advancing his power.

Unfortunately, there's a good reason why boys his age are required to wait until they try advanced magic. They may have the knowledge, but do they have the maturity?

Jyx thinks his magical career is over before it has even begun when he is caught with a forbidden book and he faces expulsion, but
Larry Kollar
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nobody writes mummy stories like Icy Sedgwick. A perennial contributor to #FridayFlash, her story “No Flash” is still my favorite long after she posted it. So when she said she was going to write a Sorcerer’s Apprentice story, and replace the brooms with mummies, I was ready to grab it on Launch Day.

And it did not disappoint, even if I didn’t get around to writing the review right away. It’s dark, the way I like dark, with a little hilarity along the way.

Icy likes complex characters with multipl
R.l. Bailey
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review of
The Necromancers Apprentice by Icy Sedgwick
Review by R.L. Bailey
Genre: YA/ fantasy
4/5 angel wings

When I first started reading The Necromancers Apprentice, my first thoughts were oh great another Harry Potter kind of story. But boy was I wrong! This is, in my humble opinion, better than those books. The world that Icy Seddwick has created in this story is full of life and worded so beautifully that once a reader starts its hard to stop.
Our hero, Jaximus, fondly nicknamed Jyx, is someone
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this tale thoroughly. The style is compelling and engaging, and I had to keep reading to know what happens next. I found the protagonist and supporting cast to all be equally well rounded, and this story is peppered with interesting individuals.

The setting is truly alive, and it's interesting that a piece of this length hints at a wider world with much more depth and complexity.

In the end, the length is my only gripe. As a self-contained story, the length is perfect. So much feels like
Benjamin Knox
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having picked up "Checkmate & Other Stories" and thoroughly enjoyed it, I was keen to read something longer from Miss Sedgwick, and wow did she deliver.

I'm not usually a fan of fantasy but this story sucked me in from the get go. Jyx is an instantly likable protagonist and I was fascinated by the Underground City in which he resides, but the main pleasure of this tale is its pace. It is blistering without being rushed. Just as I thought it was going to get bogged down with magic academy malarkey
Carrie Clevenger
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn't like a book with wizards, or at least magic? In this novella, Icy wields her extraordinary talent for world-building, opening the story in the dingy, destitute Underground City, where Jyx, the aspiring mage endures his time only in hopes of making something of himself. His mother has given up nearly everything to put him through magic academy, but that's not quite enough for him. In the wee hours of the morning, Jyx has a habit of snooping in the library, reading and learning incanta ...more
Katherine Hajer
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Necromancer's Apprentice twists the archtypical story of a novice magician over-reaching his education into a satisfying horror/fairy tale.

The narrative follows Jyximus "Jyx" Faire, a poor but brilliant young man who attends the local magician's college on a scholarship. Jyx excels at his studies, so much so that he has embarked on self-directed -- and forbidden -- research endeavours.  

Jyx is a compelling character anyone would recognise from their own days at school, but the really enchan
Barry Gill
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-horror
Icy's telling of the classic tale "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" twists this fast paced tale into a horror fairy tale that I loved from the moment I started reading.

Icy's storytelling is fabulous and she is able to pull you along this familiar tale, wringing your hands at every turn.

Will the cocky upstart realize the error of his ways and set things straight before it's too late or will he find the come-uppance he might rightly deserve?

This novella is a must read for anyone who likes horror or fant
Jeanette Heidenberg
I had the pleasure of reading The Necromancer’s Apprentice on The Pigeonhole together with other readers and the author. This is the first book in a series, and as soon as I finished this book, I went on Amazon to buy the next one. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish, and can warmly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy series.

Angie Rhodes
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't want it to end. Think Harry Potter, meets Mortal Instruments, and you have the latest book by Icy Sedgwick. Magic, Excitement, Danger, all here, The descriptions used are beautiful, ", dancing teacups" springs to mind, that alone, makes me smile and wish I could do magic.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This was a really fun read. A well realised world with fun characters, and a bit of raising the dead. It’s a short, sharp introductory story and I’m looking forward to more of Jyx and Eufame’s adventures.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
Flimsy world building and jarringly terrible dialogue all adds up to a (mercifully short) novel in which I completely failed to care about any of the characters or events.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How can anyone resist a book that is described as "Magic, murder and mummies!"? It's the line that made me want to dive straight into Icy Sedgwick's The Necromancer's Apprentice - the first book in her Underground City series.

The apprentice of the title is Jyximus Faire, a student at the prestigious magic academy in the City Above. He doesn't fit in because he lives in the poor Underground City, and also because he's far ahead of the other students: Jyx is always impatient to learn and use magi
Peach Berry
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Being fairly new to this genre, I was intrigued to see how this twist of the classic Sorcerer's Apprentice plot would fair. The result? A fabulous whirlwind story that plummets right to the heart of its denouement leaving little time to catch up.

Icy's writing is imaginative, descriptive and believable - even with walking mummies, wolfheaded guards and a strong, empowered Necromancer General who has been alive for hundreds of years.

The Necromancer's Apprentice tells the story of its ill-fated pr
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this little book (it’s very short), and can’t help but think that it’s all set up to be the start of at least another book! But perhaps not!
Jyximus Faire is a student at the magical academy, and gets caught reading what he shouldn’t be. Instead of being expelled, he is given over to the city’s Necromancer to become her assistant.
I thought this was going to end up a copy of Hogwarts, but it’s not. It’s very much it’s own story, and the characters are not copies of any other books charac
Kevin J Mackey
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book left me smiling, and yelling at it. I want to know more, though that was the driver for, and the undoing of, the main character.

While horror doesn't always "do it" for me, writing at this level always does.

This is a FUN read. The world it inhabits is complex, and wonderfully woven. The Apprentice...overreaching, passionate, delightfully motivated, head-shakingly uncautious.

The Necromancer General is a character of such presence, I knew I was reading a work by Icy Sedgwick. She has a ta
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meet Jyx, a magician in training. But he is not like the rest. The academy is only for the rich but his mother managed to get him in. He is hungry to learn more and well ahead of his classmates but he is also not really patient.
One day after he sneaked in the library's forbidden section, he is called in the principle'office and almost expelled but then he becomes the Necromancer General's apprentice. He thought this is his chance for success and prosperity but might be his downfall...
I really en
Katy Haye
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! This is a great fantasy. Jyx is a fabulous character - a little bit too clever for his own good but with a good heart and no real intention to cause the chaos he manages. The world of Underground and City Above was beautifully drawn with lots of tensions and social inequality built in. I can't wait to hear more from Jyx and I've downloaded the next, The Necromancer's Rogue, straight to my kindle.
Di Paterson
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun and fresh take on an old story.
I was able to read this book courtesy of the Pigeonhole reading platform, and loved it. It's well written, in a light-hearted manner, and was over too soon. It's not a long book, but reading it still went very quickly, because I was immediately engrossed in the characters. It's an old tale about an apprentice who takes on more than he can handle, but Icy Sedgwick's version is very entertaining, and I look forward to more stories about Jyx and Eufame.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another treat from Pigeonhole. This was a really entertaining page-turner, the start of a trilogy of books. It promised mummies, magic and mayhem and it didn't disapoint. Jyx is recruited to help resurrect some mummies for a royal profession but it all goes a bit wrong when he overstretches his magical abilities. The necromancer is a great, mysterious character. Loved the names she used too. I will be looking out for the next books and for the author again.
Sacha Black
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely FANTASTIC. I adored Jyx’s blind arrogance and the inevitable doom feeling you got the whole way through the plot. The characters were rich and full. The settings were gritty and atmospheric and created exceptional imagery in my minds eye. I was gripped and couldn’t put the book down, I just wish it were longer - PUBLISH THE SEQUEL PLEASE!
Fay Robertson
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Utter mayhem - what a glorious book!

From seedy city taverns to a vaulted castle filled with magic and mummies and undead bats turned into a harem scarem mummy fest by the hapless (that mix of high brain and low common sense), apprentice.

Think Terry Pratchett with a bit more edge, Neil Gaiman with a bit more fun, and Terry Brookes but a bit more gothic.

Nerine Dorman
Mar 14, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Obviously I can't rate this since I'm the editor, but this is a wonderful, pulpy, crunchy tale involving reanimated mummies, a cat, a necromancer general, and one apprentice who's overreaching himself.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Icy Sedgewick has a style of writing that really draws you in to the rich and dark world she has created. The main character, is quite arrogant about how talented at magic he is but still he is strangely likeable. That is talented writing indeed. Can't wait to read the sequel.
Liz Deakin
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great novella, nicely written, full of magic and wizardry and interesting characters. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jyximus Faire lived in the underground city with his mother and siblings in dire poverty, surrounded by noise and grime, forever dreaming of one day living in the City above. Through his mother's sacrifices she managed to place him at the academy of magic, and he was a diligent student, his thirst for knowledge was unquenchable so he was ahead of his class but his nightly ventures into the library had been noted by a raven spy. He was offered the post of an apprentice to the very scary Eufame, D ...more
Cynthia Raleigh
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read the Prequel, The Skeleton in the Floor, first and was eager to continue with the series. The protagonist, Eufame Delsenza, Necromancer General, is fabulous! I am envious of the magical living quarters and working environment in the House of the Long Dead that Icy Sedgwick has created for Eufame. The mystery and dread surrounding the Necromancer General and her new, overconfident, and green-as-they-come apprentice is engaging and I want to read more. I'm glad to find a new 'world' to explo ...more
Yolandie Horak
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun Little Read

This is a short book, but oh, how much fun.

The story follows a boy genius, Jyx, who's so bored with his studies that he races ahead of the class--head-first into trouble. Instead of expulsion, he's apprenticed to the necromancer general, Eufame Delsenza, and chaos ensues.

There are some delicious twists at the end, leaving you wanting more.

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Fantasy with a Folklore Twist

Icy Sedgwick is a writer based in the north east of England. She writes Gothic-tinged not-quite-YA fantasy novels and Gothic short stories. Icy is also working on a series of experiments in historical fiction with Australian composer AJ Moon, combining spoken word stories with originally composed music. When she's not writing fiction, she's blogging about folklore and

Other books in the series

Underground City (2 books)
  • The Necromancer's Rogue (The Underground City Series Book 2)

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