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A corrupted power stirs from beyond the grave.
The Necromancer Queen will rise again.

An immersive and ambitious new series from the Aurealis Award-winning author of A Crucible of Souls.

In the wake of the rebel Niyandrians’ abduction attempt, Anskar DeVantte, now a knight-inferior of the Order of Eternal Vigilance, has set sail with the Grand Master, bound for the mother house in Sansor.

Anskar has already begun to suspect that the Order’s holy convictions aren’t as pure as they appear, and his doubts are confirmed when the ship detours to the slave markets of Atya. As the Grand Master gathers an expedition to retrieve an ancient artifact from an unearthed ruin, Anskar finds himself torn between the holy path he is committed to and the grasping hands of those who wish to use his unique power: the Grand Master; the rebel leader, Carred Selenas; and even the Necromancer Queen herself.

When a depraved rot is exposed at the heart of the Order, Anskar is forced to confront the growing power of the dusk- and dark-tides within himself, and find a balance that won’t see him damned in the eyes of his god.

But can a lowly knight-sorcerer resist his instincts to obey his superiors’ in the Order, and fight the pull of Queen Talia’s corrupted influence from beyond the grave?

The true danger is greater than even the Order realizes, and soon Anskar must decide who he can trust, and what he is willing to risk in order to carve out his own destiny, protect the world, and perhaps the fate of all Niyandrians.

500 pages, Kindle Edition

Published February 12, 2021

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About the author

Mitchell Hogan

32 books919 followers
*** Signup to Mitchell's New Release mailing list to be the first to hear about new releases, and for bonus chapters of A Crucible of Souls! ***

When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases' worth of fantasy and sci-fi novels and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon.

His first attempt at writing fantasy was an abysmal failure and abandoned after only one page. But ideas for characters and scenes continued to come to him and he kept detailed notes of his thoughts, on the off chance that one day he might have time to write a novel. For a decade he put off his dream of writing until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He knew he would regret not having tried to write the novel percolating inside his head for the rest of his life. Mitchell quit his job and lived off dwindling savings, and the support of his fiancé, until he finished the first draft of A Crucible of Souls.

He now writes full time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown author.

A Crucible of Souls won the 2013 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

Mitchell lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and daughters, Isabelle and Charlotte.

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5 stars
180 (46%)
4 stars
132 (34%)
3 stars
55 (14%)
2 stars
15 (3%)
1 star
5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews
Profile Image for Paige Belfield.
149 reviews16 followers
February 2, 2021
If you like necromancy, demons, unending betrayal, and moral ambiguity, you need to be reading more books by Mitchell Hogan!!!

This series is perfect for anyone who loves the traditional Swords and Sorcery fantasy. The world, split between this series (Necromancer's Key), the Infernal Guardian, and the Tainted Cabal, is truly intricate and exciting. Each series follows a separate side of the world but seem to be getting closer to intertwining as we move forward (Ooh gosh I hope so. Tarrik would really give Anskar what-for). In this series, we follow Anskar, raised to be a devoted religious knight but with a past that won't let him follow that path easily. We also follow Carrad, loyal bodyguard and lover to the long-dead Necromancer Queen. This book takes a lot more rapid turns than book 1, and really leaves you wondering what the hell will happen next.

Personally, I would have loved Anskar to have more agency in this book. He's a fascinating character but he was difficult to engage with when his main role was to react to things. The other characters made up for it this time, but I really hope book 3 brings him into his own.
Profile Image for Pamela .
552 reviews30 followers
December 23, 2020
Anskar DeVantte is ship bound to Sansor, supposedly to keep him safe from his Niyandrian abductors, but it seems everyone has a plan for Anskar. As Anskar finds himself in one peril after another (the wraiths are back, to my delight), it only adds to his questions of his true destiny, and who should he really trust. Only he can decide which path he will follow, and is there a right one.
If you've read other series by Mitchell Hogan, you'll find familiar characters and connections in this story, which only added interest for me, with having some background.
I'll be looking forward to Book 3.
Profile Image for Anders Haywood.
80 reviews
February 20, 2021
A sequel somehow even better than the first book!

This is a hard book to review. Not because I didn't like it (I absolutely loved it, and I'm getting the audible as soon as it's out, I enjoyed it that much). Rather, it's hard because there were so many twists and revelations of Wiraya that I don't want to spoil it for anyone.
I'll just say that it follows on immediately from the first book, with Anskar sailing away from his destiny, and with Carred doing everything she can for her late, but maybe not lost Queen.
There was also a fairly brief cameo from one of the main characters from the book Revenant Winds, which I won't ruin. Also, you don't have to have read that to understand his role in the tale (but you should because it was fantastic). Reading book one is also strongly recommended, but not strictly necessary as the introduction is really comprehensive.
All in all, this was one of those books you just hate to finish. I can't wait for book three!
3 reviews
November 18, 2021
I never used to like Fantasy books at all. One fine day I saw Crucible of Souls in our thrift store for a few dollars. The cover looked good, the story sounded good but what attracted me was the fact that there wasn’t a million names, places and such like to remember.
I loved it and I’ve read every Mitchell Hogan book since.
The stories, plots and characters are always great and this book was no exception.
Mitchell doesn’t waste a single paragraph and once again the story had me hooked.
Another aspect that i love is the “what’s gone before” at the start of his books. It’s a brilliant reminder of the where the previous story was and brings you up to date.
My favourite fantasy author by a long way.
Profile Image for Tyler.
64 reviews4 followers
May 19, 2021
Dropped. No character development at all. Anskar is repeatedly shown the corruption of his church and continues to blindly trust them while making the same mistakes over and over again. Really frustrating to read.
Profile Image for Chris Grant.
3 reviews
February 19, 2021
Anskar is back again in the second outing of The Necromancers Key and thankfully this edition is not a second book slump. Adventure, individual grit and spirit, the same well-painted humor of the first book. It makes great reading.

As the first book was majorly set on just the island of Niyas, our PoVs move outside into the broader world. New locations are visited and older ones for fans of Hogan’s other series’. On par with the first, the characters continue to be engaging and well defined.

If you are stuck between waiting on new books and enjoy smartly paced High Fantasy, I wholly recommend this series. I personally cannot wait for the next one.
2 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2021
An amazing sequel to a wonderful new series - The Necromancer's Key - from Mitchell Hogan. Corruption continues and fleshes out the story of Anskar DeVantte and Carred Selenas that started with Incursion and does so in very exciting and action packed ways. The world building this story shares with a few of Mitchell's other works is amazing and detailed and there is always the chance of an old friend(or enemy) popping into the stories that you weren't expecting. I highly recommend this series to anybody who loves fantasy and especially fans of his previous works.
31 reviews
May 24, 2021
A reasonably medium pace to start the second book but could not put it down after the first 50 pages or so! Really excited for the next installment and cannot wait. Lots of twists and turns and frustrations with Anskar and splendid how it all ties in with the Demons and the Tainted Cabal trilogy- excellent!
34 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2021
I’d like to slap the main character. HE’S NOT DOING WHAT I WANT HIM TO DO! But, I imagine he’ll get there in the end. This is truly another great series. I love the Tainted Cabal world, and can’t wait to read more!
Profile Image for Keith Stevenson.
Author 24 books46 followers
March 19, 2021
A great follow up to Incursion. Anskar's journey from the relative safety of Branil's Burg takes more than a few unexpected turns. Alliances shift and secret's uncovered point to deeper mysteries as Anskar grows in power and strives to change his destiny.
332 reviews12 followers
January 20, 2022
I was so engaged and fascinated with volume 1 of this series that I immediately went out and ought this second book of the trilogy. I almost wished I had not. The world-building is fine and the characters - both old and new - are interesting and generally well-developed. But the same can not be said for the plot.

In fact, there is little plot at the end of the day, just a series of extended incidents that, while fine in themselves, don't really advance the plot at all. Nor does the protagonist really change much from start to finish. Yes, he's more powerful, yes he is increasingly torn about what he should do, and yes he has sex with more women. Other than that, I'm thinking book 3 will start not far from where book 1 ended, at least in story terms.

My biggest disappointment here is the total absence of the deep thematic critique I found in the first book. That makes me think it might have been accidental, or that I simply read that critique in. I don't know, but it's why I gave the first book 4 stars. This one I could have done without.
4 reviews
March 26, 2021
While I like the worlds Mitch creates (especially his first series), there a bit of a rut with the female characters and their mannerisms in this series that wasn't in previous ones, and I could do without. It's a darker fantasy, which is great, discussing gray morals, which is fantastic.

But none of the female characters felt intelligent, formidable, or real to me...save perhaps Keras. If you want something in which the average female and dialog point is drunk and/or sex-obsessed, reactionary and not terribly intelligent, this is a great choice.

There's a lot of characters in this book, and across the males, he paints a variety of motivations and fears.

But for the female characters....nope. And that's a real shame.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of darker fantasy work, and Mitch does good work generally here.
June 26, 2021
Good story line. Killer names to pronounce

I like the story, but trying and failing to pronounce names of people and places ruin the flow. Either spell it so I can say it or give me the pronunciation in the beginning
13 reviews
February 25, 2021
Good reas

Mitch wrote another excellent book. Like additions of characters from his other books. Read it in few days. Looking forward to next book in series.
Profile Image for Ola.
4 reviews2 followers
July 1, 2021
Anskar character development is way too slow, which is an exception when it comes to him been horny at every turn 🙄. Very frustrating
Profile Image for Julia Stephanie.
1,922 reviews4 followers
August 13, 2021
This weird relationship with intimacy/sexuality is really bothersome. Fortunately the overall storyline is still moving along.
Profile Image for JOHN MITCHELL.
111 reviews
December 30, 2021
A Good Sequel

A great follow-up to the first novel. Strong characters and an intriguing plot contribute to a thoroughly good book.

Onto the third.
Profile Image for John.
419 reviews3 followers
June 8, 2023
good 3.5 stars, a long boring but hard to put down book. I could only do it on audio.
1 review
January 3, 2021
The second part of the story starts slowly as Anskar sets out on his journey with Hyle Paulus on the ship Exultant. They take a stop at Atya on their way to Sansor and during a visit with Hyle Paulus to an ancient underground city looking for a relic Anskar's powers begin to develop to a greater degree. After this adventure they eventually arrive in Sansor and Anksar is sent to the temple of the Hooded One and meets the Abbess. There again he is tested and his powers challenged but in a way he did not expect and his major shock at this again twists the storyline. These two books so far have several times posed the question what is good and evil and how does Anskar judge this?

Overall a great second chapter which again leaves me wanting more and I look forward to book three in the series.

Alan Bartholomew
Profile Image for Toby Lloyd.
6 reviews
February 19, 2021
The first book in this series was one of my favourites and I think Hogan's best work to date. His writing has continued to evolve since the sensational debut and really hits his straps in terms of character and world building in this series. He has definitely added an unpredictable element to his writing, with the story sometimes going in unexpected, yet welcome, directions.

I find his work some of the most page-turning fantasy as it is both intriguing and extremely easy to read.

Particularly enjoyed the cameo/cross-over with his other work, which just adds to the immersion in the world.
Displaying 1 - 23 of 23 reviews

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