Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > The Necromancer's House

The Necromancer's House by Christopher Buehlman
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, urban-fantasy

This is a somewhat challenging book to review. For a good deal of the book I was thinking 3 stars at most. Other times it would "obviously" rate the full 5 stars. So up front let me say this is an excellent book in many ways and I would recommend you give it a try. I say that up front because after this I intend to give a few details and that is going require some talk of pluses and minuses.

So first a controversial statement, if you're interested in only a "plot" that is "a story" you could probably skip half to two thirds of this book. The trick is, there's no way to know up front which half. The novel is about "the life" of a wizard...except he hates that word. There is some discussion of what word would appeal to him more... You have to read the book to find out what.

Anyway...our "not-wizard" (Andrew Blankenship) is a person who could have profited from reading about Spiderman (view spoiler). He's studying and teaching magic. This is a world where magic exists along side the non-magical world (as you may have seen before) but it works in a way kind of unique to this work. (Though not totally). Andrew has a "sort of" apprentice with whom he has a rather convoluted relationship (I won't spill that here as it is sort of intricate to parts of the plot). He faces the consequences of decisions and actions that have taken place before we join the story (or just as we join the story) that will be shattering and deadly.

The book itself has a somewhat dreamlike quality as it's told in present time, flash-back, dream and vision cascading in on one another so that you dare not let your mind wander. The story takes it's time building up and laying out the situation and leading up to the extended climax that we reach much like a crucible slowly heating up only to have the molten metal within suddenly burst into a frantic boil.

If you know a bit about folklore that's going to be a big plus here for you. You can read the story without that but if you (like many of us here) have read esoteric books on said folklore you'll get a big kick. The folk legend used here is played very close the traditional "facts" of said legend.

I'm dancing around here trying to tell a little about the book without giving any spoilers. This is the second book I've read by this author. I think I like the first a bit better, but I like them both. This is an excellent book and at least close to unique if not totally so.

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Reading Progress

February 22, 2014 – Started Reading
February 22, 2014 – Shelved
Finished Reading
February 24, 2014 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 24, 2014 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy

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