Tag Archives: Necromancy

Marlowe, Scott: Killing the Dead (A Tale of the Assassin Without a Name II) (2010)

Killing the Dead - Scott Marlowe

So, how does an assassin go about killing a ghost? Scott Marlowe has certainly thrown his assassin a seemingly impossible job. Getting rid of a necromancer, who was supposed to be dead, is a task fraught with danger for our unnamed hero.

Killing the Dead is an action story with a happy feeling to it. Yes, there is fighting and death and necromancy, but Killing the Dead stays far away from being a dark fantasy. Definitely recommended.


Killing the Dead available at Scott Marlowe’s website

Nix, Garth: Sabriel (Old Kingdom Chronicles I) (1995)

Sabriel is one of many children born to power. Her type of power is the kind that can lay the dead to rest or raise their spirits from it. Necromancy is a craft fraught with danger for its wielder.

The temptation to abuse what powers we have been given seems to come the way of many powerful. Some people seem to have a natural immunity to such lures. Sabriel is one of those. Perhaps that has something to do with her heritage as one of the Abhorsens’. This family sees it as their duty to maintain the balance between life and death by laying to rest the restless dead.

Yet, when the mantle of the Abhorsen falls upon Sabriel, she is only 18. I’m trying to remember what life was like at 18. Much like now in some ways. People did stuff that made them happy or things that they regretted. Whatever their motivation, some of the other 18-year-olds were clearly harder working and more responsible than I, while others were the opposite. Sabriel falls somewhere in the middle (where most of us fall).

Circumstances drive her across the wall into the Old Kingdom. Life throws her on the run from zombies (not Nix’ word) and it also forces her to choose between impossible choices. Magic helps her on the way, but without the preparations by the long dead and the assistance of Mogget and Touchstone and her mother Sabriel would be long dead.

I believe this is the MOST important lesson life teaches us. We cannot get to our appointment with death without others to help us stay alive on the way. Obviously, we are free to choose to go our route alone. All that does is hasten that last breath. For some people that is a choice they need to make. But Sabriel at 18 looks forward to what she hopes is a long and happy life, although events Garth Nix throws her way seem to do their best to shorten that life.

There is plenty of action. Some of that action kills off people on both sides. Near death experiences seem the norm rather than the exception for Sabriel. Touchstone and Sabriel fall for each other. I think I have to agree with the other reviews I have read. Definitely recommended.


Sabriel available on Amazon US


Price, Kalayna: Haven series

First thing to be said about the Haven series is that the books are very easy to read and they do not take long to finish. In this case, easy is meant as a compliment. Both Once Bitten and Twice Dead are addictive. I’ve read them a couple of times and enjoyed them just as much each time. Both are heavy on action and low on romance (although there is plenty of tension between the two main characters). Kalayna Price has done herself proud.


German cover

Young Kita is about to discover what it means to be both shape-shifter and vampire. Or does being a vampire cancel out being a shape-shifter? She is also about to discover what it means to crave blood. Let us just say that the longing makes her nauseous.

Once Bitten is the first novel in the Haven series. Kalayna Price is the author of this series. Her books tend to be in the supernatural/ romance/action categories. So too in Once Bitten.

Kita is on the run from Firth, a parallel world for shape-shifters. Her shape is a cat. In spite of her small size she is Dyre (the one to inherit leadership) and her father Torin. Female shape-shifters are forbidden Earth, which is why there are hunters on her tail. But Kita does not want to go back.

Her running takes her to the city of Haven, and Haven takes her into the world of vampires and scholars (magicians). Once Bitten is pretty much about Kita’s entrance into the world of vampires and the impact the change has upon her and her vampire sire, Nathaniel.


Both Once Bitten and Twice Dead are urban fantasies set in the city of Haven. I found Twice Dead as good as Once Bitten. They are both light, easy, action-filled and fun to read. Kalayna manages to make her characters pretty three-dimensional (especially our main one – Kita). Focus is not placed on world building but on character building. In a novel of this length I find that wise.

In Twice Dead Nicholas is chastised and punished for not making Kita drink enough human and master blood. She is still a cat at heart and really finds the idea repugnant. Rabbit blood is OK, but human? No way. Therefore, the choice is taken away from her.

When the Collector comes to town wanting to question Kita about the deaths in Once Bitten, other deaths begin happening. Vampires are discovered without their heads attached and Kita is being framed for them.

Twice Dead is pretty much about resolving the mystery surrounding these murders, staying away from the hunters from Firth and trying to keep Kita alive. Enjoy.

THIRD BLOOD (2012) – Not yet published. I just wanted to show the planned new cover. Great, huh?