About the Necromancer’s Daughter
A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.
Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.
While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.
Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.
Global Amazon Links:
This book is a well written and entertaining story about a a family of necromancers, all unrelated by blood, who pass their skills and healing remedies from one generation to the next. One of their skills is an ability to raise the dead, in certain circumstances and within specific timeframes. This ability to reverse death comes at a high personal cost to the necromancer who performs the healing, as it requires the ingestion of a mixture of poisons. The poisonous mixture makes the necromancer very ill after the treatment, and if ingested too frequently, can kill the healer.
Astor is the daughter of the king of Verdane, but she was born dead and he does not want to claim her as his daughter because necromancies is viewed with intolerance and disfavour by the majority of the people of his kingdom. Astor is raised by Barus, the deformed necromancer who raised her from the dead, and she recognises him as her father.
Barus was also born dead and was raised by his adopted mother who taught him the art of necromancy. Barus is summonsed by the king to aid his wife who is struggling to birth their first child and who might die. When the time comes and the queen dies in childbirth, followed by the death of her infant, the king decides not to resurrect either of them. Barus is captivated by the beautiful girl child and decides to take her, and fulfil her dead mother’s wish by restoring her to life.
Barus’ own adoptive mother was murdered by a vengeful soldier when she refused to raise his badly damaged dead son. He is very lonely and Astor is a chance for him to have someone to love and care for.
The king is aware that his child has been resurrected and lives with Barus and visits her every year on her birthday. She does not know who he is and is disturbed by his annual visits. Astor grows up a necromancer, under the tutorage of Barus, and also develops a strong natural talent to control the dragons that belong to her mother’s people in Blackrock. The people of Verdane are terrified of the dragons which have historically been used against them in battle by the King of Blackrock.
When the king becomes ill and looks set to die without an heir, he decides to claim Astor. That decision puts in motion a series of outcomes that cause enormous changes to Barus and Astor’s lives. Astor ends up fleeing Verdane with the aid of the son of her greatest enemy, Joreh, and attempting to travel to Blackrock to find her mother’s family.
This book is more than just a heart wrenching story as it holds some of mankind’s worst attributes up for detailed inspection and consideration. The theme of blind religious faith and puritanical attitudes towards people with different beliefs and viewpoints is examined throughout the book. Astor’s behaviours and abilities cause conflict and rejection by Joreh in some situations, and confusion, self examination and finally acceptance, in others. This aspect of the book reminded me of The Scarlet Letter.
These same skills and attributes are greatly revered and respected by the tribes of the forest, called the Catticut. There is great conflict between the peoples of Verdane, Catticut, and Blackrock due to their different behaviours, religious beliefs, and cultures.
The theme of hunger for power and greed are also central to this book and Astor is betrayed by people in high places who manipulate her and abuse her trust.
Other themes like devotion, love, loyalty, and opportunism all have their moments to shine.
Aside from being an excellent story, this book gives insight into the author’s thoughts and views about human behaviour, psychology, and philosophy. This fascinating detail is particularly relevant in the current turbulent political, social and economic environment and it makes this book a topical read. I highly recommend this book.
About D. Wallace Peach
A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.
In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.
Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.
Find D. Wallace Peach
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8