The Necromancer’s Daughter by D Wallace Peach @Dwallacepeach #NewBook #Fantasy #ReadersOfTwitter #BookReview
Hi everyone! It gives me great pleasure to have one of my favourite authors, fellow blogger, Story Empire contributor, and friend, over to visit today. Even more exciting, is that Diana has a new book out! Woohoo! I’ll let her tell you all about it. And my review is at the bottom of the page. This is one read you do not want to miss! >>>
Today, I thought I’d share a snippet from Chapter 4 when Barus sees the infant Aster for the first time:
The king stumbled from the bedchamber, and the tension in the room eased into solemn tranquility as the midwives and physician concentrated on their tasks. The woman holding the dead infant placed the bundle on the end of the bed. Servants gathered for revised instructions, and she meted out their assignments. Not one of them noticed Barus or told him what to do or where to go.
He pushed up his cracked spectacles and left his book on a bench. Drawing in a breath, he stole a quiet step toward the tiny child. The infant’s skin appeared ashen, with petal-thin eyelids and a fringe of wispy lashes almost invisible to the eye. Spider-silk hair, as white as a summer cloud, matted the baby’s head, and her lips curved into a pink bow. A sweet hand curled under her chin like a spring flower yet to bloom.
She was the most exquisite thing Barus had ever beheld.
A gift from the Blessed One.
About the Book:
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.
A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.
About the Author:
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 thearts 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.
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8
Good and evil aren’t what they seem
Having read this author before, I preordered my copy of The Necromancer’s Daughter as soon as it came on sale. I wasn’t disappointed!
‘Barus wrinkled his nose at the poison’s fetid stench, and his stomach bubbled into the hollow of his throat.’ … from this pungent opening line, which certainly engages the reader’s senses, the reader is—as promised—treated to ‘… an epic tale of compassion and deep abiding love where good and evil aren’t what they seem.’
I fell in love with the characters immediately and felt for them in their ever more desperate plights. The author did a fantastic job of world building, as well as hooking the reader with the people, plot, and pacing. I admire and applaud how the author took attributes usually seen as negative—ugly, deformed appearance and the practice of necromancy—and turned them into something beautiful and worthy. I loathed the hateful characters and believed in this magical world fully with no suspension of disbelief needed, as the writer did such a superb job in presenting this story as real and true to life despite its many differences.
As ever from D Wallace Peach, the narrative and prose is beautifully descriptive and evocative … poetry in sentence form. Here are some lines that stood out for me …
‘Behind the wind, a voice called, a lost sound like the hoot of a faraway owl.’
(A long history in a few, succinct words) ‘… since she’d rescued his malformed and abandoned body from the woods and carried him home.’
‘ … a tragic last step in a journey of blindness, of unforgiving guilt and blame, of a rigid perception of faith.’
I could go on. So difficult to choose from so many wonderful words. This is one of those reads I didn’t ever want to finish because it was so good! As you may have guessed, The Necromancer’s Daughter gets a resounding 5 stars from me.
NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.
5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.