Necromantica By Keith Blenman

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    A real page-turner!

    Necromantica immediately put me in mind of the Villains collection, edited by Mary Gentle and Neil Gaiman. I mean, how often do the ‘baddies’ get centre stage?

    The tale is unusual and draws you in. The writing style is fresh, and I especially like the way the protagonist is essentially telling the story to the other main character.

    I’ll certainly be reading more of Blenman’s Vecris series. Definitely recommended!
    9780989023436 Not your average love story

    Not much about this book can be described as ‘typical’. To start, it’s told in the first and second person - one character tells the story to the other. The introduction to the story is told from the point of view of a dead forest, and has a beautifully eerie tone. The narrative voice of the character telling the story is engaging, with a bit of humor that makes him quite likeable. We follow these two characters on a rather bloody and brutal race through a warzone to steal a treasure from a palace, and yet there’s a surprising amount of sweetness to the story; the narrator’s affection for his target audience member is on clear display. Between sections of action, our narrator tells some of the stories of their past: how they met, what they did, and eventually how they planned their great theft. It’s not your average love story, and yet it is lovely and strangely endearing.

    The world in which Necromantica takes place is vibrant. There are elves, dwarves, orcs, and humans, dryads, ogres, and dragons. Though we get only small pieces of the world in the narrative, the visuals of the locales, people, and battles are rich.

    Lama, our narrator, is a thief, assassin, general “bad guy” with a colorful and unfortunate past. He addresses the story to Mornia, whom he loves and has sworn his life to. His narrative voice is charming and fun to read.

    Mornia is an elf necromancer who should have been a healer. Her home and people were taken from her, and she is now on a mission to restore those things, or at least gain revenge for their loss.

    If you’re looking for something with a really unique style and you’re not put off by being told a story in the second person, I would highly suggest you check this out.

    5/5, The style of the story, pace, and characters all really worked for me, and I think it’s well worth a read. 9780989023436 I liked this book. The author brings the story along while flashing back and filling in the details of what led the two main characters to their current situation. A few minor editing issues, but they do not detract from the story line. The POV was slightly different than what I am used to, but it worked. 9780989023436 This was such a wonderful Novella. I adored this. Just the right amount of action mixed with well paced story line. The writing itself was also perfect. There wasn't anything I didn't love about this book except that I wish it would have been longer. 9780989023436 What a fun read.
    Blenman's plotting and characters are very inventive and believable (in a willing suspension of disbelief kind of way), and the arrangement of flashbacks and so forth is very well done.
    I'm very much looking forward to reading more of his work. 9780989023436

    Necromantica

    I picked this book up with no real intention of reading it. Then I read the prologue! I was hooked! I had many plans for the weekend and kept finding myself wanting to just keep reading. Imaginative, intelligent and entertaining. Immediately bought a copy for my daughter. Can't wait to get my hands on his other books now. Not even my usual genre. 9780989023436 JULY 2018
    It’s been two years and I still love this book. It’s still the one I recommend to any fantasy beginners. I love these characters and I loved revisiting this world. <3


    JUNE 2016
    This book is easily my favorite fantasy I have read all year. Despite it's small size it really packs a lot into it's punch. As someone who really loves getting lost in a world like this one this had EVERYTHING I could ever want (necromancers, rogues, warriors, ogres, and super awesome and intense battle scenes), there was nothing I found lacking. The characters are amazing, the plot is gripping and the only thing I can complain about is that it wasn't long enough, and that's just me being selfish. It left me wanting more and I am really hoping there is more from this world to come. 9780989023436 What a refreshing, enthralling take on the fantasy genre this is! I’m not even sure if I’ve ever read a fantasy novel that was told through first person. (Imagine how focused and more down to earth Lord of the Rings would’ve been if told through one character’s eyes.) This is the story of Mornia and Lama who meet each other while imprisoned. Lama is a thief/rogue and Mornia is an elvin necromancer with the powers to resurrect the dead as puppets. The pair break out of prison together and form a bond like few I’ve read in a novel like this. The majority of the story takes place during the orc invasion of a kingdom. The pair are on no one’s side, seeking only to steal a powerful amulet from the king to help in Mornia’s revenge. The rest of the story is told in flashbacks, shedding light on how their unique friendship came to be. It’s fascinating. The author has created a rich, highly-imaginative world that feels real in both its tenderness and brutality.

    What makes Lama and Mornia’s bond especially strong is the way in which he keeps using second-person narrative when referring to her. The reader can not only feel the intense gratitude Lama has towards Mornia, but also his genuine empathy and love for this misbegotten elf who is the last of her kind, inwardly tortured by what’s been done to her people by man. I developed so much care for these characters that during the climax--in which they battle a king with the odd, supernatural ability to use music as a weapon--my toes curled with worry and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. This book deserves all the praise it can get. It also deserves a much better cover, but that’s a critique for a different forum. 9780989023436 Pleasantly surprised

    I admit I was a bit skeptical going into this book just based on the prologue, which seems a bit detached from the rest of the book. Once I began part 1, though, it was uphill from there. The choice to use a mix of first and second person was interesting, not something I ever really see done, but I will say it added to the intimacy and character build between the two main characters. I enjoyed the dynamic between them and seeing their relationship build through actions as well as flashbacks.

    The story had a Skyrim feel about it which of course I enjoyed. The world building was well done with vivid imagery and scene setting.

    I will be reading more from this author and am excited to see their writing advance. I recommend this book to an fantasy reader. 9780989023436 4.5/5

    Most literary editors advise, strongly, against writing a novel in the second person. Such narration tends to disorient a reader who, instead of focusing on the story, may wonder if the narrator/protagonist addresses her or someone else in the story. Blenman’s Necromantica plays with the narrative and switches, deliberately, between the second and first-person point of view. 

    In this visceral story, a pair of thieves charge through an epic battle between monsters and men. One, a necromancer, the other, a rogue assassin and skilled swordsman. They want to steal an amulet from the most powerful man in the world. Basically, they go from point A to point B in Dungeons & Dragons type setting, kill everyone along the way, and then they have a boss fight with the bad guy. We’ve already seen it. But never told this way. 

    I barely notice myself. The whisper of my blades is echoed by mists of blood. I liberate orc heads from their bodies. I slap the flat side of my swords against the arrows meant for me, deflecting them into other enemies. I break bones. I shatter faces. Their infantry surrounds me and I teach them to regret it. I become lost in my own rampage. One of them shot you. For that there are sliced torsos. There are severed jaws. And there are screams. So, so many horrible screams.
     

    Emotionally charged storytelling makes it visceral. It switches between past and present (in separated chapters), and has a trance-like quality. I won’t spoil anything by revealing something obvious - it’s not the author speaking to us in second-person POV; it is a first-person narrator (Lama, the rogue swordsman) who is speaking to Marnia (necromancer). We observe the events through his eyes as he refers them in the present tense. His connection and deep love for Marnia make the second-person narration both plausible and meaningful. Once you get used to it, it creates a feeling of immediacy and intimacy. But yes, it’s a little experimental. Some readers will embody Mornia, while others will feel lost.

    Necromantica is, essentially, a love story. You feel it in the way Lama speaks to Marnia. You see it in Marnia’s behavior. Remember, they’re not sharing a drink. They’re in the midst of the battle and they slaughter enemies. Call it a dark fantasy romance. I mean, you don’t write a story called Necromantica without it being dark, right?

    Lama and Mornia share heart-wrenching stories. Mornia used to live a free, spiritual life and wanted to grow into a healer. By the time the story begins, her life has been robbed from her and ell her loved ones killed. She survived, but she’s broken. Whatever magic she possessed, she used for revenge. Instead of healing people, she focused on black arts and necromancy. 

    Lama, a son if a slumlord who used to pit his bastard children in dogfights for profits, is a thief and a murderer. He’s never experienced much kindness from others, save for Mornia. He’ll do anything for her. And, with his swords, he can do a lot. Split arrows. Decimate enemies. Maim and kill.

    Despite being brutal and dark, the story doesn’t read as nihilistic. It offers some comic relief (introduction of The Fish Thief of Luna Falls) and deep connection between protagonists. Necromantica impressed me with a memorable blend of first- and second-person narration, visceral action-scenes, and skillfully developed characters. There’s something special about it. I can’t promise you’ll love it as much as I did, but I think you should try it as it is, in many ways, unique. 9780989023436

    A haunted forest. A killer on the run. So begins a love story. So begins the apocalypse.

    In this heart-stopping, dark fantasy, two thieves charge through an epic battle between monsters and men. One, a necromancer, a sorceress who uses black magic to manipulate the dead. The other, a rogue assassin and skilled swordsman. Enemies to both armies, allied only to each other, they face doom at every moment on a suicide mission to steal from a holy king. Necromantica