Author: Amanda Downum
Series: Necromancer Chronicles, Book One
Setting: The jungle city of Symir, under the yoke of imperialism. Magic, wealth, and swords rule the land.
Reason for Reading: I saw some really great reviews of the sequel.
Finished In: Days.
Pages: 370, including some extras.
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: A veiled woman draped in black, carrying many weapons. Jungle trees are behind her. Cover blurbs from Jacqueline Carey and Elizabeth Bear - those would likely have sold me on the book if I wasn't already planning to read it.
First line: "Symir. The Drowning City. An exile, perhaps, but at least it was an interesting one."
Trigger Warnings: Some beatings, one intentional disabling, some controlling mom stuff, some cultural repression stuff.*
Best part: Wow, this is an original book. Diamonds trapping lost souls? A pariah caste of necromancers? I loved it.
Worst part: The ending was actually pretty bleak. Nobody really makes it out of the book unscathed.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Anja" by Karsh Kale captures a bit of the exotic feel of the book.
Grade: B-. I loved the book but don't have to read it again right now.
Recommended for: I suggest this for anyone interested in colonial resistance themes or necromancy.
Related Reads: Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce.
*I've been seeing this used as a category in other reviews recently and thought it was worth picking up. Now, many triggers are non-obvious to people who don't have them and this can't be exhaustive but I'm going to try to mention things that I think would be likely to upset some folks. If I decide I don't like that, I may switch to using a list of themes instead. What do you think of that? Sound off in the comments.