Tough Traveling: Necromancy

The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information. Compulsive list-maker that I am, I’m very excited to take part!

This week’s tour topic is: Necromancy

NECROMANCY is, in Fantasyland, the art of raising the dead and you need a specialized MAGIC USER to do it.

Guilty PleasuresAnita Blake, Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton

All right, as badly as these books made me want to put a fist through the wall by around book seven or so, I feel no list about necromancers can be without Anita Blake. Being a vampire executioner may be something she does on the side, but her day job as an professional animator for Animators, Inc. is how she makes a living at the beginning of the series. The business primarily specializes in raising the dead as zombies, and Anita’s one of their best necromancers.

7cacf-princeoffoolsPrince of Fools by Mark Lawrence

Prince Jalan is running from a lot of things, from angry creditors to a necromancer and their nightmarish creatures.  Together with his companion Snorri ver Snaggason, our two reluctant adventurers travel to the north to try to break the spell that binds them, but run afoul of everything from vicious mercenaries to an undead army. (See review)

fc304-silenceSilence by Michelle Sagara

Necromancy is more than just raising the dead, it can also involve just communicating with them. This book follows Emma, a grief-stricken teen who has taken to visiting the graveyard at nights ever since her boyfriend died in a car accident. One night, she encounters a mysterious old woman. At the crone’s touch, Emma experiences some kind of change. Ever since then, she realizes she can see, touch and speak with the dead. (See review)

4c87c-daughterofsmokeandboneDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

The process of necromancy is a bit different in this series. Known as “The Resurectionist”, Brimstone of the Chimaera resurrects the bodies of his fallen brethren by capturing their fleeting souls in a thurible before transferring them into new bodies created by teeth, horns and other creature parts. This allows the dead to rise to fight again in their ongoing war against the seraphim. After the demise of Brimstone, Karou takes up the mantle of neighborhood necromancer. (See review)

fc6f5-deadlycuriositiesDeadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Gail Z. Martin actually has a series called Chronicles of the Necromancer, but since I haven’t read it yet, we’re using this book instead! It also features a necromancer, who ends up being the big baddie Cassidy and her friends and hunting when they try to investigate why so many mundane objects are suddenly turning harmful and haunted. (See review)

Three Parts DeadThree Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

This a story about Tara Abernathy, a young woman with a degree in necromancy who finds herself unexpected hired by the necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecth, and Ao. Her first assignment: to work with her mentor, the talented and experienced necromancer and senior lawyer Elayne Kevain, to resurrect a dead god before the unrest can tear the city apart.


21 Comments on “Tough Traveling: Necromancy

  1. Yeaaa, somehow I get the feeling Prince of Fools is going to be this week’s Book Everyone Has On Their List.


    • I guess the first handful of books were bearable. But they go downhill from there. I would say read the first just to get to say you’ve read Anita Blake but then stay far far away once the series starts devolving into an overchurned sex pot.


  2. Including Smoke and Bone is positively inspirational! I should have thought of it. I looked at it as well but I just couldn’t make my brain work up the why or how!
    Lynn 😀


    • I guess it’s because it’s not a very conventional way of doing necromancy – but it had always fascinated me so I did work in a way to include it 🙂


    • Agreed. It could have been one of the greatest urban fantasy series of all time. I still think it did much for the genre in establishing and shaping it, but ugh, I just got impatient in the end with all that sexy time and not much substance.


      • I agree it definitely did a bunch to bring that genre to my attention and once I moved past it I was like why did she ever stray into erotica. Not that erotica is bad but she had such a solid thing going there for awhile.

        Can you tell i’m behind on my commenting?


  3. Great picks! Anita Blake and DoSB are both at the top of my list of awesome necromancy books, and dead things are typically my favorite subject in my fantasy/UF. Jamie Vegas in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld is a pretty kickass necromancer too 😉


    • I really REALLY wish I liked the Anita Blake books more! Actually, the narrator for the audiobooks is awesome. If it weren’t for her, I might have stopped even earlier than I did 😛


  4. Hahaha, oh Anita Blake. I confess that I actually really liked this first few books, and then I just got confused by the sheer amount of sex. How does anyone get anything done?! How was the Michelle Sagara book? She’s writes and adult series called the Chronicles of Elantra that I’m interested in, but I haven’t heard much about her writing.


    • I liked the first few books too! Actually, they were my gateway books into urban fantasy, I remember reading them in grade 9 or 10 when I was probably still too young for them, but I was pretty well developed in my reading tastes already. It was a great series with a great character and then as you said, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED.

      The Sagara book was so-so. It was YA and compared to a lot of stuff in the genre I don’t think it really stood out for me. I’m much more interested to check out her adult books now though.


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