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The death of the necromancer
Martha Wells
Adult Fiction WELLS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Nicholas Valiarde is a man of several parts, or roles. One is that of disenfranchised nobleman, bent on revenge for the execution of his godfather, Edouard Viller, who was falsely accused of the capital offense of necromancy by the scheming Count Montesq. Another is that of the master thief Donatien, legendary criminal of Ile-Rien. These two roles collide when Nicholas encounters ghouls and a sorcerer known as Doctor Octave in the cellars of a duchess's house while carrying out a robbery. Sinister forces are at work in Ile-Rien. Citizens have gone missing, corpses have turned up vivisected, bones have washed up in the sewer gates. All the evidence points to a necromancer at work, very probably someone with access to the books of the infamous Constant Macob, believed dead for over 200 years. As he investigates, Nicholas and his misfit friends uncover a plot that leads them into a series of escalating confrontations with the evil creations of Macob, as the necromancer schemes to gather enough power to return to life. The setting echoes with the lively sounds and sights of turn-of-18th-century France, with a mesh of dark magic woven throughout. In her third novel, Wells (City of Bones; The Element of Fire) continues to demonstrate an impressive gift for creating finely detailed fantasy worlds rife with many-layered intrigues and immensely personable characters. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In the guise of the master thief Donatien, nobleman Nicholas Valiarde seeks the evidence necessary to bring the murderous Count Montesq to justice. When his efforts involve him with a powerful and unscrupulous necromancer, Nicholas realizes that he must join forces with the implacable detective Sebastion Ronsarde, even at the cost of his own freedom. Set in the same world as The Element of Fire (Tor, 1994), Wells's latest novel depicts a society reminiscent of Europe in the late 19th century. An enchanting blend of detection and sorcery, it features a memorable cast of characters and a wealth of "period" detail. Highly recommended for most fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Nicholas Valiarde/Donatien
Steals to finance his revenge on Montesq.
Art importer

Count Montesq
Schemer; executed Nicholas' godfather for a crime he didn't commit.

Doctor Octave

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