The Necromancer’s Daughter – Book Review and Blog Tour Stop!


The Necromancer’s Daughter by D. Wallace Peach

This is one of the most stunning covers, right? It perfectly suits the genre (fantasy) and is ethereal in its beauty.

I’ve got the author, D. Wallace Peach, here to tell you a little something about her latest, followed by my review:

Thanks for having me over to your blog, Martha! Today, I thought I’d share a snippet from Chapter 13 which introduces a couple of secondary characters who end up playing a pivotal role in the story. Aster has hitched a ride on their wagon:

Osran said little beyond a muttered instruction when the wagon demanded a push free of a rut or a deep drift. Unlike his father, Issah prattled for hours.

“There’s a wall running all along the border to keep the tribes from raiding our farms,” the boy said. “They get through anyway, and no one knows how. My cousin says they use ladders or ropes that they hide in the bushes, but I think they climb their giant trees and crawl along the branches and drop down. But then how would they get back over? So that wouldn’t work. I seen cutters a couple times at the outpost. They hang human bones on their walking sticks, and some of them don’t have any teeth. I think those ones might be five or four hundred years old. That’s why they’re so big. And they’re tricky too. There’s brothers of the Order who swear they use magic. My cousin says they turn into panthers the size of mules and leap the fence.”

“You’re telling tales,” Osran said. “What’s the rule?”

Issah shrugged. “No sense scaring anyone with stories that aren’t true when there’s enough true ones to make a person think twice.”

§§§

Blurb:

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.

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My review:

Let me just say that I don’t usually read fantasy, but The Necromancer’s Daughter is one book that will stay with me for a very long time. Do you know what a necromancer is? It’s a person who uses witchcraft or sorcery to reanimate dead people or to foretell the future by communicating with them. That’s the definition. In this case, the Necromancer (and his daughter) are kind-hearted people who practice their craft for good.

What a meticulously crafted fantasy this is. As I stated, I’m not generally a reader of the genre, but wow, I’m so glad I opened this book. It was difficult to set aside, and I did endure a lack of sleep just to finish the next chapter (and the next…)

The author’s writing is absolutely exquisite. When we say authors paint pictures with words, this is what we mean. Spellbinding, gorgeous prose, and a storyline that will hook you early. Thank you, Diana, for allowing me into this world. It was quite the unforgettable adventure. I recommend The Necromancer’s Daughter for everyone.

§§§

D. Wallace Peach

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 the arts 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.

§§§

Now! Go get the book!

US: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach/dp/B0B9FY6YZJ

IN: https://www.amazon.in/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX

Book Review Tuesday – My Friend Anna – #BRT


I watched the Netflix series “Inventing Anna” before reading this book, so I knew what was coming. And I wanted to sympathize with the author, but really, it’s hard to feel sympathy for someone, presumably intelligent and professional, who was so dazzled by the idea of a famous rich person as a friend that she tossed aside all rational thought.

There is a lot (too much) detail provided by the author at the outset, details about her upbringing and early days working in New York. Honestly, it didn’t make me root for her.

Time and time again, Anna Sorokin’s actions SHOULD have given her pause, and time and time again she brushed them off. “Even when I disagreed with her, or was embarrassed by her entitlement (she cut in front of people constantly), Anna’s choosiness made me value her approval and feel privileged to be her friend.” She felt privileged to be her friend! Again and again.

But here is why I never got invested in Rachel: “Anna also appealed to a certain part of me, and not necessarily the best part. Because of her, I was often late for things, I drank too much, and I neglected other friendships. I felt proud that Anna liked me, but was it possible, at the same time, to feel subconsciously ashamed?” It was because Anna had cachet, entitlement, money (but we learn, not really). The author went along with all of Anna’s worst character traits because she was getting something in return – a table at the exclusive Le Coucou or entree into one of the exclusive nightclubs that only allowed in the most attractive people – Good lord.

The author takes us through, in tedious, painstaking detail, each day (practically) of her interactions with Anna. Anna hardly ever had money to cover a tab, so the author gladly picked up the check, even though Anna was supposedly a German heiress and the author worked a regular job in Manhattan. Fool me once….well, you know the rest.

It’s the trip to Marrakesh that is really at the heart of this book. Apparently, the $7,500-per-night riad Anna wanted to book was something one of the Kardashian sisters had used. See what I mean? Chase the shiny celebrity. And because Anna ONCE AGAIN had an issue with her credit card, and the resort management was threatening the vacationers, the author agreed to hand over not only her personal American Express card, but the one she held for work, too. The little vacation ended up costing over $60,000. It’s so obscene.

So, for months Rachel (the author) tried to get Anna to repay her this very large sum of money, and every day Anna had another excuse. I mean, how many times would you nod your head or rationalize Anna’s lies before you got some clarity? We’re talking about a lot of money here, money the author reminded us often was a LOT OF MONEY.

Giving the author a little credit for the fact that, once she had clarity, and understood that Anna was nothing more than a con artist, she did a very good job of detailing all the expenses and conversations to the authorities. And, she pointed out the fact that the media focused more on what Anna would wear to court each day – the media bought into Anna’s new con, to turn herself into a social media star. (Still working, apparently – she has over a million followers on Instagram – hey, I never said Americans were smart).

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s to stop being dazzled by people like Anna Sorokin – who cares if you can’t get in to the swanky club? Aren’t there more important things in life? Especially if you’re in your twenties? I mean, maybe not. But there should be more important things.

I don’t know what Rachel Williams is doing these days. It doesn’t matter to me. I hope she’s healthy and putting her life back together.

If you want to read the book, here’s a link: https://tinyurl.com/yc8rjbxc

Book Review Tuesday is on vacation for a few weeks! I have an editing project in the works and at some point, I need to get back to my own writing. See you soon!

Coming Soon! Book Review Tuesdays #BRT


Image by LubosHouska/Pixabay

One of the things I want to do, starting in 2022, is feature more local books. Some of you know that we have a treasure of talented writers here in Rhode Island. Many of these authors are either self-published or published through small presses, which can limit one’s exposure. It doesn’t mean the books are any less. Maybe I should repeat that. It still infuriates me when I think back on the one traditionally-published author who told a friend (self-published) that she couldn’t be that good if she was self-published. Grrrr.

Anyway……beginning Tuesday, January 4, 2022, and going forward on Tuesdays throughout the year, this blog will feature a book from a local author. Yes, I still need to carve out enough time to write my next novel (it’s still mostly in my head at this point, but I know the beginning, middle, and end, so that’s something….right?!), and write and schedule my annual Blogging from A to Z posts in April, but I’m retired, and it’s winter, so bring it, I say.

Writers love reviews! Even the not-so-great reviews. I’m okay with them now, although the first time I read a one-star review for my first novel (“I couldn’t finish this drivel”), I cried. No more! Bad reviews, if accompanied by constructive criticism, can actually help one become better. Most of the time, however, bad reviews don’t say much other than “I couldn’t finish this drivel.” So move on. Keep writing, keep learning. If I truly hate a book (rare), or if it was obviously not edited or proofed (not as rare), I’ll keep my negative thoughts to myself. You will not see less than a three-star rating here, because I know what it takes to put a book out there. And it’s important to be kind.

And, I still believe each of us has a story to tell. So in between writing my 11th novel and chairing the next anthology for the Association of Rhode Island Authors and getting my April A to Z posts prepared, I will be reading and writing about what might very well be your next great discovery to read. Stay tuned and follow this blog!

It’s the holidays – joyous and celebratory for many, difficult for others. I will quote a lyric by the magnificent Stephen Sondheim, who passed last month:

Sometimes people leave you
halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what’s good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.