Top Books About Necromancers That You Must Read

In the realms of fantasy and dark fiction, necromancers have always been a subject of deep fascination. These practitioners of the forbidden arts, who bend the veil between life and death, serve as compelling focal points in tales of magic, mystery, and the macabre. The allure of necromancy, with its morally grey undertones and exploration of the afterlife, has inspired authors to create some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking narratives in literature. In this article, we delve into the shadowy world of necromancers, unearthing top books about necromancers that have masterfully captured the essence of these enigmatic figures.

Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth” is the first book in the “Locked Tomb” series by Tamsyn Muir. It’s a unique blend of genres, combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, and gothic horror with a strong dose of dark humor. The novel has garnered significant attention for its original storytelling and compelling characters.

The story revolves around Gideon Nav, a swordswoman who is trying to escape a life of servitude in the Ninth House, one of the houses of the Necromantic Empire. The plot thickens when Gideon gets embroiled in a deadly competition alongside her childhood nemesis, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, who is the necromancer of the Ninth House. Together, they face a series of challenges in a decrepit, haunted space mansion, where failure means certain death.

Gideon the Ninth” is known for its intricate world-building, complex characters, and unique narrative style that blends irreverent humor with a dark, atmospheric setting. The novel has been praised for its originality and has become popular among fans of speculative fiction.

The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin: 

The Summoner” by Gail Z. Martin is the first book in “The Chronicles of the Necromancer” series. It is a fantasy novel that delves into the world of dark magic and necromancy, set in a richly detailed world of kingdoms and intrigue.

The story centers around Martris Drayke, the protagonist, who possesses the rare gift of being able to see and communicate with the dead. After a tragic and brutal coup led by his elder brother, Prince Jared, Tris is forced to flee his kingdom. The coup results in the murder of his father, the king, and other members of his family, leaving Tris as the sole survivor. This traumatic event awakens his latent necromantic powers, which he must learn to control and understand. The Summoner” is often praised for its well-developed characters, fast-paced plot, and the intriguing way it handles the subject of necromancy, setting it apart from other books in the fantasy genre. The novel appeals to readers who enjoy stories with complex characters, dark magic, and a mix of adventure and political intrigue.

The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls’ Dance” is the second book in the “Morganville Vampires” series by Rachel Caine. This young adult urban fantasy series is set in the fictional town of Morganville, Texas, a place with a secret – it’s run by vampires.

In this installment, the story picks up right where the first book, “Glass Houses,” left off. The protagonist, Claire Danvers, is a smart and resourceful college student who, along with her friends, finds herself navigating the treacherous and often deadly politics of a town dominated by vampires.

Rachel Caine’s writing is notable for its fast-paced storytelling, engaging dialogue, and well-crafted characters. “The Dead Girls’ Dance” deepens the development of the series’ main characters and the intricacies of Morganville, setting the stage for the subsequent books in the series. For fans of urban fantasy, especially those who enjoy narratives involving vampires and strong female protagonists, “The Dead Girls’ Dance” and the “Morganville Vampires” series offer a compelling and unique take on vampire lore.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon:

The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon is the first book in a dystopian fantasy series set in a future version of our world. Published in 2013, the novel introduces readers to a unique and complex universe where clairvoyants and supernatural beings exist in a society that vehemently opposes and oppresses them.

The story is set in 2059 in Scion London, a city where any form of clairvoyance is illegal. The protagonist, Paige Mahoney, is a powerful clairvoyant, specifically a dream walker, which means she can enter others’ minds. Paige works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, but her life takes a dramatic turn when she is captured and taken to Oxford, which has been kept hidden for two hundred years. This secret city, controlled by a powerful and enigmatic race known as the Rephaim, becomes the center stage for the unfolding drama. The Bone Season” stands out for its intricate world-building and the depth of its imaginative concept. The society Shannon creates is multi-layered, with a complex hierarchy of clairvoyants, other supernatural beings, and a shadowy ruling class. The novel combines elements of fantasy, dystopian fiction, and paranormal suspense, making it a compelling read for fans of these genres.

The Necromancer by Michael Scott

The Necromancer” is the fourth book in the “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series by Michael Scott. The series is a blend of contemporary fantasy, historical fiction, and mythology. “The Necromancer” continues the adventures of twins Sophie and Josh Newman as they journey through a world filled with legendary figures and magical beings.

In “The Necromancer,” the story picks up from where the third book, “The Sorceress,” left off. The twins, who are believed to be the prophesied “twins of legend” capable of either saving or destroying the world, find themselves in San Francisco. Their allegiances and abilities are tested as they are caught in the struggle between the immortal alchemist Nicholas Flamel and his nemesis, Dr. John Dee.

One of the central themes of “The Necromancer” is the exploration of power and the choices that come with it. As Sophie and Josh learn more about their magical abilities, they also face the moral complexities of their roles in the prophesied events. The story is rich in historical and mythological references, featuring characters from various myths and legends, which adds depth and intrigue to the narrative.

The Kingdom of Shadow by Richard A. Knaak

The Kingdom of Shadow” by Richard A. Knaak is a novel set in the universe of the Diablo series, which is a popular video game franchise created by Blizzard Entertainment. The novel is part of the Diablo book series, which expands the lore of the game’s world, focusing on the eternal conflict between the forces of Heaven and Hell and its impact on the human realm.

In “The Kingdom of Shadow,” the story delves into a legendary city known as Ureh, which is said to be so blessed that it ascends to Heaven every two thousand years. The narrative follows the journey of a group of adventurers, including the main protagonist, a Vizjerei sorcerer named Quov Tsin. They are drawn to the city by the promise of the untold riches and secrets it holds.

However, as they venture into this mysterious city, they find that things are not as they seem. The city and its inhabitants are shrouded in mystery and darkness. The group faces various supernatural challenges, and the story explores themes of greed, ambition, and the struggle between light and darkness. Richard A. Knaak is known for his ability to create vivid fantasy worlds and complex characters.

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Incursion by Mitchell Hogan:

Incursion” by Mitchell Hogan is a fantasy novel known for its intricate world-building and complex characters. While it may not be as widely recognized as some of the more mainstream fantasy novels, Hogan’s work often receives praise for its original storytelling and well-crafted magic systems.

“Incursion” typically revolves around themes common in fantasy literature, such as the struggle between good and evil, the journey of self-discovery, and the battle against overwhelming odds. Hogan’s narratives are known for featuring detailed magical worlds, where characters must navigate both political intrigue and mystical challenges.

Mitchell Hogan’s style often includes detailed descriptions and character-driven plots. His works tend to appeal to readers who enjoy immersive fantasy worlds with a rich backstory and a complex array of characters.

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Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard: 

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer” is a novel by Jonathan L. Howard, first published in 2009. It is the first book in the Johannes Cabal series and is known for its dark humor, unique take on the necromancy theme, and its engaging, morally ambiguous protagonist.

The novel follows Johannes Cabal, a necromancer of some little infamy, whose single-minded quest is the study and practice of raising the dead. The central premise of the story involves Cabal making a deal with the Devil to win back his soul, which he had previously traded for knowledge of necromancy. The Devil, amused and intrigued, agrees to return Cabal’s soul if he can meet a challenge: collect one hundred others in a year. To aid him in this task, the Devil provides Cabal with a dark and diabolical carnival to travel the land and gather souls.

The story is as much about the macabre adventures that ensue as it is about Cabal’s own moral and ethical journey. Cabal is a character who is cold, calculating, and often unlikable, yet he is also deeply fascinating and compelling. His interactions with the various characters he meets, both living and dead, reveal different aspects of his personality and past.

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As we close the crypt on our exploration of necromantic literature, it’s clear that the fascination with those who commune with the dead is more than a fleeting shadow in the world of fantasy fiction. The books discussed here offer a diverse look at necromancers, ranging from dark and foreboding figures to misunderstood heroes, each providing a unique perspective on the theme of life, death, and the ethereal space in between. Whether you’re drawn to the dark arts for their narrative complexity, their exploration of morality, or simply for the thrill of venturing into the unknown, these books are sure to satisfy your curiosity and perhaps even raise a few intriguing questions.