The Necromancer’s House

Christopher Buehlman, Author
Christopher Buehlman. Ace, $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-425-25665-7
Paperback - 440 pages - 978-0-425-25691-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4715-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1715-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6715-7
Book - 978-1-4676-6706-7
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A Russian man’s drowning launches this rambunctious magical melee. Buehlman (Those Across the River) pits Andrew Blankenship and Anneke Zautke, companions in witchcraft and Alcoholics Anonymous, against Russian ogress Baba Yaga, whose son, Misha, falls prey to mischievous water sprite Nadia, a friend (of sorts) of Andrew’s. Contrasting with exotic magical escapades, real-world losses haunt both Anneke and Andrew. As the threat from Baba Yaga mounts and bad things happen to Andrew’s sidekicks, the eponymous house no longer provides a certain refuge. The logic of the plot is eclipsed by the eruption of characters who evoke Dickensian whimsy and range from the merely unusual to the bizarrely imaginative. Within this magical universe, rivalries, revenge, and self-seeking contend with the willingness to sacrifice. The final confrontation, evolving in part from Andrew’s prior service to Baba Yaga and her daughter Marina’s defiance, wreaks an ambiguous ending in an explosion of enthralling fantasy. The vibrant, bracing atmosphere easily overpowers any niggling concerns about a few incongruous incidents. (Oct.)
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