Review – The Warden

Posted May 28, 2024 by Nicky in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review – The Warden

The Warden

by Daniel M. Ford

Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Rating: four-stars

There was a plan.

She had the money, the connections, even the brains. It was simple: become one of the only female necromancers, pass as many certifications as she could, get a post near the capital, then… profit. The funny thing about plans is that they are seldom under your control.

Now Aelis, a daughter of a noble house and a trained Magister of the Lyceum, finds herself in the far-removed village of Lone Pine. Mending fences and delivering baby goats, serving people who want nothing to do with her. But, not all is well in Lone Pine, and as the villagers Aelis is reluctantly getting to know start to behave strangely, Aelis begins to suspect that there is far greater need for a warden of her talents than she previously thought.

Old magics are restless, and an insignificant village on the furthest boarded of the kingdom might hold secrets far beyond what anyone expected. Aelis might be the only person standing between one of the greatest evils ever known and the rest of the free world.

I had a really good time with Daniel M. Ford’s The Warden. The components are fairly familiar: cocky new graduate is dispatched to a place she believes is below her station and capabilities, becomes part of the community there, and quickly discovers that there are dangers aplenty that require her skills. Aelis looks down a little on the community, and stands upon her dignity, but in part that’s what she’s been taught to do — and she makes up for it with hard graft, never failing in her duty to put her skills and her life on the line for the people she must, as Warden, protect. She’s impatient at times, but ultimately she does her best by her responsibilities, and that wins you a lot.

I did find that one aspect of the plot — Aelis kind of dropping a subject that was actually really important — wasn’t well handled and didn’t really make sense. It’s explained later, but I felt somewhat blindsided by the explanation; I think it needed a little more foreshadowing.

Stylistically, I could have done with a bit less of Aelis talking to herself, and the flashbacks didn’t always feel smooth; it was obviously being used to fill in the world, character and background info needed, but sometimes felt a touch clunky. Aelis’ relationship with Maurenia could have done with some fleshing out, too, but I really feel like I’m nitpicking here. I had fun, I loved Tun and Aelis’ scenes with him, and I think the types and bounds of magic that Aelis can wield (and which exist in general) are interesting. Obviously we have much to learn about the history of the world, and Aelis has a heck of a job left to do.

I’m definitely eager to read Necrobane. I’m even going to try and break my usual mould and read it right away!

Rating: 4/5

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2 responses to “Review – The Warden

  1. I like books with necromancer characters so this one stands out to me, I’m glad to hear you like to enough to try to continue right away. I have similar issues where I tend to not continue series right away and I’m trying to change that haha

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