Nicholas has been hunting the man who indirectly murdered the only father he had ever known. He's been subtly engineering his downfall, but his cause is interrupted by the discovery of horrifying ghouls and reanimated dead...and mysterious ritual murders that all point to Necromancy, and all Nicholas & Madelaine have are an assortment of thieves, thugs, and confidence men...and a slightly addled, but very powerful, Sorcerer at hand as weapons against it. The Queens inspectors are closing in on them and their hidden foe as well, but a powerful someone is moving to block their efforts, and the group finds themselves in an unlikely alliance with the authorities that usually hunt them.
Surprisingly good writing...though slightly slow in the pace at which the plot unfolds. Character development was subtle and excellent...and they are witty and likeable. A more sophisticated read than the title and genre might suggest, with only the barest possible hint at romance, and amazingly, no hints dropped about sequels.
This was really much better written than most of the crap that's out there, my only complaint was that the pacing could have been better. I would definitely read something else by this author.
This is the first book by Martha Wells I've read. She does a great job of telling the story, keeping the reader turning pages to see what happens next! It's apparent she has done quite a bit of research of the 17th and 18th century of Old England, as that is what I gathered from the way the story is written, that she based it upon, giving different names for the countries, and languages. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy.