A copy of the book was provided to me by its author in exchange for an honest
I am at loss of the words here: I have no idea how to describe what this book is about in one short, or even long, paragraph. This is not standard fantasy affair: there is no orphan destined to save the world, no kingdom trying to conquer another one, no power plays between different people for Iron Throne. This is about humanity's desperate attempts at surviving after a great cataclysm. The last best hope for this: a walking skeleton who happened to be a very competent necromancer (how is about that for a good guy?).
This guy's right-hand is a human/insect mutant called Lord Echo. His last personal healer was killed - in this world healer also means being a source of magic for his master as well as a conventional meaning of the word. A young trainee called Helen was chosen for the role and now it is up to her to try to keep Lord Echo's demons - personal, spiritual, and material from getting to him.
The author calls this book dark fantasy, and I completely agree. The heroes stumble from a bad situation into a worse one though the book. The world is very bleak and kind of hopeless, but very unique and original as well - imagine a world of giant insects and ghosts, at least this is what it felt like. The magic system is very original easily rivaling that of Brandon Sanderson. I also love the cover image despite the fact that it is a little spoiler-ish.
I found just one problem with the book. The world was so alien I could not connect to any of the characters and thus I had hard time trying to care about what would happen to them. Helen also feels a little like Mary Sue.
After all the good and bad points are taken into account this book rates solid 3.5 stars
rounded up for as the good parts overweight bad ones somewhat. You do not need to read the other book of the series to understand what is going on.