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I received a copy of the "Necromancer's Apprentice " by R.M. Prioleau to review. By Mousehead & Tales rating this novella gets a perfect score! 5 $, $, $, $, $,! Or 5 stars! Let me tell you why... This book has a glorious cover. The artist who rendered it is a master. I don't believe a human with a pulse could gaze upon it and not NEED to know more. I read the novella in a few hours and was getting a heavy heart that it was going to end soon. I'm still hoping for another chance to enter Jasmine's hauntingly strange and beautiful p.o.v. So let's get down to the review! THE PLAYERS: 1.Jasmine - beautiful youngest child, snow white hair, slate gray eyes, has never cried in her entire life, willing test subject, slave, and eventually student 2. Master Dagg/ Daggax'iylion - A master of the "Dark Arts" necromancer and an Arcanist. He also can change his form.. But I don't want to spoil that surprise. Savior of Jasmine as well as her owner and eventually teacher 3. Banin - Knight in Shining Armor , leader of the Hemlock Hunters of Lakis 4. Harpy's, Zombies, and other oddities Synopsis: The Crimson Moon has risen over the land of Lakis. Along with the odd sight of a blood red moon, there are droughts and no crops. The land is barren and the people of Lakis think that the Goddess Celestra is punishing them for not being devout enough in their prayer's to her. We see the story through the p.o.v. of Jasmine . Right from the start you can tell she's a unique girl. Jasmine is content living in a manor with a farm that her Grandfather had built. Due to the lack of harvest her family has had to abandon their home and seek out a healer. Jasmine's mother is in a comatose state and nothing has improved her condition. The family takes what little they have and leave for the city to find a Dr. Suffice to say that none of Jasmine's family survives the journey. Oddly this doesn't really seem to traumatize Jasmine. She has never cried in her entire life, and always felt people wasted far to much energy on feelings. Jasmine survived due to Master Dagg helping her. Not out of kindness . Dagg needed a new "test subject" as his last had died. As Master Dagg experimented on Jasmine she suffered but she also was interested in learning the dark arts. A strange partnership came out of the situation. Though Jasmine was his slave, did his bidding, let him experiment on her with painful and garish outcomes, she never once tried to flee or seek help. She was content living in the swampy cave with the moody necromancer. After enough trust was built between them Master Dagg would leave all day every day never telling Jasmine what he did all day. She studied his notebooks of past and future experiments and became his apprentice in all things, even if that meant they experimented on her! One day while Master Dagg was off doing his daily errands Jasmine left the cave to go hunt down some lunch from the swamps. That's when Banin the Knight in shining armor appears to save the damsel in distress. Things don't turn out as the Knight expects... So... My first thought was that I wished the book had been longer. I wasn't ready to leave the caves yet. Jasmine was a very different character. She didn't fit into any of the usual categories that beautiful females usually do. I also found it refreshing that there was no love interest or period of hating her Master. This was in all ways one of the most original novella's I've ever read. I would recommend this book to people who aren't squeamish , enjoy tense, suspenseful , writing. Fans of gothic horror would enjoy this book. Fans of Holly Black, Poppy Z. Brite and authors of that ilk would gobble this up! I'm certainly going to read anything else I can find by this author. I thought this was a beautiful bit of writing, it may be a partial spoiler but I just can't help myself...sorry! "He let out a terrifying howl as he broke free of his tattered overcoat, and his body molded into the shape of a Dragon once more. The once beautiful, majestic ebony scales had rotted away to scraps of flesh. His age yellowed bones poked through the scraps of skin. Much of his face was but a skull,where the scaly skin was torn and barely clung to the bone. Two green, glowing orbs had replaced his dragon eyes, and they pulsated with a magic unfamiliar to me. His wings were reduced to bony frames, the webbed membranes replaced by rotting pieces of torn, hanging flesh. I gazed at him in awe. How hauntingly beautiful he is..."-Jasmine That is the kind of descriptive and lovely, yet disturbing writing this novella is FULL of, and I loved it! Like I said, this earned a perfect score. From the cover to the very last word. Review by Clare / Mousehead & Tales For more reviews check back later!