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Literature / Wise Phuul

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Wise Phuul is a steampunk-flavoured dark fantasy novel, by Daniel Stride.

Raising the dead is a universal ability in the Viiminian Empire. Necromancy is a school subject, while undead ('liches') labour in factories and staff Imperial bureaucracy.

The story follows one Teltö Phuul. A young and very low-level Necromancer, Teltö works in a small provincial library and cares little for anything so long as the (black market) food and liquor keep coming... until one day he suffers a rude awakening. Teltö is dragged from peaceful obscurity to work in the fetid Imperial capital, Kuolinako. Worse, he must soon navigate not just the deadly realm of Imperial politics, but also the Empire's northern neighbour, where necromancy is considered a monstrous crime. One false step will cost Teltö his head.

The book was published in 2016. There is a sequel in the works.

Wise Phuul contains the following tropes:

  • Gag Nose: Teltö regularly comments on the nose of his sister. Turns out there's a family resemblance.
  • The Necrocracy: Played with. The Imperial bureaucracy is staffed with both living and the undead. Vyrellävek rules as Grand Chancellor, but the titular Emperor remains Gykäkkä IV, fifteen centuries after his death.
  • Necromancer: Not just our protagonist, but an entire country of them.