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The Wizard Hunters: The Fall of Ile-Rien (The Fall of Ile-Rien Trilogy) Formato Kindle
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If Death of the Necromancer has parallels to the Victorian era, The Wizard Hunters has clear parallels to World War II. Basically, it’s taking Ile-Rien, a setting I’ve grown to love through Wells’s previous books, and literally blowing it up. For Ile-Rien is under attack from a mysterious and unknown enemy, the Gardier, who’s black airships seem to appear out of nowhere and who display no mercy.
I think The Wizard Hunters would have had a lot less of an impact on me if I hadn’t read Death of the Necromancer. The most emotional part of the book for me was seeing the destruction wrecked on a setting I’d loved and the dire fates of the previous book’s cast.
But The Wizard Hunters itself wasn’t that great. I wouldn’t call it bad, but it falls more in the category of mediocre. What draws me again and again to Martha Wells’s work is the imagination she displays in crafting her worlds, but both worlds of The Wizard Hunters (there’s two) felt like places I’d seen before. I really love the overall idea – mysterious invaders from another world appearing out of no where. It was sort of a fantasy take on alien invasion. However, there wasn’t much I found thrilling about the book. I was mostly tepid on how the plot played out and the new character cast, and I did have trouble remembering who some of the minor characters were.
All that said, I may give the second book in the trilogy a shot at some point, it just won’t be high up on my to read list. So far I haven’t read a novel by Martha Wells that I’ve outright disliked or even not enjoyed enough to finish. And I do have enough lingering interest in the invasion plotline to want to see how everything plays out.
These books are, on the surface, perfect comfort reading. Lots of swash and buckle, brave characters fighting evil, etc., etc., and there's never a dull moment.
But that's not why I was so enthralled-- plenty of swashbuckling adventures don't manage to bring me along for the ride, and i put the book down and never come back to them.
Wells has characters, phenomenal characters. Nobody is really a stereotype. All of her books and even her short stories share this; everyone is three-dimensional, even if drawn in only a few strokes. They all have shadows, they all have their own motivations; nobody's a prop. Even her disposable henchmen are human.
This trilogy has a protagonist, a young woman named Tremaine Valiarde, plus an ensemble cast; POV is primarily Tremaine's, but for other scenes dips into a number of different characters; it is, after all, somewhat epic, and lots of things happen, and Tremaine does not personally witness them all.
I especially enjoyed Tremaine because she is so human. Now, having read the Death of the Necromancer, which deals with the adventures of her father, Nicholas Valiarde, and her mother, Madeleine Denare, it is fascinating to see how skillfully Tremaine is drawn as a descendant of these two, and yet is very much her own person. Wells is an excellent characterizer.
And so, in the years since I first bought this book, I have come back to it again, and again, and again. It's not a comfort reread, it is a visit with some old friends.
The setting in this volume seems to approximate the Europe of the 1920s. There's electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as wizards, wards, and spells. And the land is faced with an alien invasion in the form of "the Gardier," conquerers from elsewhere who arrive in spellbusting dirigibles that can wreck things made of metal. Like guns and electronic equipment.
But where is elsewhere? The author's heroine, Tremaine Valiarde (daughter of Nicholas Valiarde from "Death of the Necromancer"), is enlisted--well she enlists herself really in order to avoid her suicidal impulses. As Florian the young witch tells her: "It's like you're two people. One of them is a flighty artist, and I like her. The other one is bloody-minded and ruthless and finds scary things funny and I'm not sure I like her very much."
Whatever she is, she, along with her magical sphere that seems to have a mind of its own and can provide a counter-attack against the Gardier, turns into one of the most fascinatingly capable (if neurotic) protagonists you're likely to meet on the pages of any book. And in addition you'll meet not only her and the young witch, but also a host of people, from several societies on two different worlds. And there are plenty of scaring things to be encountered also.
The author's burnished prose moves along in a stately fashion, overcoming along the way a few apparent deficiencies in the plot. Ms. Wells occasionally manages to write herself into a corner, forcing her to create side quests to resolve plot issues that she needn't have created in the first place. On the whole, though, the author delivers on her promises.
Notes and asides: "The Wizard Hunters" is, yes, the first of three; but it concludes satisfactorily. It's BOOK 1 of the Fall of Ile-Rein alright; not a thinly disguised PART 1 that will leave you dangling. So fear not; read it now. No reason why you need to wait for the conclusion.