Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells

The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells
Series: The Fall of Ile-Rien
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Once a fertile and prosperous land, Ile-Rien is under attack by the Gardier, a mysterious army whose storm-black airships appear from nowhere to strike without warning. Every weapon in the arsenal of Ile-Rien's revered wizards has proven useless.

And now the last hope of a magical realm under siege rests within a child's plaything.

I don't like portal fantasy. I know, I know. I keep saying that then follow that statement up with how great a portal fantasy book that I just read was.

Yeah. That's this review.

I always think that portal fantasy is an easy way out. Take a character from our world and explain the other world to them as you explain it to the reader. It also allows the author to write from a character that probably grew up a lot more like them than most main character's in fantasy. To me it's always lazy.

That's not this book.

First of all, neither world (or, actually, non of the three) is 'our' world. The first world that we're introduced to is…Odd. There's cars and magic and electricity and it just really took some getting used to for me. So, this world is being invaded by the 'Gardier'. No one knows who they are or where they come from - but they are winning. I pictured the setting a bit like World War I. The second world is a lot more typical of fantasy. There's evil wizards and swords and local deities and ships that get around only by sails or oars.

So, enter our heroine. Who, it just so happens, wants to kill herself. Tremaine, though, doesn't want an investigation into her death to come back as suicide or murder, rather an accident. Which leaves her investigating poisons. I will admit, I thought this whole wanting to die bit was going to get old, fast, but instead, it builds her character. It doesn't completely go away, but she does have her reasons for it - and it occasionally crops up at odd moments. I cannot say much more for danger or spoilers, but I love the way her character was handled.

And everyone else… I love these people. At the start of the story, we're pretty much locked in either Tremaine's head or Ilias' (a man from the second world) but, as the story continues, a lot of people get followed. Probably some where around six-eight. And, except that odd sequence told from one of the villains perspective, I loved them all. Each character is different and most of them are not what they first appear. Although some are exactly as they first appear.

I read a review on Goodreads that recommended that if you're just starting the book and not sure if you like it, give it for our five chapters. Honestly, this is the best advice ever about this book. It stars off really slowly and I was trying to figure these worlds out. I was plodding through it until I hit page fifty or so. By page sixty I was starting to really adore this book.

It starts off so slowly but it builds and builds and builds until it was something that I had a hard time putting down.

This is the first book in a trilogy, which in turn is part of a five book series. While this isn't the first in the series, it's a good (very good, I think) place to start and, while there are allusions to what happens in the past, I don't think it's enough to confuse a person.