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Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

Wheel of the Infinite

by Martha Wells

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An exiled nun (of a religion very like Buddhism) travels with her mysterious sword-wielding bodyguard to discover how and why the Wheel of the Infinite (a model of the world done in sand that recreates the world every year) is being destroyed. Along the way she must battle a demon-puppet, court intrigues, the Celestial Throne itself, and her past mistakes. Wells sidesteps clichéd plots and melodramatic moments neatly. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Wheel of the Infinite is a stand alone fantasy novel. Every year the Wheel of the Infinite is created. The Wheel of the Infinite is one with the world – it represents the world but it also is the world. A change to the Wheel will change the world. And this year, a black storm of destruction has appeared on the surface of the Wheel, and nothing the priests do can remove it. To find the answer before the final ceremony must take place and the changes made permanent, the exiled priestess Maskelle is summoned back to the city of her birth.

Soon into the book, Maskelle meets Rian, a barbarian swordsman, and the story switches between their POVs. In a lot of ways, The Wheel of the Infinite is a mystery story. While the book may alternate POVs, Maskelle is undeniably the main character. If this were a straight up mystery novel, Rian would be the Watson to her Holmes. The two of them get together fairly quickly, and there’s pretty much no angst to their romance.

As I’ve come to expect from Wells, the setting is vivid and imaginative. There’s a distinctly non-European cast to it, and something about it reminds me of Southeast Asia. There’s carved stone buildings, canals, and towering, mountain like temples.

Something I really liked about The Wheel of the Infinite was the heroine, Maskelle. She’s older than your typical fantasy heroines, at least in her forties. She’s got a history, and not all of it’s good. She’s powerful, strong willed and intelligent.

While Maskelle was the most stand out character for me, I appreciated the others as well. I wonder about Rian’s life in his home country, which doesn’t sound pleasant. I also loved the humor provided by the presence of a group of entertainers that Maskelle’s traveling with.

If you are interested in The Wheel of the Infinite, the first chapter is available for free on the author’s website. I found it a solid, well written fantasy novel that I would recommend, particularly if you’re looking for a powerful and older female lead.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Jan 7, 2016 |
Sword-and-Sorcery of a superior ilk. Wells is widely praised for her original world-building and that is skill is on display here. The central plot concerns a highly detailed religion with vague hints of eastern spirituality which anchors the magic into the nature of this world. The well-developed (as a character, not like at the gym), middle-aged female protagonist is refreshing in a fantasy work. The plot gets a little more convoluted than might be necessary. And there's a bit of back-story that, when it's finally explained, doesn't quiet live up to the buildup. But those are not major flaws. A definite cut above the usual mark for the genre. ( )
  WildMaggie | Aug 23, 2010 |
Another great Amrtha Wells book: Of all the books I've read so far this summer, this was the one I liked best. I haven't read everything Ms. Wells has written, but I've never been disappointed. The characters are interesting, the story flows well and is well structured, and she has created an interesting culture with memorable descriptions, and an interesting mystical magic system. Highly recommended!
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
I liked it. Readable. Confusing plot, or at least piecing together the backstory to make sense of the present plot was confusing. But the spiritualiity was handled plausibly - at least, the characters attitudes to religion seemed plausible. And the middle aged, repeatedly married, falliable female heroine was very nice.
1 vote krisiti | Jul 1, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martha Wellsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Giancola,DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Kimberley Rector, for being there
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Maskelle had been asking the Ancestors to stop the rain three days running now and, as usual, they weren't listening.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380788152, Mass Market Paperback)

With her previous novel The Death of the Necromancer, Wells established herself as a skilled fantasy world-builder with the ability to blend mystery and intrigue with plenty of buckle and swash. Here she departs from more familiar pseudohistorical European settings for the Celestial Empire, a land where life moves in eternal circles and the wishes of departed ancestors can have as much influence as the living on day-to-day life. Itinerant ex-priestess Maskelle was once the Voice of the Adversary, vessel to a spirit created by the Ancestors and given the task of punishing injustice and evil. When a false message from an interfering evil spirit led her to commit murder, Maskelle left the faith, only to return now, years later, answering the summons of the Celestial One. Someone--or something--has corrupted the great Wheel of the Infinite, distorting the sacred patterns which must be faithfully recreated at the end of each year to ensure the continual existence of the world. The only way to repair the pattern is to find the being responsible for disturbing it, and so the Adversary's Voice is needed once again, despite the past. Assisted by the swordsman Rian, a lordless bodyguard from distant Sitane, Maskelle uncovers an intricate plot whose roots were set into motion long ago--a plot responsible for the murder which forced her to leave the faith. Engaging characters and a convincing setting make this novel of ancient schemes and twisted magic an excellent and memorable read. --Charlene Brusso

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:21 -0400)

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