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The Element of Fire by Martha Wells

The Element of Fire (original 1993; edition 2006)

by Martha Wells

Series: Ile-Rien (1)

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359830,295 (4.04)39
Title:The Element of Fire
Authors:Martha Wells
Info:Martha Wells (2006), Paperback, 320 pages

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The Element of Fire by Martha Wells (1993)

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This revised edition is even better: The original edition of Element of Fire was loads of fun, and this revised version is even better. Ms Wells has tightened the writing even further and eliminated a few inconsistencies (left over from earlier drafts?).

The setting resembles the 17th century Paris of The Three Musketeers, but with sorcery, magic, and the perils of Faery added. The result is a rich, original and fascinating background. Add a break-neck plot and a cast of cynical, witty and fully realised characters, and you have an instant classic.
1 vote iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
This is a great book. The characters are appealing and heroic. The plot is very well-paced with a completely believable world. ( )
  jadebird | Jan 12, 2009 |
Classic fantasy ideas with a twist -- like common sense, logic and realism. If you took the real world and real people with real motives, and put them all in an alternate historical earth with magic and fairies, packaged with a sense of humor and a sense of justice, it might look something like this. Swashbuckling without being mindless; smart, quick, and funny. Great for lovers of history, adventure, and fairy tales, all. But that's true of every Martha Wells book. This book in particular is about family, betrayal, deception, politics and love, with a wild fey sorceress, an evil sorcerer, dueling nobles, a canny queen, and a boy-king who needs to learn some lessons if he's ever going to rule. Read it for some intelligent and highly entertaining fantasy. ( )
  Impstar | Jun 6, 2008 |
I read this as a free ebook from manybooks.net - it's also available on her website marthawells.com.
I loved this - I've enjoyed Martha Wells' other novels set in the same world, but this is set in a different time period and stands alone.
Thomas is the Captain of the Queen's guard and the former lover of Dowager Queen Ravenna. Kade is the illegitimate daughter of the old King and the former fay Queen of Air and Darkness - she's also the current Queen of Air and Darkness. As Kade returns to Ile-Rien intending to make up with her brother the King, plots by an evil sorcerer and enemies of the throne come to fruition and Thomas and Kade are among the few who can save the kingdom.
1 vote alasen_reads | Feb 5, 2008 |
Won a copy on eBay. Now that I see the cover, I'm sure I've never read this one before, which means I had read Death of the Necromancer before.

The book starts slowly. Too many unimportant characters are named, with too little to distinguish them. However, once the important characters take over, the story does get going nicely. It turns out to be a fun adventure, with sympathetic (though not "nice") characters.

I'm psyched to read what Wells does with this world, now that she's a more experienced writer.

Maybe it's just that I happened to be reading the Castle Falkenstein rulebook before reading this, but there are striking similarities between the details Wells mentions and those in New Europa. ( )
  aneel | May 10, 2007 |
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It’s Martha Wells’ debut novel, and ...singularly accomplished. It situates itself at a remove from the faux-medievalism of high fantasy ... it has the flavour of ancien régime France while being wholly, entirely, its own thing.

Wells’ deftness of characterisation is delicate, precise and astute. An outside attack ... intensifies the amount of politicking and the coming-to-fruition of treasonous plots. The characters, down to the least of them, are no blank placeholders. Wells has a fantastic touch for conjuring personality in all of her work, and here the characters of Kade and Thomas, particularly—Kade roguish, damaged, fey and honourable in her own way; Thomas world-weary, cynical, and loyal where his loyalty is given—come alive in their interactions with their world.
added by feeling.is.first | editTor.com, Liz Bourke (Apr 15, 2013)
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A New Philosophy calls all in doubt,
The Element of fire is quite put out:
The Sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to looke for it.
—John Donne, "An Anatomie of the World"
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The grappling hook skittered across the rain-slick stone of the ledge before dropping to catch in the grillwork below the third-story window.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615135714, Paperback)

The Element of Fire was first published in the US by Tor Books in 1993, and has been published in six languages. It was a finalist for the 1993 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award and a runner-up for the 1994 Crawford Award. This new edition has b

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:54 -0400)

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