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The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells

The Wizard Hunters (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Martha Wells

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4461123,454 (3.99)40
Title:The Wizard Hunters
Authors:Martha Wells (Author)
Info:Eos (2004, c.2003), Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, Physical books, Individual books
Tags:ile-rien, 03, fall of ile-rien, fantasy, parallel worlds, steampunk, war, invasions, airships, underground, fiction, female protagonist, v.t, v.m, f:2000s, paperback, us author, ~mc, read 2012, 12 in 12

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The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells (2003)



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The Wizard Hunters takes place in the same setting as some of Martha Wells’s previous novels, most notably Death of the Necromancer, but is the start to a new trilogy. I didn’t find it to be among Martha Wells’s best outings, but it was still an enjoyable fantasy novel.

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.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Oct 12, 2016 |
Dammit, Wells! Her first book was excellent, her second was good, her third was terrible and this, her fourth, is only passably good. The story starts with the main character trying to kill herself. She’s sarcastic about the reasoning behind her suicide, which really endeared her to me; unfortunately, I didn't like the character that much for the rest of the novel. Wells excels at constructing theories of magic and dealing with the ensuing complications, and the novel itself is set in a magical version of Britain during the Blitz. Good enough that I'll read the sequels.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I bought this a few years ago for a planned reading challenge in which each month for a year I’d read the first book of a popular fantasy series and then write about it. I lasted six months before giving up. The Wizard Hunters, the first book of The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, I’d heard positive noises about, so I picked it as one of my twelve books. And it’s sat on my TBR ever since. Now that I’ve read it, I suspect I might have enjoyed it more if I’d read as part of reading challenge – it probably stacks up better against the other books I’d chosen back then, when I was a little more receptive to epic fantasy. Now, reading The Wizard Hunters I found myself mostly bored, and annoyed at how bad a lot of the writing was. Often I’d have to go back and reread something because Wells’ prose wasn’t clear enough – there was a line, which I now can’t find, of course, in which the main protagonist Tremaine shakes her head and then puts it to one side. Tremaine was, I admit, fun; as was her companion, Florian (a woman in the book, even though the name is masculine; but never mind); and I did like the mix of magic and early twentieth-century technology… But it took too long for the story get moving, the writing bounced from serviceable to bad, and there was far too much back-story the reader was expected to know. I won’t be, er, hunting down the sequels. ( )
  iansales | Sep 17, 2014 |
Entertaining fantasy; some steampunk elements, such as airships lifted by flammable gas; but other technological details seem more like World War II era; and magic permeates everything. The plot involves a forlorn hope from one world encountering a set of wise primitives on reconnaissance in another, all in the shadow of a powerful and mysterious menace from a third. Most of the key characters are engaging; the cultures they hail from suffice, but aren't particularly memorable. Still, I'll enjoy the rest of the series. ( )
  bezoar44 | Jul 5, 2012 |

Characters: Man I just love Tremaine. Ilias and his bud are solid too. They make the book.
Plot: Not really all that important or impressive. The setting does it for me.
Style: Amazing. It is just solid escapist material. ( )
  Isamoor | Aug 28, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martha Wellsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serrano,ErvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Liz Sharpe and Carolyn Golledge
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It was nine o'clock at night and Tremaine was trying to find a way to kill herself that would bring in a verdict of natural causes in court when someone banged on the door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038080798X, Mass Market Paperback)

Ile-Rien is in peril. A mysterious army known only as the Gardier has surrounded the country, attacking in ominous black airships. Hope is not lost though, for a magical sphere created by Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer may hold the key to defeating the faceless enemy. But the sphere is unpredictable and has already claimed several lives. When a magical spell goes disastrously awry, young Tremaine Valiarde and a brave band are transported to another world. A world of rough magics, evil mages, honorable warriors -- and a secret Gardier base.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

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With the country of Ile-Rien under attack, a mystical sphere created by Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer accidentally sends Tremaine Vallarde and others to another world filled with chaos, where Tremaine must unearth the secrets of the sphere.

(summary from another edition)

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Tantor Media

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