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The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells

The Wizard Hunters (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Martha Wells

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4441023,573 (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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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 |
The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells is a book I read for an online discussion group. (pre LT, remember back when AOL had online discussion groups? This is the remnant of one of those, Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy.) There is a book that precedes this, and someone who reviewed this commented that some of the same characters are in this book, so knowing what happened to them took some of the fun/suspense out of reading the first trilogy. I can see that happening.

We start out with the character of Tremaine in Ile-Rien. This starts off full of interest--I really liked the beginning. Her nation is under attack by mysterious enemies, and losing. Because of her ownership of a sphere, she is pulled into the resistance, which is trying to follow the enemy back into another dimension where their attack bases are located. A second frame of reference is with the natives of that world (Syrnai), two men who are wizard hunters. After really good introductions to both point of view characters, the story settles down to rather more mundane exploration of each other's cultures, us against the dual bad guys, explosions and rescues. It's the first of a trilogy, so although it ends at a certain climax, there is obviously much more to come.

What I liked: the characters of Tremaine and Ilias.

What I didn't like: rather plebian us-against-them action. It wasn't bad, but it didn't catch me up and make me not want to put the book down. In the nature of trilogies, this may change in later books.

From what I have read, The Death of the Necromancer (the pre-story) may be a stronger book. I actually thought it was going to deal with the Syrnaic backstory, which appears to be considerable, but it doesn't. It is all Ile-Rien backstory.

At this point, I would give this a lukewarm recommendation. It is at least on a par with most fantasy being published, probably better than many, but not on my A or B list. ( )
2 vote ronincats | Apr 3, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

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

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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