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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Gate of Gods: Book Three of The Fall of Ile-Rien (Fall of the Ile-Rien)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2005
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a very satisfying conclusion to Martha Well's Fall of Ile Rien series. It is a strong on action, but also continues developing the relationships, the world, and the cultures of all those involved. It also manages to tie elements together into a satifying bow without feeling pat -- including elements from earlier Ile Rien novels. Tremaine Valiarde is now one of my favorite fictional female characters, with some of the same elements that make Harriet Vane (of Dorothy Sayers) enjoyable to meet and root for. My only regret is that the series is complete -- I'll look forward to Well's next work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 20, 2007
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
In "The Gate of Gods," the third in the "Fall of Ile Rien" series, moody Tremaine Valiarde (perhaps the first bipolar SF heroine) and her squabbling companions continue to plumb the mysteries of the circles, discovered by the mysterious havoc-wreaking Gardier, that enable them to cross among worlds. With sword and sorcery, plus the equivalent of 1920s-era tech, as well as pluck and more than a little luck, the not so merry men (and women) finally figure out how the things work (readers may not be so lucky, as the rules seem to be in a constant state of flux), scoot between worlds (often just in time), discover more about the nature of the Syprian "gods," and are finally able to write "mission accomplished" to their adventures. Fans of the late-1960s TV midi-series "The Prisoner," which starred Patrick McGoohan, may smile with recognition as Tremaine's crew finally meets number 1. (Or not.) Anyhow, it's a delicious scene.

Well written and fun to read, the author dares to present a heroine who is truly "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." Or, as the old song puts it: Tremaine always is a headache but she never is a bore.

Notes and Asides: This is the end of the trilogy but not, I suspect, the ends of tales of Ile Rien. Start with volume 1, please or you will be majorly confused. I did, and I was still minorly confused. (Now let me think, Gerard is the sorcerer, Giliad is the . . . )
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Without giving anything away to those peeking at the reviews to find out what happens in this finale to the trilogy, I'll just say it is deep and heart clenching. The crew heads off on another adventure jumping from world to world. Tremaine's stubbornness continues. All the fighting amongst themselves and the Gardier continues. Finally leading to the truth behind the crystals, portals and the Gardier. Also the truth inside two hearts.
The only bad thing I will say...I did not like the very very end...last sentence was perfect...but the last two pages...EH! After all that I would have liked to see some romance!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Martha Wells' books and have enjoyed each of them a great deal. Her world building is always rich and original, her prose is sharp, her plots well paced and engaging, and her characters likeable...and that is a lot to like (far more than most fantasies I've read). There was a bit to much deus ex machina in the series (well...literally this time)...and as some reviewers said not a great deal of insight into the characters motivations...and after reading all of her books there is a...familiarity about the characters despite the very different backgrounds...but make no mistake, this is GOOD fantasy, and if it's not high literature, so be it...I'll still be eagerly awaiting her next work.
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on September 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
Another strong book from one of the best fantasy writers working today. Her prose just hums along, and the world she's created here, as in other novels, is highly unique and possesses its own, singular feel. The action is well paced and while the plot does become a bit confused near the climax (as one reviewer put it, "all those circles!") this is a thoroughly enjoyable read that pulls you along and leaves you highly satisfied at the end.

Her characterization is for the most part outstanding, even the small clues and cues she gives regarding less-central characters. Yes, the character of Tremaine has been a bit of a mystery from the start and the emergence of the fact that she has a core of cold steel a la her father does raise some questions, but the book reads so well and unfolds so naturally they didn't occur to me until after I'd put it down. Despite a few (very) minor imperfections, all told this is top-notch fantasy and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. At the least, however, start with the first of this latest trilogy, The Wizard Hunters. If you can, go farther back. After reading Gate I tracked down the first book set in Il-Rien, The Element of Fire, (FYI it's on Well's website for printing free of charge) and my appreciation for how she has spun this series of stand-alone yet related stories grew.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While I enjoyed the first two books in this series, I would have to say that this volume was a disappointment to me. The mystery behind the Gardier aggression, the fate of Arisilde and the future of Tremaine's and Ilias relationship is resolved in this novel, but despite that I ended the book feeling dissatisfied.

The pace of this book seemed more uneven and slower than the previous two novels, and at the end of it, while the war is finished, and Tremaine is no longer suicidal, I didn't feel like I had a real insight to Tremaine's character aside from some nasty episodes in her past that made her feel that society wasn't "worth it". On reflection this is a series I should have bought in paperback given my feeling of let down at the end, but it had some unique moments, especially in book 2 on "the Ravenna".
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Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Just finished rereading the series and it is even better the second time around. If you love character based SF--you must read Martha Wells. Start with Wheel of the Infinite for another great cranky lead women character. Then read this trilogy starting with "The Wizard Hunters"--it is a little grim to start--but well worth it. Then read the Raksura books.
Martha Wells in my not very humble opinion (and I have been reading SF since I was a child many many years ago) is one of the best current writers of fiction in any genre.
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on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I found the mix of magic, sorcery and industry, and the different kinds of societies in this story interesting and fun. I ended up caring about the characters enough to go back and get the earlier books in the series on my Kindle. There's a lot of action that sweeps you along, but at times, it felt a bit relentless to me. I would have liked a bit more depth somehow, and I prefer stories that don't rely on war to provide the conflict and action. That's been done to death. ;-)
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on February 20, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I love this series, this is my favorite author. I discovered the Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura) Series and after finishing that I have been going through all her other works, and I love it alllllll. This series is my second favorite next to Cloud Roads. It is an epic and enticing adventure between three worlds, with many cultures, magics, spirits and flying ships. If you have not read this and you love Scifi, then it is a must!!
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on February 23, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
M.Wells does an excellent job of writing. This series, which I finished last week, was great. Truth be told I was sorry to have it end. I liked the characters and their interaction a lot. M.Wells keeps you wanting more and I generally think that is one of the marks of an excellent writer, regardless of genre. I have The Cloud Roads on my kindle and will read it soon.
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