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The Ships of Air (The Fall of Ile-Rien, Book 2) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 29, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Fall of the Ile-Rien (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (June 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380977893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380977895
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,740,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Wells's fine follow-up to 2003's The Wizard Hunters, Tremaine Valiarde emerges as one of the fantasy genre's more distinctive heroines—intelligent, wry, bitingly funny and impossible not to like. With Ile-Rien overrun by the merciless Gardier, Tremaine's motley band of Rienish and Syprian fighters may be her country's only hope of survival. Luckily for Ile-Rien, Tremaine—with the help of Syprians Illias and Gillead—might just be resourceful enough to find a weakness in the seemingly impervious Gardier's military machine. But first, she has more important things to worry about, like convincing the rest of the Rienish contingent that she's competent to lead them. A nice twist at the end will leave readers eager for the next installment in this strong series.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The country of Ile-Rien has fallen to the Gardier, a mysterious enemy whose sorcerous weapons more than match rifles and artillery. Tremaine Valiarde, a notorious sorcerer's dilettante daughter, has begun to unlock the powers of her father's magical sphere, the only weapon that may work against the Gardier. But she is on the run and doesn't know who may be an enemy spy. Moreover, the Gardier operate in more than one world. As this book begins, Tremaine and her comrades are trying to return to their homeland the Gardier captives rescued at the end of The Wizard Hunters [BKL My 1 03] and form an alliance with them. Differing customs across and between worlds make this tricky, and since the Gardier occupy Tremaine's homeland, information and assistance is hard to come by. Wells has wrought characters and cultures well, but here they multiply so that one hopes that lists of both will appear in the next Ile-Rien book. Otherwise, this sequel is well done, though easier to appreciate with its predecessor under one's belt. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen fantasy novels, including Wheel of the Infinite, City of Bones, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Cloud Roads (Night Shade Books, March 2011), The Serpent Sea (Night Shade Books, January 2012), and The Siren Depths, (Night Shade Books, December 2012). Her YA fantasies, Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World, were published by Strange Chemistry Books in April 2013 and April 2014, and her Star Wars novel, Razor's Edge, was published in October 2013.

She has also written a fantasy trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, all currently out in paperback from HarperCollins Eos. She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, Lightspeed Magazine, and Stargate Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Other Side of the Sky, and Tales of the Emerald Serpent. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written two media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement. Her books have been published in eight languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch, and her web site is www.marthawells.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Contrary to my last few postings, I do occasionally read books I like. Ships of Air is one of those - matter of fact, Martha Wells is an author I admire a lot. The first book in the series was on the "new books" shelf at the library, and I really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint with the second book is that it took too long to come out. I kind of lost track of the main characters and it took me a while to remember who was who and how they fit.

That isn't as easy as one would expect. Martha Wells writes complex characters that can't be described by a single word endowment. The primary viewpoint character isn't the "Smart" one, nor is she the "brave" one, nor.... she's just Tremaine. Tremaine is smart, determined, brave and a whole host of other virtues. And the really cool thing is that she doesn't really know it.

Martha Wells is better than any writer I can think of right now at showing you both what the character thinks of themselves, and what others think of the character. She doesn't tell you- she shows you. Tremaine, like most people I know, isn't really aware of how special she is. But through others eyes we get to see that she is admirable.

Wells is ambitious and in addition to the half dozen major characters she shows us a host of minor characters that have lives of their own when they're not illuminating the major characters. She also shows us the cultures of three very different and very believeable worlds. Ile Rien, Tremaine's society, is like Europe prior to the World War. Slightly more advanced in some things, and with sorcery added.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sires on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was trying to hold out reading these books until the third one was published but I had to give in when I accidentally picked up a copy of Element of Fire and reread it. Set some two hundred years before this trilogy, Element of Fire is not a prerequisite but it did remind me what a great adventure writer Wells is and how little really good adventure fantasy does get written these days. So I grabbed volume one and two of this trilogy off the shelf and hid from the frigid weather in the luxurious staterooms of the Queen Ravenna,luxury liner turned world hopping battle ship.

The background of this book is not mere wallpaper. It's a richly realized world with characters who are both likeable and fallible. There's heroes and traitors and "primitives" who refuse to be neatly pigeonholed. There's politics and danger and a sly, dark humor that is really appealing.

So now what am I going to do until the third installment is published?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Ships of Air, the second book in this series, builds upon the strengths of the first while also improving several of the first book's flaws. As in The Wizard Hunters, the main character's depth and likeability is a major strength. Tremaine is a complex character, displaying a variety of emotions and pursuing a variety of actions, some of them not so clearly understood by those around her or even herself. Several of the side characters from the Wizard Hunters whose characterization suffered a bit from shallowness deepen into more three-dimensional creations here, enriching the overall flavor of the novel and allowing Wells the luxury of dipping into several enjoyable side-stories. The writing moves along crisply and often humorously, another positive carried over from book one.

Where the first book suffered somewhat from repetitive plot, villains painted in too-shallow pictures, and an over-reliance on Tremaine's sphere as a deus ex machina, Ships of Air suffers from none of these. The villains, the Gardier, are explained more fully from inside and out. The storyline finds excitement though expanding existing tensions and adding new points of contention/crisis rather than simply repeating a pattern of capture/escape/capture/escape. And the sphere plays a relatively minor role to the advantage of both character and plot.

Some of the foreshadowing from book one is resolved here and, as is expected of a bridge novel in a series, new questions arise to tantalize the reader. If anything, these new questions are more intriguing than the old ones. This, combined with the improvements in plot and character, make this not only a better written book than Wizards, but also a much stronger lure into continuing with the series. A good recommendation.
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