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Wheel of the Infinite [Kindle Edition]

Martha Wells
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

With chaos in the wind, a woman with a shadowy past has returned to Duvalpore. A murderer and traitor--an exile disgraced, hated, and feared, and haunted by her own guilty conscience--Maskelle has been summoned back to help put the world right. Once she was the most enigmatic of the Voices, until cursed by her own actions. Now, in the company of Rian--a skilled and dangerously alluring swordsman--she must confront dread enemies old and new, and a cold, stalking malevolence unlike any she has ever encountered.

For if Maskelle cannot unearth the cause of the Wheel of the Infinite's accelerating disintegration--if she cannot free herself from the ghosts of the past and focus on the catastrophe to come--the world will plunge headlong into the terrifying abyss toward which it is recklessly hurtling. And all that is, ever was, and will be will end.

Originally published in hardcover by Avon Eos in 2000.

Editorial Reviews Review

With her previous novel The Death of the Necromancer, Wells established herself as a skilled fantasy world-builder with the ability to blend mystery and intrigue with plenty of buckle and swash. Here she departs from more familiar pseudohistorical European settings for the Celestial Empire, a land where life moves in eternal circles and the wishes of departed ancestors can have as much influence as the living on day-to-day life. Itinerant ex-priestess Maskelle was once the Voice of the Adversary, vessel to a spirit created by the Ancestors and given the task of punishing injustice and evil. When a false message from an interfering evil spirit led her to commit murder, Maskelle left the faith, only to return now, years later, answering the summons of the Celestial One. Someone--or something--has corrupted the great Wheel of the Infinite, distorting the sacred patterns which must be faithfully recreated at the end of each year to ensure the continual existence of the world. The only way to repair the pattern is to find the being responsible for disturbing it, and so the Adversary's Voice is needed once again, despite the past. Assisted by the swordsman Rian, a lordless bodyguard from distant Sitane, Maskelle uncovers an intricate plot whose roots were set into motion long ago--a plot responsible for the murder which forced her to leave the faith. Engaging characters and a convincing setting make this novel of ancient schemes and twisted magic an excellent and memorable read. --Charlene Brusso

From Publishers Weekly

Maskelle, the Voice of the Adversary, speaks for the power the Ancestors created to destroy evil. Since a false vision years ago, she has wandered in exile, but now the Celestial One, head of the Koshan Order of priests, has called her back to the capital city of Duvalpore. The yearly Rite of the Wheel of the Infinite, upon which the survival of the world depends, has been interrupted. An inexplicable black storm has appeared on the face of the Wheel, and if it is not removed before the Rite is completed the world could be utterly changed. With the help of an attractive foreign swordsman named Rian and a troupe of actors, Maskelle must lead the battle against the storm and the strange insurgents from another world who sent it. Maskelle and her allies face murderous water spirits, possessed corpses and cursed puppetsAand then the evil forces get to Duvalpore, and the real trouble begins. Murdered priests, magical assassins and the court favorite Lady Marada all add to the growing mystery; meanwhile, the Adversary, the source of Maskelle's power, seems strangely unreliable. Fast-paced, witty and inventive, Well's latest fantasy (after The Death of the Necromancer) is not only about saving the world; it is also about saving Maskelle from self-doubt and isolation. The vividly imagined Celestial Empire's peril is made all the more dramatic by the characters' sarcastic, reasonable conversations, and by their very human responses to inhuman dangers; there is real reading pleasure here. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 515 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (July 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EC3IHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner from Ms. Wells January 30, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My first experience with Martha Well's work was Death of a Necromancer. I love her ability with character development and her wry sense of humor. Having read that book I quickly sought out her other titles and consumed them (City of Bones being my favorite). Wheel of the Infinite proved to be just as engaging as her previous works and more tightly written than Necromancer. Maskelle, Rian and Ristam are all very engaging, but even the less central characters are well developed and interesting. Add to that a fascinatingly new world view, with an intriguing religion, and Ms. Wells has succeeded in creating a truly engrossing tale.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book immediately caught me, and I haven't been able to do much else until I finished it. Wheel of the Infinite is set in a world you could imagine as like Cambodia six hundred years ago, with a capital city like Ankor Wat, both an imperial and a religious capital. The temples and palaces of the city form an enormous diagram of magical power, symbolizing the true form of the world. As in other Martha Wells novels, though, magic is entirely real, and the correspondence between the layout of the city and temple rituals and the world flows in both directions--you can change the world by changing the symbols. The heroine Maskelle is an enormously powerful priestess, second in power in the religious hierarchy, whose major blunder in interpreting a prophetic dream ten years before the novel's action caused her disgrace and exile. Now the chief religious feels deeply disturbed about an upcoming, critical, ritual performed every hundred years, and has called her back to the capital. The character Maskelle is a fighter, sarcastic and with an awesome temper. She propels the action through a fast and very enjoyable read.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Opening, Another World July 10, 2000
First, let me say that WHEEL OF THE INFINATE is not as good as THE ELEMENT OF FIRE or THE DEATH OF THE NECROMANCER but better than the CITY OF BONES. In WHEEL, Ms. Wells has created a whole new world fully realized, with patches of Earth cultures (I recognized India among others) but in a new stew...and Ms Wells bubbles it for all she's worth! The plot line follows a more conventional "prevent the end of life as we know it" plot line than her better books. This reduces the ability of her characters to relax and just be people (as opposed to heros and heroines) for brief moments. She has used the devise of the traveling players before but integrated them into the action more this time. The relationship between Maskelle, the troubled Voice of the Adversery, and Rian, the very skilled but outlawed bodyguard is strong and unusual: she is considerably older but maybe not wiser. There are lots of plot twists and turns, a few surprises and a few not-surprises that were supposed to be. The last quarter of the book got just a bit murky but recovered with a sharp ending. This isn't Martha Wells' best book but as few other writers come close, I wouldn't let that worry me.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great World-Building, interesting protagonist December 10, 2000
In WHEEL OF THE INFINITE, Martha Wells has created a fascinating world and belief structure. Each year, the priests and 'voices' must create a microcosm of the world. The connection between the 'wheel' and the world is causal. If they are unable to recreate the world, chaos may result. Maskelle, voice of the Adversary, has lost faith in herself at the same time as the wheel is threatened by a powerful over-writing. Unless Maskelle can overcome her doubts, the world may be destroyed.
Maskelle is an intriguing protagonist. Her doubts are understandable as she killed her husband in response to a false prophecy. For the most part, however, the other characters lack the dimensions shown by Maskelle. The motivation of Maskelle's love interest, in particular, is unclear.
Still, Wells' writing moves the story along with a good mix of adventure, magic, and a world you'll want to return to. ....
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par July 28, 2000
By Linz
As evident from my e-mail address I am a Martha Wells fan. It began with City of Bones (which is my favorite book of hers thus far) and still hasn't ended. I found The Element of Fire and complelety loved it. Death of the Necromancer was excellent, so is it no wonder that I expected having to pull some all-nighters to read Wheel of the Infinite? That the book would become glued to my hand and I would be in a race to finish it? I still did enjoy the book but it was not what I was expecting. I realize that one of Wells strengths comes from her beautiful and complete storytelling. She is very exact and it isn't difficult to find yourself in her worlds because they are created almost seamlessly. Everything fits. However Wells is also very detailed with her characters. I think there is a balance between the setting and the characters that makes her books so believable. You need both. In Wheel I got the impression that this balance was horribly upset. The world where the book takes place was INCREDIBLY detailed. But the characters weren't. Maybe Maskelle's past was suppose to be that enigmatic but if it was it didn't work. Near the end of the book I found myself skimming paragraphs ( I thought I would never do that in a Martha Wells book) that I felt were merely useless discriptions that didn't pertain to the storyline. I was getting desperate for more of the story and desperate to learn more about the characters, and not just the major characters. I couldn't believe that some of the relationships between characters were barely explained and in some cases ignored. That is not like the Martha Wells books I know. By not explaining some of the relationships between characters there was a gap in the story that her setting couldn't cover. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story by great sci/fi writer!
I have enjoyed every Martha Wells book I have read, and look forward to each new novel. Highly recommend!
Published 5 months ago by Patricia H. Stevenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great fantasy book
I like logical, intelligent stories, and Martha Wells crafts them well. Each of her first four books is different in feel and subject, yet they all show a talent for creating... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dyanek2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual and Surprising
This book really kept me holding on to the very end because it wasn't until the very end we were shown the truth about what was wrong. Read more
Published 21 months ago by C. Popovich
5.0 out of 5 stars any thing by Martha Wells is gonna be good.
I have read this book several times over the years as I do with all of her books. This is a bit different from what I thought it would be, but a pleasant surprise. Read more
Published on January 27, 2013 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
As with all the books rated here, none of them disappointed and suppliers were great too! I like books with good character development and dialog, So these are all well worth... Read more
Published on January 16, 2013 by Richard K. Schoellhorn
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I liked the way this book kept the reader wondering what would happen next. The end was a surprise which is not always the case. Read more
Published on January 13, 2013 by Kahfloss
4.0 out of 5 stars INFINITE-ly Enjoyable
Martha Wells is swiftly becoming one of my new favorite people. Martha Wells reminds me very much of Lois McMaster Bujold (one of my other favorite writer-people). Read more
Published on January 4, 2013 by Moth Ella
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Wells
Martha Wells is almost the only fantasy writer that I read (It's just not my genre). That said, I'm addicted to her writing, she is exceptionally talented at creating worlds full... Read more
Published on December 10, 2012 by rhettinak
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in world building
This book did not thrill me as previous books by this author have. Wells spends words on world building which should have been used for characterization and just plain telling the... Read more
Published on December 5, 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong woman, absolute power. Where's the catch?
Wells has always had a deft touch with her world-building and strong female characters. "Wheel" delivers these, together with a conflict that escalates and mystifies. Read more
Published on August 28, 2012 by Kootch
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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) and the novella collections Stories of the Raksura I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud and Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below. 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 the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, all currently out in paperback and ebook 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

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