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The Wizard Hunters (The Fall of Ile-Rien, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (May 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038080798X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380807987
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"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." So begins Nebula-nominee Wells's entrancing return to the world of The Death of the Necromancer (1998), and if the rest of the book doesn't quite fulfill the promise of that first sentence, it comes very, very close. On Ile-Rien, a world besieged by the mysterious and well-nigh invulnerable Gardier, Tremaine is recruited to help devise a spell that can break through the Gardier airships' impregnable shields. Yet instead of creating a weapon, the spell transports Tremaine and a small band of cohorts to another world with a secret Gardier base, giving them a chance to spy on the enemy of which they know so little. Tremaine makes an engaging and resourceful heroine, if a reluctant one, while her well-drawn fellow adventurers add plenty of human interest. Where the book falters is in the repetitive action, as various characters fall into the hands of the Gardier, then escape, return to rescue comrades left behind or to attack, get recaptured and escape again and again. Wells's ability to keep the reader wondering what will happen next, however, more than compensates for this relatively minor flaw.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The land of Ile-Rien is under attack by the magic and the black airships of the Gardier. Tremaine Valiarde, daughter of the protagonist of Wells' Death of the Necromancer (1998), gives the defenders the magical sphere that is her homeland's last hope of defense. But the sphere's unpredictable powers fling her and assorted comrades into another world, more primitive magically and technologically but in which the enemy has a base. The subsequent story seems intended to combine elements of high fantasy and cross-time travel, as if it were a collaborative work by Andre Norton and S. M. Stirling. Thanks to Wells' narrative skill and considerably above-average characterization, it largely succeeds in those intentions. Before starting this trilogy-opener set in Ile-Rien, it helps to have read Death of the Necromancer, which introduced it and the Gardier. But even the slightly confused readers who skip such preparation may conclude that the trilogy is off to a promising start. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

The characters Martha Wells creates are so real!
C. Popovich
The pacing felt imbalanced: slow at the start, quick in the middle, and then almost too fast at the end.
Rich Gubitosi
If you like SyFy this is an excellent writer to read, and this book was very good.
Rick Bennett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Genevieve M. Ellerbee on June 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been hooked on Martha Wells since I stumbled across The Element of Fire. She's managed to make it to a very elite list of mine - the buy on sight list. Wells has an ability to draw excellent characters without sacrificing any attention to plot or setting. In fact, throughout her books (The two stand-alones and the Il-Rien books), she's managed to explore new and interesting worlds and people them with characters you want to spend time with.
This new book, the beginning to a trilogy set in Il-Rien (at least initially) doesn't disapoint. Tremaine is one of her most engaging heroines, especially as that's probably the last way she would think of herself. As is usual for Wells, secondary characters aren't stinted; there aren't any two-dimensional people wandering around in the background while your attention is supposed to be focused on the leads. I keep reccomending Martha Wells to friends, and at this rate, I will be able to keep on doing so.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on June 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The first sentence of this book should grab just about anyone. Right off hand, you know this is a suicidal heroine, but you don't know why. You also get the idea that one of the characters might be an unidentified wizard, but you don't know that for sure. And it is very much to the author's credit that both questions are resolved by the end of the book in such a way that's true to the characters involved, rather than carrying them over to the next book.
Obviously, THE FALL OF ILE-RIEN trilogy will be concerned with revolution and social change in this land of magic and of wizards. The beginning book deals with the attack and conquest of this land by the Gardier, a mysterious enemy helped by their evil wizards. Tremaine Vallarde who lacks magical skills but possesses a sphere which has within it power to defeat the Gardier finds herself along with a female student wizard, a former guardian with wizardly powers, and a young security agent who's apparantly enamored of her transported to a strange world. The Gardier are using a base on this world as a gateway to Ile-Rien. The wizard hunters referred to in the book's titled belong to a race which knows only of the evil wizards who misuse their magic.
This alternate world's distrust of those who work magic along with the initial inability of the two races to speak a common language causes an uneasy alliance, and so the story and adventures go from there.
One of the good points of this story is the lack of romantic entanglements in spite of the fact that two of the five younger characters are comely women. The strong characterization of these characters makes it obvious that there'll be no fast blooming infatuations or love here, although I expect that will change in the middle book of the trilogy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lb136 VINE VOICE on March 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Martha Wells has made a career by working at the boundary between magic and science, and in "The Wizard Hunters," she returns her readers to Ile-Rien, a place she's brought us to twice before.

The setting in this volume seems to approximate the Europe of the 1920s. There's electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as wizards, wards, and spells. And the land is faced with an alien invasion in the form of "the Gardier," conquerers from elsewhere who arrive in spellbusting dirigibles that can wreck things made of metal. Like guns and electronic equipment.

But where is elsewhere? The author's heroine, Tremaine Valiarde (daughter of Nicholas Valiarde from "Death of the Necromancer"), is enlisted--well she enlists herself really in order to avoid her suicidal impulses. As Florian the young witch tells her: "It's like you're two people. One of them is a flighty artist, and I like her. The other one is bloody-minded and ruthless and finds scary things funny and I'm not sure I like her very much."

Whatever she is, she, along with her magical sphere that seems to have a mind of its own and can provide a counter-attack against the Gardier, turns into one of the most fascinatingly capable (if neurotic) protagonists you're likely to meet on the pages of any book. And in addition you'll meet not only her and the young witch, but also a host of people, from several societies on two different worlds. And there are plenty of scaring things to be encountered also.

The author's burnished prose moves along in a stately fashion, overcoming along the way a few apparent deficiencies in the plot. Ms. Wells occasionally manages to write herself into a corner, forcing her to create side quests to resolve plot issues that she needn't have created in the first place.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rich Gubitosi on November 6, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Wizard Hunters underwhelmed me. It is competently written and features at least two well-drawn characters, but the storyline and writing did not engage me. The pacing felt imbalanced: slow at the start, quick in the middle, and then almost too fast at the end. The writing seemed dispassionate to me, as if the author were reporting events instead of showing them. To be fair, I credit the author with creating intelligent characters. In other novels, I often know things before the characters do; in this novel, Tremaine came to conclusions around the same time I did. I read a lot of fantasy and do not consider The Wizard Hunters a great achievement; however, I will read another Martha Wells' novel to see if my average opinion of this novel is warranted.
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