Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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A Monday morning "Oh, why not" review: The Wizard Hunters

Martha Wells writes complex fantasies set in worlds where magic is just another part of life. It's a technique that allows her to create rich worlds that seem tangential to ours, and at the same time avoiding the traps and tropes of generic fantasy - and allows her to sit neatly on the boundary between sf and fantasy...

The Wizard Hunters is another book, first of a series, and loose sequel to The Death Of The Necromancer, perhaps her best known novel. Set in a world not dissimilar to 1930s France, it's a story of war and loss, flavoured with airships and multiple worlds.

Ile-Rien is under attack by the mysterious Gardier. Powerful magics protect the Gardier's black airships, and the bombs continue to fall. Ile-Rien is only days away from defeat. Tremaine Valiarde, daughter of a powerful spy (and well known criminal) is on the verge of suicide when she's dragged into a secret operation to try and track the Gardier to their home. It's an operation that needs her childhood toy, a sphere made by the master magician Arisilde. Suddenly her life changes. Thrown into another world where fishermen hunt wizards, she finds herself changed as she struggles to find the solution to the mystery of the Gardier.

Unfortunately this is only the first volume of an intriguing book. Wells handles her characters effectively, while providing readers with a set of interesting puzzles - and the possibility of a romance between a socialite playwright from a glittering city and a fisherman from an analogue of ancient Greece.

A fun, entertaining read. I fully expect to be buying the sequel, The Ships Of Air, when it reaches paperback...
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