With The Wizard Hunters Martha Wells returns to the world of Ile-Rien in the ominously titled series The Fall of Ile-Rien. Where our last visit to this world had a definite Victorian feel and a Sherlock Holmes detective twist to it, this time out Wells calls on echoes of World War II and the bombing of London.
Martha Wells is a master at creating worlds and evoking atmosphere. She does it twice over here, first in re-inventing or perhaps updating Ile-Rien and then again when she takes us to an entirely different world. She strikes a deft balance between giving the worlds depth and believability and not reciting endless irrelevant history at us.
This is primarily an action adventure story and our protagonists are thrown into various precarious positions, but Wells doesn’t ignore character building. Tremaine is a wonderfully engaging heroine who manages to be both capable and vulnerable at the same time.
The biggest weakness is also an essential part of the plot. The enemy race in the story, the Gardier, are very thin on background and characterization. This is inevitable however given that none of our protagonists know anything about them. But it does make them seem rather shallow.
All in all though, I’d strongly recommend this book. By the end I couldn’t wait for a chance to read the second in the series The Ships of Air.