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THE SHIPS OF AIR by Martha Wells


Vol. II, the Fall of Ile-Rien

by Martha Wells

Pub Date: July 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-380-97789-3
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins

Second installment in Wells’s trilogy (The Wizard Hunters, 2003), set in a universe where magic, alchemy, and engineering all work.

The land of Ile-Rien has fallen to the Gardier, mysterious and implacable enemies from another world, but not before Rienish wizards discover how to open their own interworld gate. On the far side of the gate, the Syprians, likewise invaded by the Gardier, fear magic (their own wizards are all evil psychotics); but their elemental gods have anointed a Chosen One, Giliead, making him immune to most magic and able to detect the spells of others. Tremaine, the once-suicidal daughter of Nicholas Valiarde, a powerful Rienish citizen who, along with the wizard Arisilde, vanished six years ago, now knows that Arisilde’s soul resides inside the magical sphere that constitutes the Rienish wizards’ best defense against Gardier magic. Refugees from Ile-Rien, using a spell circle installed inside a huge art deco passenger liner, wrenched the ship into the Syprians’ world. To allay the Syprians’ suspicions and cement an alliance, Tremaine marries Ilias, Gilead’s sidekick and slayer of evil wizards—though, according to the Syprians’ matriarchal customs, she has to buy him! From the ship, Tremaine leads a raid on a Gardier base but ends up trapped aboard a Gardier airship; controlled by a Gardier wizard-crystal, the airship immediately warps them into yet another world—this, apparently, the Gardier homeworld. But, with no wizard among them, how will Tremaine and company return home?

Agreeably exciting and involving, if not particularly surprising: stay tuned.