Ile-Rien is in peril. A mysterious army known only as the Gardier has surrounded the country, attacking in ominous black airships. Hope is not lost though, for a magical sphere created by Ile-Rien's greatest sorcerer may hold the key to defeating the faceless enemy. But the sphere is unpredictable and has already claimed several lives. When a magical spell goes disastrously awry, young Tremaine Valiarde and a brave band are transported to another world. A world of rough magics, evil mages, honorable warriors -- and a secret Gardier base.
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Martha Wells is the author of fourteen fantasy novels, including The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, The Gate of Gods, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her newest novel, The Cloud Roads, was published in March 2011 by Night Shade Books, and the sequel, The Serpent Sea, in January 2012. Her next fantasy novels will be The Siren Depths, to be published by Night Shade in December 2013, and Emilie and the Hollow World, to be published by Strange Chemistry Books in April 2013. She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, and Stargate Magazine, and in the Tsunami Relief anthology Elemental. She has also written two media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement.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.
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