Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Ships of Air (The Fall of Ile- Rien #2), by Martha Wells (author), Talmadge Ragan (narrator)

Tantor Audio, November  2013

This is a middle book in a series, and begins with exciting action in progress that we subsequently have to piece together partial background for. It also ends more or less in mid-action, though the main issues of this volume are resolved enough.

I listened to the audiobook, and some spellings below are guesses. Please forgive any errors.

Tremaine Valiarde and a collection of soldiers and sorcerers from Ile-Rien have crossed into an alternate world in the former luxury liner Queen Ravenna, trying to track down the home base of the Gardier, the people who are attacking and destroying Ile-Rien.

Having teamed up with a pair of local wizard hunters, Giliead and his foster brother Ilias, they have rescued kidnapped Rienish, done some damage to the Gardier, and have hopes of forming an alliance with Giliead and Ilias's people, the Cyprians, even though the Cyprians think that sorcerers are all mad and evil, and they think most of the Rienish technology is magic, along with their real magic which is an accepted part of their society.

Tremaine, Giliead, and Ilias lead their band of rescued prisoners and the team of soldiers and sorcerers that helped rescue them back to the Ravenna, along with a capture Cyprian wizard, Ixion, who can't be killed because his personality would transfer to a new body he has in storage elsewhere. He's a great example of why the Cyprians have such a negative view of magic workers.

The main story concerns their efforts to return to the world of Ile-Rien, join up with their allies in that world, bringing what they've learned about the Gardier to aide the war effort.

Wells does a fantastic job of both world building and character development.The plot kept moving, the cultures we see each make sense in their own context, and I grew to like and care about the main characters. It's a fascinating world to explore, and I want to see more of both the Cyprians and the Rienish.

Oh, and there's something really interesting going on with the Gardier, which we only get hints of in this volume.

Recommended, though you may want to find The Wizard Hunters first.

I bought this book.