The Fall of Ile-Rien

by Martha Wells

The Wizard Hunters

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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.

The Ships of Air

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Known for her lush, intricate worlds and complex characters, acclaimed author Martha Wells has delighted readers with her extraordinary fantasy novels of daring and wit. With The Wizard Hunters she launched her most ambitious undertaking yet — the return to the beloved world of the Nebula Award-nominated The Death of the Necromancer and The Fall of Ile-Rien. Now the saga continues in a triumph of suspense and imagination.

Despite a valiant struggle against superior forces, the country of Ile-Rien has fallen to the onslaught of the relentless Gardier, a faceless army of sorcerers determined to conquer all civilization.

To save the remnants of her country, former playwright Tremaine Valiarde undertakes an epic journey to stop the Gardier. Rescuing the proud ship Queen Ravenna from destruction, Tremaine and a resolute band of sorcerers and warriors set sail across magical seas on a voyage of danger and discovery. For the secret to defeating the enemy — and to rescuing the world from the Gardier’s inimitable hatred — lies far beyond the walls of the world, and only the tenuous ties of friendship and honor will keep the band together.

But the Gardier are not the only evil in this tumultuous world, and an ancient terror stalks the ornate rooms and shadowy decks of the Queen Ravenna — a force so malevolent and enigmatic that even the growing power of the sorcerer’s sphere may not be enough to save Ile-Rien from utter ruin.

The Gate of Gods

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Tremaine Valiarde and a small, brave band of heroes ventured into a wondrous new realm on their desperate mission to save Ile-Rien from the conquering Gardier. Now, as a relentless enemy creates chaos and destruction — with the fate of the magical city of Lodun hanging in the balance — the last hope of a land besieged may rest on the far side of a secret portal.

But the doorway leads to a mysterious ruin hidden behind the awesome Gate of Gods — and to perils that dwarf anything Tremaine and her allies could have possibly imagined. . . .

My Take

I will read anything Martha Wells writes. The Murderbot Diaries is one of my favorite series of all time and The Books of the Raksura is also excellent. This series, while very good, is a level below those. I think it’s because the world(s) of Ile-Rien are not as exotic and they are earlier books. Still, I enjoyed this series and these characters, and would happily read more if there was more out there. I just wouldn’t start with these if you’re new to Martha Wells.

There are two prequels to this series, The Element of Fire and The Death of the Necromancer. I read those before this series. I think The Death of the Necromancer is probably the best of the bunch and features the father of Tremaine, the main character in this series.