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The Ships of Air (Fall of Ile-Rien) (Fall of the Ile-Rien) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Eos; Reprint edition (1 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380807998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380807994
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,338,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Paperback. Pub Date: 2005 Pages: 496 Publisher: Harper Voyager Known for her Lush A touch of 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...

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Tremaine picked her way along the ledge, green stinking canal on one hand, rocky outcrop sprouting dense dark foliage on the other. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 13 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Quarrelsome Quest 26 April 2006
By lb136 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Martha Wells's beautifully written "Ships of the Air," the second in the author's "Fall of Ile-Rien" trilogy (and you really have to read the first novel, "The Wizard Hunters," before you tackle this one) surpasses the first in its utter looneyness. We meet once again the spectacularly neurotic Tremaine Valliarde (who has, thankfully, gotten over her suicidal impulses), as she and the companions she met in the first volume explore the world she now finds herself in as they attempt to learn more about the Gardier, who have been wreaking havoc on Tremaine's world. In order to do so, Tremaine engineers an alliance between one of the tribes of this world, the Syprians, and the Rien, after which they attempt to discover just where the Gardier are coming from.

At the end of the volume, after quite a trip, they do.

Once again Wells's elegantly flowing prose style smoothes out the rough spots caused by her tendency, as was the case in the first volume, to write herself into a corner, creating problems for herself that don't really matter. (I suspect that, like her heroine, Ms. Wells makes things up on the fly--perhaps working from only the loosest of outlines. And that's not a complaint.)

Whatever. The completely dysfunctional quest is bizarre fun. Tremaine has leadership foisted on her after she gets married mainly on a dare, and although she hasn't a clue, she's certainly plucky and lucky. The tale, which features sorcery and electricity in equal proportions, moves quickly from land to a converted luxury liner and thence to "flying whales," which is what some of the characters call this world's version of hot-air balloons. (They're filled with hydrogen, not helium. Oh. Oh.) And despite the fantasy elements, much of the novel is grounded in reality. Wells describes perfectly what is bound to occur when a group of ill-assorted people are forced to go sallying forth together. They quarrel; they fight for dominance; they all think they're right. It's quirky fun. For readers anyway.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
the middle novels of trilogies are often my favorite 20 Oct 2012
By bomberqueen17 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I just wrote my review of this novel's prequel, The Wizard Hunters, based around the premise that these books are more complex than they seem. Just as this book goes more in depth into the complexity, so I'll continue, in this review.
As I said, on the surface, these books are simply a great swashbuckling sort of adventure (quite YA-friendly, I might add; there's sex but it's fade-to-black, and the violence is realistic but not excessively gory), but it's the characters that make it worth following. And all of them are complex and rich and believable, even the unnamed ones who get a throwaway line in a background scene.

This book gives us a great deal more insight into Tremaine Valiarde, our intrepid heroine. It gives her a love interest, for one-- but a marriage of political expediency, and with a wonderful Wellsian twist: the husband is from a matriarchy and assumes that she will be the authority figure in the relationship. It's a fascinating logic experiment that yields phenomenal results of characterization.
And this book contains the scene I love to use as an example of what Strong Female Characters ought to be, but never get to be: HUMAN. Tremaine is primarily a human character. She's set up to be a neurotic, bloody-minded person. In this book, she is presented with a desperate situation that catapults her into a leadership role she doesn't particularly want but knows she must take-- to secure it, she has to play a life-or-death game of chicken, and she does so with iron nerves, but believable irritability. (Over the course of about fifty pages there's a delightful little thread of consistency as she bites off each of her nails one by one, followed up later when her husband notices her doing the last one; in many of the scenes she otherwise seems utterly unmoved by the most horrifying things, but if you pay attention to her hands, you can see she's just shredded internally.) And later, she is presented with a choice: murder in cold blood to secure just a bare chance of saving not just her friends but probably her entire world, or spare an innocent man's life and ensure the death of everyone she loves?
The most important part of this is that unlike in many works of fiction, Tremaine doesn't just murder someone, feel on-screen guilt about it, and then move on. No, she returns to think of her hapless victim in tiny little realistic moments of self-doubt and post-trauma for the rest of the series; you know fine well that in the fictonal future, she still remembers the man she shot in cold blood to get a truck.
Like a real person would.
She's not some action superman. She's ruthless because she has no choice. She's her father's daughter, even if she doesn't understand him. And that's possibly the crowning touch to the whole little arc of characterization: she is continuing the same arc her father was on in Death of the Necromancer, when he overheard Inspector Ronsarde and Doctor Halle discussing him. Even then it is apparent; they think him some sort of cold-blooded psychopath, but in his moment of doubt, he knows he is only doing what he has had to do to survive.

Not just any author could make a connection like that, but that is how three-dimensional these characters are.
Excellent Series 13 Jun 2013
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll review the series rather than the book because it is not a stand-alone story. You really should start at the beginning, and this is the middle book of three.

I love this series. The characters are well developed, the universe is interesting (think technology levels of per-WW II, but magic works too). The main characters nation (and her world) is being destroyed by a powerful enemy no had ever heard of before the war started, with a technological and magical capability just slightly more advanced than theirs. The story tells how she and others find the nature of the enemy and why they are attacking, while trying to find a way to defeat them before it is too late.

I recommend reading the Death of a Necromancer withe this series. It provides the back story for her father and mother before her birth and helps explain odd aspects of her upbringing. However, you can read and enjoy the story without this book.
Captivating 14 May 2013
By C. Popovich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Diving right back in where she left off, the author continues to amaze! The adventure and excitement aboard the Queen Ravenna had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Tremaine's story continues along with all the others.
Something I appreciate in Martha Wells' novels is how she always gives the characters true human needs like eating, sleeping, and being bone-tired.
Second book os the series. 17 April 2013
By S. Lockwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This fantasy is so nicely written. The book could be complete in itself but I'm glad I started the series by reading them in order.
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