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The Element of Fire by [Wells, Martha]
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The Element of Fire Kindle Edition

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this rich fantasy debut, the medieval-like country of Ile-Rien is threatened by internal turmoil and invasion by the forces of the Fayre. Ile-Rien, ruled in name by weak young King Roland but in fact by the Dowager Queen Ravenna, becomes the staging area for the sorcerer Urbain Grandier's vengeance against his native land, where he had been the victim of an inquisition mounted against magic. Thomas Boniface, captain of the Queen's Guard and Ravenna's former lover, aids the dowager in her fight to maintain stability and counter the pernicious influence of powerful nobles. The political balance is further upset when the court sorcerer dies, weakening the palace's defenses against Fayre and allowing Kade Carrion, the king's illegitimate half-sister, whose mother was the Fayre Queen of Air and Darkness, to return to court after many years of banishment. Skillfully blending the fantastical and the mundane, Wells delights with deft and sympathetic characterization while demonstrating a fine touch for adventure.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Skillfully blending the fantastical and the mundane, Wells delights with deft and sympathetic characterization while demonstrating a fine touch for adventure." ---Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1421 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (Nov. 13 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002DPUJB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,385 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d7c2f48) out of 5 stars 40 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d07d7f8) out of 5 stars Outstanding Aug. 7 2003
By not4prophet - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading "The Element of Fire", I am ready to declare that Martha Wells is probably the best author of the entertaining 'Swords and Sorcery' type of fantasy alive today. Although this was her first novel, it was the third one of her books that I've read. All of them have been well-written with excellent imagination. So why are her books so much fun to read?
Lots of action. Even though her novels are relatively short, they each contain several large-scale action scenes and plenty of individual sword fights. Wells has clearly studied medieval weaponry and warfare closely enough to know what she's talking about. Her fight scenes are very realistic and easy to visualize.
Surprises. "The Element of Fire" has lots of courtly intrigue and unpredictable plot developments. There's back stabbing, double agents, triple agents, plots, counterplots, and mysterious deaths of major characters right when you least expect it.
Tough characters. Looking for pathetic little reluctant heroes who have to whine for hundreds of pages before they can do anything? Look elsewhere. Wells provides truly hardcore, brave, and loyal characters who aren't afraid to fight and die for what they believe in. I particularly enjoy how Wells gives them humorous dialogue, such as when characters taunt each other before a fight.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d07d810) out of 5 stars A Fun and one of a kind book! April 18 2005
By Anthony Marray - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the fantasy genre but I hate how most fantasy publishers think that fantasy readers like the same formula (a superhuman who fulfills a prophecy only after he becomes convinced of his destiny when he finds a magic sword from a mystical figure...I've seen it many times).

However, Martha Wells was a breath of fresh air for me. She actually injects her story with intrigue and it reads like a 17th century political chess game. The action flows throughout the story and she realistically throws characters in situations that don't always work out perfectly. Yes, there is talk about fairy and magic, but it doesn't detract from the main story. It's apart of the story and not just something to wow you while reading. This book is hard to find so I would recommend going to the library to read a copy. I recommend all of her other books which are even more accomplished than this gem (especially check out "Death of the Necromancer" and "Wheel of the Infinite").
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By MicahA - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Martha Wells continues to be the best fantasy writer out there. It's too bad this book is no longer in print - not just because it is such an amazing book, but because I won't let anyone borrow mine for fear they lose it and I could never find another one. The book describes Thomas, the perfect action hero. A great fighter, brave... Although this type of hero is found in almost every book, only Martha Wells can get the reader to truly like him and admire his abilities. Also Kade, one of the better female heroines in any book, helps set the stage for witty dialogue and well fought battles with the fay. This book also sets up "The Death of a Necromancer" which is also worth reading. If you can find a copy of this for an affordable price, buy it immediately.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d07e024) out of 5 stars Thrilling, Swashbucking, Arthurian Fun June 30 2000
By C. S. Bloedorn - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have nearly finished rereading this book, after having read it once about 5 years ago. I had remembered it as being pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Impressive is the word that I would use now. Martha Wells must have a wide knowledge of both Arthurian legend and traditional Celtic mythology because she combines them skilfully in an unusual and interesting way in this book. What I liked most about it was that though it is a traditional Arthurian style fantasy (king, fay half-sister, unfaithful queen, etc.) Wells made it into her own story with the addition of Thomas Boniface, sardonic Queen's Guard, and his romance with Kade Carrion, the fay half-sister. Why not 5 stars? Mainly because I didn't like very many of the characters--they were all very well drawn, but only a few were sympathetic. If you don't like cliches, don't read this book, but if you can appreciate new, humorous, intelligent reinterpretations of cliches, read on!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d07e03c) out of 5 stars This revised edition is even better April 3 2007
By Chris Chittleborough - Published on
Format: Paperback
The original edition of Element of Fire was loads of fun, and this revised version is even better. Ms Wells has tightened the writing even further and eliminated a few inconsistencies (left over from earlier drafts?).

The setting resembles the 17th century Paris of The Three Musketeers, but with sorcery, magic, and the perils of Faery added. The result is a rich, original and fascinating background. Add a break-neck plot and a cast of cynical, witty and fully realised characters, and you have an instant classic.