- Paperback: 314 pages
- Publisher: Martha Wells (Nov. 30 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615135714
- ISBN-13: 978-0615135717
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 481 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,595,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Element of Fire Paperback – Dec 4 2006
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Skillfully blending the fantastical and the mundane, Wells delights with deft and sympathetic characterization while demonstrating a fine touch for adventure." ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
We no longer live in the same town so I don't get that privilege anymore, but I still buy all of her books as soon as they come out.
I strongly recommend all of her books but the five Ile Rien books: ELEMENT OF FIRE, DEATH OF A NECROMANCER, THE WIZARD HUNTERS, SHIPS OF THE AIR, and GATE OF GODS, hold a special place in my heart and I reread them regularly.
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").
The plot was aggressive and surprising--halfway through I realized the secret I thought would take to the end to realize was discovered and there was more to come.
The characters were a little stereotyped but not poorly written. The magic was fun, but not actually explained much. Those dropped it from 4 to 5 stars.
But a fun read. I'm planning to read the others in this series.
Instead it's full of court intrigue and power struggles, magic and gunpowder, and interesting characters.
As I said - it's not a deep read, but it's an entertaining one.