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The Element of Fire Paperback – Nov 13 2006
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About the Author
Martha Wells is the author of a number of fantasy novels, including The Cloud Roads, The Wizard Hunters, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer.
A native of the United Kingdom, AudioFile Earphones Award winner Derek Perkins's audiobook narration skills are augmented by knowledge of three foreign languages, experience of traveling the globe, and a facility with accents. He has narrated numerous titles in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres. --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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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 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.