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Wheel of the Infinite by [Wells, Martha]
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Wheel of the Infinite Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From Amazon

With her previous novel The Death of the Necromancer, Wells established herself as a skilled fantasy world-builder with the ability to blend mystery and intrigue with plenty of buckle and swash. Here she departs from more familiar pseudohistorical European settings for the Celestial Empire, a land where life moves in eternal circles and the wishes of departed ancestors can have as much influence as the living on day-to-day life. Itinerant ex-priestess Maskelle was once the Voice of the Adversary, vessel to a spirit created by the Ancestors and given the task of punishing injustice and evil. When a false message from an interfering evil spirit led her to commit murder, Maskelle left the faith, only to return now, years later, answering the summons of the Celestial One. Someone--or something--has corrupted the great Wheel of the Infinite, distorting the sacred patterns which must be faithfully recreated at the end of each year to ensure the continual existence of the world. The only way to repair the pattern is to find the being responsible for disturbing it, and so the Adversary's Voice is needed once again, despite the past. Assisted by the swordsman Rian, a lordless bodyguard from distant Sitane, Maskelle uncovers an intricate plot whose roots were set into motion long ago--a plot responsible for the murder which forced her to leave the faith. Engaging characters and a convincing setting make this novel of ancient schemes and twisted magic an excellent and memorable read. --Charlene Brusso

From Publishers Weekly

Maskelle, the Voice of the Adversary, speaks for the power the Ancestors created to destroy evil. Since a false vision years ago, she has wandered in exile, but now the Celestial One, head of the Koshan Order of priests, has called her back to the capital city of Duvalpore. The yearly Rite of the Wheel of the Infinite, upon which the survival of the world depends, has been interrupted. An inexplicable black storm has appeared on the face of the Wheel, and if it is not removed before the Rite is completed the world could be utterly changed. With the help of an attractive foreign swordsman named Rian and a troupe of actors, Maskelle must lead the battle against the storm and the strange insurgents from another world who sent it. Maskelle and her allies face murderous water spirits, possessed corpses and cursed puppetsAand then the evil forces get to Duvalpore, and the real trouble begins. Murdered priests, magical assassins and the court favorite Lady Marada all add to the growing mystery; meanwhile, the Adversary, the source of Maskelle's power, seems strangely unreliable. Fast-paced, witty and inventive, Well's latest fantasy (after The Death of the Necromancer) is not only about saving the world; it is also about saving Maskelle from self-doubt and isolation. The vividly imagined Celestial Empire's peril is made all the more dramatic by the characters' sarcastic, reasonable conversations, and by their very human responses to inhuman dangers; there is real reading pleasure here. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 843 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (July 23 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EC3IHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #233,189 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've had Martha Wells tagged as an author to watch ever since I read "City of Bones". Her latest book, "Wheel of the Infinite", is a big, ambitious fantasy story; don't be fooled by its relatviely small page count. It includes a lot if imagination, excellent world-building, and better characters than her previous efforts. After this, I'm really hoping that Wells will get the recognition she deserves as one of the premier fantasy authors alive today.
The story focuses on Maskelle,a priestess who went to exile in disgrace after she misinterpreted a message from 'the Adversary', an ancient spirit that protects the world from evil, and on Rian, her bodyguard, who barely managed to escape a gruesome death in a foreign land. The society where the story takes place seems roughly based on ancient civilzations in Southeast Asia, a welcome break from the typical Mideivel Europe setting in much of modern fantasy. A rite known as 'the wheel of the Infinite' is performed every year, and Maskelle's knowledge is needed to combat an apparent attempt to destroy the wheel. The plot events is this book are densely crammed together, yet it has one of those brilliant "aha!" conclusions where everything comes together and makes sense in the end. I also liked the fact that many of the characters and concepts are highly imaginative. My personal favorite is Gisar, an evil puppet who is constantly attempting to escape from the band of traveling actors that owns him.
Oh, and before I forget to mention it, the final hundred pages or so of the book are outstanding. There aren't many fantasy authors who can write sequences that are genuinely frightening, but Wells pulls it off with grand style.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Martha Wells's "Wheel of the Infinite" just might be the most sensual medieval fantasy ever written. There's nothing cute about it. Nearly all the characters are adults (well, there's a strange cursed puppet and a girl in her early teens turns up at the end, and there are those strange flying things . . . ), and they act adult. Set in a tropical climate during the rainy season you'll start feeling as wet and as sleepless (the protagonists don't manage a full night of sleep during the tale, and you probably won't until you finish it) as do Ms. Wells's characters..
The exiled and cursed Maskelle, "Voice of the Adversary," returns to the civil and religious capital, Duvalpore, in time for the 100-year rite, in which the wheel of the book's title is renewed. On her homeward-bound journey she acquires a swordsman, Rian, and a troupe of actors. Upon their return they are soon caught up in the usual intrigue among the civil and religious authorities and there's a murder mystery to be solved. Something bad is happening to that wheel. But what? Who? Why? Has somebody created a knockoff wheel somewhere close by? And just when it looks as if Maskelle's figured it out, you realize you're just past the middle of the book. But that's when things really start to get interesting, as it becomes increasingly clear that this world is very different from our own. Things are resolved neatly at the end, no sequel seems required (although you'll probably hope for one), and indeed in a brief interview with the author at the back none is immediately planned.
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Format: Hardcover
Set in a mythical land that has some similarities to ancient India, Wheel of the Infinite deals with the endings and beginnings of cycles.
Maskelle is returning to her native Duvalpore in the company of a troupe of actors. The second highest religious figure in the Celestrial Empire, she had fled Duvalpore years before after a failed coup against the throne inspired by a false vision. Now,at the request of her superior and friend she is returning at a time of great signficance. It is the time of the year rite and also a hundred year rite. On this occasion the world is literally remade from a map of sand laid down on a circular wheel by the priests. Since her false vision Maskelle has been cut off from the Ancestors, and specifically from the Adversary, the power she represented.
Now unchancy things are happening, not just in Duvalpore. Her journey home has been dogged with misfortune. When she uses her power it is like lighting a beacon to attract the darker elements of magic. As she comes closer to the city she encounters unnatural creatures. In Duvalpore itself there is more than one mystery waiting for a solution.
Maskalle is an interesting protagonist. Quick tempered, generous, honorable. I also liked the fact that she was in her mid 40's and learning to live with her past mistakes.
Rian is not your average barbarian sword swinger. Betrayed by his first overlady, nearly killed by his second lord, he is attracted to both the power Maskalle wields as well as her sense of honor. There's also an endearing moment of lack of confidence when he wonders how his appearance stacks up agains Maskalle's previous lovers.
Wells has a talent for combining action adventure with political intrigue. The back story is slowly revealed piece by piece as Maskelle moves closer to a confrontation with an unknown enemy whose goal is far more than the destruction of Duvalpore. Expect the unexpected in this story!
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