Author: Martha Wells
Genre: Fantasy, alternate history
Copyright Date: 2003
Cover: A girl wearing a truly outlandish outfit in the foreground - bright purple tunic with bright yellow trim and maroon leggings with turquoise diamonds on them. She is holding a metallic sphere, looking at it with an air of expectation. Behind her is a purple dirigible flying over a lit city.
First Line: "It was nine o'clock at night and Tremaine was trying to find a way to kill herself that would bring in a verdict of natural causes in court when someone banged on the door."
Best part: Well's effortless wit.
Worst part: Some of what is left unexplained is rather maddening.
Recommended for: Fans of fantasy, and especially those who have read Death of the Necromancer.
I have long been a fan of Martha Wells. I read Death of the Necromancer for the first time when I was in college. My favorite work of hers to date is The Element of Fire. Her books tend to be fantastical, with comedy-of-manners elements.
I saved this book for a while. I had loved the previous two in the Ile-Rien series, which I mentioned above, so I waited to read the third.
Ile-Rien is an island, a center of arts, learning, and magic. But maybe not for much longer. Strangers in airships are attacking the city. Their assaults have come and gone for years. They are untraceable, unwilling to negotiate, and seemingly invincible. But not everyone has given up. The sorceror Gerard has enlisted the help of the depressed Tremaine, heir to a fortune of secrets. And in another world, two young men are fighting the strangers in their own way. Can they join forces before it's too late?
This book is set in an alternate WWII England, at least of a sort. There are lots of blackout curtains and an Aid Society. It's an engaging read, neither too light nor too dark. If you enjoy fantasy, you should seriously consider this series. B+.