Author: Martha Wells
Series: Fall of Ile-Rien #2
Genre: Fantasy, alternate history
Copyright Date: 2004
Cover: A boy and girl stand on a promotory. The boy is brandishing a weapon; the girl is leaning out over a railing. Behind them are pearlescent buildings. The sea is throwing itself against the cliff they stand on. There is a dirigible in the background but they don't see it.
Favorite quote: "The magazine stories and plays she had written had all been desperate adventures but the characters moved through them effortlessly, unaffected. In reality what you got was tiresome arguments and distraction and people pulling you in a dozen different directions and demanding you stop for a godforsaken lifeboat drill when you had to stalk the spy/sorcerer/creature who has tried to get your stupid worthless prisoners." (p 182)
Best part: The writing is great; very witty.
Worst part: It doesn't feel like the end of the series - it feels like the second book in a trilogy - but there is no third book.
Recommended for: Anyone who likes Wells or fantasy with a WW2 aesthetic.
Related Reads: Death of the Necromancer and The Wizard-Hunters, which precede it in the series. Also, Dark of the Gods by PC Hodgell (her heroine is very like Tremaine) and Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman (set more explicitly in an alternate WW2).
Tremaine, along with her new friends, has forged military order and stolen a cruise ship. Her goal is to rescue the men and women who have been kept as slaves by the Gardier, the enemy of her people. You'd think it would be smooth sailing from now on. Oh, no. The first problem is how to convince the refugees to get on the ship. The second problem is how to convince the Syprians to ally with the Rienish (and the answer will knock your socks off). The third problem? Not getting killed or enslaved.
Again, this would make a satisfying second book to the trilogy. As the conclusion to a duology, I felt it was a little lacking. Only a few elements of the plot get resolved by the end of the book, though the characters certainly have learned and grown a great deal. Still, it was a great read. B-.