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1. The Ships of Air: The Fall of
2. The Wizard Hunters (The Fall of
3. The Element of Fire
4. The Death of the Necromancer (SIGNED!)
5. City of Bones
6. The Gate of Gods: Book Three of
7. Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary (Stargate
8. Wheel of the Infinite
9. Essentials of Economics
10. The Ships of Air (The Fall of
11. Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy
12. Le Feu primordial
13. La Mort du nécromant
14. Black Gate, Issue 11 (Summer 2007)
15. Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement:
16. Outlines & Highlights for
17. Biography - Wells, Martha (1964-):
18. Reliquary
19. Herpetology (3rd Edition)
20. Essentials of Economics &

1. The Ships of Air: The Fall of Ile-Rien (The Fall of Ile-Rein)
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380807998
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Known for her lush, intricate worlds and complex characters, acclaimed author Martha Wells has delighted readers with her extraordinary fantasy novels of daring and wit. With The Wizard Hunters she launched her most ambitious undertaking yet -- the return to the beloved world of the Nebula Award-nominated The Death of the Necromancer and The Fall of Ile-Rien. Now the saga continues in a triumph of suspense and imagination.

Despite a valiant struggle against superior forces, the country of Ile-Rien has fallen to the onslaught of the relentless Gardier, a faceless army of sorcerers determined to conquer all civilization.

To save the remnants of her country, former playwright Tremaine Valiarde undertakes an epic journey to stop the Gardier. Rescuing the proud ship Queen Ravenna from destruction, Tremaine and a resolute band of sorcerers and warriors set sail across magical seas on a voyage of danger and discovery. For the secret to defeating the enemy -- and to rescuing the world from the Gardier's inimitable hatred -- lies far beyond the walls of the world, and only the tenuous ties of friendship and honor will keep the band together.

But the Gardier are not the only evil in this tumultuous world, and an ancient terror stalks the ornate rooms and shadowy decks of the Queen Ravenna -- a force so malevolent and enigmatic that even the growing power of the sorcerer's sphere may not be enough to save Ile-Rien from utter ruin.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent work
For a mid book in a series, this book moves along well, tells a real story and develops the overall theme sharply.Nothing moves too slow or too quickly, and none of the interactions is forced.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Quarrelsome Quest
Martha Wells's beautifully written "Ships of the Air," the second in the author's "Fall of Ile-Rien" trilogy (and you really have to read the first novel, "The Wizard Hunters," before you tackle this one) surpasses the first in its utter looneyness. We meet once again the spectacularly neurotic Tremaine Valliarde (who has, thankfully, gotten over her suicidal impulses), as she and the companions she met in the first volume explore the world she now finds herself in as they attempt to learn more about the Gardier, who have been wreaking havoc on Tremaine's world. In order to do so, Tremaine engineers an alliance between one of the tribes of this world, the Syprians, and the Rien, after which they attempt to discover just where the Gardier are coming from.

At the end of the volume, after quite a trip, they do.

Once again Wells's elegantly flowing prose style smoothes out the rough spots caused by her tendency, as was the case in the first volume, to write herself into a corner, creating problems for herself that don't really matter. (I suspect that, like her heroine, Ms. Wells makes things up on the fly--perhaps working from only the loosest of outlines. And that's not a complaint.)

Whatever. The completely dysfunctional quest is bizarre fun. Tremaine has leadership foisted on her after she gets married mainly on a dare, and although she hasn't a clue, she's certainly plucky and lucky. The tale, which features sorcery and electricity in equal proportions, moves quickly from land to a converted luxury liner and thence to "flying whales," which is what some of the characters call this world's version of hot-air balloons. (They're filled with hydrogen, not helium. Oh. Oh.) And despite the fantasy elements, much of the novel is grounded in reality. Wells describes perfectly what is bound to occur when a group of ill-assorted people are forced to go sallying forth together. They quarrel; they fight for dominance; they all think they're right. It's quirky fun. For readers anyway.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exciting
I loved the story, kept me interested throughout. Wells is a good author who has a good idea how to keep the reader turning the pages. I hope there will be more from her as I look foward to experiencing more of what she has to offer.

Another book readers of Ships of Air would possibly like is The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. Slightly different from hers, still not too bad.
... Read more

2. The Wizard Hunters (The Fall of Ile-Rien, Book 1)
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2004-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 038080798X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Once a fertile and prosperous land, Ile-Rien is under attack by the Gardier, a mysterious army whose storm-black airships appear from nowhere to strike without warning. Every weapon in the arsenal of Ile-Rien's revered wizards has proven useless.

And now the last hope of a magical realm under siege rests within a child's plaything.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Wonderful," she replied under her breath.
I am a little bit annoyed at myself that I waited so long to read this book. I always really like Wells' novels, but there is something unassuming about them in that I often find that too long goes between reading one book and the next. Before this I've read The Death of the Necromancer, The Element of Fire and Wheel of the Infinite.

This book is the first installment in a series called The Fall of Ile-Rien, but it isn't the first visit Wells has made to that world. I was delighted to come back to the world and the Valiarde family, and even though it has been a while, I found it easy to swim right back into the text.

Wells has a particular way of combining steampunk elements with high fantasy to create easily digestible and fun stories that don't have as many sharp edges as some of the more pure steampunk writers. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends entirely on the reader's mood and what they would like to get out of the book. She is also quite a skilled writer, and has a vivid way with character and world-building that I particularly enjoy.

I had one major quarrel with this book, and that has to do with the set-up of Tremaine Valiard's character arc.

(I don't actually think that it's a spoiler to reveal something from the first paragraph of the book, but if you don't want to know *anything* about the plot, then don't read below this sentence, please.)

The book opens with Tremaine contemplating suicide and this is a character element that is supposed to carry her change arc and internal struggle. I found it nearly wholly unbelievable and not well-grounded in the back story that we are given. This alone made it very difficult for me to get into the book in the early part of the novel. I will admit, however, that I lack a sense of humor about suicidal tendencies and ideation so perhaps I was simply too sensitive to the subject to like the way that Wells used it as a device.

All in all, very much looking forward to reading The Ships of Air.

2-0 out of 5 stars This is not for everyone
Some qualifications.I am more a fan of heroic/sword & sorcery style fantasy.Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock,C. L. Moore, JRR Tolkien, etc. Next, I did not realize until I finshed the book there is a prequel (Death of a Necromancer).

Ile-Rien is a land populated by wizards which is under attack by the Gardier, a mysterious enemy in dirigible like ships who use technology and magic together.Ile-Rien is slowly succumbing to the attacks, until the wizards realize they have a weapon to try against the Gardier.This mission to try the weapon against the Gardier is told from the viewpoint of a woman named Tremaine.

At 454 pages, this story plods along.There are a lot of descriptive passages throughout; while this can be seen as evidence that Wells has tried to create a convincing fantasy world, it gets in the way of telling the story and moving the plot along.I would argue, that Wells trips up in the creation of her fantasy world though when she mentions things like automobiles, coffee, and telephones.

The epsiodic nature of the book is vaguely reminiscent of the old pulps at times, with Tremaine and her friends going from "Burroughs-esque" adventure to adventure.The interspersed, detailed descriptions are what slow the story down though.(Yes, I don't need every single detail described--I have an imagination...)

The book also suffers from the plot being somewhat predictable.The only real surprise comes towards the end when the source of the Gardier's power is revealed--whether Wells develops this in the rest of the series remains to be seen.

From looking at the Amazon reviews, its clear this book will appear to some people.And that's great.If you like some of the writers I mentioned above though, I think you will find this book disappointing.

3-0 out of 5 stars Wizard Hunters has a great opening line.
The book has a great opening line, the only things that look like flaws turn out to be significant plot elements that make sense and are explained by the end of the first book, and the series holds together well.

Steampunk (Victorian era, or about, slightly gritty fantasy set in an alternative world with dirigibles, cannon and fire arms, spells and ocean liners)

The series works together well, each book makes solid progress, the main character's legendary father does not overshadow her, the series elements integrate well with the prequel (Death of the Necromancer) and by the end everything makes sense and leaves you satisfied.

You won't feel as if you've wasted your time or your money with this book or this series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming
The Wizard Hunters underwhelmed me. It is competently written and features at least two well-drawn characters, but the storyline and writing did not engage me. The pacing felt imbalanced: slow at the start, quick in the middle, and then almost too fast at the end. The writing seemed dispassionate to me, as if the author were reporting events instead of showing them. To be fair, I credit the author with creating intelligent characters. In other novels, I often know things before the characters do; in this novel, Tremaine came to conclusions around the same time I did. I read a lot of fantasy and do not consider The Wizard Hunters a great achievement; however, I will read another Martha Wells' novel to see if my average opinion of this novel is warranted.

5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite book
The main character, Tremaine, is more than sarcastic enough for me.She sneaks past authority figures, is always walking into trouble, and she knows how to ridicule.All without noticeable ego.

She is my hero.

If you don't read this series your soul will be sad. ... Read more

3. The Element of Fire
by Martha Wells
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-11-13)
list price: US$18.30 -- used & new: US$16.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0615135714
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Element of Fire was first published in the US by Tor Books in 1993, and has been published in six languages.It was a finalist for the 1993 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award and a runner-up for the 1994 Crawford Award. This new edition has been revised by the author.

The kingdom of Ile-Rien is in peril, menaced by magical threats and court intrigue. As the weak King Roland, misled by treacherous companions, rules the country, only his ruthless mother, the Dowager Queen Ravenna, truly guards the safety of the realm. But now Urbain Grandier, the dark master of scientific sorcery, has arrived to plot against the throne and Kade, bastard sister of the king, has appeared unexpectedly at court. The illegitimate daughter of the old king and the Queen of Air and Darkness herself, Kade's true goals are cloaked in mystery. Is she in league with the wizard Grandier? Or is she laying claim to the throne? It falls to Thomas Boniface, Captain of the Queen's Guard and Ravenna's former lover, to sort out who is friend and who is foe in a deadly game to keep the Dowager Queen and the kingdom she loves from harm. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Fantasy
As others here have noted, Ms. Wells produces a very interesting, and probably unique, brand of fantasy. I don't think she gets the recognition she deserves. This is one of her earlier efforts, so it has some minor shortcomings (the pace gets a little frenetic at times and the focus on the details of the castle seem unecessary). However, the plot is intricate, character development is excellent and I found myself really caring what happens to them. I would probably give this 4.5 stars, but I rounded up...

The book has finally been reprinted and apparently somewhat revised. This is fine, but the price for the new version seem rather high. Luckily, I was able to find a used copy of this older version at a much more reasonable price.Hopefully the new version will eventually come out in a mass paperback version, which may help create a wider audience for her talents.

5-0 out of 5 stars Politics, Swashbuckling Adventures and Fayre Magic-- What More Could a Fantasy Novel Want?
I reread this book in the new and revised edition and I'm still as pleased as I was when I read the first edition.Martha Wells manages to grab onto the feel of Dumas' 17th century swashbuckling Musketeers and translate it into a world where magic works and humanity is constantly threatened by the denizens of Fayre.And not just Fayre threatens the City of Vienne but the politics engaged in by the rulers and the upper class.

It's a fast paced and fun adventure novel with very appealing descriptive writing.I would have loved to have seen an illustrated edition of this book.The whirling hosts of the Unseeley Court, the Castle of Knockma, a reflection in a magic lake of a castle in the human world, the Court of Ravenna all demand to be experienced not just in the imagination.

Ms Wells has written other books that I have enjoyed-- all of them actually, but this book has a special place on my shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars This revised edition is even better
The original edition of Element of Fire was loads of fun, and this revised version is even better. Ms Wells has tightened the writing even further and eliminated a few inconsistencies (left over from earlier drafts?).

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.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Fantasy Writer
Martha Wells is really the best fantasy writer of our time. The plot is engaging and the characters are well developed. Set in a medeival backdrop, Martha Wells creates a believable world where magic and wit play into the power struggle of a kingdom.

I am really grateful that the publishers finally decided to reprint this book after it had been out of print for several years. After reading Wheel of the Infinite, I immediately fell in love with her style of writing. She is witty and intelligent and so are her characters. Best of all, the plot takes several twists and turns that make the book hard to put down.

I would give it 6 stars if I could.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy, but not great.
I'm glad I read "Death of the Necromancer" first, or I probably wouldn't have given Wells a second look after this book. The characters are ok, the writing is well done and the fantasy world is different enough to be interesting, but it never quite gets beyond 'good.' There's a bit too much action which, combined with the fast pacing, makes it a bit difficult to follow. Some of the settings and locations feel a bit tacked-on and I'm still not sure I completely understand what Kade's castle looks like or how the secret passages in the palace work. This is a minor issue that's easily ignored during the first half of the book and easily countered by the interesting characters, witty dialogue and complex intrigues. However, by the time the protaganists are fleeing a battle (their 6th) on an urgent mission (their 4th) through a poorly-described setting (the 27th) while nursing their wounds (dozens each) in order to thwart the new villain (the 3rd so far) it starts to wear a bit. The book is definitely worth reading, but after charging out of the gate it plods to the finish in an unexceptional and workmanlike manner. ... Read more

4. The Death of the Necromancer (SIGNED!)
by Martha Wells
 Hardcover: Pages (1998-01-01)

Asin: B003E78SPU
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars Intricate steam-and-sorcery mystery
Nicholas Valiarde is a man obsessed.Expertly assisted by a coterie of talented yet honorable thieves, he's all but completed his master plan of revenge against Count Montesq, a corrupt nobleman who orchestrated the execution of Nicholas's foster father on the basis of a false charge of necromancy.Nicholas's plan is interrupted, however, by the appearance of the mysterious Dr. Octave, a professed medium who may or may not be a fraud, but who is somehow connected with the strange, magical spheres on which the false charge against Nicholas's foster father was based.And as Nicholas and his allies slowly unravel the dark cloak around Octave, their fingers touch the bones of an ancient and implacable evil lurking beneath the streets and sewers of their unsuspecting city ...

TDOTN is a rich, complex, stand-alone novel set in the gaslit city of Ile-Rien; and even though this reviewer is discovering it a decade after its publication, its earning of a Nebula Award nomination for Martha Wells is unsurprising.Ms. Wells has created a wonderful setting--complete with pistols, trains, vile-smelling sewers and catacombs, and numerous other Victorian touches--and populated it with realistic characters, who reveal much of themselves on the page and yet give the impression of unplumbed depths in their personalities.In particular, Madeline (a steel-spirited actress and Nicholas's lover) and Arisilde (a powerful sorcerer fallen into opium addiction) are two of the most finely drawn characters I can recall in a fantasy novel.Ms. Wells's writing competently and often vividly supports the weight of the novel's Byzantine plot.(I only have three quibbles with her writing style: unusual punctuation; frequent perception/filtering tags such as "He saw that one of Spot's paws was blue" instead of "One of Spot's paws was blue"; and a sense of confusion as to exactly what was happening in certain action scenes, though perhaps that was an intentional reflection of the scenes occurring in darkness?)

This is one of the best books I've read this year, and the strength of its characters and setting brings to mind other ornate, urban works (such as Kushner's Swordspoint; Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer; and Moorcock's Gloriana).Highly recommended for enthusiasts of post-medieval fantasy and mystery.Four bright gaslight sconces.

4-0 out of 5 stars Smart and subtle
The Death of the Necromancer is a smart and subtle fantasy from Martha Wells, an author who I wish more genre writers would emulate. Not every fantasy has to contain blockbuster action or mindblowing spectacles of magic. Wells proves that inquisitive, literate fantasy can be enthralling and entertaining. In the past, I wrote a lukewarm review of The Wizard Hunters by the same author with the caveat that I thought that she had authored better books. I am glad that The Death of the Necromancer (which was published years before The Wizard Hunters) confirms my earlier suspicion that Wells is a quality writer.

Part Victorian mystery, part revenge drama, and part horror thriller, this novel features a vivid setting and complex characters. Wells describes her world beautifully, and while Ile-Rien may not be as unique as Mieville's Bas-Lag or intriguing as Martin's Westeros, it is believable, sophisticated, and rich in detail. I especially like the plausible, almost scientific magic system based on rituals and ingredients instead of spells and invocations. The characters are likable and complex, particularly Nicholas, although I think that his history contains one too many surprises, thus stretching his believability. I like how everyone has motives for what they do. Their behavior can be understood in terms of their character, not in terms of the confines of the story. In other words, they act a certain way because that is how they should act and not because they have to act that way for the story to work.

My major critical comment focuses on the villain, who I think would have benefited from more characterization. The similarities between him and Nicholas's father would have made him more understandable, if Wells had chose to humanize him. Additionally, these similarities made me question Nicholas's motives--perhaps he should have questioned himself as well.

I am not surprised that The Death of the Necromancer was nominated for a Nebula Award. It is a different kind of fantasy novel--that places character and setting ahead of shock and gore. Wells deserves a larger audience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Top Notch
I only recently discovered this gem, and others have provided complete reviews.This is a wonderful fantasy read set in a world that I find most entertaining, i.e., not outrageously different from our own (no hobbits...).Ms. Wells is very good at her craft and I found the characters interesting and the plot worthy of Sherlock Holmes.Some of the crime scenes were a bit graphic, but in these days of CSI, it was not too distracting.
My only real problem with the book is that I wanted another story with these folks.In the follow on trilogy (the Fall of Ile Rien trilogy) the main characters are not carried over to any great degree .However, in the following books, Ms. Wells creates other intriguing characters to entertain us.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best, most entertainingbook I've read!!!
This book is brilliant. There is almost nothing in it that I didn't like or that I skipped over. In fact, this may well just be one of my favorite books ever. Yes, it was that good.

First of all is the plot. It never got boring and it never stalled. From chapter one the ride takes off and it doesn't stop until the very end. As the book opens we find ourselves in one of the most lavished mansions where a ball is taking place. Unbeknownst to the attendants, not one but two robberies are occurring simultaneously in that very house. As luck would have it, Nicholas and his friends have a rather nasty run in with a ghoul sent by a powerful necromancer and they barely manage to escape.

From that moment on their lives are complicated beyond belief as they try to put their well thought out plan to bring down the ruthless man who is responsible for Nicholas father's execution as well as trying to escape the clutches of the mad wizard who is after them.

The other thing I loved about this book were the characters. Nicholas is one of the most genuine heroes I've come across in a very long time. Ever since his father was executed he has spent his life building a double persona. One is of a respectable nobleman whom everyone knows as Nicholas Valiarde, son of the late scientist Edouard Viller. The other is Ile-Rien's infamous underworld crime-lord Donatien. He is very adept at keeping the two personalities separated to everyone but his closest friends and allies: Madeleine and Reynard. Only they can see how his vendetta is slowly consuming him and the lines between his two personalities are beginning to blur.

Nicholas comes across effectively as a tortured hero without going over the top. His is a quiet manner yet you never have a doubt that he is anything but a doomed man because of his obsession with revenge. I loved the way that Wells portrays him. Not once does the author trying to convince you the man is tortured or that he is the very best at what he does overwhelm you. It's there in the way he acts or thinks or the way others see him.

Another treat was Madeleine who quickly became one of my favorite heroines. The woman doesn't have one TSTL moment. Ever. Not once does she make a rash and stupid decision. Not once does she falter and wait for everyone to come to her rescue because she got into trouble. She actually thinks before she acts, she is good under pressure and she doesn not doubt the Nicholas' abilities. At the same time you feel the love and the bond she shares with him even without having to read pages of the two declaring their love for one another. I thought this was one of the best things about the novel.

The secondary characters are all brilliant as well. From Nicholas opium addicted wizard friend to his seemingly debauched allied Reynard to even his bodyguards. They all fit their roles perfectly without fading in the background.

The villains are amazing as well. Wells doesn't shy away from showing you just how evil these people really are and that's what makes the danger to our heroes all the more believable.

The one thing I found somewhat lacking is the way in which one of the two villains meets his end. We are lead on a wild chase and the suspense builds up only to be over and done with in the blink of an eye. I would have liked to see exactly what happened but I was satisfied with the way the other, and more important villain, met his demise.

One last thing to note is the setting in which the story takes place. I am a sucker for steampunk type stories where the settings are reminiscence of Victorian, Edwardian or turn of the century Europe. Ile-Rien reminds you of an 18th century alternate France where wizards and magic are a common sight. I absolutely loved it and Wells does a helluva job painting each scene so vividly you feel you are practically there.

This is damn near perfect and I dare say anyone that enjoys a good story will be glued to the book until the very end. A wonderful, wonderful ride.

I give it a solid 5 out of 5!

4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous introduction to a wonderful author
This was the first Martha Wells book I read, some years ago.I needed something to read while traveling, liked the cover enough to read the inside blurb, and liked the blurb enough to buy the book.So I went in with no preconceptions, never having heard of the author before, and emerged amazed at how entertained I was by the book.

What is there to like?The setting, for one.The city of Ile-Rien and the surrounding areas are wonderfully imagined and carefully described.Wells is an expert at selecting places/eras/ideas from our own Earthly history as archtype backdrops in forming her fantastic worlds, and then adding unique details that make those places seem perhaps even more real.In this case it's a 1800s France-that-never-was, where science (gas lamps, trains, pistols) and magic have intersected -- at times smoothly and at times not so smoothly.

Indeed, it is this intersection which drives the plot, which surrounds mechanical "spheres" created by Edouard Viller that are designed to allow non-magicians to do magic.The wrongful execution of Edouard for the forbidden magic of necromancy during the construction of the spheres drives his adopted son, Nicholas, to the criminal underground in an effort to punish those responsible.While the story broadens to include a threat to the whole city -- indeed, the whole country -- it always remains at heart a very personal one, of Nicholas struggling between his need for revenge and his (at times skewed) sense of right.Along the way we get to explore the sewers and dungeons of the city, the lairs of criminals, the street cafes of the demi monde, and the royal palace, while meeting a fascinating cast of characters at all points.

The best and worst part of the book are the characters.I found them to be varied, interesting and likeable -- Nicholas with his inner struggle, Madeline the actress as a very female foil to him while also having her own ruthless practicality and high level of capability, Arisilde the flawed but powerful mage, Reynard the disgraced soldier, Ronsarde the aging police inspector, etc.They have enough flaws that we can relate to, they have a complex inner mental life that we're allowed to peek into, and dialog sparkles between them: the way they talk is the way I wish people talked today.The drawbacks to the characters are that at times Nicholas, Madeline and Ronsard all seem a little too capable, meaning their success is seldom in doubt; there are some pretty blatant parallels to other literary figures (Nicholas the crime boss = Moriarty, Ronsarde and Halle = Holmes/Watson) which makes them instantly comprehensible but not overly imaginative characterizations; they are in some ways treated with kid gloves (we never see Nicholas the city crime boss hurting anyone in his crimes, and he never steals from anyone who doesn't deserve it); and, finally, having read Wells' other books, there are a lot of similar romantic dynamics in nearly all her books, a certain wry uncertainty in the relationship between the lead male and female characters.

None of the drawbacks, it's important to note, were things I noticed while reading the book: I was having too much fun.Wells is simply miles ahead of the Jordan/Brooks/Rowling/etc. crowd at crafting sentences that describe just enough to let your imagination take over, without being either overly mechanical or overly flowery in her use of language.This is not a highly allegorical, deeply thoughtful book filled with tremendous inner meaning and complexity; nor is it a multi-volume prophesy-driven coming-of-age epic fantasy with the usual cast of elves, dwarves, and orcs.This is something there is all too little of, a single-volume story of a fantastic world well-imagined and carefully crafted, a smaller tale of individuals and their personal goals.If that sounds appealing to you, I can recommend this (as well as most of Martha Wells' other books) to you wholeheartedly. ... Read more

5. City of Bones
by Martha Wells
Paperback: 356 Pages (2007-12-24)
list price: US$18.88 -- used & new: US$16.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1435705459
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working on the edge of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors and to support Sagai's family. When Khat is hired to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients' arcane engines, they are both reluctant to become involved. But the request comes from the Warders, powerful mages who serve Charisat's Elector. Khat soon discovers that the deadly politics of Charisat's upper tiers aren't the only danger. The relics the Warders want are be the key to an Ancient magic of unknown power, and, as all the inhabitants of Charisat know, no one understands the Ancients' magic.First published by Tor Books in 1995. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars A break from the pattern
This book seems to generate more diverse opinions than most Martha Wells books, and for good reason: to the extent that there is a pattern to Ms. Wells' books, this one diverges most from that pattern.

It starts with the setting.Most of Ms. Wells' other books are set in locales that while original are easily comprehensible.This is due to her use of historical archetypes as inspirations for her invented settings: 19th century England and France for the Ile-Rien books; Southeast Asia for "Wheel of the Infinite.""City of Bones" on the other hand is a wholly original setting, a post-holocaust city rising out of the desert with its own history, class structure, racial prejudices, and magic system.There's thus a bit more description, a bit more explanatory exposition here than in Wells' other books.Those less interested in world-building as a source of wonder may find it slow, but I loved this aspect of it.

The nature of the setting ties neatly with the plot, an archaeological mystery that gradually reveals some of the past history of the land even as it takes the characters from slums to palaces, desert ruins to universities.One aspect I really enjoyed about this book is that it isn't rushed -- some of the more recent books Wells has written ("Wheel of the Infinite" and "Gate of Gods" come to mind) have felt like too much new material was introduced in the last 50 pages."City of Bones" really builds the story so that the end, while impressive, feels like a logical, understandable outcome of all that came before, and it gets the attention (and page count) it deserves.

The hero, Khat, is an Indiana Jones-type: capable as an adventurer but someone who'd rather be studying the mysteries of the Ancients.While not amoral, he's roped into the story not by any great need to do good, but by a desire to learn and (as a racial minority relegated to the slums) to simply earn enough money to survive.The heroine, Elen, is perhaps a bit less capable than the women in other Wells books, relying a great deal on Khat for assistance early on.Much of her weakness however is psychological, and part of the enjoyment of the book is watching Elen grow into her abilities.There is an element of romance in the book, but less so than in most of Wells' other books, and it's handled differently here -- there's more a focus on the things that can keep people apart than the ways they can be brought together.Both characters grow throughout the book, but both end -- in a good way -- as still far from finished products: this is a fantasy that "feels" very realistic and true.

That trait carries through to the villains of the book.There is ultimately a source of opposition, but not all characters that look fair are, not all characters that feel foul are, and those that are foul have believable, thoughtful reasons for being so.This is not a grim or gritty book, but politics and shades of gray do figure just as strongly here as Saving the World from True Evil.

Overall "City of Bones" is a thoroughly enjoyable book, one I'd recommend to anyone interested in reading something that while "light" manages to push the bounds of genre fantasy.I'd especially recommend it to those who have read other Martha Wells books, as this one really illustrates the breadth of imagination that she's capable of.

2-0 out of 5 stars Decent for a first book
The barebone plot is certainly not bad and the indepth world is convincing. Yet, there are too many details that do nothing for the book, many sentences being long and overly technical. Much of the background information would be better relegated into a stuffy old history textbook!

I would've preferred more action scenes, more story behind the characters; more lines for everyone. The ending wasn't too bad except I couldn't believe the characters would "escape from their feelings" after making it so far. At least put in some more effort, man, before calling it quits! I know Wells was trying for realism but *hint, hint*: in situations like these, a bit of "out of character" would lend some humour and make the reader go "awww".

3-0 out of 5 stars Well-written, but rarely rises above mediocrity
Wells is good, but it's clear that this is a first novel - start with "Death of the Necromancer" instead. City of Bones gives us just a little bit too much of everything: too much action, too much history, too many characters and too much of a fantasy world. As a result, everything gets skimped on. We know just enough about the characters to wish we knew more. We know just enough about the setting to wish we knew more. The only thing we really don't want more of is the action; after the 15th skirmish things start to blend together and we start seriously questioning the ability of the characters to withstand this much punishment. Wells whets our appetites for information by littering the text with tidbits, but there aren't enough to do anything other than leave us frustrated by the book's end.

Having said that, the writing is very good, the world is (potentially) fascinating and the pages turn quickly. You won't be bored, but you won't be as entertained as you will be when reading her later books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Reading -- and Reading Again
"City of Bones" evokes a fantasy world that is thoroughly imagined, with vivid landscapes and nuanced social dynamics. Each character resonated emotionally with me and remains memorable long after I put down the book. Others have described the plot line and the characters in detail, so let me add only that "City of Bones" gets even better on the second and third reading.

The ending is particularly satisfying in a fantasy: the hero avoids the heroic fallacy and chooses real life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Archaeological mystery
I usually can't read fantasy, because I can't suspend my disbelief enough to accept what I'm being told.Elves, magic, dragons, all that's fine; what I can't believe are the ridiculous societies and implausible politics that too many fantasy authors fall back on.

I loved City of Bones because it presented me with a society that worked coherently, drew sensible conclusions from the information presented to the reader, and provided an archaeological mystery which the reader can try to solve right along with the characters (which is a HUGE plus in ANY novel, as Ellery Queen readers can attest).

Perhaps I overintellectualize, but the point remains that I'm definitely going to look for Wells' other books now.That's the only recommendation that really matters in the end. ... Read more

6. The Gate of Gods: Book Three of The Fall of Ile-Rien
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380808005
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Tremaine Valiarde and a small, brave band of heroes ventured into a wondrous new realm on their desperate mission to save Ile-Rien from the conquering Gardier. Now, as a relentless enemy creates chaos and destruction -- with the fate of the magical city of Lodun hanging in the balance -- the last hope of a land besieged may rest on the far side of a secret portal.

But the doorway leads to a mysterious ruin hidden behind the awesome Gate of Gods -- and to perils that dwarf anything Tremaine and her allies could have possibly imagined. . . .

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The finale to a unique fantasy series
I love Martha Wells as a writer. I'm not entirely sure why I love her so much; she just has a very absorbing and colorful way of writing a scene, I suppose. You get caught up and carried along and it's a great ride.

My comment is on this book in particular, but it's also on the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy as a whole because it's really just one long book cut into three pieces. This is not the kind of trilogy where you can start with any book. You *will* wind up being confused, believe me!

I suggest reading -- as I did -- "The Element of Fire" before launching into the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy. Maybe "Death of the Necromancer" too. It's not absolutely mandatory in order to understand the series, but it does help. Without reading "The Element of Fire" you really don't understand the world of Ile-Rien in its glory days, so to speak. When the "Fall" trilogy opens, Ile-Rien has already been buffeted by war with the Gardier for several years. It's harder to see what the country means to all of the main characters and what they stand to lose without seeing what the country used to be before the war.

Ile-Rien is a fully realized world. The way Martha Wells depicts it, it seems as real a place as Paris or Vienna. What makes the world of Ile-Rien different is that magic is a reality there. It's a principle of life no different than scientific principles like gravity. Wells deftly paints a picture of what a society like that would look like. She also shows how Ile-Rien changes from the two centuries from "The Element of Fire" which takes place in an 18th century-like setting, to the time when "The Wizard Hunters" open, which is about the equivalent of our 1940s. Think WWII.

Ile-Rien changes both technologically and magically. Things like cars and electric lights are common in Vienne, the capital city, but there is also a sharp decline in the appearance of the fay, the fairy creatures that dominated so much of the first book, "The Element of Fire". This makes sense because the introduction of steel train tracks and other markers of industrialization have made it nearly impossible for the fay to be in Ile-Rien. As in the myths of our own fairies, the fay can't abide being near iron.

I would suggest this trilogy to any lover of fantasy because the Ile-Rien books are unusual. Fantasy is so often set in medieval circumstances; Wells dares to be different.

I do, though, have two major criticisms. First of all, after roughly 1,200 pages of story, the plot is wrapped up (a little too neatly) in less than a hundred pages. As I got closer and closer to the end of "The Gate of Gods", I found myself frustrated and afraid that the author wasn't going to answer the "big question" at all -- namely, who are the Gardier really and why did they decide to declare war on Ile-Rien? The attack, from the view of the Rienish, seems completely unprovoked. There is also the question of how the Gardier went from the peaceful society they had a mere generation ago to the warlike, totalitarian people who attack Ile-Rien.

Well, Martha Wells does give an answer to these questions. Is it a satisfying answer? That's not easy for me to say. By the time she finally got to the explanation for the war, I was just relieved that there *was* an explanation, period. This fear was somewhat justified because I don't think it was ever made completely clear why the villain in "The Element of Fire" did what he did. At least, it wasn't clear to me.

On the whole, I think the solution to the Gardier mystery could have been a lot more elegant. After the strength of the rest of the trilogy, it was something of a letdown. It felt a bit tacked on.

I also think that the explanation of the spell circles could have been described more clearly.

There are spell circles that both the heroes and villains of the trilogy either make or discover. They use them to travel between three different worlds. But, especially in this final book, Wells gets into a very complicated system of stationary circles, mobile circles, point-to-point circles, and so on. About a third of the way through this book, it really starts to all go over your head because it's like trying to conceptualize a long math problem without the numbers and symbols being written down on paper. In other words, it's hard to visualize. It was for me, anyway. I'm sure Wells' logic on the circles is sound. I take it on faith; I'm certainly not going to go over the text with a fine-toothed comb and check her accuracy.

The main character, Tremaine, is somewhat problematic. That is, she is a very complicated character and the entire story really revolves around her. It's not only that she's important, it's that everyone else always treats her like she's important. (They may not be entirely justified in treating her that way, but they do.) I, personally, liked Tremaine. That is to say, I didn't actually always *like* her, but I always found her interesting and I liked that about the character. But, I can easily see how other readers would be turned off by her character and anyone who falls into that camp isn't going to like these books.

I do give Wells a lot of credit for Tremaine because I think her very existence as the main character in an intelligent fantasy series answers the question that Joanna Russ and other feminist SF critics have posed, which is, can a female character really be the heroine? Is it possible to create a new and authentic narrative of SF/fantasy heroism that isn't just dressing up a woman in a guy's clothing?

Wells proves that it's more than possible.

Having said that, Tremaine (and, to a large extent, Ilias and Gilead as well) did get on my nerves with her hypocrisy.

There were clear villains in the trilogy, like Ixion the wizard and Balin, the captured Gardier spy. Ixion, especially, was obviously just pure evil. But there were other characters who I think were unfairly set up just to be "straw-man" obstacles to Tremaine and Ilias' relationship. Ander, Cletia, Pasima and Visolela were supposed to be these irritating, unreasonable people, but I didn't find them so at all. There were times when their respective goals and ideas were are odds with the main trio of heroes -- Tremaine, Ilias and Gilead -- but I think they were mainly frustrated because they didn't take the time to really listen or understand where these people were coming from. The three of them hated to be unfairly judged and taken for granted by others but they were very comfortable doing those very things themselves and that grated. No one ever called them out on their double standard. But then, in a war, there probably wouldn't be the time.

All in all, a trilogy that stands up to the best fantasy series out there, in my opinion. I wish my people could be exposed to it.

Lastly, I want to say that Martha Wells is one smart cookie for putting the entire text of "The Element of Fire" on her website. Once you get a taste of her writing and the world of Ile-Rien, you will be hooked. Sure, I got the first book for free, but then I went out and purchased all three of the "Fall" books. I imagine that 2009 won't come and go without me buying and reading the other books she's written as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid, unique, fun to read with characters that breathe
Another strong book from one of the best fantasy writers working today. Her prose just hums along, and the world she's created here, as in other novels, is highly unique and possesses its own, singular feel. The action is well paced and while the plot does become a bit confused near the climax (as one reviewer put it, "all those circles!") this is a thoroughly enjoyable read that pulls you along and leaves you highly satisfied at the end.

Her characterization is for the most part outstanding, even the small clues and cues she gives regarding less-central characters. Yes, the character of Tremaine has been a bit of a mystery from the start and the emergence of the fact that she has a core of cold steel a la her father does raise some questions, but the book reads so well and unfolds so naturally they didn't occur to me until after I'd put it down. Despite a few (very) minor imperfections, all told this is top-notch fantasy and I'd highly recommend it to anyone. At the least, however, start with the first of this latest trilogy, The Wizard Hunters. If you can, go farther back. After reading GateI tracked down the first book set in Il-Rien, The Element of Fire, (FYI it's on Well's website for printing free of charge) and my appreciation for how she has spun this series of stand-alone yet related stories grew.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished?
In "The Gate of Gods," the third in the "Fall of Ile Rien" series, moody Tremaine Valiarde (perhaps the first bipolar SF heroine) and her squabbling companions continue to plumb the mysteries of the circles, discovered by the mysterious havoc-wreaking Gardier, that enable them to cross among worlds. With sword and sorcery, plus the equivalent of 1920s-era tech, as well as pluck and more than a little luck, the not so merry men (and women) finally figure out how the things work (readers may not be so lucky, as the rules seem to be in a constant state of flux), scoot between worlds (often just in time), discover more about the nature of the Syprian "gods," and are finally able to write "mission accomplished" to their adventures. Fans of the late-1960s TV midi-series "The Prisoner," which starred Patrick McGoohan, may smile with recognition as Tremaine's crew finally meets number 1. (Or not.) Anyhow, it's a delicious scene.

Well written and fun to read, the author dares to present a heroine who is truly "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." Or, as the old song puts it: Tremaine always is a headache but she never is a bore.

Notes and Asides: This is the end of the trilogy but not, I suspect, the ends of tales of Ile Rien. Start with volume 1, please or you will be majorly confused. I did, and I was still minorly confused. (Now let me think, Gerard is the sorcerer, Giliad is the . . . )

4-0 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 aint bad
I have read all of Martha Wells' books and have enjoyed each of them a great deal. Her world building is always rich and original, her prose is sharp, her plots well paced and engaging, and her characters likeable...and that is a lot to like (far more than most fantasies I've read). There was a bit to much deus ex machina in the series (well...literally this time)...and as some reviewers said not a great deal of insight into the characters motivations...and after reading all of her books there is a...familiarity about the characters despite the very different backgrounds...but make no mistake, this is GOOD fantasy, and if it's not high literature, so be it...I'll still be eagerly awaiting her next work.

3-0 out of 5 stars A world is saved but our characters don't grow much more
While I enjoyed the first two books in this series, I would have to say that this volume was a disappointment to me.The mystery behind the Gardier aggression, the fate ofArisilde and the future of Tremaine's andIlias relationship is resolved in this novel, but despite that I ended the book feeling dissatisfied.

The pace of this book seemed more uneven and slower than the previous two novels, and at the end of it, while the war is finished, and Tremaine is no longer suicidal, I didn't feel like I had a real insight to Tremaine's character aside from some nasty episodes in her past that made her feel that society wasn't "worth it".On reflection this is a series I should have bought in paperback given my feeling of let down at the end, but it had some unique moments, especially in book 2 on "the Ravenna".
... Read more

7. Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary (Stargate Atlantis)
by Martha Wells
Kindle Edition: 240 Pages (2006-03-15)
list price: US$7.95
Asin: B0028ADJXK
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
While exploring the unused sections of the Ancient city of Atlantis, Major John Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay stumble on a recording device that contains a new Stargate address. The address leads them to a world with a mysterious ruined city that may be part of an Ancient repository, or it may just be yet another trap for the unwary. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome SGA novel, one of my favorites!
This is definately one of the best SGA novels I have read so far.Martha Wells is either a fan of SGA or she has certainly done her homework!She was able to bring the characters to life in such a way that I could definately see this book being an episode of the show. As an avid SGA fan, I really appreciated the way she stayed true to the characters and also created a great story.This was a one day read for me...I literally didn't want to put it down.The perfect book for a cold winter Saturday in Wisconsin.I hope she will continue to write more SGA novels, I would buy anything she writes in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars all I could hope for and then some
This book was worth every penny! Martha Wells really knew the characters, especially Sheppard and McKay, and worked up a beautiful plot line that flowed well from beginning to end. She had me rolling with laughter at one point, then on the edge of my seat the next, craving to know what happens next.

Other reviews on this site mention a possible correlation to the episode "Conversion." While I can see where they are coming from, this story is different and does not have much in common with the episode.

Most of the book is from John's POV, giving you an interesting look into the major's thoughts as the mission slowly unravels around him. If you're a bigger fan of some of the other characters like Ford, Teyla, or Weir, you might be disappointed as, while they are present, they are not heavily featured. Still, they story has merit, and all of the characters (even Beckett and Zelenka!) get in on the action and get sucked into the newest crisis in the Pegasus Galaxy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
This is a very good book.Very enjoyable with a hint of a horror story feel in regard to Col. Sheppard's condition towards the middle and end of the book.All in all a very good read.I recommend this to any and all fans of Stargate Atlantis and SG1.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfectly captures the feel of the show
This is my first SGA novel and I was completely happy with how the author was able to recreate the drama, humor and character of the series. As strange as it sounds I could actually hear the actors read the lines in the text as if it were on the screen.

Highly recommended to fans of the show.

4-0 out of 5 stars Homorous read
This book starts out interesting, and just gets better and better.I love the amusing interactions between McKay and Sheppard shortly after Sheppard begins to transform.I can honestly say this book is worth reading more than once. ... Read more

8. Wheel of the Infinite
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (2001-12-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380788152
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Every year, the Wheel of the Infinite must be painstakingly remade to ensure peace and harmony. And every hundred years, the Wheel and the world become one. But now a black storm ravages the beautiful mandala, and a woman with a shadowy past -- an exile, murderer, and traitor -- has been summoned back to put the world right. For if Maskelle and the swordsman Rian cannot stop the Wheel's accelerating disintegration -- then all that is what and will be...will end.

Amazon.com Review
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 ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Casting spells and swashing buckles above the rest
Sword-and-Sorcery of a superior ilk.Wells is widely praised for her original world-building and that is skill is on display here.The central plot concerns a highly detailed religion with vague hints of eastern spirituality which anchors the magic into the nature of this world.The well-developed (as a character, not like at the gym), middle-aged female protagonist is refreshing in a fantasy work.The plot gets a little more convoluted than might be necessary.And there's a bit of back-story that, when it's finally explained, doesn't quiet live up to the buildup.But those are not major flaws.A definite cut above the usual mark for the genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars Original fantasy stand alone novel.
I ordered this book based on the reviews here at Amazon, and I was not dissappointed.Finally a fantasy which is complete in one book rather than a trilogy! This was a refreshingly different read. First is is not set in a Celtic/Mid-European world, but in an Asian/Indian setting. Second the heroine is 45 years old and has had 3 husbands, yet she is strong and powerful. How refreshing not to have 16-18 yo heroine with beautiful blond curls and a gorgeous body! Thirdly our older heroine attracts the attention of a handsome younger man. How wonderful is that! The reincarnation theme is very inventive. I was impressed.I will be tracking down other book by this author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing
I've read all of Martha Well's books that have been published (all great), but I found this one to be the best of the best.

It was the first of her books that I'd read, and the one that made me a big fan of her writing.She had me hooked from the first sentence.

Though the plot and characterization were pretty good, as a writer myself, I especially loved the way she wove her words together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great Amrtha Wells book
Of all the books I've read so far this summer, this was the one I liked best.I haven't read everything Ms. Wells has written, but I've never been disappointed. The characters are interesting, the story flows well and is well structured, and she has created an interesting culture with memorable descriptions, and an interesting mystical magic system. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars Rebuilding the world.
Wells is one of the freshest and most talented fantasy writers working today, and I enjoyed _Wheel of the Infinite_ immensely. The City is loosely based on Angor Wat and the reader will catch whispers of Asian and Southeast Asian mythology throughout the book.

Maskelle is a refreshing character in the fantasy genre-- an assertive older woman who has come into power and knows her own mind. The other characters are equally well-fleshed out with many deft and light touches that keep the tone from getting too dark.

I was not completely willing to buy the ending-- a little bit too much Deus ex Machina, and that weakened the book for me. But still, it was a very good read and a commendable stand-alone fantasy novel. ... Read more

9. Essentials of Economics
by Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, Martha Olney
Paperback: 471 Pages (2007-12-27)
-- used & new: US$40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0716758792
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Essentials of Economics brings the same captivating writing and innovative features of Krugman/Wells to the one-term combined micro/macro course. Adapted by Martha Olney (coauthor of the Krugman/Wells study guide and overall coordinator of its media/supplements package), it is the ideal text for teaching basic economic principles in a real-world context to students who are not planning to continue up the economics curriculum.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucid up-to-date introduction
Krugman, who is popularly known for his recent New York Times op-eds castigating both Bush and Obama, which are collected in several books of his,The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations, The Conscience of a Liberal is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, noted for his work in international trade. His colleagues claim that his structural intuitions and proofs are beautiful.
Krugman says that he worked harder on this book than any other book that he wrote, making last-minute corrections and additions during his trip to receive the Nobel Prize. He made an effort to make every definition and explanation as lucid as possible.
A valuable feature of this book is that he and his partner/ co-author decided to include a section on the business cycle, while most other books available (prior to the recent credit crunch) eliminated discussion of the business cycle, thinking it to be eliminated by clever government fine-tuning of the economy. Once the book appeared, in the midst of the credit-collapse, this section became extremely relevant.
This is the most lucid and up-to-date introductory economics text presently available. ... Read more

10. The Ships of Air (The Fall of Ile-Rien, Book 2)
by Martha Wells
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2004-07-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$7.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007ZNVEK
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Known for her lush, intricate worlds and complex characters, acclaimed author Martha Wells has delighted readers with her extraordinary fantasy novels of daring and wit. With The Wizard Hunters she launched her most ambitious undertaking yet -- the return to the beloved world of the Nebula Award#150;nominated The Death of the Necromancer and The Fall of Ile-Rien. Now the saga continues in a triumph of suspense and imagination.

Despite a valiant struggle against superior forces, the country of Ile-Rien has fallen to the onslaught of the relentless Gardier, a faceless army of sorcerers determined to conquer all civilization.

To save the remnants of her country, former playwright Tremaine Valiarde undertakes an epic journey to stop the Gardier. Rescuing the proud ship Queen Ravenna from destruction, Tremaine and a resolute band of sorcerers and warriors set sail across magical seas on a voyage of danger and discovery. For the secret to defeating the enemy -- and to rescuing the world from the Gardier's inimitable hatred -- lies far beyond the walls of the world, and only the tenuous ties of friendship and honor will keep the band together.

But the Gardier are not the only evil in this tumultuous world, and an ancient terror stalks the ornate rooms and shadowy decks of the Queen Ravenna -- a force so malevolent and enigmatic that even the growing power of the sorcerer's sphere may not be enough to save Ile-Rien from utter ruin. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kipling, Forester, Dunnett, Wells
I was trying to hold out reading these books until the third one was published but I had to give in when I accidentally picked up a copy of Element of Fire and reread it. Set some two hundred years before this trilogy, Element of Fire is not a prerequisite but it did remind me what a great adventure writer Wells is and how little really good adventure fantasy does get written these days.So I grabbed volume one and two of this trilogy off the shelf and hid from the frigid weather in the luxurious staterooms of the Queen Ravenna,luxury liner turned world hopping battle ship.

The background of this book is not mere wallpaper.It's a richly realized world with characters who are both likeable and fallible.There's heroes and traitors and "primitives" who refuse to be neatly pigeonholed.There's politics and danger and a sly, dark humor that is really appealing.

So now what am I going to do until the third installment is published?

4-0 out of 5 stars A change of location and some wonderful surprises
This is the second book in The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy.As a result, read by itself the book probably would not make a lot of sense as it relies heavily on the events in book 1.As a follow on from THE WIZARD HUNTERS this is an excellent instalment.

Its strange to read a fantasy novel set mostly on a large luxury ocean liner like this one is.We finally get some answers about the Gardier in this book and the series is making steady progess as the books build on one another.I'll be interested to see how this story concludes in Book 3 as I like the characters, especially Tremaine.

4-0 out of 5 stars promising improvement over first book
The Ships of Air, the second book in this series, builds upon the strengths of the first while also improving several of the first book's flaws.As in The Wizard Hunters, the main character's depth and likeability is a major strength.Tremaine is a complex character, displaying a variety of emotions and pursuing a variety of actions, some of them not so clearly understood by those around her or even herself.Several of the side characters from the Wizard Hunters whose characterization suffered a bit from shallowness deepen into more three-dimensional creations here, enriching the overall flavor of the novel and allowing Wells the luxury of dipping into several enjoyable side-stories. The writing moves along crisply and often humorously, another positive carried over from book one.
Where the first book suffered somewhat from repetitive plot, villains painted in too-shallow pictures, and an over-reliance on Tremaine's sphere as a deus ex machina, Ships of Air suffers from none of these.The villains, the Gardier, are explained more fully from inside and out.The storyline finds excitement though expanding existing tensions and adding new points of contention/crisis rather than simply repeating a pattern of capture/escape/capture/escape.And the sphere plays a relatively minor role to the advantage of both character and plot.
Some of the foreshadowing from book one is resolved here and, as is expected of a bridge novel in a series, new questions arise to tantalize the reader.If anything, these new questions are more intriguing than the old ones. This, combined with the improvements in plot and character, make this not only a better written book than Wizards, but also a much stronger lure into continuing with the series.A good recommendation.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very rewarding
Contrary to my last few postings, I do occasionally read books I like. Ships of Air is one of those - matter of fact, Martha Wells is an author I admire a lot. The first book in the series was on the "new books" shelf at the library, and I really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint with the second book is that it took too long to come out. I kind of lost track of the main characters and it took me a while to remember who was who and how they fit.

That isn't as easy as one would expect. Martha Wells writes complex characters that can't be described by a single word endowment. The primary viewpoint character isn't the "Smart" one, nor is she the "brave" one, nor.... she's just Tremaine. Tremaine is smart, determined, brave and a whole host of other virtues. And the really cool thing is that she doesn't really know it.

Martha Wells is better than any writer I can think of right now at showing you both what the character thinks of themselves, and what others think of the character. She doesn't tell you- she shows you. Tremaine, like most people I know, isn't really aware of how special she is. But through others eyes we get to see that she is admirable.

Wells is ambitious and in addition to the half dozen major characters she shows us a host of minor characters that have lives of their own when they're not illuminating the major characters. She also shows us the cultures of three very different and very believeable worlds. Ile Rien, Tremaine's society, is like Europe prior to the World War. Slightly more advanced in some things, and with sorcery added. They are however under attack from a nation known as the Gardier - problematic, since like pre-war Europe, there is no space left on teh globe for an industrialized superpower to emerge without being noticed. In book 1, we discover that the Gardier travel between worlds, and we track them back to Sypria - a pastoral, pre-monetary Matriarchy with some curious religious structures. And we learn more of the Gardier who are fascist conquerors.

Book 2 suffers from some of the sins of a bridge book. Foreshadowing is revealed, loose ends are tied up, but in fact, no new surprises can be written because there's only one book (I presume) left to hold them.

But Wells' manages all these tasks quite well. I do care about Tremaine - more than she cares about herself. I do care about the worlds, and I'm eager to learn more of the various societies. Rarely does an author manage to focus attention on this many things at once and still be successful.

I hope that she continues to write, not just because I enjoy her work, but becasue I hope she learns to tighten up some of the looser constructions. There is enough spread out that I do have to concentrate to keep it all in mind. On the other hand the reason I have to concentrate is that I have to read more deeply than I do with other authors. I have to keep track of what I learn about Tremaine from herself, from her friends and from her enemies. And none of them tell me what they think - they react, and I must study their reactions to learn what they think.

A very rewarding read.

5-0 out of 5 stars exciting epic fantasy
Using magic, the mysterious off-worlders Gardier has conquered Ile-Rien though the embattled Rienish wizards have learned how to open an inter-world portal.Another defeated foe of the Gardier, the Syprians fear magic due to its misuse by evil wizards Their Chosen One, Giliead, is resistant to most magic.

Meanwhile Tremaine Valiarde knows that the soul of the great wizard Arisilde rests inside a magical sphere that is the last hope that the Rienish wizards have to defeat Gardier magic.She and her fellow exiles on Syprian pull a passenger liner through the portal that upsets the locals and bring them to the attention of malevolent wizards who want the sphere.To ease the minds of the anti-magic local populace about her motives, Tremaine marries Gilead's brother Ilias, a freedom fighter who has killed several evil wizards.The intrepid Tremaine leads a raid on the Gardier, but she and others become trapped inside an enemy airship that a wizard transports from this orb to what she assumes is the enemy's homeworld with no exit for her and her allies.

The WIZARD HUNTERS, the second Book of the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, is an exciting epic fantasy that contains realistic worlds and genuine races occupying the orbs.The story line is fast-paced and action-packed as the beleaguered Rienish are nearing a last stand with no hope of defeating the conquering Gardier.Tremaine, daughter of the champion of DEATH OF THE NECROMANCER (same world, but outside this series), is a fantastic heroine, as she feels the hopelessness that her race feels.With two great stories already printed, readers will look forward to an all's wells that ends well finale.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

11. Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy Literature, Issue 10 (Spring 2007)
by Harry James Connolly, James Enge, Martha Wells, Iain Rowan, Mark Sumner, Greg Story, David Dubord, Edward Carmien, Judith Berman, Howard Andrews Jones and others
 Paperback: 224 Pages (2007)

Asin: B0010STAB6
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12. Le Feu primordial
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 502 Pages (2007-06-11)
-- used & new: US$37.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2757803301
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13. La Mort du nécromant
by Martha Wells
 Paperback: 526 Pages (2001-08-28)
-- used & new: US$59.98
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Asin: 2841721825
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14. Black Gate, Issue 11 (Summer 2007)
by Peadar O' Guilin, James Enge, Maria V. Snyder, Martha Wells, Iain Rowan, David Evan Harris, Ben Wolcott, William I. Lengeman III, Mark Sumner and others
 Paperback: 224 Pages (2007)

Asin: B0010SVA82
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15. Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement: SGA--6 (Stargate Atlantis)
by Martha Wells
Mass Market Paperback: 290 Pages (2007-03-25)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$3.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1905586035
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When Dr. Rodney McKay unlocks an Ancient mystery on a distant moon, he discovers a terrifying threat to the Pegasus galaxy. Determined to disable the device before it's discovered by the Wraith, Colonel John Sheppard and his team navigate the treacherous ruins of an Ancient outpost. But attempts to destroy the technology are complicated by the arrival of a stranger. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best SGA tie-in novel so far!
It shows Martha Wells' growth as an author - this book is much more balanced than her "Reliquary" - and it proves that she's one of the best, if not the best SGA author out there. Her grasp of the characters is amazing and her stories are always about the team working together, being all team-y! I loved the banter between John and Rodney in this book, Teyla's wise assessment, Ronon's protectiveness, Lorne's leadership qualities and Carson's deep care for his friends. Zelenka and Kusanagi were an added bonus. And the story itself was amazing too. The book turned out to be a real page-turner for me. Simply awesome!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Whole Lot of FUN!
I loved this book, the character descriptions and personalities were perfect, exactly like the awesome actors from the TV show.It had a great story line, that kept getting better and better, I couldn't put it down, and plan on reading it again and again.If you love the TV show you will love this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Would make a fantastic 2-part episode or movie
The back of the book says, "When Dr. Rodney McKay unlocks an Ancient mystery on a distant moon, he discovers a terrifying threat to the Pegasus galaxy.Determined to disable the device before it's discovered by the Wraith, Colonel John Sheppard and his team navigate the treacherous ruins of an Ancient outpost.But attempts to destroy the technology are complicated by the arrival of a stranger - a stranger who can't be trusted, a stranger who needs the Ancient device to return home.Cut off from backup, under attack from the Wraith, and with the future of the universe hanging in the balance, Sheppard's team must put aside their doubts and step into the unknown.However, when your mortal enemy is your only ally, betrayal is just a heartbeat away..."

This is the first Atlantis book I've read because I prefer SG-1 over Atlantis, but this was on my birthday wishlist anyway. This book was actually excellantly written and pretty exciting. The story would make a fantastic two-part episode or a direct-to-dvd movie. The plot twists are of the worst-case scenario variety, but they're not overdone or ridiculous. I thought the action pacing was good, the characters were well written and accurate in mannerism and speech. This was a very enjoyable book.This story takes place sometime recently after Atlantis has deceived the Wraith into thinking the city has been destroyed. The plot centers around a quantum mirror and an alternate reality where the wraith species consider feeding on sentient species a crime worthy of death. Characters from the show in the book include: John Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon, McKay, Zalenka, Carson Beckett, Major Lorne, Elizabeth Weir, Colonel Caldwell, Hermiod, Dr. Novak, and Miko Kusanagi. Well worth reading and highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entanglement
This book was very good. It was hard to put it down and I didn't want it to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
It's very rare that a tie-in novel is as good as the show is, much less surpasses it, but this definitely does it.Fantastic characterization, a solid, interesting plot that works *with* the characters, and wonderfully written.I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who is a fan of Stargate at all. ... Read more

16. Outlines & Highlights for Essentials of Economics by Paul Krugman, Robin Wells, Martha L. Olney, ISBN: 9780716758792
by Cram101 Textbook Reviews
Paperback: 138 Pages (2009-10-28)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$28.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1428830456
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Never HIGHLIGHT a Book Again!Virtually all testable terms, concepts, persons, places, and events are included. Cram101 Textbook Outlines gives all of the outlines, highlights, notes for your textbook with optional online practice tests. Only Cram101 Out ... Read more

17. Biography - Wells, Martha (1964-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online
by Gale Reference Team
Digital: 8 Pages (2007-01-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007SGREI
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Product Description
Word count: 2400. ... Read more

18. Reliquary
by Martha Wells
Paperback: Pages (2006-03-01)
-- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001EJULA0
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19. Herpetology (3rd Edition)
by F. H. Pough, Robin M. Andrews, John E. Cadle, Martha L. Crump, Alan H. Savitsky, Kentwood D. Wells
Hardcover: 736 Pages (2003-07-20)
list price: US$132.80 -- used & new: US$95.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131008498
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For upper-level undergraduate courses in herpetology, found in departments of Biology, Zoology, Natural Resources, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Collaboration by the six authors--whose research specializations include autecology, synecology, systematics, evolution, morphology, physiology, and behavior--emphasizes the integration of information from different biological specialties to produce a comprehensive picture of amphibians and their important roles in modern ecosystems. This book presents the biology of amphibians and reptiles as the product of phylogenetic history and environmental influences acting in both ecological and evolutionary time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book offers a complete review on herpetology.
It has great pictures and detailed information on the subject.
Recommended for grads and undergrad students, and for anyone interested.
Simple terms, well explained.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fair Overall
Probably the biggest problem with the text is the lack of a glossary, which really makes the first few chapters far more difficult than they need be. The phylogeny chapters get weighted down by taxonomical terms that are not properly introduced.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent conceptually
It's certainly not complete or perfect, and as a reviewer notes, contains some omissions and errors.However, while a textbook should strive to be as good as possible in those areas, it's no substitute for the primary literature in peer-reviewed journals and shouldn't be viewed as such, and instead should be seen as more of a conceptual introduction, in which I feel it does well.It avoids the tempting parade-of-taxa style, and instead focuses on the important concepts uniting reptiles and to an extent all animals, such as osmoregulation, feeding, locomotion, reproductive strategies, etc.

The section dealing with my primary focus, locomotion, is rather sparse, and contains some outdated information, but nothing that can't be corrected with a quick read through the literature.With any luck, my own work will be in the next edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Anurans and Squamates and Crocodylia! Oh, my!
This is easily the best herpetology text book out there. It is informative, yet not full of the boringness (if that's a word...) of many textbooks. You might say that it's...fun to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Herp Textbook
I have just finished an undergradute course which used this book as the main text.I agree with the previous reviewer that there is considerable overlap and occasional contradiction.The early chapters tend to use a lot of technical jargon, and seem to be written for people who alreadyunderstand the material.I was not so impressed with phylogenicdescriptions which frequently failed to discuss unifying characteristicswithin families.Later sections, including locomotion, water balance, andmate selection are well written.This book would benefit from a glossary,more relevant tables and figures, and a more inclusive index.Overall,editing is rather sketchy. ... Read more

20. Essentials of Economics & Economics By Example
by Paul Krugman, David A. Anderson, Robin Wells, Martha Olney
 Paperback: Pages (2007-10-27)
-- used & new: US$96.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1429201517
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