The Element of Fire

Martha Wells

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The Element of Fire

The Element of Fire 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 Q

  • Title: The Element of Fire
  • Author: Martha Wells
  • ISBN: 9780812520972
  • Page: 287
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • 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 sThe 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, who is foe in a deadly game to keep the Dowager Queen and the kingdom she loves from harm.

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      Published :2018-06-05T03:28:44+00:00

    One thought on “The Element of Fire

    1. Carol. on said:

      Three and a half stars.If you are considering Martha Wells, I suggest starting with one of her books besides The Element of Fire. The Death of the Necromancer (review), for instance, or The Cloud Roads (review), or even City of Bones (review). I thoroughly enjoyed–and own–all of them, though all are very different approaches to the fantasy genre. Fire was her debut book, published in 1993, and lacks the finesse of her later works. It is a more traditional fantasy focused on a court setting, [...]

    2. The other Sandy on said:

      I normally don't like fantasy novels that revolve around court intrigue because politics bores the crap out of me, but Martha Wells has a way of making political maneuverings seem just as exciting as the battle scenes, of which there are many in this book.It gets off to something of a slow start with the author dropping the reader into a large body of characters, only to switch scenes and drop the reader into another large body of characters. Fortunately Wells is good at drawing connections betw [...]

    3. Alissa on said:

      I liked this tale. It is very fantasy, maybe a bit on the classic side but it holds up well, and I particularly appreciated the clear narrative approach, its refreshing straightforwardness –by no means to be confused with simplicity. There are interesting characters, action, politics, irony and mysteries. And the Fay!3.5 stars rounded down because the romance is dropped like an afterthought and it fell flat, anyway considering this is a debut book I’m impressed; surely this won’t be my las [...]

    4. Lata on said:

      Pretty conventional fantasy based in a European-like city/country. Swords, rapiers, jherkins, smocks, ladies-in-waiting, sorcerers, fae, scheming and double-dealing abound. I did, however, care about Kade and Thomas and Ravenna. I could have spent lots of time with Ravenna. The book was a pleasant enough diversion, and piqued my interest sufficiently for me to continue with the next Il-Rien book, as I understand it's better than this one.

    5. Tiara on said:

      More reviews @ BibliosanctumI’d probably rate this somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. In the beginning, this book was a ball of confusion for me. I said it started slow, but that’s not correct. How can a beginning that includes the Queen’s Guard literally being fought by a warded house be a slow start? Definitely not a slow start, but the particular moment left me feeling disoriented for a while. Things didn’t start becoming clearer until around page 50 or so. That’s when the book star [...]

    6. Wealhtheow on said:

      The best fantasy I’ve read in at least a year. If you enjoy GRRM’s Song of Ice and Fire series, you should pick this book up as well. The old king is dead. In his place rules his only living son, the weak and ineffectual King Roland, who is utterly at the command of his treacherous childhood friend. It falls to the dowager queen Ravenna and her faithful, but aging, Captain of the Queen’s Guard to keep the country together. Into this already explosive situation comes Roland’s bastard sist [...]

    7. Cat M on said:

      Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae creatures.The heart of this story is the subtle balances and shifting alliances of court politics, in a country with a young, too-weak King and a ruthless, perhaps too-strong Dowager Queen. And it centres on the unlikely alliance that develops between Thomas Boniface, Captain of the Queen's Guard and Kade Carrion bastard, hal [...]

    8. Joy on said:

      Yay for free ebooks on Stanza/iPhone! This had been recommended to me in passing, but I didn't follow-up on it until I found myself in this recent mood for fantasy of manners. And this was exactly what I hoped it would be: filled with adventure and court intrigue, with very complex character development, flashes of wit and humor, and a dash of romance. I especially appreciated the strong women characters (Kade!), but even the less likable characters were very interesting and felt real. And while [...]

    9. Miriam on said:

      Swashbuckling, intrigue, sorcery, snide banter, evil attack fairiesFree at marthawells/eof1-8m

    10. Reni on said:

      Gah, I'm just so conflicted on how to rate this book! I've rated books 3 stars that I liked much less than this, and I've rated books 4 stars I loved way more. The characters, their chemistry, the historical detail, the court intrigue and the fencing all deserve 5 stars! The book made me laugh, the book made me cry, the book made me sigh with heart-break. But the fantasy aspects of the world building, parts of the narrative structure and the books's pacing in parts of the story didn't make me a [...]

    11. Estara on said:

      This was Martha Wells first published novel and while the manybooks edition may have been revised, I can't discern any breaks in between original and revised edtion.This may be the most tour-de-force action story I've read so far from the author - my feeling mostly stems from the fact that the timeline is only a few days at the most and nearly everything happens around the royal palace and within the capital of the country. The only other distinct setting is Kade's favourite castle (and what a b [...]

    12. Lindsay Stares on said:

      Premise: Set in the same world as The Wizard Hunters and its sequels, but takes place centuries prior. In the kingdom of Ile-Rien, the Captain of the Queen’s Guard goes to rescue an academic sorcerer from a dangerous foreign wizard. It seems simple enough, but with power-hungry sycophants circling the young king, who himself seems disinclined to care about the kingdom, everything is part of someone’s plot and everyone will be drawn into the battle for the future of the country.I really enjoy [...]

    13. Kathleen on said:

      3.5 or 4 stars. I liked this book, but not as much as her award-winning The Death of the Necromancer.I listened to the audio, superbly narrated by Derek Perkins. He's a pro. As for the story, it's action-packed, coherent, and mildly complex. Good dialogue. Gruesome. Some sections are vividly gripping, some parts went on too long, and some scenes are just plain sad. I think King Roland -- so lacking in self-esteem -- made the greatest impression on me. His portrayal felt realistic.However, the we [...]

    14. Joy on said:

      This is Wells first published novel. Very well written with an engaging Swordsman and half Fae bastard daughter of the dead king teaming up to save the kingdom from the evil sorcerer. Cliche plot but so well constructed you don't mind at all.It's a free eBook also! Since it's out of print the author has released it through manybooks/ an excellent resouce for (legal) classic works and author's specials.

    15. Li on said:

      A very slow start for me - it felt more-tell-than-show at times, and I found it hard to get into the flow of the story. But I persevered and was rewarded with a lovely fantasy of manners, complete with sigh-inducing romance. I love her Ile-Rien world.

    16. Aoife on said:

      First of all, I should have read this and not listened to the audiobook. My memory for names is bad at the best of times but combine it with unusual names (here some fantasy names with a pinch of French thrown in) and some really gripping scenes got ruined for me because I tried to remember who the person was that just did the thing that was apparently a big deal.Otherwise, this book falls into the 'I can see other people enjoying this a lot more than I did' category. Not that I didn't enjoy it [...]

    17. Nicole Luiken on said:

      Continuing my glom of Martha Wells' backlist. Political intrigue, swordplay, lots of magic and a lovely slow-burn romantic subplot, too. Happy sigh. Very impressed with the way the plot escalated.Quibble: I still have no idea why it's titled The Element of Fire. Neither fire nor elementals figured into it very much. A head-scratcher.

    18. Cathy on said:

      Swashbuckling good fun. The style is very The Three Musketeers, with lots of sword fights, banter and bravery. But the added touch is the fae, or fayre as they're called here. At first I was a bit disappointed that the fae of this other world were so much like those written about on our world, with Seelie and Unseelie courts, the Seelie monarchs named Tatiana and Oberon, etc. But then I decided that if they do exist, who's to say that they don't exist in more than one world at once? Those fairy [...]

    19. Lorena on said:

      I have really enjoyed discovering/rediscovering Martha Wells this past year! I read Death of the Necromancer years ago, on my honeymoon, and then the book was put in storage during a move and I didn't have a chance to revisit it until a few months ago. This book is Wells' first book, and the first one set in Ile-Rien, although it, like Death of the Necromancer, works as a standalone. The writing gives a wonderful sense of place, the characters are all witty and wounded in the right proportions, [...]

    20. Liviu on said:

      Light, funny, likable characters, clear good guys, clear bad guys, kind of obvious where it goes - typical pre-new_epic_fantasists stuff, but I enjoyed it a lot and I intend to read all 5 Ile-Rien books.Recommended with the caveat above - do not expect anything original or deep, but if you enjoy Ms. Wells style and you are in the mood for a romp with swords and sorcery the book is for you.

    21. Sadie Slater on said:

      This was a competent if slightly lacklustre fantasy in the swashbuckling, basically early modern Europe with added magic vein; I didn't dislike it, but I never really warmed to it either. There were some interesting characters, including a rather older hero than one normally finds, and some well-drawn and complex female characers, but it got rather infodumpy in places (a lot of "as X was only too well aware" followed by a chunk of the history, geography or politics of the world of the novel), an [...]

    22. ms bookjunkie on said:

      It took a while for me to settle into reading the story. (It dropped me straight into an action scene without any preparation of building of motives.) Interesting worldbuilding and storyline. Standalone story. I couldn't quite connect with the characters, so I felt at an emotional distance from their goals. I'm not raring to read the next one immediately (especially as there are different main characters), but I expect I will once the time is right.I have a feeling that this is one of those book [...]

    23. Adobe on said:

      Enemies internal, external, and magical threaten the kingdom of Ile-Rein, and saving the throne falls to Thomas Boniface, captain of the Queen's Guard, and Kade Carrion, half-mortal sister of the king. The Element of Fire is satisfyingly full of swashbuckling and mannerpunk, and while the plotting is rather slack, the book's vivid characters and baroque details compensate for the mercurial motivations and abrupt coincidences used to join one scene to another.

    24. Jean Hontz on said:

      Martha Wells debut novel, the first in the Ile-Rein series.I found it a bit slow to get started but once I felt comfortable in the world and the pace picked up I enjoyed it tremendously. Lots of court intrigue, a young King who has no idea what he's doing, his mother the real brains behind the throne. When the country is attaced by Fairy, the fact that the king's half sister, a half fey herself, shows up and muddles the picture of just who is up to what, and who to trust.

    25. Julie on said:

      Love the handling of pretty much everything in this book. Wells is a superior writer, her characters have depth and breadth, and I like her political intrigues. I occasionally got lost between courtier characters and had no sense whatsoever of the design of the palace, but that's probably a failure in me rather than the book.

    26. Susan Haseltine on said:

      This book shows a lot promise, a lot of elements which could have developed into a fine story. As it stands it is a bit jerky and depends on constant action and mostly well established relationships, with not quite believable interactions. Fortunately the author got much much better.

    27. Tressa on said:

      The Element of Fire had an interesting world.  Unfortunately, I was unable to connect with the story or the characters.

    28. Chris on said:

      Nice fantasy book with good characters and keeping it tight and not save-the-world-epic.Plot: decentCharacters: niceSetting: coolStyle: good

    29. Ана Хелс on said:

      Повечето от вас може би свързват името на Марта Уелс с една – единствена книжка, излязла под крилото на Бард преди години като част от поредица, и то не дори началната книга, която необяснимо потъна в тъжно забвение. Може би все пак има някакви основания за това издателство [...]

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