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The Wizard Hunters (Fall of Ile-Rien Series #1)

The Wizard Hunters (Fall of Ile-Rien Series #1)

4.5 12
by Martha Wells

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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.


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The subsequent story seems intended to combine elements of high fantasy and cross-time travel, as if it were a collaborative work by Andre Norton and S. M. Stirling. Thanks to Wells' narrative skill and considerably above-average characterization, it largely succeeds in those intentions." ---Booklist

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Fall of Ile-Rien Series , #1
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.16(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Wizard Hunters
The Fall of Ile-Rien


Vienne, Ile-Rien

It was nine o'clock at night and Tremaine was trying to find a way to kill herself that would bring in a verdict of natural causes in court when someone banged on the door.

"Dammit." A couple of books on poisons slid from her lap as she struggled out of the overstuffed armchair. She managed to hold on to the second volume of Medical Jurisprudence, closing it over her finger to mark her place. The search for the elusive untraceable poison was not going well; there were too many ways sorcerer-physicians could uncover such things and she didn't want it to look as if she had been murdered. Intracranial hemorrhage seemed a good possibility, if a little difficult to arrange on one's own. But I'm a Valiarde, I should be able to figure this out, she thought sourly. Dragging the blanket around her, she picked her way through the piles of books to the door. The library at Coldcourt was ideal for this, being large, eclectic, and packed with every book, treatise and monograph on murder and mayhem available to the civilized world.

The entry hall was dark except for a single electric bulb burning in the converted gas fixture above the sweep of the stairs. The light fell on yellowed plaster walls and rich old wood and a blue-and-gold-patterned carpet on polished stone tile. Coldcourt was aptly named and Tremaine's bare feet were half frozen by the time she made it to the front door. She had let the housekeeper have the night off and now she regretted it, but she had had no idea it would take this long to arrange things. At this rate she wouldn't be dead until next week.

The unwanted person was still banging. "Who is it?" she shouted, wondering if he could hear her. Coldcourt had been built as a country house and its walls were thick natural stone to withstand the Vienne winter. It was part of an aging neighborhood of small estates just outside the old city wall and sprawled in asymmetrical crenellated and embellished glory across its poorly kept grounds. The door was several inches thick, old oak plated with not entirely decorative embossed lead, proof against bullets and other less solid assaults. The windows above the door were heavy leaded glass threaded with silver, the blackout curtains fixed tightly. All buildings had the blackout curtains, stipulated by the Civilian Defense Board, but the other protections were peculiarly Coldcourt's. Though all its wards against sorcerous attack were no help in the current situation.

A muffled voice replied, "It's Gerard!"

"Oh, God." Tremaine leaned her forehead tiredly against the chill wood surface. As executor of her father's estate, Guilliame Gerard had been her guardian until she was twenty-one, but she had seen him only infrequently these past few years. Her first thought was that her supervisor in the Siege Aid group must have written to him.

Tremaine had joined the Aid Society because they worked in the bombed-out areas of the city searching for survivors or bringing supplies to the fire brigades and the War Department's rescue teams. It was hard, desperate work, and many of them, even experienced men like constables or fire brigade members or former soldiers, were killed by unexploded bombs or collapsing buildings. A small woman who had never been very good at games in school shouldn't have been able to last a week. Tremaine's life should have ended with no more fanfare than a line in the casualty columns of the newspapers. Anything else would surely lead to a Magistrates' investigation which might uncover even more unpleasant facts about her family's immediate past than had already been exposed; that was the last thing she needed. But Tremaine had been in the Aid Society for six months.

She probably still couldn't hit a lawn tennis ball properly, but she could climb, scramble over, under, and through rubble like a squirrel, dodge flying debris, and when a ghoul had leapt out at her from a half-collapsed cellar the instinct to beat it to pieces with a lead pipe had triumphed over the will to die.

But after six months of near-death-but-never-quite experiences, her supervisor had told her she was due a month's leave before she could enlist for another term. Tremaine had protested with a patriotic fervor that her old friends in the theater would have admired, those who were still alive anyway. But she had given in when she had seen the look in the woman's eye. The supervisor was the Duchess of Duncanny, used to managing estates on a grand scale, and she had been trained as a hospital nurse early in the war. She was too perceptive by far and Tremaine had looked into those old eyes and thought, She knows. She knows why I'm here.It was time to leave the Aid Society and find some other way.

She must have contacted Gerard. "Shit. Shit, shit, shit." Wincing, Tremaine turned the heavy key and drew the bolts.

Gerard slipped in, by habit pushing the heavy door shut quickly so a betraying light wouldn't escape. The outskirts of Vienne were considered an unlikely target area and Tremaine hadn't heard any bomb warnings on the wireless earlier.

He was a tall man, in his early forties, with dark hair just lightly touched with gray. His tie was askew and his tweed jacket stained with dark patches. His spectacles caught the light as he stared down at her in consternation. "Tremaine, I'm sorry to burst in on you like this, but something terrible has happened."

They broke the wards, she thought, staring at him blankly. The palace is destroyed. A bubble of hysterical laughter grew in her chest. It was over. There would be no messy inquests or embarrassing articles in the papers to avoid. The Gardier had won and she could bash her own head in with a rock and no one would think twice about it. "The palace was bombed." The Wizard Hunters
The Fall of Ile-Rien
. Copyright © by Martha Wells. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Martha Wells is the author of five previous novels: The Wizard Hunters, the first book of the Fall of Ile-Rien, The Element of Fire, City of Bones, Wheel of the Infinite, and The Death of the Necromancer, which was nominated for the Nebula Award. She lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband.

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Wizard Hunters 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The off world Gardier use powerful magic to invade the land of Ile-Rien. The off-world military are winning on all fronts defeating the natives at sea, on the land, and in the air. Unless something is done quickly, the people of Ile-Rien will become enslaved. A magical artifact attached to Tremaine Valiarde transports her and two sorceress to the Isle of Storms....................... They meet the Syrneiese warrior Ilias and Giliead who have come to the island to see if an evil wizard has taken up residence there. The two groups team up when the Gardier, who have an outpost in a huge cave on the island, captures them. Working together, they escape and go to the homeland of Ilias and Giliead and then back to Ile-Rien to get an army together that will destroy the Gardier outpost and subsequently the means of traveling between the two worlds................................... Book one of the Fall of Ile-Rien is a fantastic opening installment in what looks to be a great fantasy epic. The heroine, a potential suicide victim, finds she has something to live for as she becomes a freedom fighter intent on saving two worlds from Gardier domination. Martha Wells is an excellent world builder, a writer who makes the audience believes that the Gardier and the two worlds they want to conquer actually exist.................................. Harriet Klausner
kolya More than 1 year ago
Interesting, likable, multidimensional characters in complex situations. I have read this series several times in the past and I don't doubt I will read it several times more.
Dusty-McCall More than 1 year ago
She is not H. G. Wells but he would read her work and love it! this is the second book in the world of Rien and wow what a world! after this you will simply buy every book she has written as I did! I walked around with this world in my head for weeks! and a Brit accent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read books 1 and 2 in this series, I am so excited to order #3. The characters are interesting and I have come to care about what will happen to them. There is a sense of humor that I love. My daughter and I fight over who gets the book first! Start reading this series today.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written fantasy of magic as as technology. Just short of a real page-turner, this is a lengthy sequel to a book which served as an introduction to a trilogy. I am assuming that the third book will be worth reading and reach some conclusion. The first two took too long to tell too little of the story. Perhaps the author was committed to a trilogy from the beginning, but I do not think there is enough material for that.
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