The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells. ★★★1/2
The Wizard Hunters takes place in the same setting as some of Martha Wells’s previous novels, most notably Death of the Necromancer, but is the start to a new trilogy. I didn’t find it to be among Martha Wells’s best outings, but it was still an enjoyable fantasy novel.
If Death of the Necromancer has parallels to the Victorian era, The Wizard Hunters has clear parallels to World War II. Basically, it’s taking Ile-Rien, a setting I’ve grown to love through Wells’s previous books, and literally blowing it up. For Ile-Rien is under attack from a mysterious and unknown enemy, the Gardier, who’s black airships seem to appear out of nowhere and who display no mercy.
I think The Wizard Hunters would have had a lot less of an impact on me if I hadn’t read Death of the Necromancer. The most emotional part of the book for me was seeing the destruction wrecked on a setting I’d loved and the dire fates of the previous book’s cast.
But The Wizard Hunters itself wasn’t that great. I wouldn’t call it bad, but it falls more in the category of mediocre. What draws me again and again to Martha Wells’s work is the imagination she displays in crafting her worlds, but both worlds of The Wizard Hunters (there’s two) felt like places I’d seen before. I really love the overall idea – mysterious invaders from another world appearing out of no where. It was sort of a fantasy take on alien invasion. However, there wasn’t much I found thrilling about the book. I was mostly tepid on how the plot played out and the new character cast, and I did have trouble remembering who some of the minor characters were.
All that said, I may give the second book in the trilogy a shot at some point, it just won’t be high up on my to read list. So far I haven’t read a novel by Martha Wells that I’ve outright disliked or even not enjoyed enough to finish. And I do have enough lingering interest in the invasion plotline to want to see how everything plays out.