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Wheel of the Infinite by [Wells, Martha]
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Wheel of the Infinite Kindle Edition

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Product Description

With chaos in the wind, a woman with a shadowy past has returned to Duvalpore. A murderer and traitor--an exile disgraced, hated, and feared, and haunted by her own guilty conscience--Maskelle has been summoned back to help put the world right. Once she was the most enigmatic of the Voices, until cursed by her own actions. Now, in the company of Rian--a skilled and dangerously alluring swordsman--she must confront dread enemies old and new, and a cold, stalking malevolence unlike any she has ever encountered.

For if Maskelle cannot unearth the cause of the Wheel's accelerating disintegration--if she cannot free herself from the ghosts of the past and focus on the catastrophe to come--the world will plunge headlong into the terrifying abyss toward which it is recklessly hurtling. And all that is, ever was, and will be will end.

Originally published by Avon Eos in 2000.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 844 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Martha Wells (23 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005EC3IHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,436 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.4 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice place to visit 7 November 2016
By ragingporcupine - Published on
Verified Purchase
Welcome to another vivid, breathing, almost palpable world from Martha Wells. Step into lush, humid jungles and ancient cities intertwined with temples and mysteries. Unlike a lot of fantasy worlds, you can tell that the people in this one have a lot going on beyond the scenes of the main plot. It's the kind of place it would be amazing to visit.

Along with the incredible world-building, the characters are just great. Sure, they save the world, but really they're all just trying to pick up the pieces of the various mistakes they've made along the way, from demon-possessed puppets to vengeful dark spirits to a serious case of unemployment.

I'm not doing this book justice, but if you're in the mood for smart, exasperated, sarcastic people solving the mystery of why the fabric of the world seems to be coming apart, this is a treat.
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book 2 November 2016
By Annie Mosity - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book! Fantasy literature with a background other than "vague medieval Europe", and a well-thought out magic system that is still unlike most of the ones I've encountered in other books. Plus an adult woman with ex-husbands and children for the protagonist? Who's still considered desirable and ends up with a lover during the course of the book? Yes please!

I did sometimes find some descriptions of physical layouts or clothing a little confusing, but that might be because of my unfamiliarity with the kinds of things being described, since it's not "generic fantasy Europe" and I can't just fill in the gaps in my mental picture with like screenshots of Game of Thrones. Besides, the book is good enough that I guarantee I'll reread it and probably have an easier time, so.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INFINITE-ly Enjoyable 4 January 2013
By Moth Ella - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Martha Wells is swiftly becoming one of my new favorite people. Martha Wells reminds me very much of Lois McMaster Bujold (one of my other favorite writer-people). Wells does the same sort of incredible world-building as Bujold: logical, intricate, fascinating, original. But still easy to understand. And really cool. Wells also has that dry banter down pat that I love so well. To wit:

"The Infinite touches everyone," she said...

"Tell it to keep its hands to itself," Rian suggested...

Wheel of the Infinite is a stand alone fantasy novel. The main character Maskelle used to be the Voice for one of the Infinite, the gods of her people. Voice of the Adversary, god of revenge and justice. But then she misinterpreted one of the god's messages, or received a false vision. Even she's not sure, but the end result was because of that vision, she committed murder and treason. Maskelle was exiled not only from her home city but from her god. After years wandering alone, the High Priest of her order calls Maskelle back home without saying why he wants her.

While traveling back to the Imperial city with a nomadic theater troupe (gotta love a theater troupe, right?), Maskelle saves a (very hunky) swordsman who's fled his own homeland in disgrace. She doesn't know what to expect when she gets back to the city, but she's expecting the worse. Worse than the worst. That's how her luck has been running for the past several years, after all. What she finds, however, exceeds even her worst imaginings. The most important 100 year rite of her religion is going horribly wrong. And, if that's not bad enough, they're all looking to her to fix it.

So, what did I love about this book? The world-building is great. I am a sucker especially for very original religions and this one is fantastic. The organization of the religious order, Maskelle's place in it, how the temple interacts with the Emperor's court. It was all very well-thought out and believable. I also loved Maskelle's patron God, The Adversary. He is just as well developed a character as any of the humans--and with not nearly as much page time.

This leads me to my next point: the characters! So good. Maskelle is definitely not a cookie-cutter heroine. She's 45 years old, prickly, self-doubting, loyal, addicted to power. Her love interest, Rian, is at least 15 years younger and the age difference isn't even touched on as an issue between them. Rian (I did stumble over his name a bit, I admit, but he's very sexy so I got over it) is a devoted bodyguard/courtier/noble swordsman. Rian had to flee his homeland and he hasn't really trusted anyone since then. But, when he meets Maskelle, he, and the reader, realize that he's "finally found a woman worth serving." Over the course of the book, Maskelle and Rian bicker over strategy, over her safety, and yet Rian never questions her competence. Or she his. And gender is never really an issue. When Rian wins an argument it's because he's a warrior and she's not. And they each win their share of arguments. And even though Rian is an accomplished warrior, Maskelle could still tear him to pieces without breaking a sweat if she wanted. I love the power dynamics between these two, can you tell?

The secondary characters in this were also so good. The acting troupe Maskelle travels with play a strong supporting role and their leader, Rastim, is a great character, very nuanced in the end. He's comedic support, but he's theatrical and, this is great, self aware comedic support. Such as this moment near the end of the book (no spoilers, promise):

"It will hold," the monk said firmly.

"If it doesn't..." Rastim was still staring bleakly at the temple.

"Rastim..." Rian threw his arms in the air in exasperation. "If it doesn't hold we're all dead. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

"Sorry, sorry." [Rastim] shook himself briskly and shouldered his pack. "Being dramatic, force of habit. Let's go."

I have a few nits but they are very minor and didn't really impact my enjoyment of the book. Although I liked the romance and the way it played out I think it could have been developed a little more, and it might have been nice to see some sort of tension between Maskelle and Rian at some point. Once they kiss they are pretty much an unshakeable team. They don't doubt each other or their connection and, though I enjoyed their romance, I think it could have been deepened a little. I also wanted a bit more of Rian's backstory, and how he felt about his former masters.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and I would recommend it to people who like strong heroines, solid fantasy worlds and well-written action. Also, as a bonus, hunky swordsmen. If you're looking for a way to spend your Christmas money you could do worse than to pick up one of Martha Wells excellent books like this or the books of Raksura.
3.0 out of 5 stars Something good buried in the details. 24 October 2015
By G. Schultz - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's a great concept struggling along under an overload of world-building. The first third of the book is devoted to scene setting, the middle third to political maneuvering by the protagonists and in the final part, we get down to business. I was drawn along through the thickets of description by the trails of intriguing hints, but it became wearisome. The core idea of the plot is intriguing, but I felt the "baddies" were very loosely sketched in and the action was choppy. The principal characters were likable enough, but the heroine's supernatural guide seemed to need a good psychiatrist to untangle its petulant emotions.
I'm reviewing at this length because I think the book is intriguing, but it is buried in superfluous detail.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun blend of humour and drama 1 January 2011
By V. Jones - Published on
Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Martha Wells ever since I stumbled across 'Ships of Air', and this was the fun blend of humour and drama I've come to expect from her. The main character, Maskelle, has been summoned back from exile to deal with the mysterious Wheel of the Infinite, which is being tampered with by an unknown adversary. Accompanying her is the swordsman Rian, an oathbreaker who simply wants someone worthy of service.

As always, the world building is gorgeous, slipped so smoothly into the text you barely notice it's there, but with so much detail and thought gone into it's construction. The different cultures are unique and distinct, rather than the variations on medieval culture that seems to dominate the market. You can tell Wells has gone to some effort to move outside the usual conventions of fantasy with the complications posed by the Wheel. This is not your standard magical object, or heroic quest. There are elements of mystery, with the characters struggling to find the source of the interference while dealing with their own painful histories. The nightmarish figure of the cursed puppet afforded some moments of black comedy and was genuinely disturbing. Best of all, there is no 'light' or 'dark' side of magic, which I find an incredibly irritating and arbitrary convention in modern fantasy. There is only magic, it's misuse, and the consequences: all of which figure strongly in Maskelle's past and the reasons for her exile.

I was slightly taken aback by the ending, and the appearance of a certain character. I felt it was maybe too easy a solution for such a massive problem. On a second read through, I realised that hints had been dropped the whole way through, and it actually did make a great deal of sense when taking into account the history of the Ancestors and Maskelle's dealings with the Adversary. On the whole, it was much more satisfying the second time round, probably because I took more time with it. Either way, it's a very enjoyable read and well worth ordering in.

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