Wheel of the Infinite

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 2, 2002

Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells

This meeting was our first since Adventures in Crime & Space closed its storefront. Jeff Hurst and Judy Strange hosted the discussion at their home. Ten people showed up for the meeting, and two others sent in comments by email.

Our topic was Wheel of the Infinite, the most recent fantasy novel by ArmadilloCon 24 Guest of Honor Martha Wells. This book tells the story of Maskelle, an exiled priestess who discovers a threat involving the powerful Wheel of the Infinite. Maskelle and Rian, a young swordsman, travel to the capitol city of Duvalpore in an attempt to prevent disaster for all reality. Everyone at the meeting had read this book, and six had read prior books by Wells.

Wells creates a rich world full of wonderful characters. Her prose did a good job of describing the world without calling attention to itself. Magic was an integral part of the book, but it was treated so matter-of-factly by the characters that several non-fantasy-lovers in our group enjoyed it a great deal. Maskelle was a strong and sympathetic viewpoint character, and we enjoyed her developing romance with the younger Rian. We found the book had a lot of humor, and we also liked the pirates, the fight scenes, and the strange creatures. One member of the group said this book seemed like an Andre Norton book for grownups.

We could not find much negative about Wheel of the Infinite. Nobody hated the book or even disliked it. A couple of people felt the ending seemed rushed, but that was the only complaint.

In conclusion, our group found Wheel of the Infinite to be well-written fantasy novel full of fun characters, big ideas, and lots of action. Everyone at the meeting planned to recommend this book to their friends and to read more Martha Wells in the future. After the meeting, most of us went to dinner at Marie Callender’s.

–A. T. Campbell, III