white_hart: (Matilda)
[personal profile] white_hart
I thought Martha Wells' The Element of Fire 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), and the romance plot felt a bit tacked on and left me feeling that I would actually have much preferred the two main characters to develop a friendship rather than a romance.

I know this was the author's first book, and in the preface she mentions making revisions for this edition, so I suspect that she has developed and improved her writing since this was first published, and I may well try one of her later books one day.

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