Eos, May 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner