The Ships of Air is the second book of "The Fall of Ile-Rien," the epic fantasy series by Martha Wells. There is even more adventure, intrigue, magic, and danger in this installment than in the first one.
When they were being attacked by the mysterious, seemingly unstoppable army called the Gardier, the country of Ile-Rien turned to its final brightest hope: a sorcererís magical sphere and a young noble warrior, Tremaine Valiarde, who worked long and hard until she and she alone unlocked its powerful secrets for fighting evil.
Yet despite the hard work of Tremaine Valiarde, Ile-Rien has fallen, and the relentless and ruthless Gardier are not even close to being defeated. To save their way of life, Tremaine and a brave band of heroes must undertake a perilous journey across magical seas. Alas, as they are caught between the Gardier and ancient evil, even the growing power of the sorcererís sphere may not be sufficient to save them from annihilation.
Tremaine Valiarde is once again an impressively drawn protagonist, particularly since she is a strong woman. She is an action hero who happens to be female, and there is not a lot made of the fact that she is female. It is rare that a woman character is allowed to just be female as a part of her whole character and not as the main point of her character. The main point of Tremaineís character is that she is trying to save the world, so there is no time to get bogged down is cutesy crap; there is only time to get down to business and kick some Gardier butt. It is very refreshing to see a woman character written so strongly.
The secondary characters are equally well-written and convincing. The dialogue is used well to convey emotion and tension. The plot is very strong and moves along at a logical pace. The Ships of Air is a very readable book and is highly recommended for anyone who likes fantasy.