A review by thomcat
The walls of air by Barbara Hambly


Two stories in one, and no beer cans for the wizard Ingold this time. Obviously the middle book of a trilogy, and need to read the third to finish the stories.

The first and most satisfying story is Gil's time at the keep. Her past drives her to understand the history, and that seems to be something the rest of the folk in this world have little interest in. We really see her relationships grow with Alde and the Bishop as well. Just as they found the most interesting things (machinery! gems that "store" light!) we reach the end of this book.

The other story, interwoven, is Rudy and Ingold's trek to the wizard community, sealed against the rest of the world. This is a long trek. With the nature of the "Dark" described in the first book, it feels like the trip should be impossible. Minor spoiler, they make it, and the return is apparently so easy it gets no pages in the text. Perhaps the dark is not as all-encompassing as it seemed? It's a community rather than a condition? Book 3 will hopefully reveal all.

I felt Rudy confronted some of his character, with the result of some growth. Ingold is also changed here, and while none of this is in his voice, I'll bet these changes are important in the future. I like this wizard, and I really his take on (or the author's design of) magic.

Partly because of interruptions, but partly because the story didn't grab me as much, reading this took a month. I'd like to dive into the third sooner than the year I waited for this one - and I'd like to see that wizard get another beer.