Saving the world is what heroes do. Tremaine Valiere is such a heroine. With the help of her friends and resurrected father she sets out to kick the Gardier out of her world and the Syprian world.
Sometimes the people we want to save do everything in their power to be destroyed. Falling for the lure of “something for nothing” could be tempting when your world is falling apart around you. Ixion promises much, but will he deliver? Oh, yes. He delivers. What he does deliver might not be what the Ile-Rien had in mind when they took him in from the wrath of Gilead and Ileas. We do stuff like this all the time. Internet and mail scams come to mind. Pyramid schemes. Hedgefunds. Humans must have evolved to be suckers. I love that Martha Wells shows some of the processes leading up to such catastrophic decisions.
Idiots or not, heroines do what heroines have to do. Her father is even more ruthless than Tremaine. Arisilde’s shade is as eccentric as the living person was. Ander is Ander. Gilead keeps on realizing how much of his works as the god’s vessel involves sorcery. Gerard tries to be the father-figure that Nicholas is incapable of. Florian’s abilities are stretched beyond what she thought possible. Even the Gardier prisoner proves an unexpected resource.
As I see it, the story is about Tremaine and her adventures and her ability to accept the world as it is. Just as falling for schemes seems to be part of our genetic make-up so does the inability to see people and situations for what they are. People are complicated. What I am able to observe in others, I am incapable of observing in myself. Lying to myself is no less part of autism than it is part of the lives of non-autists. This is what the societies we grow up in train us to do. Conforming to expectations and popular thinking gets you accepted, but so does not conforming as long as you do it the right way. While Tremain oftene goes against the Ile-Rien thinking on women, she has been inundated with their teachings from childhood. Breaking from the lies of society and her family through independent thinking and admissions of own strengths and flaws is incredibly challenging for Tremaine. But she keeps on trying. I think Martha Wells does an excellent job showing just that in her trilogy.
French edition: Amazon.fr
Audio: Tantor Audio
Unofficial Polish translation: Upadek Ile-Rien III: Wrota Bogów