Cover image for Wheel of the infinite
Wheel of the infinite
Wells, Martha.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Eos, [2000]

Physical Description:
355 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Over the course of three extraordinary novels, Martha Wells has established herself as a master builder of alternate worlds peopled with souls as rich and complex as any that have ever known life within book pages. Few writers can match her ability to imbue fantastic realms with such startling immediacy and reality-a feat she accomplishes more impressively than ever before in this powerful tale of the beginnings and endings and beginnings again in an unending cycle of malignity and good.

Wheel of the Infinite

Every year in the great Temple City of Duvalpore, the image of the Wheel of the Infinite must be painstakingly remade to ensure another year of peace and harmony for the Celestial Empire. Every hundred years the sacred rite takes on added significance. For it is then that the very fabric of the world must be rewoven. Linked by the mystic energies of the Infinite, the Wheel and world are one. Should the holy image be marred, the world will suffer a similar injury.

But a black storm is spreading across the Wheel. Every night the Voices of the Ancestors-the Wheel's constructors and caretakers-brush the darkness away and repair the damage with brightly colored sands and potent magic. Each morning the storm reappears, bigger and darker than before, unraveling the beautiful and orderly patterns.

With chaos in the wind, a woman with a shadowy past has returned to Duvalpore. A murderer and traitor-an exile disgraced, ha

Author Notes

Martha Wells is an American author, born in 1964, based in Texas. She writes fantasy and science fiction novels, novellas, and short stories. Her first novel was, The Element of Fire, published in 1993. Her other work includes City of Bones, The Death of the Necromancer, The Fall of IIe-Rien trilogy, Books of Raksura series, The Murderbot Diaries series, and Stargate universe novels. She was awarded the 2017 Nebula Award for Best Novella for All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In an intelligent variation of the standard quest tale, exiled traitor and murderer Maskelle and several companions, including a fugitive soldier, must find and defeat whatever is causing the Wheel of the Infinite to disintegrate. If it does, the harmony of the Celestial Empire will be destroyed, and chaos and old night will swiftly follow. This standard, if not quite standardized, plot is played out by an interesting cast of well-developed characters in a competently built world possessing an exceptionally well designed system of religion and magic. That system and its fine fashioning perhaps reflect Wells' background: she has a degree in anthropology as well as a Nebula nomination for her novel The Death of the Necromancer (1998). It is rather an exaggeration to call this an epic fantasy, but it is right on the mark to call it intelligent entertainment likely to appeal to a broad range of fantasy readers. --Roland Green

Publisher's Weekly Review

Maskelle, the Voice of the Adversary, speaks for the power the Ancestors created to destroy evil. Since a false vision years ago, she has wandered in exile, but now the Celestial One, head of the Koshan Order of priests, has called her back to the capital city of Duvalpore. The yearly Rite of the Wheel of the Infinite, upon which the survival of the world depends, has been interrupted. An inexplicable black storm has appeared on the face of the Wheel, and if it is not removed before the Rite is completed the world could be utterly changed. With the help of an attractive foreign swordsman named Rian and a troupe of actors, Maskelle must lead the battle against the storm and the strange insurgents from another world who sent it. Maskelle and her allies face murderous water spirits, possessed corpses and cursed puppetsÄand then the evil forces get to Duvalpore, and the real trouble begins. Murdered priests, magical assassins and the court favorite Lady Marada all add to the growing mystery; meanwhile, the Adversary, the source of Maskelle's power, seems strangely unreliable. Fast-paced, witty and inventive, Well's latest fantasy (after The Death of the Necromancer) is not only about saving the world; it is also about saving Maskelle from self-doubt and isolation. The vividly imagined Celestial Empire's peril is made all the more dramatic by the characters' sarcastic, reasonable conversations, and by their very human responses to inhuman dangers; there is real reading pleasure here. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

An unknown enemy threatens to unmake the sand image of the Wheel of the Infinite before its renewal during the complex Hundred Year Rite that preserves the integrity of the world. Summoned to the holy city of Duvalpore, an outcast priestess and a foreign soldier represent the only hope of preventing catastrophic destructionDif only they can determine the identity of the force that opposes them. Wells (The Death of the Necromancer) spices her latest fantasy with exotic textures and colors reminiscent of India and the Far East, while mystery and court intrigue add depth to this tale of love and risk. Highly recommended for most fantasy collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/00.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.