Witch King by Martha Wells [7/10]

A masterful fantasy and science fiction author, equally adept in either genre, Martha Wells kicks off “Witch King” in the middle of the kind of confused action fantasy readers love. Kai—Kaisteron actually, a demon unusually living above the underworld, and mysteriously called the Witch King—wakes in a befuddled underwater prison and emerges to explore why he was there and to exact revenge. Kai is very much a Martha Wells creation, just slightly human-off-kilter and amoral, yet deeply feeling and quickly embraced by the reader as he tracks down trapped and hidden friends and enlists allies, while setting off on a journey through an astonishingly built fantasy world of technology and magic. Overlay a dazzlingly complex tapestry of peoples and alliances and enmities, throw in the genocidal Hierarchs, and the result is a swirling, fascinating, entertaining first entry in a must-read new fantasy series. Welcome, Witch King.

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