Martha Wells: Witch King (EBook, 2023, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC) 4 stars

Kai-Enna is the Witch King, though he hasn’t always been, and he hasn’t even always …

Interesting and well-executed approach to worldbuilding

4 stars

Witch King features a lot of worldbuilding. Its fantasy world is inhabited by different people with different cultures, and people who can different sorts of magic in different sorts of way, and Martha Wells manages to weave details about this world into the story in a way that makes the world feel alive (except for all the dead people).

The setting is also one with a history of dramatic upheavals and epic struggles, though the story is not set during those things. The main narrative is set years after major historical events, whose effects are still felt by the present-day characters. We also get flashbacks of events around the major historical events. In this way, the book tells a history by telling of its aftermath, and the events that preceded it. This is something that could be executed poorly, leaving a disappointing gap, but it actually works pretty well in Witch King.

We also do get a bunch of likeable characters doing an adventure together, which is something Martha Wells does well, and she does not disappoint this time.