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The Walls of Air (Darwath #2)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  2,443 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
California natives Gil and Rudy must use their newfound magical powers to defend their adopted homeland when the powers of the Dark rise up—again

Once upon a time, Gil and Rudy lived simple lives. Until they met Ingold, she was an ordinary PhD candidate and he was a drifter, whiling away his life riding motorcycles under the California sun. But wizards have a way of compli
ebook, 296 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (first published January 1st 1983)
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Feb 26, 2014 Bibliophile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm loving this old fantasy series I stumbled upon. In this second book Ingold and Rudy set off to the city of Quo to get help against the Dark ones. For a couple of wizards, they sure have to put up with a lot of shit on the way. I like that they're not able to solve every problem with magic, but you'd think they'd device some spells to ward off hungry neanderthals and dragons.

Meanwhile Gil, now part of the royal guard, stays on at the Keep and buddies it up with Queen Alde. Gil still identifi
William Leight
Sep 27, 2014 William Leight rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Walls of Air" is perhaps a slight letdown from "The Time of the Dark", mostly because it's a transitional book: we're given hints -- in particular about the origins of the Keep and the magical engineering that keeps it going, the possible relation between the Dark and wizardry, and the nature of the Dark -- but we're clearly being set up to be given the big revelations in the 3rd book, when presumably the Dark will be defeated and all will be well. Mostly "The Walls of Air" allows us to see ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009, weather
I first read this series in (cough) 1986 at the age of 14 or so and it gripped me and scared me witless in equal measures. Rereading it as an adult, it doesn't scare me quite as much, but it's still a wonderful series with well drawn characters including one of the best gandalf-type wizards in contemporary fantasy, all the better because he is NOT infallible.

I think one of the best dynamics in this particular world is the uneasy relationship between the church and the wizard community and the wa
Dec 11, 2011 Ambre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fantasy
I read this series from start to finish without putting it down. That really says it all in terms of the pacing and suspense elements. As a thriller, this is a 5 star book.

The weakness to me lies in the character development, specifically in the romances. They are not really central to the series, but apparentlyare required elements, so they are there. To me, they don't really work. In writing, for a romantic relationship to work, the characters need chemistry. Just saying that they get a jolt w
Mar 28, 2009 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book in a series with all that usually entails -- its primary use is a bridge, I suspect. There is a great deal of traveling from one location to another, lots of studying and exploring and question-answering, with occasional instances of action. So in that respect, it is fairly standard.

But it's written by Barbara Hambly, and she continues to provide writing that is exceptional in its readability hand-in-hand with characters (and a world) that are complex and easy to love.

Julie Davis
Jan 17, 2014 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can't stop at just one. One of the trilogy, that is. Having picked up The Time of the Dark after many years' absence, I plunged right into this book. Once again I am really enjoying the excellent storytelling and the details that I'd forgotten. Most of all, however, I love being immersed in this world and adventure.
Oct 19, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some excellent character growth in this middle book.
Sep 30, 2012 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second installment of the Darwath 'Trilogy' (in much the same way the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series is a trilogy) is a romping adventure. The first book, The Time of the Dark, is so intense and fraught with terror, that I love this second book because it simply gives us a bit of a breather.

The intensity of our two main heroes' first introduction to the realm of Darwath is rubbed raw, and we can see them setting into their roles in their new (temporary) home. We get to know the ci
Joel Flank
Dec 19, 2015 Joel Flank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid second entry in the Darwath trilogy, the Walls of Air continues the story of Gil and Rudy as they settle into their roles in the fantasy world across the void. Rudy accompanies the wizard who brought them there, Ingold on a desperate quest across frozen tundra to the magical city of Quo, which has been mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world. Without the aid of the archmage and other wizards, there is little hope to resist the incursion of the alien Dark who have destroyed most c ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Sineala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, fantasy, fiction
It's rare that I like the second book of a trilogy more than the first, but I suppose that The Walls of Air here is an exception -- I almost considered giving up after the first book. Oh, I liked the characters and the worldbuilding well enough, because Hambly is always good at that, but the plot seemed to meander and I felt like I wasn't quite invested enough in where it was going.

This book basically hands you all the investment. It's a quest story, split two ways -- Rudy and the wizard Ingold
Nov 26, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Part two of the Darwath trilogy, which was written in the early eighties. Rudy and Gil are still trapped in a medieval fantasy realm on the verge of complete collapse. A tiny portion of the population is holed up in the Keep of Dere, a mysterious black keep built before recorded history. The social order is slowly collapsing, which makes the power struggles all the more vicious. Rudy and the powerful wizard Ingold set out to get help from the remaining wizards, while Gil and Queen Minalde remain ...more
Douglas Cook
Jan 19, 2013 Douglas Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, fantasy
Couldn't put this series down.

First sentences
PROLOGUE GIL PATTERSON THOUGHT HER vision of the strange city was all a dream—until the wizard Ingold Inglorion appeared one night in her kitchen, seeking a place to bring the infant Prince of Dare from the ancient horror that was attacking the city of Gae. Rudy Solis didn’t believe in wizards and magic—even when he saw Ingold emerge, with an infant in his arms, beside the place where Rudy had stopped to fix his car. But when one of the monstrous, evi
...the saga continues...

Various journeys take place and we learn more about our characters: Gil and Rudy of course, but also Ingold and Alde. (I'm actually most intrigued by Alde's journey as she's struggling to pull herself out from underneath her brother's thumb. I'm hoping for great things from her. And I adore the friendship between her and Gil.) The world gets a bit bigger as we learn more details about the various peoples of the Realm (and a bit beyond). The mystery gets a bit deeper as w
Jan 20, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wizards, Queens, parallel worlds, viking-like warriors, dragons, mammoths and scary Dark Ones...this book has it all and then some and it just works. I don't know how I ever missed this series as a teen because I read a lot of fantasy back then, but I'm glad I ran across it now. Barbara Hambly has created a very interesting world with likable characters and fantastic world-building.

This is the 2nd book in her Darwath Trilogy and I see a lot of people describe this a a "transitional 2nd book" an
Jan 24, 2014 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Transitional second book, the way The Empire Strikes Back moves from the first to the third but doesn't really make a name for itself. Ingold and Rudy head off on what turns out to be a very long, cold, horrible-sounding journey across an eternal likeness of the Midwest, looking for the hidden city of Quo so they can get help against the Dark. Rudy learns more about being a wizard, discovering much of the mundane parts. Gil remains at the Keep, and while she is learning to fight (and does quite ...more
Mark Austin
May 14, 2016 Mark Austin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Most books with this rating I never finish and so don't make this list. This one I probably started speed-reading to get it over with.
- Average. Wasn't terrible, but not a lot to recommend it. Probably skimmed parts of it.
- Decent. A few good ideas, well-written passages, interesting characters, or the like.
- Good. This one had parts that inspired me, impressed me, made me laugh out loud, made me think - it got positive reactions and most of the rest of it was pretty decent too.
- Amazing.
Jun 07, 2011 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In book 2 of the Dawath trilogy the action shifts from book one which was all about establishing the world, the characters , and the problems they are dealing with to beginning the resolution process. I learn more about each of the characters as well as the world they live in and the author begins to peel back some of the onion as I realize the main plot thread is not as straight forward as it first appeared to be. Hambly also does a deeper dive into the main characters lives which also moves th ...more
May 08, 2013 Selene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasía
En este nuevo libro, vemos como se separan los caminos de los protagonistas. Ingold y Rudy, que se ha convertido en el aprendiz de Ingold, se dirigen hacia la ciudad de Quo en busca de noticias de los magos que allí habitan. Mientras Jill que se ha unido a la guardia, con la ayuda de la reina Minalde, hace uso de sus conocimientos como historiadora para contestar a preguntas tales como ¿quién y cómo se construyó la torre de Dare? ¿Por qué atacaron los Seres Oscuros y qué los hizo retirarse en ti ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Horus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The second book of the series really sees Hambly find her stride. I had honestly been surprised that so many of my friends had enjoyed the series so much based on the first book. Walls of Air is much better balanced between the two main characters and the female lead does come out strong. There is much more character building, although the character of Rudy does seem to go from a nieve idiot to a competent, confident student rather suddenly. The plot was well conceived however, and really well e ...more
Pam Yesterday
Sep 10, 2016 Pam Yesterday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. It incorporates the human fear of the dark, the dream of a world where even the most outcast of us can find a place, magic, high adventure, the heroes journey, strong characters, strong female characters, love, and more.

This book was not as strong as the other two in the series. It was the workhorse driving the action. It is the book where things did not always work out the way you might like and the happy endings looked as though they might fall apart.
May 04, 2014 KennyO rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picking up where Time of the Dark ended, The Walls of Air continues the tale with the same excellent storytelling of the first volume. The characters remain the same people they were in the earlier volume, something untrue about some series. If you enjoyed Time you'll enjoy Walls.
James Kirk
Feb 07, 2015 James Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series. It was written in the '80s, but I can't believe I had never encountered it until now. I'm happy to say that this second book is nearly as satisfying as the first, "The Time of the Dark". While not "serious" fiction, this guilty pleasure fantasy provides enough character development, plot strands, and adventure to keep me interested. I can't wait to finish this trilogy!
Jul 06, 2016 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
Onwards with the reread. The inevitable progression of the middle book of a trilogy, when the fellowship (in this case Rudy & Gil) are separated. Alde is showing more spine than I remembered, which is good.
Dec 19, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing
The Darwath trilogy continues, as our heroes search for a way to defeat the evil forces of the Dark. Perhaps I was just a bit caught up in the story, but I felt that the ending was a bit abrupt. Still, it's a fantastic book, and the story really absorbed my attention.
Mary Lauer
Apr 18, 2011 Mary Lauer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one went a bit faster than the first one (of course, these are re-reads because I read them back when they were first published ...). You can tell she is finding her feet in these books, compared to the Windrose Chronicles.
Dec 18, 2010 Jaime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Darwath Trilogy has been in my top five book series for as long as I can remember. I have read them so many times I could probably say the books from memory. The writing and the story are amazing. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy.
Nov 19, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this trilogy... Each book is a good stand alone... Not necessary to have read the previous book... Well written... Interesting story.. I would recommend it to other sci fi enthusiasts...
Jun 25, 2008 Sasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Hambly continues to enthrall me with the lives in Darwath. I couldn't put it down as I was captivated by the idea of what was to come next. Anxiously moving on to the next book.
Oct 28, 2010 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting concepts, and Hambly does well with society/characters dealing with massive social change and upheaval. A different fantasy to be sure.
Katie Bee
My favorite characters are Gil and Minalde. I'm not really a fan of either of their romantic relationships, though.
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aka Barbara Hamilton

Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.

"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone
More about Barbara Hambly...

Other Books in the Series

Darwath (5 books)
  • The Time of the Dark (Darwath, #1)
  • The Armies of Daylight (Darwath, #3)
  • Mother of Winter (Darwath #4)
  • Icefalcon's Quest (Darwath #5)

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