After finishing my 2021 with a review of Wind Wielder, it seems fitting that I kick off 2022 with the second book in TC Marti’s Elementals of Nordica series, Wind Master. If you haven’t read my review, now is the perfect time to do so; one must read all series in order, of course. If you have read my review (or better yet, the actual book), you should have a fair idea of what to expect from the next entry in the series. Wind Master doesn’t do a great deal differently to its predecessor; if you’re looking for an action-packed science fantasy, much like Wind Wielder, Wind Master offers it in spades.
As with the first volume, the author packed Wind Master to the brim with pulse-pounding action. Marti handled this with aplomb in the first book, and I am exceedingly pleased to see that he handled it with just as much aplomb in the second. Like any action sequel should, Wind Master ups the ante throughout, with bigger fights and more elaborate set pieces. While I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—it’s as pertinent here as always—TC Marti has a wonderful knack for writing action. Action is difficult to write well, converting all the required beats while maintaining a pace. If you provide too much detail, the action will slow to a crawl and lose momentum, and if you provide too little, you sacrifice coherence in the name of pace.
Wind Master is 258 printed pages, or for anybody reading on Kindle, an estimated 347 pages. This is mildly shorter than Wind Wielder, but had I not checked the page count, I would never have guessed: the second Elementals of Nordica volume feels longer than its word count would suggest. Like its forebear, Wind Master is an easy book to read, which I devoured in the space of just two sittings. The structure of the author’s writing makes reading the book a smooth experience, with the words and sentences flowing well as the story moves forward.
As he continues to chronicle the adventures of Sion and company, the author takes what he started in Wind Wielder and amplifies it. There is more action, there are bigger stakes, and the science fiction elements grow broader and bolder. In doing so, he drops the reader straight into the action, picking up shortly after the events of the original. I should note that Wind Master does not stand on its own; if you pick this up without having read the first book, you could find yourself a little lost. This is a minor sacrifice: generally, if you’re picking up a book with a subtitle stating Book II, you’ve read the original. By making this sacrifice, Marti ensures the book kicks into high gear immediately. While it could annoy first time Elementals of Nordica readers, for everybody else, they get a stronger story that, instead of navel gazing over what came before.
As multiple worlds converge, Sion needs to battle the powers that be across these worlds, while also learning how to handle his developing powers. This high concept comes together well, bringing with it some great characters, old and new, and plenty of twists and turns.
Wind Master builds upon what came before, not only expanding the world (or in this case, worlds), but also keeping the character arcs moving. It also builds on the political commentary of the original book, doubling down on its messaging, and showing more of power’s corruptive influence, and humanity’s desire to keep those with the power to change things down.
As I noted in the previous review, the concepts about power and its abuse are not unique to this story, however, and do little with it that hasn’t been seen before. At its crux, Wind Master is an action adventure, and the efforts to deepen it with its commentary are a bonus. That it takes the time to deepen this adds an extra layer to the story and offers the reader a bit more to chew on. If this trajectory continues throughout the series, the collective Elementals of Nordica can truly shine.
Like its predecessor, some of the quieter moments in Wind Master don’t shine as brightly as the bombastic action. These aren’t as clunky as in the original, and as the pace of the book increases throughout, this becomes less of an issue; it was only a concern for me during the first act.
Despite the slightly shorter number of pages, if I were to choose a single word to compare Wind Master to Wind Wielder, it would be “bigger.” The action is bigger, the stakes are bigger, the world is bigger, the entire concept of the novel is bigger. Through this, though, it still squeezes in some great character moments, including a bit of romance. It doesn’t linger on these aspects; it’s a more confident outing, likely due to it having set the scene in the previous book, and is now continuing Marti’s saga, and part of this is understanding where to draw the line with the quieter moments in service of the adventure.
If you have read and enjoyed Wind Wielder, I can heartily recommend reading Wind Master, which takes the groundwork already laid and runs with it in a beautiful fashion. If you haven’t read it, but enjoy spectacular action, science fiction and fantasy with speculative fiction trappings, again, I truly recommend you picking it up. However, if you prefer quieter, more meditative stories, this may not be for you: it includes those aspects to be certain, and handles them more confidently than the original, but it is all in service of the adventure. But what a great adventure it is.
The middle-aged doctor, clearly no elemental, sprinted for Valkyrie in an attempt to push her back onto the bed, which forced her to stick the Sword of Blood through his ribcage.
She ripped out the sword, turned over the woman she slashed a minute ago, pulled her out of the hazmat suit, tore off her scrubs, and shoes. Valkyrie also stole the steth for good measure and ripped the dressings from her head. Through the window reflection, she sported a stitched, lopsided gash spanning from temple to temple.
Well, maybe Sion loves scarred women? Bit of a hardcore look.Wind Master: Elementals of Nordica: Book II, Chapter Ten: “Prison Break”
Wind Masater: Elementals of Nordica: Book II was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.
Wind Master is available in paperback and on Kindle, exclusiveto Amazon).
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Wind Master (Elementals of Nordica Book 2)