Ill Wind, by Rachel Caine

May 15, 2007

Ill Wind is the first book in Rachel Caine’s Weather Wardens series. The main character, Joanne Baldwin, is a member of the Wardens, a group that uses their supernatural control of the elements to help prevent and contain natural disasters. The top wardens have the help of djinn, magical servants with large amounts of power but tricky natures.

Joanne is a weather warden, which means she has power over air and water. The other types of wardens control fire and earth. At the start of Ill Wind, Jo is on the run from her supervisors after the death of her boss. During her trip she finds old friends, meets new ones, and learns things that make her question what she’s been taught about the Wardens and the djinn that serve them.

This original series is a refreshing change from some of the more common urban fantasy plots, there are no werewolves or vampires here. Joanne does fit the “powerful magical babe with a lot of guys who love her” mold, but her quirks and attitude keep her a distinct and interesting character. Her powers (and the magic system in general) are fascinating, different, and well-described.

This book is a good introduction to the character and has a couple of great twists, including the ending. The characters are engaging and complex, and I think most people who read Ill Wind will want to follow them through at least the next few books in the series.

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