- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Night Shade Books (Oct. 7 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597805351
- ISBN-13: 978-1597805353
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 22.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stories of the Raksura: Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud Paperback – Oct 7 2014
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Praise for Stories of the Raksura, Volume One and The Books of the Raksura
"Breathtakingly surprising and fun. Wells is a master worldbuilder.”―The New York Times
“Wildly original world-building, diverse and engaging characters, and a thrilling adventure plot. It’s that rarest of fantasies: fresh and surprising, with a story that doesn’t go where ten thousand others have gone before.“―N. K. Jemisin, author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
“Truly inventive and stunningly imaginative world building perfectly melded with vivid, engaging characters make the Books of the Raksura one of my all-time favorite science-fiction series.”―Kate Elliott, author of the Crown of Stars series
“The characters in these stories are just as complex, diverse and sympathetic as in the novels. Their gender roles are explored believably, their actions are also believable and they have realistic problems. . . . The relationships and tensions between the characters are handled admirably.”―RisingShadow.net
“A strong set of stories that joyfully show new and extended aspects of a fascinating fantasy world.”―Paul Weimer, SF Signal
"That rarity―a completely unique and stunning fantasy world.”―Hugo Award-winning author Elizabeth Bear
“Martha Wells writes fantasy the way it was meant to be―poignant, evocative, and astonishing. Prepare to be captivated 'til the sun comes up.”―Kameron Hurley, author of The Mirror Empire and God's War
“With these books Wells is writing at the top of her game, and given their breadth, originality, complexity, this series is showing indications it could become one of the landmark series of the genre.”―Adventures Fantastic
“An imaginative world of engaging characters . . . the dramatic battles, tough decisions, and character dynamics shine through.”―Publishers Weekly
“Martha Wells' Raksura books are dense, and complex, with truly amazing world building, and non-human characters who are quite genuinely alien, yet still comprehensible and sympathetic.”―Kelly McCullough, author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade novels
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The second piece is a novella in which we finally learn the full backstory of how Indigo "stole" Cloud, in a nice untwisting of the damsel trope. One of the things I adore about the Raksura novels is how customary gender relations do not apply in their culture. Another is how the byzantine dance of court diplomacy can avoid bloodshed in the right claws. Brilliant!
In addition, there are short stories such The Forest Boy, and if anyone was wondering how tiny Moon survived as a fledgling without a family, this is one such story, where he finds, for a short while, a home. Once again the microcosm is complete and satisfying, and your heart will ache for young Moon and his friends and the confusions of growing up. Also included is the story of when Chime, to his profound dismay, first shifts into an Aeriat. Oh, Chime.
I cannot recommend this volume highly enough.
Stories of the Raksura: Volume One is a collection of two novellas and two short stories all set in the strange realm of the Three Worlds. Fans of the series will find plenty to love in this collection as it revisits familiar characters and sheds light on new ones that helped form their past. The stories recapture that recipe for escapism. These are tales that plummet readers into bizarre worlds with rich settings and characters. There are no humans to be found in the Three Worlds. Instead, it’s a place of exotic imagination and relaxing escape.
The first story in the book is a 92 page novella entitled “The Falling World”. In it, Moon explores a mysterious city in search of Jade who has gone missing. There are monsters, wizards and lots of exploration. Plus Moon is not alone in his journey. He’s joined by Stone as well as a host of other Raksura who all play various parts. Slipping into the story, it felt just like old times with the same level of unusual, fascinating environments and peculiar characters. It’s a great way to start the book.
Following that is another novella, “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud”, which runs 58 pages. Unlike the first novella and, for that matter, the three books that preceded this one, this story is set in the past and revolves around a new cast. The main character is Cerise, the queen of Umber Shadow. In it, she must deal with a delicate political situation. While on a diplomatic mission to another court, Cerise’s youngest sister queen Indigo up and decided to steal a consort. Unravelling the truth of what happened, and dealing with the retaliations from the Emerald Twilight court, Cerise must walk a twisting line to prevent all out war. The backdrop for the whole tale is how the Indigo Cloud court came to be. There is also a glimpse of Stone as a mere fledgling, a deeper look into Raksura court politics, and a wider view of Raksuran culture. With the tension, the romantic plotline, and the historical context, it makes for a very fun story. The end even ties it all back to the present, bringing in Moon and the current Indigo Cloud court.
“The Forest Boy” is the first of two short stories included in this collection. Like the previous story, it takes a look back at the past and uses a new character as the central figure. Tren is a twelve year old Mirani living on the edge of a settlement with a foster family. He and his close friend Lua explore a nearby trash heap as they look for salvage. There they find a very young Moon stuck in a hunter’s trap. The tale explores the children’s interactions with each other, how they become friends and then become distant and disgruntled. It takes a look at groundlings and Moon’s childhood while telling a story of how jealousy can tear friendships apart.
“Adaptation” wraps the book up yet another prequel story. This one stars Chime and covers his transformation into a warrior. It highlights his initial struggle with the change and the turmoil in instilled in the rest of the court. Both of the short stories go by pretty quick with them being only 15 and 16 pages long. Still, they’re fun stories and reveal some interesting parts of the character’s past. Adding to the book is an updated 10 page appendix of terms and court hierarchy.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the previous books in the series, you’ll definitely want to pick up Stories of the Raksura: Volume One. For those who have not read any of the books in the series, this might be a good opportunity to get acquainted with the characters and the world within. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two. I give this one a five out of five.