Review: Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 by Martha Wells

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Date Read: February 9 to 11, 2015
Read Count: 1
Recommended by:
Recommended for:

The cover artwork for this series is just stunning. I love them all.

We return to the Three Worlds with this volume of four adventure-filled short stories (actually two novellas and two short stories) featuring characters from all three previous books and with special guest appearances by Indigo and Cloud.

 

“The Falling World” takes place after The Siren Depths, and it’s about Moon coming to Jade’s rescue. Now with powerful alliances like Opal Night and Emerald Twilight, the Indigo Cloud court is moving up the Raksura social ladder, with many other courts around the Reaches vying for their attention.

On a mission to visit a smaller court, Jade takes five of her warriors to discuss a trade deal, but on the day she’s due back, a young queen from that court comes to Indigo Cloud asking to speak with her. This causes a stir among the Arbora and Aeriat, and since no one has heard from Jade or the warriors since they left, Moon, Stone, and Pearl suspect she must have ran into trouble on the way there. Moon and Stone, along with a group of Arbora hunters, set out to find her and the others.

 

“Tale of Indigo and Cloud” goes back to a time before Indigo Cloud got its name and the colony tree was filled to capacity, with Aeriat and Arbora all over the place.

According to rumors, Indigo “stole” Cloud from a young queen at the Emerald Twilight court. But according to historical accounts, she did not. This story is about what really happened and how two courts almost went to war if not for some clever maneuvering on the part of a reigning queen. Since the courts came close to going to war, we get to see how courts prepare for or initiate war, and as usual, it’s a whole production, complete with nuances and posturing.

Best part though is seeing Stone as a little fledgling.

 

“The Forest Boy” is about Moon as a child. He had just lost Sorrow and his Arbora siblings to a Taft attack, and had been hiding out in the forest near the edge of town when two orphaned children found and brought him back to their foster parents’ house. The family was poor, but they took him in anyway and he lived with them for awhile. But he could not stay when one of the orphans saw him in his Raksura form.

A bittersweet story, told from the POV of an orphan boy. Makes you wonder how Moon’s life would turn out if he’d been raised in a stable home with decent people who cared for him, instead of bouncing from village to village.

 

“Adaptation” takes place shortly before Moon’s arrival, and it’s about Chime’s transition from Arbora mentor to Aeriat warrior. Life with wings is a challenge, both physically and mentally. For Chime specifically, though, becoming an Aeriat means losing his mentor and reproduction abilities, as all warriors are sterile and have no magic. It takes him a long time to adjust to the transition–and even now he’s still struggling with it–but with Balm’s help, he’s able to fly and the experience is unlike anything he’d ever imagined.

 

These stories are great, but too short. I need more. Good thing the second volume of short stories is coming out in a few days!

 

Just thought this is really cute.

Jade & Moon by Pentapus
(Jade & Moon by Pentapus)

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