Moon had been thrown out of a lot of groundling settlements and camps, but he hadn’t expected it from the Cordans.
–Martha Wells - The cloud roads -c.2011
The Books of the Raksura ; 1
So after reading the wonderful murderbot books1 I wanted to read more by Wells. And this is the first book in the The Books of the Raksura which is nominated for Best Series in the 2018 Hugos I figured this was a good place to start.
The main character is Moon, a shapeshifter who has been on his own for many years now. His mother and siblings were all killed when he was young and ever since then he has hidden who he is. He doesn’t know anyone else who is the same as him, the only other similar creatures to him are the Fell, and that isn’t a good thing.
The Fell area a predatory race, they kill and eat other sentient races, and are pretty difficult to stop.
When the book opens Moon is living with the Cordans, a people who suffered at the hands of the Fell. He hides his winged form from them out of fear that it will make him an outcast once more.
But as you can tell from the first line of this book, his time among the Cordans is limited. But soon he will discover, or maybe it is more accurate to say that he is discovered by, his own kind. He is a Raksura, and no longer alone in the world.
But life isn’t that easy, especially when you’ve spent years hiding part of yourself. How do you come to trust others, especially when they regard you with hostility at first, and when you don’t know their customs and ways. Finding a place to call home is not going to be an easy thing for Moon.
Especially when the Fell are on the attack again, and not all is well with the Raksura he has met. Maybe he is better off away from them?
I really liked this book, and I look forward to reading more in the series. I really came to like Moon, he is a bit of a no-man at the start, but that is understandable as he has spent his whole life watching the people around him and trying to fit in. It’s very difficult to be your own person when you’re pretending to be something you aren’t.
I also really liked the world-building here, all the different races were fascinating. None of your standard elves, dwarves and humans here. I also liked the way Wells has the Fell as the bad guys, at first they are very one dimensional, evil for evils sake, but by the end we begin to learn a little more about them. Not a huge deal, they are still quite “the bad guys” with no motivation apart from that, but we do learn a tad more about them, and maybe that’ll be expanded on in the following books?
2 so far, more to come ↩