Synopses & Reviews
An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.
Prior to the groundlings arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the courts mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksuras idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.
The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.
In the beginning of this new full length entry in Wells’s Raksura series (following 2012’s The Siren Depths) the entire community of Indigo Cloud home to a shape shifting race called the Raksura has a nightmare of their world being destroyed by their archenemies the predatory Fell. To prevent that Jade Moon (her consort) and other Raksura must join a group of archaeologists from several races to investigate an ancient site that could destroy them all. After setting up the danger the novel takes too long to get the questing party to the mysterious island losing its impact among vague distrust political squabbles and minor dangers that overshadow how unearthly this world is. However when the Fell do show up and bring a new wrinkle to their characterization the dramatic battles tough decisions and character dynamics shine through. Filtering the story mostly through the semi outsider Moon Wells overcomes pacing flaws to keep this series going strong with an imaginative world of engaging characters. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
A compelling storyteller whose clear prose, goal-driven plotting, and witty, companionable characters should win her fans among those who enjoy the works of writers such as John Scalzi and Lois McMaster Bujold.”
Matt Denault, Strange Horizons
Praise for Martha Wells and the Books of the Raksura:
Using its alien protagonist to explore the politics of gender and belonging, this is a fascinating read for SF readers looking for something out of the ordinary.”
Publisher's Weekly(starred review)
The Cloud Roads has wildly original world-building, diverse and engaging characters, and a thrilling adventure plot. Its that rarest of fantasies: fresh and surprising, with a story that doesnt go where ten thousand others have gone before. I cant wait for my next chance to visit the Three Worlds!”
N. K. Jemisin, author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
The vivid world-building and nonstop action really serve as a backdrop for the heart of the novelthe universal human themes of loneliness, loss, and the powerful drive to find somewhere to belong.”
Sharon Shinn, author of Troubled Waters
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
This is rigorous fantasy without the trappings of European medievalism. And most of all, it's riveting storytelling.”
Steven Gould, author of Jumper and 7th Sigma
Genre fans looking for something different will find this is just what they needed.”
School Library Journal Blog
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.”
Martha Wells writes fantasy the way it was meant to bepoignant, evocative, and astonishing. Prepare to be captivated 'til the sun comes up.”
Kameron Hurley, author of The Mirror Empire and God's War
This is the type of Fantasy series I absolutely loveand highly recommend as a worthwhile series to read and fall in love with.”
The Book Smugglers
The Cloud Roads is a terrific fantasy novel that stands out due to imaginative worldbuilding, accomplished writing and engaging storytelling. For everyone else, The Cloud Roads is a proud example of what the genre is capable of producing.”
Fantasy Book Critic
About the Author
is the author of more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Ile-Rien series (The Death of the Necromancer
) and the Books of the Raksura (The Cloud Roads
). Her work has been nominated for the Nebula and Compton Crook awards, and published in seven languages. Wells lives in College Station, Texas.