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First thing that I noticed about this book was it s cover It is so beautiful and I had to read what was the story behind this cover I am glad that I did not let the average rating of 3.96 deter me because the story behind this cover was equally beautiful and mesmerizing Moon is an outcast, trying to hide his true identity He is different and ever since he realized that he was trying to find people like him but failing miserably at his attempt One day, the people with whom he was living came First thing that I noticed about this book was it s cover It is so beautiful and I had to read what was the story behind this cover I am glad that I did not let the average rating of 3.96 deter me because the story behind this cover was equally beautiful and mesmerizing Moon is an outcast, trying to hide his true identity He is different and ever since he realized that he was trying to find people like him but failing miserably at his attempt One day, the people with whom he was living came to know what he and they poisoned him Somehow he managed to escape only to meet someone like him who took him in and thus began a journey into a world which truly amazing.I loved this story from the PoV of an outcast who has to show that he was loyal to his own kind It didn t help that Indigo Cloud, the colony he wanted to be a part of was going through some serious tough times but also was Matriarchal and he was brought in to be a consort to the younger queen while there was an older queen who was not yet ready to give up her throne At every step Moon was doubted and tested but these hurdles only made Moon stronger and confident of himself.The world building of this story is simply awesome I haven t encountered anything like this before and this is so original to me Different races and how they rule and work to keep themselves in existence, was explained in detail which only added to the sheer beauty of this story.I was pleasantly surprised by this book because in less than 300 pages it gave me something that I haven t read before Highly recommended 4 stars objectively5 stars for enjoymentThe audio is superbly read by Christopher Kipiniak, and I enjoyed every moment of this reread Now onto the next one because I can never reread just this book Gotta follow Moon on his journey across the Three Worlds and reread the rest of the trilogy And then I ll need to take a peak at the short story collections, and before I know it, I m rereading them too Then I m sure I ll be in the mood for the last two books Might as well complete the whole seri 4 stars objectively5 stars for enjoymentThe audio is superbly read by Christopher Kipiniak, and I enjoyed every moment of this reread Now onto the next one because I can never reread just this book Gotta follow Moon on his journey across the Three Worlds and reread the rest of the trilogy And then I ll need to take a peak at the short story collections, and before I know it, I m rereading them too Then I m sure I ll be in the mood for the last two books Might as well complete the whole series since I ve come this far Rereading on audio with Beth review , MrsJoseph review ,and the Flight of Fantasy group Great world, lots of adventure, and so many interesting creatures The Cloud Roads begins with a solitary Raksura shapeshifter named Moon, who had been living among various groups of groundlings for most of his life but had never been able to fit in anywhere He doesn t even know what he is or where he came from The rest of the book is about him finding his people, learning about where he came from, and helping them fight off a predatory enemy that destroy all civilization in their path This is high fantasy unlike anything I ve ever read before, and it s a breath of fresh air Martha Wells writing pulled me in right from the start and didn t let go until I finished the whole trilogy in a matter of days, which was unusual for me since I often struggled with high fantasy but this particular story is just so wonderfully written.Complete review of the first three books at Tired of the orphan s heroic quest as he ventures into the world to discover himself and claim his birthright Don t give up yet Wells has managed a satisfying twist on an old trope by creating species and setting that feel quite alien Cloud Roads is certainly one of the most original fantasy worlds I ve read in months, and the steadfast plot provides familiarity when navigating the strange races of the Three Worlds Moon knows he is different he s been unable to find anyone quite like him si Tired of the orphan s heroic quest as he ventures into the world to discover himself and claim his birthright Don t give up yet Wells has managed a satisfying twist on an old trope by creating species and setting that feel quite alien Cloud Roads is certainly one of the most original fantasy worlds I ve read in months, and the steadfast plot provides familiarity when navigating the strange races of the Three Worlds Moon knows he is different he s been unable to find anyone quite like him since his family was killed Over the decades, he has tried living in solitude but inevitably ends up seeking companionship, even if it requires hiding some of his racial characteristics and quirks He s living his dual life in a village of ground dwellers when his shape changing flying form is discovered Preventing his change, they cast him out of the village and stake him out for the local beasts A rescue provides a chance to discover and connect with his race, and ultimately tired of loneliness, he decides somewhat reluctantly to follow his rescuer home to meet a colony of his species.Certainly muchfollows this is the barest introduction to a complex setting and a twisting plot While Wells does indulge in setting description from time to time, she isn t one to lay everything out in orderly fashion for the reader, preferring to show a little piece of the world, have an action scene and repeat Because the world is so unfamiliar giant predators, flying islands, a species bent on universal dominance the narrative flow helps provide context without becoming overwhelming I generally like Wells writing style, but at times the language is on the less complex side of the scale Don t get me wrong itssophisticated than many, but it lacks the complex beauty of Kay or the sharp imagery of Taylor.One of thecommon reviewer complaints is a feeling of a lack of emotional connection I wonder if that was intentional character building on Wells part First, because Moon seems to be a very watch and evaluate type of being, which lends itself to emotional distance I found myself liking him much later when view spoiler the fledglings were introduced hide spoiler Second, the sense of alien culture and being is very present, and it s hard to create emotional intimacy with the outlandish Finally, I wonder if the lack of connection also has to do with creating a species that is a littlecolony minded than our own individualistic one Can land dwelling mammals really understand a reptilian, avian or bee like mind Personally, I did feel reasonably connected by the end, but it was definitely the above spoiler that helped me get there There also isn t any comfortable earth like analogy that quite fits their race not quite bird like, although they fly not quite reptilian, although they have frills, spikes and skin covered in scales not quite bee like although they have clear social and reproduction castes so I suspect the inability to comfortably slot them into a preconceived space also creates a challenge.Once I got over the strangeness of the world and caught on to the plot, I tended to skim a little But that s me, and how I read, and Wells kept throwing me into new setting so that I ended up slowing down to pay attention She also created some subtle and some not so subtle reversal of gender dynamics I confess, I rather loved it.Three and a half stars, rounding up for uniqueness and in support of an interesting series I ll be reading on.Cross posted at Sentient non humans, belonging issues, and matriarchy Just wow.Whenever I stumble upon books whose authors create original worlds without referring to the ever same mythologies or legends, I grant them additional points at the start Having read the City of Bones, I know that Ms Wells worldbuilding is nonpareil and the Raksura Books prove it to be a rule rather than an exception Granted, the world s richness and originality are seconded by a tale not so unique The journey of the main charact Sentient non humans, belonging issues, and matriarchy Just wow.Whenever I stumble upon books whose authors create original worlds without referring to the ever same mythologies or legends, I grant them additional points at the start Having read the City of Bones, I know that Ms Wells worldbuilding is nonpareil and the Raksura Books prove it to be a rule rather than an exception Granted, the world s richness and originality are seconded by a tale not so unique The journey of the main character in search of his roots and his destiny is perhaps not particularly innovative, but in combination with an extraordinary environment, it takes on new colours There are also interesting protagonists, light and funny dialogues and puzzles to solve The Cloud Roads definitely takes you to the high roads of the fantasy genre The lands traversed by the protagonists are dotted with remnants of ancient civilisations huge towers, giant columns, and various kinds of abodes also flying built by unknown peoples The extraordinary world actually Three Worlds created by Martha Wells is populated by equally remarkable beings People, or should I write, human beings, do not make an appearance at all Most creatures are called groundlings and come in a variety of several races, differing from each other by the colour of the skin green, blue, etc , sometimes sporting horns or fangs, sometimes glittering with scales, sometimes covered with fur In addition, the world is populated by many other creatures both sentient and not, including shapeshifters, among those the RaksuraWe don t use magic we re made of magic, and you can t run away from that Raksura have two forms a groundling one and another,predatory, winged body armoured with scales, spikes and fringing manes of many different colours Raksura can be divided into two groups winged Aeriat warriors and wingless Arbor among whom you ll find teachers, hunters, and many other specialisations I d advise you to read the appendices at the end of the book before you plunge into the book Alternatively, the Author also placed a guide on her website.Life would lack an equilibrium if there was not a natural enemy for such mighty creatures And indeed, meet the Fell, creatures spawned by a nightmare Mindless destroyers of civilisations, conquering other lands and destroying everything they touch In many respects, despite superficial similarities, Fell is the exact opposite of Raksura This thread is one of the axes of the story And now you can love me forever for this comprehensive visual guide to both species Picture the differences between Fell and Raksura The Raksura live in matriarchal colonies courts ruled by queens The whole socio cultural system of Raksura is a merger between a beehive and a wolf pack Queens and their consorts are born to their roles, and they are not elected At the court, apart from the ruling queen, there may be a whole bunch of queen sisters sometimes sisters, sometimes daughters or granddaughters and consorts, of whom the queens choose their partners for reproduction There are many complex rules and customs in the Raksura society and it is fun to discover them all together with the main protagonist, Moon But before I focus on him, let me emphasise, that The Cloud Roads have incredible female characters of which the leading female is one of the most wonderfully feisty heroines in the fantasy genre And the way she has been introduced was simply ingeniousTry your claws on me, why don t you The main protagonist, from whose perspective the narrative is conducted, grew up outside the court His loved ones died when he was a mere child fledgling , and he never managed to find his people or even find out what genre he really belongs to For years, he lived among the groundings as a loner, frequently changing his place of residence and hiding his true nature When Moon encounters Stone, an older and stronger Raksura, sick of being alone, he agrees to join him We have a classic longing belonging tale of self discoveryMoon felt everyone looking at him, or trying not to look at him, and tried not to react Because the third person narrative is conducted from the perspective of Moon, the reader learns with him about the world of Raksura This allows for the information to be dosed at a good pace and simultaneously immerses us in the incredible otherness of the whole species There is hardly anything human in most of Raksura behaviours including a specific way of reproduction or eating mainly raw meat , and at the same time a lot of reactions, emotions were relatable loneliness, jealousy, ambition, etc This mix was extremely intriguing Moon is a rebellious young male, but there are hardly any human characteristics about him He is both shy and predatory, caring and killing without remorse, appreciative of beauty but impervious to death of civilisations Normally, this kind of inconsistency in the character irritates me, but here it strangely suited the world so different from the typically human fantasy setting It s hard not to like Moon Straightforward, distanced, maybe a little too often cranky, but also able to take responsibility for his own actions I admit that I liked the fact that when he had nothing to say, he simply remained silent Certainly, there are no lengthy or unnecessary dialogues in the novelYou are certainly a handful, aren t you He shrugged, defensive and uneasy I can t help it Without betraying too much the structure of the plot is extremely well thought out At the end of the novel its various elements, information, comments, and suggestions, intertwine into a logical whole Of course, not all puzzles are explained The Cloud Roads opens the series, so some threads, including the mystery of Moons origins, remain shrouded And I can not wait to learnabout them all Also in the series 2 The Serpent Sea 3 The Siren Depths 4 The Edge of Worlds 5 The Harbors of the Sun Final rating 5 5 starsHe spoke the thought that had become increasingly obvious all day long, with every interaction he had had I don t belong here Stone made a derisive noise You re afraid you don t belong here There s a differenceThis book is the prime example of how to do world building If there is something exceptionally strong in this book, it s completely alien high fantasy world building where there are almost no humans barely normal Earth like humans at all T Final rating 5 5 starsHe spoke the thought that had become increasingly obvious all day long, with every interaction he had had I don t belong here Stone made a derisive noise You re afraid you don t belong here There s a differenceThis book is the prime example of how to do world building If there is something exceptionally strong in this book, it s completely alien high fantasy world building where there are almost no humans barely normal Earth like humans at all The closest thing to humans are so called groundlings, and there arethan 10 species of them, and only a few look similar to human due to coloring of their skin and their build but most of them have horns, shells, and so on and on The closest thing to humans are the shapeshifters, called Raksura, who in their groundling form look like how normal human we are used to should look like, and in shifted they look like dragon humanoid But their race, and race of their enemies, the Fell, is so strongly done, with different ways, customs and setting, especially social norms This is high fantasy, with setting including courts, queens and consorts, rulers and minions, flying islands, dragon like creatures, flying ships and boats, and unique flora and fauna, that this world resembles barely the world of humans The flyer, as well as groundling species are usually different from the common which is what I loved Then again,details on the world building later in my review There is also this thing in this book called reversed gender roles Females here are very strong, badass, hold everyone in check and are terror in the sky Yes, being the Queen is almost next to terrifying Not to mention female warriors when they get together, heads roll So, girl power here, but men kick ass as well But social norms, especially in the later books, tell you that male side of the nobility of their race should be shy, timid, avoiding fights, and women strong, competitive, ready to rip the heads of their enemies shoulders, dominant in relationships and as for queens no one should anger them at all ever So basically, females on the highest position and matriarchal regiment nice Also, the Queens of the Raksura race being the strongest, most powerful and most deadly of them all Once again, nice Their female warriors are not to be underestimated as well There is also this thing of bisexuality Their whole race is bisexual as learned in other two books There are 3 conditions for me to love the story World building when it comes to fantasy or sci fi Characters and my ability to feel something for them and their perils Story that is captivating and doesn t let go, nevermind if it had been seen before.Sometimes I give 5 stars to the books that don t have the good world building but have amazing characters and story Or have lack of world building and story, but have highly developed characters, that in the end I didn t even care for world building and story, just for them This book has all three conditionsWonderful, imaginative world building and very uniquewith different cultures, races, sometimes settlements from humans It was all explained in stages, and quite believable, and it s not hard to understand which role is which in which species The world building is maybe the strongest point of this book Also, flying islands and flying boats Literal yellow sea How cool is that The book is told from 1 point of view in third person our very, very distrustful and guarded protagonist Moon who doesn t know what he is All he knows is that he is shapeshifter, and that his previous attempts to find his people ended up traumatic to the point he gave up on them And I felt so much for him and everything that happened to him And despite being in only 1 POV, it was well done and everything was balanced Story was captivating,in every chapter something happens and it s fast pacedAnd also bonusclear sentences and understandable writingI was surprised at how much details I remembered while reading and I could easily repeat the whole book, including the details, to someone who wants to listen but can t read English yeah, this I do I didn t really and honestly know what to expect of this book So I read the short story The Forest Boy, a prequel, that was about the protagonist Moon, a shapeshifter, when he was just a fledgling a child in other words who tried to find somewhere to stay, and had very hard time trying to control his shifting But this short story was told from the POV of one orphan and his sister who found him captured in a trap, bleeding and very, very afraid Now, when you read it like this you can notice biiiiiiiiig changes between his feelings behavior early on and now But there is a reason for that very unpleasant and now Moon seems a bit distant, guarded, distrustful and wary But inside, he is still that kid trying to find a place to belong, where he could be safe and accepted And he DOES have feelings Moon was very interesting character for me If I could describe him in one word it would be survivor, and not just that There is so muchabout him and I love him to bits, especially after reading everything that is out in Raksura series as of the beginning of 2016.I read this book in 2 days I just saw the plot, saw it was about shapeshifters unlike the usual ones I read about and said I must own it I don t succumb easily to ongoing series and this has 3 books so far and 2 upcoming and 2 omnibuses of short stories , but I just HAD to read it it was calling out to me and I had to drop everything I read and just read this without stopping I did not regret my decision even once But, there are short story omnibuses as well Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2They contain 9 short stories 4 prequels and 5 sequels between book 3 and 4 I highly recommend reading these novellas, BUT AFTER READING FIRST THREE BOOKS Forinfo on them and their order of reading check out my review for Vol 1 STORY Moon is a shapeshifter but he doesn t know what he is He changes into dragon like humanoid with black scales, wings and claws When he was just a fledgling, his family was killed and he was the only survivor His mother, 3 brothers and sister gone And through his 35 turns years since their deaths, he never found out what he was and had to adjust to this scary world alone.Through the years he stayed with groundlings trying to make a home for himself But he knew it would never last forever Every time he was discovered he was chased out or almost killed Ironically, this happens whenever groundlings see his other shifter form His humanoid black scaled and winged form strongly resembles the most vicious predators on their planet the Fell But despite the hints, he knows he is not one of the Fell But explaining that to ignorant groundlings is another matter completely He got used to being kicked out or worse for being what he is, but he could never stand loneliness and therefore sought company, no matter what the cost In the latest settlement, in the village of Cordans, where he was staying for a long while, the rumors about seeing the Fell in vicinity started circulating As soon as the rumors started he was discovered by the woman he was in relationship with Not knowing that his cover has been blown, he didn t notice anything strange until they drugged him with the poison that can apparently incapacitate the Fell, which made him unable to shift and trapped him into something between of his forms, and tied him up to be ripped apart and eaten by the other creatures of course, they didn t believe him that he is not actually Fell, and definitely not the thing they saw, if that was even a Fell Just when one of the beasts prepared to kill him, the rud Fell flyer killed the beast, kidnapped Moon and flew away with him Moon, out of his mind due to terror that he was most likely going to be eaten by this shifter thrice his size, isn t really ready to cooperate When he calms down, he is told by the flyer, called Stone from the Indigo Cloud Court of Raksura race, that he is shapeshifter being called Raksura, just like Stone He then asks Moon to join him in his travel to other court to search for the warrior type of their race, because the Fell target Indigo Cloud Court and there is not enough of them to protect it And Stone didn t really say everything And Moon isn t ready to believe everything Stone says WORLD BUILDING In the Three Worlds, called for the three realms sea, earth, and sky there is a vast number of species More than 10 groundling races, and several flight races, of which Raksura and the Fell are most important Although Raksura come from earth For decades, the migratory view spoiler shapeshifting hide spoiler flying race called the Fell terrorized and ate whatever other species they came across, especially intelligent ones Always dark colored, they are terrifying predators who are hard to kill They have 3 main classes and therefore subspecies called Major kethel largest, but with low inteligence , Minor dakti small, ard and cunning which always fight in swarms and their Rulers, the only intelligent one who can share their memories and experiences through their bond They can control other two of them And lastly, there is the believed fourth class called the Progenitors.Their opposites are Raksura shapeshifting flying species with two forms one resembling the groundlings and the other of flying dragon like humanoid with scales, wings, claws and tails They do not eat intelligent species like the Fell, but Raksuran s biggest threat are the Fell They are divided into 2 breeds The first one is Arbora wingless race, which includes Teachers they take care of the young , Hunters providing the food , Soldiers protecting the colony and Mentors the Arbora born with arcane powers such as healing and sight seeing, and also historians and advisers of the Queens All Arbora are fertile and can sometimes birth Warrior caste They are also on very high positions The second, equally important are called Aeriat they are the winged Raksura and their strongest warriors and defenders, divided in three classes Warriors guardians who are sterile and cannot breed and they come in both female and male forms Consorts the fertile males, who are stronger than warriors, live longest, get bigger and are the fastest flyers And lastly, Queens, who are fertile females, quite deadly, strongest and most powerful of them all they can give birth to warriors, consorts and other queens One queen rules them all, with the chosen Sister Queen at her side, no matter if they are mother daughter or anything else A Queen can enchant others of their race, can shape lock them so they cannot change in their presence and are quite intimidating and get bigger as they get older They have arbora shape instead of the groundling form the other classes have You don t actually have to remember this now author explained it so well you will understand it perfectly This serves as my reminder for later purposes I also loved the fact that the injuries to the wing end upserious if turned to groundling form as it passes the damage on the back, ribs and shoulder and are severe And, since they are beings of magic, their clothes in groundling form melt with their bodies when they transform, and they can carry small things and keep them safe this way too CHARACTERSMoonis a shapeshifter who doesn t know anything about his race Having to survive from the very small age, he managed to learn many languages of the groundlings, but always had hard time fitting in He is alone and he never even saw any other shapeshifter like him.He is afraid, skittish, guarded, solitary rogue who is also brave when needed and defiant And whenever he tries to fit in somewhere else, he has to be wary of their customs, of his shapeshifting and always ends up feeling like outsider Moon had to struggle to survive every year, every day, ever since he was fledgling He fears of not belonging, he cannot stay alone for a long time without going mad, even if it means going with another shifter who could be leading him into a trap He is cautious, curious, wary and very careful because of his experiences in the past He doesn t seek the compassion, he is used to being judged for what he is He usually keeps things to himself and speaks only when he must, a habit he acquired to survive among others Moon felt mature already Most days, he felt elderly It doesn t matter It does matter Flower stood, her shabby skirt falling into place around her We don t use magic we re made of magic, and you can t run away from that Watching her walk away, Moon thought, I can try And when he smiles, it makes me very happy and glad because he should smileand deserves to be happy There was one scene with him and the view spoiler fledglings they found especially the part where they say view spoiler that they are his clutch aka children from now on even if he stays without the queen hide spoiler hide spoiler , which ripped my heart out, made me cry OF HAPPINESS, and it was so damn adorable and cute I was just undoneStoneis a member of the Indigo Cloud Court with a mission He is very surprised when he finds a solitary Raksura who he has no idea what he is Stone is usually serious and intimidating, but also kind, patient and fierce warrior Being a line grandfather, he is highly ranked in the court and is also very, very oldChimeis a winged mentor warrior a rarity , who is usually cheerful, adorable and very kind But he has hard time dealing with the change that happened to him He lost not only his mentor abilities to augur and heal, he also lost his ability to reproduce in exchange for wings This change only worsened his situation But when he meets Moon, he finds out they have a lot in common And when I say adorable I mostly mean thisWhat view spoiler Pearl hide spoiler did was unacceptable, even if you re a Groundling eating solitary, Moon supplied Groundling eating solitary, she shouldn t have behaved that way The groundling eating part was sarcasm, yes Jade and PearlJade is the sister Queen of Pearl her mother , and is strong, capable and honorable leader who does not judge easily She is mostly honest and kind, and awkward when it comes to some basic things like view spoiler courting hide spoiler , for example Pearl, on the other hand, is very prideful, she hears, but sometimes doesn t heed, she judges and sees the worst first, but generally cares for her race She is also ruthless and vicious to her enemies, also capable of cruelty to anyone who she doesn t like enoughOthers There are many other characters, but talking about them would be spoiling enough, so I will skip that and let you find on your own OVERALL Fantastic world building, great main character your heart will hurt for him, most likely , good side characters, interesting plot, fast paced and overall great I see no reason to give it anything less than pure 5 stars for the sheer enjoyment of reading I also read the missing scenes after the book scene 1 about view spoiler Moon s phobia of thunder hide spoiler , scene 2 about view spoiler Jade s first impression of Moon in her POV hide spoiler , and scene 3 about view spoiler Jade and Moon traveling hide spoiler They were wonderful and wish they were in the book themselves Did i mention absolutely stunning covers Also, another plus no lust or love on first sight Also, Martha Wells has put some of the gorgeous fanart on her site, including drawings of the Fell, Raksura and others AND ALSO FANTASTIC FAN MUSIC Especially Moon s and Chime s songs OTHER IMPORTANT INFOStandalone No Part of a series Point of View Third POV, 1 character Cliffhanger No Triggers view spoiler Well, serious spoilers here, but there was a rape in the past type view spoiler male on male, after which view spoiler the victim successfully killed the rapist in his sleep hide spoiler hide spoiler and attempted rape type view spoiler female on male hide spoiler And few unnamed or ever seen characters weren t lucky enough to prevent it hide spoiler Love triangle No Angst Oh yes Supernatural Shapeshifters and other supernatural beings Explicit content No Mentions of what happened Ending type view spoiler HEA hide spoiler Recommended Hell yes Note While the plot is for itself in the first book, there are lots of things to do and some to answer REVIEW S RELATED TO THIS BOOK The Cloud Roads Books of the Raksura, 1 The Serpent Sea Books of the Raksura, 2 The Siren Depths Books of the Raksura, 3 Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 The Falling World The Tale of Indigo and Cloud Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2 The Dead City The Dark Earth Below There are books where shapeshifters take spotlight but not like this Raksura, flying shapeshifters, feel like unique specie with their own culture, way of reproduction and hierarchy that isn t based on humans That goes for the rest of the world as well although worldbuilding is done in broad strokes without forming coherent picture While it lacks big picture it has bunch of small details that add to it Like Raksura themselves it s alien world that doesn t correlate to ours In the age scal There are books where shapeshifters take spotlight but not like this Raksura, flying shapeshifters, feel like unique specie with their own culture, way of reproduction and hierarchy that isn t based on humans That goes for the rest of the world as well although worldbuilding is done in broad strokes without forming coherent picture While it lacks big picture it has bunch of small details that add to it Like Raksura themselves it s alien world that doesn t correlate to ours In the age scale I would place this book in new adult shelf That is age of protagonist in Raksura age , there iscasual mentions of sex and procreation and there are some darker moments that is normal for YA genre but it s still miles away from grimdark Unfortunately that makes this book s biggest sin less forgivable.Big problem for me where some very naive and childish moments Especially regarding main antagonists, Fell There was so much potential there but author decided to make them stereotypical villains And what is worse is that she keeps reminding you of that ever so often pulls at sleeve Remember how evil those treacherous Fell Well they are cannibals too pulls at sleeve again Remember how evil those treacherous cannibal Fell are Well there is.I m not asking for a lot just characters that have motivations other than malice 3.4 stars overall but it could have beeneaily .Download Pdf ☲ The Cloud Roads ⚖ Moon has spent his life hiding what he is a shape shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape shifter like himself someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community What this stranger doesn t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony s survival and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself and his newfound kin If you are tired of epic fantasy full of tropes in used to death medieval setting and want an original immersive world full of magic and wondrous creatures read this book The only thing that comes close to relating this experience is watching The Avatar for the first time in 3D Except it is not only the blue people there are myriads of intelligent races in various sizes and colours, with horns, with tusks, with manes, scales, wings, tails you name it Floating islands, rotating cities, hi If you are tired of epic fantasy full of tropes in used to death medieval setting and want an original immersive world full of magic and wondrous creatures read this book The only thing that comes close to relating this experience is watching The Avatar for the first time in 3D Except it is not only the blue people there are myriads of intelligent races in various sizes and colours, with horns, with tusks, with manes, scales, wings, tails you name it Floating islands, rotating cities, hive or giant tree settlements, flying ships, pyramids, temple ruins, jungle from the wide strokes to the littlest of details like luminous clump of mushrooms that jumps onto the tiny feet and scurries off out of your way or a tattoo parlour that offers to etch designs on your tusks Martha s Wells imagination will blow you away.Elegant prose, capturing and engaging story told from one person perspective and fascinating mesmerising world makes reading this book a truly fantastic experience This is how fantasy should be written.Highly recommended.Buddy Read with Caro, Alissa and Mayim 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum making good on my promise to go back and read The Books for the Raksura from the beginning, I decided to pick up The Cloud Roads with the SF F Read Along group Up until this point, I had only read one volume of the Raksura short stories as well as The Edge of Worlds which is formally the fourth book of the sequence but can also be read as a jumping off point for a new era of the series As such, I started The Clou 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum making good on my promise to go back and read The Books for the Raksura from the beginning, I decided to pick up The Cloud Roads with the SF F Read Along group Up until this point, I had only read one volume of the Raksura short stories as well as The Edge of Worlds which is formally the fourth book of the sequence but can also be read as a jumping off point for a new era of the series As such, I started The Cloud Roads with the advantage of being already familiar with the characters and the world, but being able to go back and read the first book to see how everything started was a great experience nonetheless.Here we are first introduced to Moon, an orphaned shapeshifter with no idea who he is or what he is Long ago he had tried looking for others like him, but gave up after years of no luck Since then he has been living among the terrestrial races in their villages, disguised in his groundling form to look like them However, one day he slips up and inadvertently exposes his flying form to a village girl, who mistakes him for a member of one of the malicious enemy races called Fell The groundlings incapacitate Moon and eject him from their community, but that very night he is rescued by another winged creature that looks like him, a creature who is also a shapeshifter with both flight and groundling forms And thus, Moon soon learns he is a Raksura and begins his journey of discovery to find out where he really comes from.Any hopes Moon has of finding a new home are soon dashed though, when he is met with hostility among the other Raksura His rescuer is part of a court named Indigo Cloud, a colony which has been suffering a lot of hardships as of late, including having no breeding pairs and having their existing clutches and young dying This has made them especially suspicious of strangers, especially a lone Raksura like Moon Raksura are gregarious creatures by nature and thrive in large social groups, so a finding an individual living in solitary in the wild usually means bad news However, Moon happens to be a Consort, a special type of fertile male Raksura able to provide a Queen with new clutches, and that means things arecomplicated than they appear.The first thing that struck me was how different Moon was from the later version of Moon I had gotten to know from The Edge of Worlds This Moon here was younger and less experienced of course, but his attitude was also so muchcynical and aloof For someone who knows he doesn t belong anywhere and yet still yearns for being a part of a community, this makes sense His nomadic lifestyle of moving from one groundling village to another is a temporary solution, one that I think he is aware of, but since there are no better options for the time being Moon has no choice but just to accept this reality It s a very lonely existence, one that would make even a young Raskura feel world weary and pessimistic.Moon s introduction to Indigo Cloud court was also an interesting process I had known that he was an outsider and that he didn t grow up with the colony, but the extent of Indigo Cloud s initial hostility towards him in this book was a surprise to me Also, Raksuran culture and politics are complicated, but because Moon was completely new to all of it, his gradual exposure to the court also allowed the reader to learn everything along with him Not going to lie navigating the strange and wonderful world of the Raksura can be a little daunting, given the massive amount of information to take in, but Wells does a phenomenal job presenting her unique setting and characters without completely overwhelming her readers Further, it s always a challenge when a book s main characters are predominantly or a hundred percent non human, but in spite of the Raksuran s otherness I still found them easy to relate to because of their very human emotions.As an introduction to the world of the Raksura, I have to say The Cloud Roads was as tantalizing and eye opening as I had thought it would be, though given this is Martha Wells I would have expected nothing less I ve always been curious about the circumstances behind Moon s arrival at Indigo Cloud court, and I m glad I finally got the chance to read the full story This book sets the stage nicely for a lotto come, and I m looking forward to continuing with the next book Martha Wells just fixed herself firmly on my list of favourite authors Her Murderbot series put her on my list and this new to me series confirms it.She earned five stars straight away for the magnificent world building Then there was a wonderful magic system And finally the totally imaginative characters, in particular the Raksura who slightly resemble shape shifting dragons only slightly though They are actually much, much better.The story opens with the main character, Moon, who is li Martha Wells just fixed herself firmly on my list of favourite authors Her Murderbot series put her on my list and this new to me series confirms it.She earned five stars straight away for the magnificent world building Then there was a wonderful magic system And finally the totally imaginative characters, in particular the Raksura who slightly resemble shape shifting dragons only slightly though They are actually much, much better.The story opens with the main character, Moon, who is like a bird that has fallen out of its nest He is different from every other creature he meets and has no idea what he is Over the years he has learned that other races are suspicious of him and he keeps his shape shifting secret When he meets another of his kind his whole world changes, and initially it seems it my not be for the better.The story is action packed Raksura fight like dragons and there is a lot of claw and scale action and the ripping off of heads The bad guys are called the Fell and they are very bad It is all good fun This first book is complete in itself and finishes satisfactorily but with Moon about to enter the next stage of his life in book 2 Very nicely done altogether and I have the next book ready and waiting