Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: Stories that deepen Wells’ world and characters

Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha WellsStories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha WellsStories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha Wells

Martha Wells has written several short stories and novellas set in the world of her BOOKS OF THE RAKSURA. They’ve been collected in two volumes called Stories of the Raksura and I’ve read both of these volumes. Volume 1, which collects the novellas The Falling World and The Tale of Indigo and Cloud as well as the short stories “The Forest Boy” and “Adaptation,” is the best of these and, in fact, I think these shorts were better than the novels, making Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 my favorite RAKSURA book.

Here’s a description of each story in this volume:

The Falling World — (RAKSURA story #3.6, published in 2014, takes place after The Siren Depths.) Jade and Chime travel to another court to make a trading alliance, but they fail to arrive. When Moon and Stone eventually track them down, they find that Jade and Chime have been caught in a spell. They must figure out how to break the spell to free their friends. This story is imaginative and weird.

The Tale of Indigo and Cloud — (RAKSURA story #0.1, published in 2014, takes place before The Cloud Roads.) This is a prequel story that has been alluded to in at least one of the RAKSURA novels. It’s about how Indigo stole Cloud, a consort from the Emerald Twilight court, and started a war between the two courts. It explains the origins of the Indigo Cloud court, back when Stone was a fledgling, and long before Moon was born. The Tale of Indigo and Cloud is, in some ways, a sweet romance.

“The Forest Boy” — (RAKSURA story #0.2, published in 2009, takes place before The Cloud Roads.) In this prequel story, Moon is a fledgling roaming around the world by himself. When he gets caught in a bear trap, a human family takes him in and provides him a nice home… until they find out what he really is. This is heart-wrenching and illustrates the kinds of troubles Moon had before he was found by Stone and taken to the Indigo Cloud court. It asks us to consider who is the real monster.

“Adaptation” — (RAKSURA story #0.4, published in 2012, takes place before The Cloud Roads.) Throughout the novels we keep hearing about how Chime used to be a mentor but suddenly became a warrior. “Adaptation” tells the story of Chime’s unusual transformation. Chime is one of my favorite characters, so I liked this story.

Each of the tales in Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 deepens Wells’ world and her characters. I think they’re better than the novels because they’re short and focused. I recommend these for fans of the series and this volume can probably work as a starting place for newbies, too. I suggest trying the audiobook version produced by Audible Studios and narrated by Christopher Kipiniak. Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 is almost 10 hours long in audiobook format.

Published in 2014. In “The Falling World,” Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort, Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult. “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches. Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With two brand-new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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2 comments

  1. This sounds like the place for me to start with her work.

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