Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells


The Cloud Roads
by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of the Raksura, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Night Shade Books, 2011
Ebook, Purchased
278 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: 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 himself… and his newfound kin.

Moon had been almost killed too many times to develop an aversion to anything.


“…Look, you either trust me or you don’t–”

“I don’t, Moon said, frustrated.

“You’re such a cynical bastard. You’re going to fit right in at home.”


  • I love this book. I’m not sure what chord it hit for me, but I devoured the book! It was a joy to read.
  • I love the cover!
  • Moon is a great character. He’s just trying to get by. His family was all killed when he was a child. He’s a shape-shifter and has never found another like himself so he’s not sure if he’s the only one left. He tries to fit into the Grounder communities he finds, but always ultimately gives himself away and has to leave.
  • Moon is a very solitary character. He’s an orphan and no one he meets really understands him–because he can’t show who he really is. Then he discovers he’s a Raksura and quite an important one, but this doesn’t bring the universal happiness he would think he’d find.
  • The other Raksura he meets are a mix of characters. The society is very stratified. Each group has their own tasks and they don’t mix too much between groups.
  • The Fell are such interesting and frightening enemies. I want to find out more about them in the next books.
  • I like the world building. The world is detailed. We don’t know how this world got the way it did, but everyone is just trying to survive–and stay away from the Fell. It’s peopled with a vast variety of sentient creatures.
  • The way the different societies we see in this world have developed is very interesting.


  • I was a little put off by the Raksura using their claws to climb walls! I don’t like spiders or lizards that can climb my walls. But the Raksura are so awesome every other way I just put that behind me…LOL.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve had this book awhile and I’m so glad I finally read it. I’m looking forward to the next books and reading other books by Martha Wells.
  • The next two books in this series are already out–Yay! And Stories of the Raksura, Vol 1: The Falling World & The Story of Indigo and Cloud just came out this week.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?


Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells”

  1. Sadly my one experience with Martha Wells was her Star Wars book, which I enjoyed well enough, but I know I really should check out her other novels. My co-blogger loved these Raksura books, so this one was definitely put on the list!


    1. I saw she’d written a Star Wars book. My husband likes reading them, but I haven’t read any. I did love the first Raksura book!


  2. I completely agree about the cover. Any artwork that’s reminiscent of classic fantasy novels is a win for me. The Raksura seem like a very cool creature type – maybe a little bit similar to gargoyles? Thanks for putting this on my radar, Jan!


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