Waiting on Wednesday: March 29

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 The Harbors of the Sun by Martha WellsThe Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells

Series: The Books of the Raksura #5

Publication Date: July 4

Synopsis (from Goodreads): A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they quickly encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance of their own, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades.

But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. To stop them, the Raksura will have to take the ultimate risk and follow them into forbidden territory.

The Harbors of the Sun, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, is the thrilling follow-up to The Edge of Worlds, and the conclusion of a new Three Worlds duology of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.

………………………………………

Why I want this book

  • One of my favorite series! I’m looking forward to reading about all the characters in this series again–Moon, Stone, Jade and so many others.
  • The Raksura are a shapeshifting species with two separate breeds and such interesting family and social structures.
  • Martha Wells has created a wonderful world with many different and interesting sentient species–and the Raksura are the most interesting of all. It’s all very imaginative and so fun to read about with lots of adventures.
  • A beautiful cover.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Oct 7

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

 

 

The Edge of Worlds by Martha Wells

Series: The Book of the Raksura #4

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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 court’s 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 Raksura’s 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.

……………………………..

Why I want this book

  • I love the Raksura books and the world the Raksura live in.
  • Sounds like a great new adventure.
  • A beautiful cover (art by Yukari Masuike). The cover was revealed yesterday on SF Signal.

What books are you excited about this week?

Stories of the Raksura, Vol 1 by Martha Wells

stories-of-the-raksura-by-martha-wellsStories of the Raksura, Vol 1
by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of the Raksura #1
Genre: Fantasy
Setting: The Three Worlds
Published by Night Shade Books, 2014
E-book, purchased
206 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: In The Falling World, Jade, ruler of the Indigo Cloud Court, has travelled 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 came to Court. 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 ruin everything.

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 Raksura has many more stories to tell…

“The Falling World”

Stone hissed in more than his usual level of annoyance. “You’re good at feeling sorry for yourself, but I don’t want to hear it just now.”

Moon snarled and pushed to his feet. Stone caught his arm and yanked him back.

  • As soon as I opened this book I was happy I was back in the world of the Raksura. It’s so much fun to read about Moon, Jade, Stone and all the others from the three books.
  • In this novella, Jade and Moon are separated for much of the story. The story is told from Moon’s point of view and once the Indigo Cloud Court realizes Jade and her entourage are missing Moon is determined to find them.
  • I like Moon’s determination and interactions with the other Raksura especially Stone. Stone is the line grandfather of the Indigo Cloud Court and the Raksura who found Moon.

“The Tale of Indigo and Cloud”

Raksuran life was all about living without killing each other.

  • So happy to read the story. The three books (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths) all have given hints about Indigo and Cloud (who started a new Court when they led Raksura to a new home).
  • The Raksura have lots of rules for interacting with other Courts, but Indigo turns that on its head when she steals Cloud from another court.
  • However, it’s not as simple as that. Whether or not it’s a simple abduction or not this could mean war between the Courts.
  • Some of this story is about Cerise (Indigo’s birthqueen). She must try to figure a diplomatic way out of the problem Indigo has caused. I like the cunning and intelligence she shows.
  • Indigo is also very strong and intelligent. She realizes what she wants and goes after it.
  • Cloud isn’t the usual shrinking violet that consorts are.
  • My favorite part: Stone is a child during the story!

The book also has a short story, a prequel and appendices:

“The Forest Boy”

  • Moon as a boy wandering the Three Worlds after he is orphaned. Shows that he never was able to fit in anywhere.

A Prequel to The Cloud Roads

  • The story of Chime’s change from mentor to warrior.

Appendices.

  • Appendix I provides names and information about the members of the different Courts.
  • Appendix II tells about the two breeds of Raksura and the castes in each group.
  • Appendix III explains about the Fell (who are mentioned very little in these stories, but are very important in the three novels).

And a few thoughts . . .

  •  I really enjoyed these stories. So much fun to read the two novellas. My favorite is “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud.”

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

Author info

  • Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series, Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as short stories, nonfiction, and YA fantasy. Her books have been published in seven languages.
  • Her first novel, The Element of Fire, was published by Tor in hardcover in July 1993 and was a finalist for the 1993 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award and a runner-up for the 1994 Crawford Award. The French edition, Le feu primordial, was a 2003 Imaginales Award nominee.

Reading Challenges

Review: The Siren Depths by Martha Wells

the-sirens-depthsThe Siren Depths
by Martha Wells
Narrated by Christopher Kipiniak
Series: The Books of the Raksura #3
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Night Shade Books, 2012
Audiobook, purchased
277 pages
15 hours, 47 minutes
Grade: A-
Narrator grade: B+
Synopsis: All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature–until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court.

But now a rival court has laid claim to Moon, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.

The Fell, a vicious race of shapeshifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike. Determined to crossbreed with the Raksura for arcane purposes, they are driven by an ancient voice that cries out from…

“About forty turns ago there was a colony in the east, and a warrior named Swift, who had to change her name to Sorrow….”

Cheers

  • I love this series. The world Ms. Wells has created is so interesting.
  • I like the narrator for this book. It took me a little while to get used to the narration since I had read e-book versions of the first two books.
  • I like that Moon discovers more about his background in this book. Also he finds out more about Sorrow in this book. She was so important in his early life.
  • Moon’s ancestral home is an interesting place still haunted by the past. And Moon’s life there is bittersweet and not exactly how he wants it.
  • I feel so sorry for Shade in this book, but he also finds his strength and his identity.
  • The Raksura are awesome, but they’re not perfect. That makes them more realistic.
  • I really like how different the Raksura are from humans. They aren’t just an alien culture that acts the same as a human culture. For example: gender roles are so different from human roles; males aren’t afraid to show affection for each other; there are different types of Raksura and each have their roles in their society; the Raksura are fierce predators.
  • It’s interesting to see more Raksura Courts and how they’re the same and different from each other.
  • I love seeing Moon’s strengths. He’s not the typical Raksura consort: he isn’t a pampered consort who waits for the females to save him.
  • I really like the relationship Moon and Jade have. They have difficulties in this book, but they work together to overcome them. They use each other’s strengths and trust each other.
  • It’s hard to understand the Fell. They’re intelligent, but seem totally without compassion, morals or empathy. And it’s so awful they look a lot like the Raksura and seem to be related.
  • Totally recommend this series!

Jeers

  • No jeers!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I wasn’t sure there would be more full length books in this series. When I was checking on this book I discovered book 4 in this series–The Edge of Worlds–is due out on Apr 5, 2016. And it’s part of a two book series. Yay!
  • Ms. Wells has written two volumes of stories of the Raksura. I have both those books and can’t wait to read them, too.

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

Author info

  • Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series, Star Wars: Razor’s Edge, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as short stories, nonfiction, and YA fantasy. Her books have been published in seven languages.
  • Her first novel, The Element of Fire, was published by Tor in hardcover in July 1993 and was a finalist for the 1993 Compton Crook/Stephen Tall Award and a runner-up for the 1994 Crawford Award. The French edition, Le feu primordial, was a 2003 Imaginales Award nominee.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge–hosted by Hot Listens and The Book Nympho blogs
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog

Review: The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells

the-serpent-sea

The Serpent Sea
by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of Raksura #2
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Night Shade Books, 2012
Library book
340 pages
Grade: A
Synopsis: Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony. Moon finally feels like he’s found a tribe where he belongs.

But when the travelers reach the ancestral home of Indigo Cloud, shrouded within the trunk of a mountain-sized tree, they discover a blight infecting its core. Nearby they find the remains of the invaders who may be responsible, as well as evidence of a devastating theft. This discovery sends Moon and the hunters of Indigo Cloud on a quest for the heartstone of the tree — a quest that will lead them far away, across the Serpent Sea.

He had a great deal of experience trying to fit into various groundling tribes and settlements, just in search of a place to live. But trying to fit into a group where he actually belonged, and had an important role, was . . . still daunting. He nursed a lingering fear that he was somehow going to wreck it and got thrown out of the court. It wasn’t that odd a notion: he had gotten thrown out of a lot of places for various reasons.

and

On the platform, a golden-skinned groundling woman, dressed only in wispy scarves, moved to the music, though she looked half asleep. Dancing was another groundling thing that left Moon cold. The quick movements were often distracting and made him twitchy with the urge to hunt, and the slow movements were just boring. It was more fun to watch grasseaters graze.

Cheers

  • I love the covers of these books.
  • Such a good book. I love both of the books I’ve read in the series so far. They are entertaining and just fun to read. I love learning more about this world.
  • The characters are vivid and the setting is so interesting…floating cities, mountains-sized trees, so many different creatures in the world.
  • I like Moon so much. I like knowing more about him–the insecurities, the slow gained knowledge, the realization he has experience to give to others.
  • I like Moon and Jade’s relationship.
  • Martha Wells is so good at getting into the heads of the characters she writes about so I understand their motivations.

Jeers

  • None. I love the series and writing.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I own the third book in the series–The Siren Depths–in an Audible edition. I’m hoping to listen to it soon!

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

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge

Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

the-cloud-roads

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.

and

“…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.”

Cheers

  • 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.

Jeers

  • 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?