Books of the Raksura - a unique fantasy world.

  • Posted on: 15 January 2016
  • By: Lore

Cloud Roads Book CoverThe Books of the Raksura series tells the story of Moon, who is a Raksura but doesn't know it, that is living amongst groundlings and hiding his secret. Moon is able to change form into a fiercely strong winged creature capable of flight, but one that unfortunately resembles the dreaded Fell. The Fell are an evil race of beings that are hated by all others and are responsible for the destruction of many cities of many races. They are the ultimate predator and consider all other beings in the world to be their prey. This resemblance causes Moon to be generally distrusted and he has been cast out of multiple settlements when they start to suspect that he is different and might have some ties to the Fell. He finds himself leading a somewhat nomadic life as he is tormented by the fact that he doesn't know why he is different, but he is certain that he isn't a Fell. Right?

As a race, the Raksura have a hive style society ruled by a Queen, and the internal interactions of their courts make for some interesting story telling. Martha Wells does an excellent job building the structure of this society and since the main character Moon knows nothing of the Raksura you learn about it as he does. This is the strength of the series and this unique society is built up throughout the three books of the series: Cloud Rouds, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths. I really enjoyed this aspect of the series and that's good because when book one started I did not find the characters themselves overly compelling. That is, with the exception of Stone - the line grandfather of the Indigo Cloud court. Stone is a Raksuran that is old enough to just tell it like it is and far more likeable than the rest, including Moon.

The good news is that the rest of the characters do grow on you over time and by the end of the series they all feel like family, albeit a slightly dysfunctional one. The series really is fundamentally about Moon and his re-integration into Raksuran society. By the end of book 3, all of the various threads of story come together nicely and most of the blanks are filled in, which is how I like my trilogies to end.

Christopher Kipiniak does a good job on the narration throughout the series and he brings the characters to life. My only nit to pick with him is that some of his voices are a bit too similar to others but it really is a minor thing as he is ultimately a good fit for the material.