Stories of the Raksura

Stories of the Raksura 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 Brandnew Novellas, Martha Wells Shows That The World Of Raksura Has Many More Stories To Tell


The Falling World
The Tale Of Indigo And Cloud
The Forest Boy

Martha Wells has written many fantasy novels, including The Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads), the Ile-Rien series (including The Death of the Necromancer) as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins (for Star Wars and Stargate: Atlantis), and non-fiction. Her most recent fantasy novel is The Harbors of the Sun in 2017, the final novel in The Books of the

10 thoughts on “Stories of the Raksura

  1. says:

    Really liked this one. The stories are painfully brief but chock full of awesome Raksuran goodness: new chances for Moon and Jade to be awesome, new characters, a few surprise shots of old beloved characters, new revelations about the Three Worlds and the Raksura. I want another full-length novel, but until/unless we get that these snack-size versions will do nicely. My favorite part of this is "The Tale of Indigo and Cloud", because it gives us a chance to see the ancestors of the court we know and love in happier, easier times. It's almost shocking to see the comfortable, affectionate relationship between Cerise and Indigo, when we're so used to the bare tolerance that exists between Pearl and Jade. And we get to see how relationships between queens and consorts can go wrong -- and right. There's just so much awesome, here. Check it out.

  2. says:

    Did a quick reread because I couldn't help it. It's been THREE years since--can't believe that either. Still as amazing as the first time I read it. These stories will never age. (June 2018)

    * * * * *

    The cover artwork for this series is just stunning. I love them all.

    We return to the Three Worlds with this volume of four adventure-filled short stories (actually two novellas and two short stories) featuring characters from all three previous books and with special guest appearances by Indigo and Cloud.

    "The Falling World" (view spoiler)

  3. says:

    Final rating: 5/5 stars

    It is very rare for me to give 5 stars to the collection of short stories set in the same world. Or short stories in general. The usual highest I give is 3 stars. But I want to say these are fantastic additions and give more insight into the world and have other POVs. Since this one is the first volume, I will write generally about the both of them.

    I highly recommend you to read all of the stories in both volumes - a lot happens in them and there are more things that were revealed. There are two volumes of short stories: Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud and Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below. Best way to read them is to read them AFTER third book if you want to prevent spoiling yourself for the first three books, and if you don't mind spoilers, then you can read them all in chronological order.

    But if you are thinking of starting this series chronologically - with the prequels first - the only safe and spoilerless story is The Forest Boy. I personally read it first before The Cloud Roads because I wanted to see how Moon was like as a child and what he had to face. It's generally short story and not spoilerish, so there is no reason not to read it first.

    But the other prequel short stories have spoilers for specific books: The Tale of Indigo and Cloud has a spoiler alert for book 2 and 3, and is best to be read after third book. The Dead City has a spoiler alert for book 1. Best to be read after first book. Adaptation does not contain severe spoilers, but I recommend reading Adaptation after first book. Just in case, cause it could be confusing for those who didn't read first book, when it comes to Raksura's POV.

    So, in short, about the prequels: they showed insight into the story of Indigo and Cloud (two Raksura after whom the court Indigo Cloud is named); Moon's life as a very young fledgling trying to find a place to live, who just recently lost his family; once again a story of Moon after he escaped from Saraseil; and lastly, Chime's transformation from mentor to warrior class.

    Then the sequels: Jade's adventure, which turns out more dangerous; what happens when raksura want to trade goods between courts (in which Raksura try to trade by giving more wealth for less); Jade and the rest of the group trying to make a trade arrangement with another court and then fail to return; Indigo Cloud's neighbors Kek are in trouble - some of their members are missing and Raksura agree to find them, and Jade and Moon expect the new members of the court (view spoiler)

  4. says:

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    Stories of the Raksura is a delightful romp into Martha Wells’ world of the Raksura – even if you have not read the main series. I have been meaning to get to her Books of the Raksura for a long time now but still haven’t found the opportunity yet, so I was very happy to get my hands on this collection.

    Of course, I had the usual concerns: How much do I need to know before jumping in? Am I going to be able to follow along with the short stories in here without getting lost? I shouldn’t have worried. As it turns out, this collection actually serves pretty well as an introduction to Wells’ wildly imaginative universe and the fantastical beings that live in it.

    The Falling World

    “The Falling World” is the first novella found in this anthology. For those like me who were unfamiliar with the race of fantasy creatures called the Raksura, you get a quick and intense crash course in this tale. Raksura are shapeshifters that look a bit to me like a form of bird-people, though their societies more closely resemble those of hive insects. A ruling queen is at the top, followed by lesser queens. Queens mate with fertile males called Consorts to produce royal clutches composed of Queens, Consorts and Warriors (infertile males and females that defend the colony). Together, these three types make up the Aeriat. They are winged and capable of flight.

    Then there are the Arbora, who have no wings but are capable climbers. They are made up of Teachers that oversee the nurseries and train the young, Hunters who provide food for the colony, Soldiers who guard the colony, and Mentors who are seers with magical abilities enabling them to perform tasks such as foreseeing the future or healing the sick and wounded.

    It can be a bit daunting at first, but all this information is adequately provided and easy to pick up as the story progresses. In “The Falling World”, a sister Queen called Jade travels with her entourage to another colony to negotiate trade, leaving her consort Moon behind at court. But then the diplomatic convoy fails to reach their destination, and an expedition is launched by Moon along with a party of warriors and hunters to try to discover what happened to them. However, what the rescuers find in the end might prove too dangerous and difficult for them to handle.

    The story is simple and straightforward: one group sets out to find another. What amazed me though, was the amount of lore and world building Wells managed to inject into this novella. I was blown away by the information here about Raksuran culture, physiology, and social hierarchy. And the great thing is, none of it was really forced. I never once felt like I was taken aside and given and info dump; instead, all the information flowed naturally just from the normal course of storytelling. I’m sure as a new reader there’s lots I’m missing still, but the amount of knowledge I gleaned here of the Raksura and their world was just superb.

    Perhaps it is also a good thing that the story itself is not overly complicated. On top of the information about Raksuran culture, there are a lot of characters to meet, many names to learn. The naming convention might take some getting used to, and you probably won’t remember who’s who all the time, but this particular story for me was mostly about getting to know this fantasy world and the Raksura, and I had a good time with it.

    The Tale of Indigo and Cloud

    “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” is the second novella found in this collection. It is more of a historical narrative, exploring the legend behind the origins of Indigo Cloud court. A long time ago, a sister Queen called Indigo stole a consort named Cloud away from another Raksuran court, angering the hot-tempered queen who was Cloud’s mate, leading to a conflict that could mean all-out war between the two colonies.

    This was an interesting story, which read a bit like a mythological scenario. That’s not too surprising, given its unique nature. It is a tale about the Indigo Cloud court’s queens of old, long before the key character Moon joined the colony’s ranks. It reveals more information about the way Raksuran society works, or rather how easily it could also fall apart. There’s a bit of politics and a bit of romance, the kind of perfect mix you’d want to find in an ancient legend.

    There’s not much else I can think to say about this novella, but it’s probably my favorite of the two in this book. I really enjoyed the story and the lesson it imparted, as well as the overall vibe.

    The Forest Boy

    Next comes this short story, which tells of Moon as an injured fledgling taken in by a kind-hearted family in a nearby village, who are all unaware of his Raksuran background and shapeshifting abilities.

    “The Forest Boy” is a nice bonus, giving the reader more insight into this central character.


    The final short story tells of Chime, one of the warriors who accompanied Jade on her diplomatic mission back in the first novella in this collection, “The Falling World”. Chime’s situation is interesting in that he didn’t actually start off as a warrior. He was born a mentor, who then changed forms. That’s huge.

    A switch from mentor to warrior, as you recall, also means a switch from Arbora to Aeriat. Wingless to winged. Fertile to infertile. Quite the life-changing event. “Adaptation” is exactly what it sounds like: Chime’s struggle to come to terms with this drastic transformation.

    Despite being so short, this is probably my second favorite piece in this collection. It’s a powerful tale in its own right, not only because of the emotional and physical obstacles that Chime has to overcome, but also because of what his transformation might ultimately mean for the colony. It’s a great read, and in the end I am left to wonder what fate might hold in store for the entire Indigo Cloud court. It’s a bit ominous and unsettling.

    Concluding thoughts:

    The Raksura are one of the most original fantasy races I’ve ever encountered in fantasy fiction. I was genuinely compelled by everything about them. Despite them being so different biologically and culturally, the depth of their personalities and motivations make them feel very human. The novellas and short stories in this collection show that they have to deal with the same complex emotions we do, such as love, hate, guilt, etc. Their issues and conflicts like politics, gender and societal roles are also realistic and relatable.

    All told, this is a great collection filled with all kinds of goodness like magic, rich worlds, and fascinating characters. I can’t believe how invested I am, as someone who hasn’t even read the Books of the Raksura main series. After reading this, I’m going to have to try hitting them sooner rather than later. Hopefully there will also be more of these short tales collected in future anthologies, because I would definitely be interested in reading them.

  5. says:

    The Tale of Indigo and Cloud
    A very beautiful tale in the world of Raksura, exploring a piece of history of the Indigo Cloud colony, with characters we only knew from other characters' stories. The idea and writing are very good, and I especially loved the strong female protagonists, much more so than the queens from the main novels (except Malachite, of course 😜)

  6. says:

    First of all, for those of you who already know these gems that are the Raksura and love them, I found both novellas to be complex and surprisingly satisfying for their shorter length. They sucked me right back into the world, and I really loved them. There are also two short stories included, which were a fun bonus when I wasn't ready to let go yet, but they were too short for me. I just can’t be satisfied with such tiny snippets, but the novellas did feel complete enough to be filling little bites.

    Now, if you are a Fantasy fan at all and you haven’t read the original trilogy yet, go do that right away! It starts with The Cloud Roads:

    The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1) by Martha Wells

    I highly recommend the whole series. It is unlike anything else I've read, one of the most imaginative worlds I've experienced, and deserves so much more attention. If there’s one series that I believe more people need at least to try, it’s this one. It’s so different from any typical Fantasy that I have a hard time describing it. It's truly a breath of fresh air.

    I really love the world of the Raksura - the individuals, their culture and even their mannerisms. When the trilogy ended, I was so sad to leave them all behind. But Wells apparently agrees with me that there is plenty of room for more, and delivered these new novellas to read. I'm desperately hoping there will be many more, including - dare I? - more full length novels. But for now, I am happy.

    The first novella, The Falling World, takes place about six months after the end of the trilogy, so we get to see all of our old friends again. The scrape they get into has plenty of danger and suspense packed into it, as well as details of a more settled court life and politics between courts.

    The second novella, The Tale of Indigo and Cloud, is a prequel that takes us back to the story of what happened when Indigo stole Cloud. This one focuses more on tense court politics, and we get to see the Reaches back when they were more populated and the courts were stronger. I was afraid I wouldn’t be as interested because it was all new characters (except for one surprise cameo appearance), but I loved it just as much.

    So, if you haven’t read the original trilogy yet, start there, and then be thankful that you have some more crumbs to eat when you’re finished because these novellas are fantastic as well. I wanted to read slower so I could stay in the world for a while, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next lot.


    Sept 8, 2014:

    I really loved these novellas and I'm sad to be finished with Raksura stories again. Review to come.


    September 2, 2014:

    I might have to bump all my other currently-reading books for this tonight. So excited!


    March 7, 2014:

    Wait - a new Raksura book??? This could save 2014.

  7. says:

    This is a superb collection of short stories set in the world of the Raksura. This is not the place to start if you haven't read any of the books, but extremely satisfying if you have.

    The Falling World
    A short adventure that takes place not long after the events of book 3 of the main series, The Siren Depths. The Reaches continue to contain mystery and danger previously unseen by the Raksura. This was like a short form of the novels, with rich descriptions of both the world and the intensely emotional interactions between the characters. Of particular interest is the signal change in the way River and Moon seem to deal with each other, plus some illumination of Ember, whose character was left largely unexplored in The Siren Depths. I loved it.

    The Tale of Indigo and Cloud
    Finally! The story we hear referenced throughout the novels about how the sister queen Indigo steals the consort Cloud from the court of Emerald Twilight. Stone makes a brief appearance as a giggling fledgling, if you can believe it. Learning more about Indigo and Cloud I can see now a basis for Stone's special affection for Moon and Jade and their unconventional ways. My favourite story of the collection.

    The Forest Boy
    A snapshot of one of the events of Moon's life as a boy after his mother and siblings were killed. Told from the perspective of the groundlings who take him in, it's just as sad as expected given what we know of Moon's history.

    Another snapshot detailing Chime's change from Arbora mentor to Aeriat warrior. Again, no surprises, but a nice complementary piece which fills in the details of an important event often referred to in the novels.

  8. says:

    Nice little story with a fledgling Moon who almost finds a home with a family of varied groundlings.

    Merged review:

    The story of Chime's transformation from Arbora to Aeriat.

  9. says:

    Poor Moon.

    Two kids found another wounded boy while searching among debris. The boy is accepted, but Tren start to feel...

    Setting in a world with people using cargo animals, hunting and fishing, and people of different colors: green, gray, etc. Discrimation and prejudice still run though. And predator danger.

    Descubri esta serie por una reseña en GR. Se ve interesante.

    Merged review:

    Not all the changes are good. Specially when the subject is not happy about it.

    A glimpse in the everyday life of arborean people, their division of class, and great changes to come.

    Too short.

    Merged review:

    Two novellas about the Raksura verse, and 2 short stories.

    -The Falling World
    Jade and co, after the book 3 and (after Opal Night stuff)

    Stone snorted at this example of naiveté. “Warriors obey queens. Us they obey as long as we’re standing there staring at them.”
    “I noticed.” Moon pushed to his feet.

    -The Tale of Indigo and Cloud. {i love this stoy :D}
    what happen with the famous couple that name the current court?
    very informative about queens, relashionship, and more.
    love Cerise ironic humor:
    Cerise had been worried that she might not have any queens at all. Then Indigo and her warrior sisters had come, and they were strong and intelligent and sensible, when they weren’t being rash, silly, and brave to the point of blind idiocy.
    Raksuran life was all about living without killing each other.

    -The 2 short stories I already know.: The Forest Boy (Moon) and Adaptation (Chime)


  10. says:

    As much as I enjoyed Stories of the Raksura and will definitely be going back to read the original stories (beginning with The Cloud Roads), this is a difficult read for a newcomer to the worlds of Martha Wells. I don't regret giving it a read for a moment, but I do regret not having read the previous novels first.

    There are a lot of nuances to the stories that I just didn't get, particularly in regards to the relationships, but I'm sure fans will pick up on them right away. Having said that, the world building here is really quite astounding, right from the concept for the Raksura themselves, to the construction of their world, to the social hierarchies, to the gender politics.

    Amongst the Raksura there are two distinct forms, which each have their own unique manifestations. The Arbora, who are kind of a worker/artist class, are scaled humanoids with retractable claws, spines, and frills. The Aeriat, by contrast, are more of a noble class, marked as much by their wings as their roles. The Queens are powerfully aggressive, and very protective of their Courts, while their male consorts are largely shy and submissive. Otherwise, there don't seem to be any sort of rigid gender roles here, and sexuality seems to be very open and flexible. While the races appear reptilian, they behave very insect-like, at least from a societal point of view.

    Anyway, onto the stories. The Falling World is a classic adventure-quest type story, with a party from the Indigo Court setting out to discover why their diplomatic party never reached their destination. There's some nice jostling for position in the search party, a good bit of mystery regarding who can and cannot be trusted, and some breathtaking action scenes. The imagination at work here is top-notch, and my own sense of wonder easily carried me past the confusion as to who the characters were and why their relationships mattered.

    The Tale of Indigo and Cloud is an historical background tale, exploring events that I presume happened long before the original trilogy. This, for me, was a much more accessible story as I didn't feel like I was missing out on nearly so much. It was more of a political tale, exploring the origins and animosities between the Courts, but I found it fascinating. The world here seems a bit more primitive than in the other story, which just makes me that much more curious about how the Courts developed and what's really out there in the wider world.

    The other two short stories - The Forest Boy and Adaptation - were interesting but, once again, suffer from those missed nuances. They were too short to really engage a new reader, but readers who already know the characters will likely appreciate them.

    Overall, Stories of the Raksura is a rough introduction to the world of Martha Wells, but extraordinary effective in making me want to read more. I did have her Ile-Rien series high in my TBR pile, but it looks like Raksura may just leap ahead in the queue.

    Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

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