Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha Wells. Four short stories, set in the world of the Raksura series.
The Falling World. Set between The Siren Depths and The Edge of Worlds, this was by far the longest of the stories, really more of a novella than a short story at around 90 pages. Jade, Chime, and a handful of others go on a short visit to a neighboring colony and never arrive. There's no hint of what might have happened to them, so Moon is forced to lead a search team to look for clues. This was a really fantastic story with a lot of Moon/Chime development in particular. Chime is another of my favorite characters – a bookish guy forced by circumstances to take on a more physically aggressive role – and I loved it.
The Tale of Indigo and Cloud. Another long story, this one set several generations before the rest of the series, dropping back in time to flesh out a briefly-mentioned historical detail. Indigo is a young queen, brave but a bit headstrong; Cloud is a consort who belongs to a queen he doesn't want. Indigo steals Cloud from his unfortunate circumstances, and then everything gets more complicated. I especially loved that the story was told from the POV of Cerise, Indigo's mother, a pragmatic ruler who's mostly concerned with avoiding war with Cloud's previous queen. This story was absolutely great, and I always adore it when we get more world-building and cultural background on the Raksura. Plus, bonus cameo by baby Stone! :D
The Forest Boy. A shorter story set before The Cloud Roads, when Moon was a child still trying to find a place where he could fit in. Another really well-done story, but inherently depressing, given the topic. Lonely children are the saddest thing.
Adaptation. A very very short story (only about 15 pages), another Cloud Roads prequel. This was told from Chime's POV, and is about the day when he changed from a mentor to a warrior. I would have loved for this to be much longer, but even at this length it's a very nice slice of life, with an uplifting ending.
Overall a fun, engaging book, and I can't believe I only have one left to read! D:
What are you currently reading?
Listening to a Continent Sing: Birdsong by Bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific by Donald E. Kroodsma. A nonfiction book off NetGalley about a professor specializing in birdsongs, who decides to bike across all of the United States with his son in tow. It's a pleasant enough read so far, but very slow going because each page of text has two or three audio excerpts of several minutes of birdsong. Since my Nook doesn't have speakers, I am limited to reading this one only when I have my laptop with me (the audio files are reproduced on the author's website) which means no reading on the subway or in bed or while eating lunch. So it may be a while before I finish this.
Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett. An absolutely fantastic satire about a Nigerian man who wakes up one morning to discover he's turned white. (Yes, the Kafka reference is deliberate.)
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