Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2 by Martha Wells. ★★★1/2
This collection contains two novellas and three short stories set in the world of the Raksura, the shapeshifting species from The Cloud Roads whom I’ve utterly fallen for. At this point I would probably read fluff of the Raksura of Indigo Cloud sitting around and just talking, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed this. If you aren’t familiar with the Raksura, I’d encourage you to try the main book series, which starts with The Cloud Roads.
The first novella, “The Dead City,” follows Moon back before the start of The Cloud Roads, when he was still a lonely outcast wandering the Three Worlds. While I missed the presence of the rest of our usual supporting cast, I think it did expand upon the feelings of loneliness and abandonment that you see in Moon during the full length books. He just so desperately wants someplace to belong.
“The Dark Earth Below,” the other novella of the series, was the content I am here for. It takes place between book three, The Siren Depths, and book four, The Edge of Worlds (so spoiler alert!) when Moon and Jade are about to have their first clutch. Yay for Raksura babies! Moon has all sorts of anxiety and Jade is super grouchy. Plus, there’s something strange going on in the Kek village at the roots of the tree. Three hunters have gone missing, and while looking for them Stone and the others turn up a new species…
“Mimesis” is a short story from Jade’s POV when a young male warrior goes missing on a hunting trip. Everyone was sort of assuming he’d just flown off to sulk somewhere, but has something gone seriously wrong?
In “Trading Lessons” a non-raksuran trader comes to Indigo Cloud and Moon thinks he’s taking advantage of the other raksura, who will happily trade some very valuable gems for a handful of herbs and consider it a good bargain. It’s just one more thing I love about them.
“The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment” takes place in the same world but doesn’t contain any raksura or familiar characters. It’s a completely new cast. The crew of the Escarpment takes a job which involves rescuing a city’s ship from the clutches of some carnivorous pirates. I enjoyed this one more than I was anticipating
If you’re obsessed with the raksura as I am, you should enjoy this collection. Now I just need to track down volume one…