Stories of the Raksura: Volume One by Martha Wells. ★★★★
I love the Raksura. I will happily read everything Martha Wells writes about them, and I’ve even considered donating to her patron to get story snippets about them every month. For those who are unaware, the Raksura are a species of shapeshifters created by Martha Wells. The world they inhabit is beautifully strange and doesn’t contain a human in sight. There’s an entire series of books following a young consort named Moon who was unaware he was a Raksura for most of his life until he found the Raksuran court of Indigo Cloud. The series starts with The Cloud Roads, and I highly recommend it.
Stories of the Raksura contains a couple of novellas and short stories all set in the world of the Raksura. I’m so glad I finally got a chance to read it!
The Falling World is a short novella where Jade, Chime and some other members of the court travel on a trading mission to another Raksuran Court… and don’t come back. Obviously, Moon convinces Pearl that he should be going on a rescue mission. This story shows off Martha Well’s uncanny affinity for world building, plus I get Stone snarking at people. I love that.
The other novella, Tale of Indigo and Cloud, tells the story of the court’s namesakes. Cerise is reigning queen and she has one heck of a problem on her hands. Her daughter Indigo has come back from a trading mission with a consort. A consort that she stole. Cloud says that he wanted to come with Indigo, but his queen is determined to get him back and threatening war to make it happen. Can Cerise salvage the catastrophe this young queen and consort have made?
In “The Forest Boy” a pair of orphans find a strange child injured in the town dump. They take him back home with them, but the child seems to be hiding a secret. I don’t think it’s giving too much away to say that this short story is about Moon in his childhood.
“Adaption” tells of the first time Chime shifts and suddenly finds himself a warrior. Poor Chime! But at least now he gets to fly.
My favorite of the collection was Tale of Indigo and Cloud. I loved Cerise’s frantic efforts at diplomacy, and it was wonderful to get a slice of the world’s past and a time when the Reaches was filled with Raksura. I think it expanded the world more than any collection in the story. Plus, it was a lot of fun!
If you’re a fan of Martha Wells Raksura stories, you won’t find this collection a disappointment.