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Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below

(The Books of the Raksura #0.3; 3.4; 3.5; 3.7; 3.8)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,186 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Moon, Jade, and other favorites from the Indigo Cloud Court return with two new novellas from Martha Wells.

Martha Wells continues to enthusiastically ignore genre conventions in her exploration of the fascinating world of the Raksura. Her novellas and short stories contain all the elements fans have come to love from the Raksura books: courtly intrigue and politics, unfold
Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Night Shade (first published September 20th 2011)
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For those of you who haven't discovered the world of the Raksura:

Seriously, if you have more than a passing interest in fantasy and enjoy being immersed in a lush world with interesting cultures and a huge variety of sentient species - not to mention a full cast of endearing characters - you need to read the Books of the Raksura. Start with The Cloud Roads. You will appreciate the novellas much more if you're already invested in the world.

It's not your typical western-medieval-style epic fantas
N.K. Jemisin
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OK, I am a giant fan of the Raksura books, but I think this volume may contain the best of Wells' novellas. "The Dead City" is an in media res flashback, starting as a much younger Moon flees the doomed city of Saraseil in the wake of his fateful encounter with the Fell. This is not quite the hardened, angry Moon of the later stories, note, although this is the beginning of his hardening. Here one can still catch glimpses of the inquisitive, hopeful boy he used to be... and here we realize this ...more
Final rating: 5/5 stars

The second volume of the short stories was amazing as well. I will keep this one review a bit shorter than the first, but if you want the general opinion, just read my review for Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud.

This one though, is more focused on the sequels, as it consists of only 1 prequel out of 5 stories. All of them were worth it, but especially the last one, The Dark Earth Bellow, which was the most important.

Rereading on audio with the Flight of Fantasy group

Chris Kipiniak is very talented narrator; he captures the beauty of this world and these characters just right.

* * * * *

What else is there left to say about this series that I haven’t said in my last two posts? When an author hits her stride, it shows in the strength of the narrative and the writing is simply wonderful. Wells just gets better and better with every new Raksura installment.

I’d prefer a full-length novel because I love the Three
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book by Martha Wells due to the fact I recently had read and quite enjoyed her book “All Systems Red” which is volume one of the beginning of a Science Fiction series. Unlike that book “Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below” is Fantasy.

Although it states this is Volume 2, the book is preceded by three novels and a further collection, the Volume 1, which refers to collections of stories in the Raksura sequence. The sequence of the books is as foll
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
HELL YEAH! Pure perfection! And once again, I am speechless (almost) when it comes to my favorite books! I highly recommend checking out the three original books before moving on to the collections of short stories.

This is a general review for all of the Raksura books.

The Raksura chronicles are set in a magnificent, colorful, yet dangerous world - trees as tall as mountains, floating islands in the sky, underwater cities, metropolises built on the backs of giant whale-like creatures, etc.

Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dead City
A tale of solitary Moon, fleeing the ruins of Saraseil and arriving in a fishers' settlement, where he tries to help some groundlings fight strange new creatures.
Impressive how Martha Wells manages to add even more new and innovative types of creatures in the wonderful, uncommon Three Worlds.

The Dark Earth Below
Again Martha Wells introduces new and interesting species and adventures. As Jade and Moon are waiting for their first fledglings to make their entrance in the Three Worlds,
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very short story about Moon's negotiating skills.

Merged review:

Interesting little story, with new species and adventures, the sole connection to the series being the Golden Island wind-ship Escarpment.
3/19 sale $1.99
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
It took me a long time to finally read the last novella in this bind up, but it was really good and makes me super excited to read the book that just recently came out. There were some short stories that I didn't love so much and some that I really liked, so they averaged out to be 4 stars. I love the Raksura and love learning everything I can about their culture! I definitely recommend the original trilogy! ...more
Seregil of Rhiminee
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below is the second volume of stories about the Raksura. It's just as good and interesting as its predecessor (Stories of the Raksura: Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud) and will appeal to readers who enjoy reading about the Raksura and the Three Worlds.

I was impressed by this collection and its contents. I honestly think that this short story collection deserves all
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, character-driven storyline lovers
Fair warning: I love the Raksura series & am incapable of reviewing any part of it dispassionately - I'm a beekeeper, I'm into Queens & 'Courts.' And lately, when peeved, as often happens during election season, I've started saying things like "My disemboweling claws are itching," which is a great way to tell if someone is listening in on your conversation, I've found. :)
- - - - - - - - - -
I've read some reviews of this and the first volume of novellas and short stories by folks who haven't read
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
Yea, we have babies! What else is there to say? O, I know, that skin creature was just creepy!

The greatest news, there is a title for the next book already! Hurray!!! Can not wait!
MrsJoseph *grouchy*
I think this has been my favorite so far. I skipped the Dead City because it's Moon pre-Indigo Cloud but I plan to go back. I loved all the stories but really, really loved the ending of The Dark Earth Below.


Squeee! ;-)
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Eeeee Moon's hatchlings!

Getting this book was an immensely cheering event; I initially set it aside as a reward for getting stuff done, then ended up tearing into it anyway.

There are five pieces of fiction here, in chronological order:

The Dead City: Moon shortly after Saraseil and his disastrous first encounter with the Fell, when he's feeling lost more than ever -- his closest chance at belonging has just been shredded to pieces, and he can't bring himself to care anymore. Seeing Moon like this
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ebook, anthology
“Now would be a good time to go, to fly west into the sun with no one to see. Except he didn’t appear to be doing that.”

Anthologies set in the world or featuring the cast of an author’s invented universe allow her to explore side issues, deepen characters and promote the greater series--especially when said short stories are offered free or included in other anthologies. Fans get a fix of a favored setting; new readers can sample without committing to a full novel. So it is here. Not great liter
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just love this series and would like an entire nother series that is just stories of Stone adventures, and fledgling adventures please.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another solid installment, I did skim through one story, but was otherwise enthralled.
Amy Aelleah
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Dead City follows Moon before he meets up with Indigo Cloud. He's recently seen his first Fell and is going through a bit of an identity crises. The world building was interesting enough, as it offers several races we've never seen before and one very interesting culture, but… That's really the only thing I liked about this story because I've never really been a fan of Moon and in this book he was even more…droopy than usual.


In Mimesis, we follow Jade on trip when one of the warriors unde
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

"Mimesis": This was horrifying. But it starred Jade! Everything is fine. Everything is fine. Everything is f -

"Trading Lesson": I have been waiting for this exact situation since I read The Cloud Roads, so, um. Yeah. 5/5

"The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment": I thought I wouldn't care about this because it was completely different characters but it was really fun! I would enj
Nicole Luiken
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two novellas and some short stories set in the fascinating world of the Raksura. I liked how the adventures were set at times when Moon was going through something character-wise.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sff
I think I enjoyed these novellas and short stories even more than I enjoyed the full length novels.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Wells's writing is very good, as always. But there are a couple things that make this particular story collection excellent. First, there is a subtle thematic connection between the two novellas (and not-so-subtle plot similarities), which makes the whole book feel almost like a novel with two parts, and not just a collection of stuff. The short stories also work in the larger context, even though they are all completely different, and one is not even about the Raksura. I can't really get into w ...more
Maja Ingrid
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, the-faves
The Dead city 4 stars
The Dark Earth Below 4,5 stars

First thing before I forget, this cover is probably my favourite for all the books, only The Serpent Sea might be more favourite. All of these cover for the books is so pretty I have actually cried.

I might have mentioned either on my review for Stories of the Raksura Vol. I here or in my rantings at tumblr about this volume how it got everything I ever needed. I still stand by that statement. THIS IS EVERYTHING I NEED.

The Dead City is about Mo
Suzy Kennedy
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love the series and these are some great novellas that really add to the depth of the world.

The Dead City- I enjoy the looks back at moons time before he was found. Its interesting to see him trying to help but being feared because he looks like a fell ruler. Despite being feared and ostracized all his life moon still tries to help.

Mimesis- A young queen from another court falls in love- with another queens consort.... He is abused and wants to escape the court, but they need help to stay toge
Courtney Schafer
I've loved all of Wells's Raksura books so far, and this latest entry was no exception. Likable characters having adventures in a fascinatingly diverse world full of nonhuman races and magic...what's not to love? In this collection, the first story The Dead City was a particular favorite of mine. Wells does such a great job portraying protagonist Moon's emotional devastation over the events immediately preceding the tale, without ever slipping into melodrama. Plus, there's a cool mystery and som ...more
Renee Babcock
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two novellas and three short stories in the same world as Wells' Raksura novels. I love these books. The world building is well thought out, the characters interesting. The Dead City introduces us to a young Moon, before he's found by Stone and brought to Cloud Indigo. He hasn't yet been hurt by the world but we can already see he does not have an easy time among the groundlings, not knowing what he really is, and being mistaken for the hated Fell.

The Dark Earth Below takes most of this book, an
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I honestly didn't like this volume of short stories as much as Volume I. The first short story was set just after Moon fled Saraseil, so it does give some character background to the reasons why he was so angry and closed off by the beginning of The Cloud Roads. It was also slightly more depressing, which made it difficult to enjoy. The other spattering of short stories were also less interesting to me, especially the non-Raksura story. The last story was almost worth the price of the entire vol ...more
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Martha Wells has been an SF/F writer since her first fantasy novel was published in 1993, and her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering, as well as short fiction, YA novels, and non-fiction. She has won a Nebula Award, two Hug ...more

Other books in the series

The Books of the Raksura (5 books)
  • The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)
  • The Serpent Sea (Books of the Raksura #2)
  • The Siren Depths (Books of the Raksura, #3)
  • The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura, #4)
  • The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura, #5)

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