Charles's Reviews > Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud

Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1 by Martha Wells
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, first-reads, stat_2, reviewed

First Reads Review - Stories of the Saksura, Volume 1 by Martha Wells

This was the first Martha Wells that I have read, and while some might say that it's not the place to start at all, I find it a great sign that I can pick this up not having read the other Raksura books and still like it as much as I did. The setting is fresh and interesting, the characters charming, and the stories as a whole weave together to make something that makes sense, that is entertaining and emotional and good. It's a lot of fun, and it has made me want to read the other books, so it has done its job admirably. Really my largest complaint isi that it is rather brief, with only four stories, and one of those taking up a full half of the pages. None of the stories are bad, though, and there is enough to make reading them a treat even for new readers.

The first story is the longest, and honestly I'm not sure how big a fan I am of starting the collection off with a 100-page novella, but it is a compelling read. I imagine for fans of the series it would be a chance to see familiar characters out and getting things done. For me, a newbie, it was still structured so that I learned who everyone was and how they fit into the society. I'm sure that's why this kicks off the collection, because it has the length to stand more on its own while giving a good overview of the setting and the characters. And it's fun. Moon was a great viewpoint character because of his relationship to Jade and Chime and all the others. He has some power but isn't really supposed to use it. The way gender works in the setting is good and makes sense and I like how sexually liberated everyone is. Definitely can have gay and bi relationships and that is always a good thing.

Which is, I suppose, part of why I liked this so much. More bi main characters (I think)! At least, that's how I read Moon with his relationship with both Jade and Chime, though I guess the one with Chime is explicitly sexual. It still seems much more than friends, though, so it still counts! Indeed. But all of the characters were great, and I liked how fun it was, how free and how the setting is very much different, not just Earth dressed up in some scales. Things make sense with the society the way it is. A little less clear to me was how the non-Raksura societies operate, but that's probably more having to do with me being new than anything else. There is a glimpse of things in the prequel story about Moon spending time with surface dwellers, but that didn't give a real good idea of what it's like down there. Much more realized was the Raksura world. Which was great.

The three shorter stories also tie back in together. Mostly with Moon, because he's the one who finds the story that makes up the second story, which gets into some of the history of the clan. The third story is entirely about Moon's past and the last is dealing with Chime's transformation from Mentor to Warrior. So that event, that transformation, is given a lot of weight, because it plays into the first story too. And it all just works, giving a nice taste of how things are like and eluding to the things that must have happened in the novels without feeling too spoilery. It's a good time and I certainly enjoyed myself reading this. I want more, and am going to give this a definite four stars out of five.
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Reading Progress

September 26, 2014 – Shelved
September 26, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 26, 2014 – Shelved as: fantasy
September 26, 2014 – Shelved as: first-reads
January 18, 2015 – Started Reading
January 18, 2015 – Shelved as: stat_2
January 18, 2015 –
page 206
100.0% "Quite good. Has convinced me to give the rest of the series a try!"
January 18, 2015 – Finished Reading
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed

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