The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells (2011)

March 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm (fantasy, Reviews, science fiction)

Wells has invented a fascinating fantasy world with an abundance of very different species and glimpses of complex economies and political structures, scattered across a vast world. It has magic, at any rate, so it must be fantasy, but the factors I just mentioned actually make it feel a bit more like science fiction. To me, this is a bonus! But your mileage may vary, as they say.

It’s also a very personal story, in which protagonist Moon finally meets up with the first member of his own species he’s seen since his mother and siblings were killed. That’s partly because of how big this world is, and partly because the Raksura live in small, rather tribal communities, and partly because large swaths of the world (especially where Moon has been) are inhabited by people who still live in remote and poorly-connected villages.

Part of his problem has been that in his winged form (he has two), he resembles another species called the Fell, which is vicious and predatory. He knows he’s not one of them, but other people are generally inclined to shoot first and ask questions later. Anyway, Stone, the Raksura who finds him, brings him back home. There Moon struggles to adjust to a foreign culture where he doesn’t have to be afraid of discovery … and then the Fell appear not just on the horizon, but up close and dangerous.

So, remember the “sense of wonder” that science fiction is supposed to have? This has got that. Plus a sympathetic protagonist, various interesting other characters, some hard-won battles, creepy evil folks, and lots of neat stuff to explore. I hope to actually buy my own copy at some point.


1 Comment

  1. Paul (@princejvstin) said,

    Great stuff, indeed.

    The Serpent Sea has a little more of a fantasy feel. When you read that, you will see why.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: