wells-storiesofraksuravol1Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World and the Tale of Indigo and Cloud by Martha Wells

Two novellas and two short stories expand the setting of Wells’s dreamlike fantasy novels. In “The Falling World,” a vanished envoy triggers a diplomatic crisis between two courts, and investigation reveals a long-forgotten tragedy. “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” sets two queens against each other, with an unhappy consort as the prize. Familiar characters appear in “The Forest Boy,” a prequel to The Cloud Roads that examines a brief encounter between Moon and forest dwellers, and “Adaptation,” in which Chime deals with an unwanted transformation and its disquieting implications. Wells is adept at suggesting a long, complex history for her world with economy, and, while her protagonists may not be human as we understand it, they are definitely people, sympathetic figures constrained but not defeated by their environments. Longtime fans and new readers alike will enjoy Wells’s deft touch with characterization and the fantastic. — Publishers Weekly