Thursday, November 17, 2016

5 Reasons to Read: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
Series: The Books of the Raksura #1
Genre: Fantasy
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Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself... someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn't tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power... that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony's survival... and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself... and his newfound kin.

When I write reviews, I try to be fair and balanced and critical. Occasionally though. I find myself coming across books that I love too much to have a well thought out review for. This is one such book. So I decided to take a page out of various bloggers books and do a 'reasons to read' post when I don't have to be balanced and, instead, can just talk about why I love the book so much.

And he needed to get it straight in his head whether he wanted to leave the Indigo Cloud Court because he thought it was too late for him to belong here, or because he just bitterly resented the fact that nobody had found him before.

#1 The World-Building Is Spectacular
I love the world this author created. This story is mostly about a culture where some people have wings and others do not. And they're all shifters. The amount of thought that went into how this society would work is obvious and it's absolutely wonderful. Besides that, though, you have a couple other groups that are vastly different from each other.

#2 Diversity/Gender Equality
Besides the differences in skin tone - on a more Earth-style palette - there are also cultures that have blue skin, some that have green skin, and one race that sound a bit like giant flying lizards. The Raksura themselves are of all different skin/scale colors. And, even better, they are ruled by a queen. There is in story reasons for this, but besides the few moments procreation is mentioned, gender seems to matter little to the Raksura.

#3 It's Very Character Driven
There is a plot. But the plot isn't what moves this book forward. It's the characters that drive things and these characters are great.

#4 Moon
This is my second series from Ms. Wells and I've started to notice a pattern. So far, her characters have been very rational. Moon isn't emotional, but he's very practical. He's also somewhat damaged. He's been alone almost his whole life, never knowing where he belonged and now that he's found people he's like, he has to push past the part of him that doesn't think he fits in as well as the part that doesn't think he deserves it. And, while I could have hated this character, I totally adored him.

#5 It's Actually All About Friendship and Finding A Place Where You Belong
Which, if you didn't know, is my favorite theme in stories. So, nuff said.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes unique fantasy worlds with compelling characters and heartwarming stories.