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[BOOK SERIES PROFILE] RAKSURA by Martha Wells: Art, Music, Tea (Yes, Tea), Characters, Chronology, Excerpts & Personalized Flash Pieces

Quick, name an epic fantasy novel with cover art. Oh, that’s right, all of them.

OK, now name one with accompanying music. No, not a playlist, but fan- and professionally-produced dramatic and haunting instrumental songs. Much smaller list, right? How about an alien fantasy series with tea recipes by the author. (Teas, plural, actually.) By now, we can probably count them on one finger.

But just to be sure we eliminate any possible competition, how often does the author of one of your favorite fantasy series write flash fiction pieces in the same universe on request?

Fans of Martha Wells know I’m talking about her latest project, Raksura.

Wells’ first published novel, The Element of Fire, was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award, and a runner-up for the William Crawford Award. Her second novel, City of Bones, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and a black diamond review from Kirkus Reviews, and was on the Locus Recommended Reading List for fantasy. Her third novel, The Death of the Necromancer, was nominated for a Nebula Award. Her fantasy short stories include “The Potter’s Daughter” from the anthology Elemental, which was selected for Year’s Best Fantasy #7.

She has published 2 Stargate Atlantis novels: Reliquary and Entanglement. Her Stargate SG-1 short story, “Archaelogy 101” was published in Stargate Magazine #8. In 2013, Lucas Books published Wells’ Star Wars novel Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge.

She has also published 2 YA fantasy novels, Emilie and the Hollow World in 2013 and Emilie and the Sky World in 2014.

Wells is known for the complex, realistically detailed societies she creates. This is often credited to her academic background in anthropology.

“I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from readers on the structure of the Raksuran culture,” Wells said. The fact that the relationships are polyamorous and non-traditional, that the non-human characters act and feel non-human, that the setting is not European pseudo medieval. Readers have said they really like the fact that so many things are unexpected and they don’t know what the characters are going to encounter next.”

The first Raksura novel, The Cloud Roads, was published in 2011. The first and second sequels, The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths, came out in 2012. The first volume of her Raksura novellas, Stories of the Raksura: Volume One: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud, was published in October 2014. The second, Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below, was published in 2015. The latest novel, The Edge of Worlds, is out this month. The next sequel, The Harbors of the Sun, is set for 2017.



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 discovered and cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself…

Read an excerpt from The Cloud Roads


Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony.

Read an excerpt from The Serpent Sea


Now a rival court has laid claim to Moon, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.

Read an excerpt from The Siren Depths


An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.

Read an excerpt

“The Falling World”

Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

“The Tale of Indigo and Cloud”

This novella explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches.

“The Dead City”

This is a tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force.

“The Dark Earth Below”

As Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree’s roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy.

Read an excerpt from “The Dark Below”

  • “The Forest Boy” – Moon almost finds a home. Set before The Cloud Roads
  • “Adaptation” – How Chime became a warrior. Set before to The Cloud Roads
  • “Mimesis” – Jade has an adventure.
  • “Trading Lesson” – Sunset Water comes to Indigo Cloud to trade.

  • “The Tale of Indigo and Cloud” – in the Reaches, before the Time of the Great Leaving
  • “The Forest Boy” – Moon as a young boy
  • “The Dead City” – Moon as a young man, after Saraseil
  • “Adaptation” – sometime later, at the old Indigo Cloud colony in the east
  • The Cloud Roads – two turns later
  • The Serpent Sea – eleven days later after the end of The Cloud Roads
  • The Siren Depths – two months after the end of The Serpent Sea
  • “Mimesis” – three months after the end of The Siren Depths
  • “Trading Lesson” – a month later
  • “The Falling World” – one turn since arriving at the Reaches colony
  • “The Dark Earth Below” – half a turn after the end of “The Falling World”
  • The Edge of Worlds – one turn after “The Dark Earth Below”
  • The Harbors of the Sun – immediately after The Edge of Worlds




  • Moon – First consort to Jade.
  • Jade – Sister Queen of the Court of Indigo Cloud.
  • Chime – Former Arbora mentor, now a warrior; a member of Jade’s faction.
  • Balm – Female warrior, and Jade’s clutchmate. Jade’s strongest supporter and leader of her faction.
  • Pearl – Reigning queen of the Court of Indigo Cloud.
  • Malachite – Reigning Queen of the Court of Opal Night. Led the eastern court’s survivors back to The Reaches and to the original colony.
  • Heart – Young female mentor, one of the Arbora rescued from the Dwei Hive by Moon.
  • River – Male warrior, once leader of Pearl’s faction. A product of one of Amber’s clutches.
  • Stone – Line-grandfather of the Court of Indigo Cloud. He was consort to Azure.
  • Flower – A very old mentor, was the leader of the Mentors’ Caste in the old eastern colony.
  • Bramble – A female hunter.
  • Delin-Evran-lindel – a scholar-preeminent of the Golden Isles, and member of an well-known family of traders and explorers. An expert on the Raksura.



1 Comment on [BOOK SERIES PROFILE] RAKSURA by Martha Wells: Art, Music, Tea (Yes, Tea), Characters, Chronology, Excerpts & Personalized Flash Pieces

  1. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) // April 12, 2016 at 4:28 pm //

    Well, I know who gets John’s review copies of Martha Wells’ books now!

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