Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below by Martha WellsStories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below by Martha Wells

Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below by Martha WellsNote: This review will contain mild spoilers for the RAKSURA novels.

Here is the second volume containing the novellas and short stories written by Martha Wells to accompany her BOOKS OF THE RAKSURA. I really enjoyed the first volume, Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1. I liked the tight and focused nature of the novellas and short stories and thought they were actually, for that reason, better than the novels.

Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2 (2015) contains:

The Dead City — (RAKSURA story #0.3, published in 2017, takes place before The Cloud Roads.) Before Moon was found by Stone and taken to Indigo Court, he wandered the world on his own. This story takes place soon after he made an enemy of the Fell by defeating one of their rulers. He enters a groundling city and gets involved with a mystery going on there. This is another imaginative story full of weird species and strange magic. It also highlights, again, Moon’s plight before he found the Raksura.

“Mimesis” — (RAKSURA story #3.4, published in 2017, takes place three months after The Siren Depths.) Jade is on a mission when she realizes that one of her companions is missing. When she goes back to find him, he’s been caught by another one of Martha Wells’ exotic and gruesome creations and she must figure out how to save him. This story reminded me of something I’ve read by Robert Silverberg (always a good thing).

The Books Of The Raksura (5 Book Series) by Martha Wells“Trading Lesson” — (RAKSURA story #3.5, published in 2017, takes place one month after “Mimesis.”) I loved this amusing little story about a group of traders who comes to Indigo Court. Knowing a lot more about the outside world than anyone else in the clan, Moon can’t help but try to advise his friends about their purchases. As a mother and teacher (married to an economist) who considers herself frugal, I sympathized with Moon’s struggle to impart some “trading lessons” to his friends.

“The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment” — (RAKSURA story #3.8, published in 2011.) This story is the only one that features unfamiliar characters in a different part of the Three Realms. A groundling captain named Jai and her crew have been hired to take a ransom payment to the pirates who kidnapped a ship. When they arrive at the rendezvous location, weird things begin to happen. Due to the relationship of one of the main characters to the man who hired them, this story tugs at the heartstrings, but you won’t be missing anything important for the RAKSURA series if you skip it.

The Dark Earth Below — (RAKSURA story #3.7, published in 2017, takes place a turn and a half after The Siren Depths.) It’s only a few days before Jade should be delivering her first clutch. Moon is an emotional mess and he’s trying to stay near home so he’ll be available when the babies arrive. But then the Kek (those herbivores who live under Indigo Cloud’s tree) get into some trouble and they need Raksuran help. I didn’t think the Kek part of this story was that great, but RAKSURA fans will not want to miss this one because the birth is such an important and emotional event.

I liked Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2 a little less than I liked Volume 1, but I’d still recommend this for fans who want to fill in some of the gaps in the RAKSURA books. You can skip “The Almost Last Voyage,” or not. Each of these stories gives depth and richness to Wells’ world.

I have been listening to the audiobook versions of the RAKSURA novels and story collections. They are produced by Audible Studios and narrated by Christopher Kipiniak. Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2 is 9.5 hours long.

Published in 2015. Moon, Jade, and other favorites from the Indigo Cloud Court return with two new novellas from Martha Wells. Martha Wells continues to enthusiastically ignore genre conventions in her exploration of the fascinating world of the Raksura. Her novellas and short stories contain all the elements fans have come to love from the Raksura books: courtly intrigue and politics, unfolding mysteries that reveal an increasingly strange wider world, and threats both mundane and magical. “The Dead City” 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. In “The Dark Earth Below,” Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet: their first clutch. But even 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. Stories of Moon and the shape changers of Raksura have delighted readers and listeners for years. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw. With these two new novellas, Martha Wells shows that the world of the Raksura has many more stories to tell.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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