The Dead City and the Dark Earth Below: Stories of the Raksura, Vol. 2

Martha Wells. Skyhorse/Night Shade, $15.99 trade paper (226p) ISBN 978-1-59780-537-7
Wells (The Serpent Sea) fleshes out her Books of the Raksura series in this strong short story collection. As readers follow a shape-shifting Raksura called Moon through a series of encounters, plenty of vivid descriptions help newcomers get up to speed. Moon is always at the center of any conflict, whether it’s learning the secrets of a long-buried city (“The Dead City”) or defending his adoptive Raksura community of Indigo Cloud from a foe that can’t be seen (in the longest and best entry, “The Dark Earth Below”). The Raksura world features innovative and alien creatures; Wells thinks far outside the humanoid fantasy box. The line between animal and person is drawn extremely thin, and the power structure among the races resembles nature more than it resembles any human civilization. With a strong sense of adventure, horror, and mystery, this is an enjoyable read for fantasy fans seeking a new series to sample. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/13/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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