The Edge of Worlds (Books of the Raksura Series #4)by Martha Wells
An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. 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
An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. 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.
Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.
The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.
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Praise for The Edge of Worlds
“The venerated pulp spirit in science fiction and fantasy has dwindled since the golden age of the 1920s to '50s. Yet an atavistic craving for adventure remains, and it is this need that Wells's books in general and the Raksura books in particular satisfy. The stories are straightforward adventure, but what makes Wells's ‘new pulp’ feel fresh is its refusal to take the easier storytelling routes of its forebears. Rather than thinly veil an existing human society as alien others, for example, Wellsa master world buildercreates a multicultural world of humanized monsters . . . The result is breathtakingly surprising and fun. So for readers who missed earlier entry points to this delightful series, now is the time to get on board.”
The New York Times
“An imaginative world of engaging characters . . . the dramatic battles, tough decisions, and character dynamics shine through.”
"Far from mindless sock-em action, The Edge of Worlds provide conflicts with stakes, with choices . . . I am going to be impatiently awaiting the resolution of the cliffhanger in the next volume."
The Skiffy and Fanty Show
“This novel is an irresistible tour-de-force of excellent storytelling and fine characterization . . . . I consider The Edge of Worlds to be one of the most addictive and entertaining fantasy novels of the year.”
"That raritya completely unique and stunning fantasy world."
Hugo Award-winning author Elizabeth Bear, author of Karen Memory
“A feast for the imagination . . . As a fan of the series, I really enjoyed The Edge of Worlds. The ending left me pumped for the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. The Three Worlds is one of my favorite places to escape to, and this book delivers.”
Roqoo Depot, 5/5
“With sure-handed prose, Martha Wells provides unforgettable characters, gripping action, and fantastical vision. An addictive mix.”
Carol Berg, author of the Rai-Kirah series
“The Three Worlds is unlike any other fantasy world I’ve ever encountered. It’s wildly imaginative and beautifully depicted.”
The Illustrated Page
Praise for Martha Wells and the Books of the Raksura:
“Using its alien protagonist to explore the politics of gender and belonging, this is a fascinating read for SF readers looking for something out of the ordinary.”
Publisher's Weekly(starred review)
“The Cloud Roads has wildly original world-building, diverse and engaging characters, and a thrilling adventure plot. It’s that rarest of fantasies: fresh and surprising, with a story that doesn’t go where ten thousand others have gone before. I can’t wait for my next chance to visit the Three Worlds!”
N. K. Jemisin, author of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
“The vivid world-building and nonstop action really serve as a backdrop for the heart of the novelthe universal human themes of loneliness, loss, and the powerful drive to find somewhere to belong.”
Sharon Shinn, author of Troubled Waters
“Martha Wells' Raksura books are dense, and complex, with truly amazing world building, and non-human characters who are quite genuinely alien, yet still comprehensible and sympathetic.”
Kelly McCullough, author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade novels
“This is rigorous fantasy without the trappings of European medievalism. And most of all, it's riveting storytelling.”
Steven Gould, author of Jumper and 7th Sigma
“Genre fans looking for something different will find this is just what they needed.”
School Library Journal Blog
“With these books Wells is writing at the top of her game, and given their breadth, originality, complexity, this series is showing indications it could become one of the landmark series of the genre.”
“Martha Wells writes fantasy the way it was meant to bepoignant, evocative, and astonishing. Prepare to be captivated 'til the sun comes up.”
Kameron Hurley, author of The Mirror Empire and God's War
“This is the type of Fantasy series I absolutely loveand highly recommend as a worthwhile series to read and fall in love with.”
The Book Smugglers
“The Cloud Roads is a terrific fantasy novel that stands out due to imaginative worldbuilding, accomplished writing and engaging storytelling. For everyone else, The Cloud Roads is a proud example of what the genre is capable of producing.”
Fantasy Book Critic
Meet the Author
Martha Wells is the author of more than a dozen science fiction and fantasy novels, including the Ile-Rien series (The Death of the Necromancer) and the Books of the Raksura (The Cloud Roads). Her work has been nominated for the Nebula and Compton Crook awards, and published in seven languages. Wells lives in College Station, Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is the latest book in the series The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells. I was looking forward to seeing how life was going for Moon, Jade, and the others. Not surprisingly, events occur that set them off on new travels and adventures. I enjoyed catching up with these interesting and complex characters, and meeting new ones. The world building is as strong as ever. Highly recommended.
For bold readers, The Edge of Worlds would be a fascinating way to dive into Martha Wells’ Raksura series. Like the books that have come before it, it’s a rich world populated by bizarre creatures and strange landscapes. From floating islands to winged, shapeshifting humanoids, it’s a feast for the imagination, especially considering there are no humans whatsoever in the series. With this being the beginning of a new adventure, new readers can dive in here if they don’t mind missing out on the references to previous books. For the longtime readers, however, get ready for another fun journey. In this tale, the Indigo Cloud court shares a shared dream of a Fell attack. Then a strange flying vessel arrives in the Reaches. It leads to an adventure out into the ocean toward an ancient, impenetrable city. The Raksura must brave Fell attacks, strange groundlings, and unlock the mysteries of a forerunner/foundation builder citadel knowing their very doom could lie just around the corner. Cloud lies at the heart of the story, serving as the reader’s touchstone as it unfolds. Jade, Chime, Stone and several other familiar characters join him, including the groundling Delin and the sealing Rorra. They encounter new species, secrets and threats. For those new to the Raksura series, it’s not an action packed story littered with violence. Rather it’s a slow build of colorful characters and imaginative surroundings that engulf and submerge the reader. It’s more of a peaceful escapism than an action packed adventure. But there is action, there is violence, and there is turmoil. What begins as a scientific expedition eventually turns into chaos. It also leaves the book on a cliffhanger making the next book in the series a must read. As a fan of the series, I really enjoyed The Edge of Worlds. Martha Wells laid out another exotic trip into the realm of the Three Worlds and the Raksura. There’s peaceful moments, mystery, exploration, discovery, action, pain, betrayal and adventure. The ending left me pumped for the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. The Three Worlds is one of my favorite places to escape to, and this book delivers. I give it a five out of five.
Terrific story! Fast-paced, and with awesome world-building!