Night Shade Books is thrilled to be able to announce the acquisition of World English rights to two new novels from Nebula Award-nominated author Martha Wells, set in the same Three Worlds universe as her popular Raksura books. The first book, The Edge of Worlds, will publish in April 2016, and is the start of a new standalone duology, making it a great entry point for new readers.
Martha is one of the most talented (and nicest) authors Night Shade has had the pleasure of working with, and over the course of the past few years we’ve published a Raksura trilogy (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths) and a two-volume collection of novellas and short stories set in the same world (Stories of the Raksura Volumes One and Two). We could go on and on about how smart, excited, and emotionally powerful these books are, but don’t take our word for it: Foz Meadows has written an excellent, couldn’t-say-it-better-ourselves review for the recently-released Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two, highlighting so many of the different aspects of what makes these books special.
"Basically, I will die on a f***ng battlefield for these books, and I don’t care how unobjective that makes me sound: they are amazing, and you need to give them a try."
Wells had this to say about the new series: "I’ve enjoyed writing the Raksura books so much, and in a lot of ways they’re books that I’ve always wanted to write—it just took me writing a bunch of other books to figure that out. I hope this new duology can act as a starting point for people who haven’t tried the trilogy yet. Where the trilogy was about survival and rebuilding a home, the two new books take the Raksura’s story out of their colony in the Reaches and out into the wider Three Worlds, and also deal more with some of the mysteries and issues that were just touched on in the trilogy. I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them."
Acquiring editor Jeremy Lassen added: "The depth and brilliance of Martha Wells’ unique world building is amazing. I don’t think the wider fantasy-reading world realizes what a treasure they are missing. It’s like somebody fused the best parts of China Mieville and Robin Hobb, creating a hybrid (Dare I say shape-shifting? No. That is a metaphor too far.) narrative that grabs the readers attention and doesn’t let go. The Edge of Worlds is something special, and I’m looking forward to it cementing her reputation as one of the most exciting fantasists of the day."
Check out a description of the first book below, as well as a round-up of the great reviews Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two has received.
Martha Wells expands her world of the Raksura with the start of a brand new Three Worlds series.
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 of uncanny beings, dead cities and ancient danger.
Praise for Stories of the Raksura: Volume Two:
"Wells fleshes out her Books of the Raksura series in this strong short story collection. . . With a strong sense of adventure, horror, and mystery, this is an enjoyable read for fantasy fans seeking a new series to sample."
"Immensely pleasing. . . the shorter stories still encompass everything that makes the novels so satisfying, from the daily interactions between Raksura to the incredible creatures, mysteries and landscapes of the Three Worlds, and if Martha Wells were to never write anything other than Raksura stories from now on, as much as I love her other work, I can’t say I’d complain."
—Foz Meadows, A Dribble of Ink
"I wonderfully enjoyed these stories. . .I urge readers with any interest in secondary world fantasy who have not done so to pick up The Cloud Roads and begin there and work your way to this volume. And then, like me, you can hope and wait for future volumes set in Wells’ rich and endlessly entertaining world, peoples and characters."
—Paul Weimer, Skiffy and Fanty
"This short story collection deserves all the praise it gets, because there’s no fluff here, only quality fantasy from start to finish … it’s a perfect collection for fans of the Raksura."
"All in all it’s a great collection of stories…all of them colorful, imaginative and fun… Must reads for fans of the series."
—Roqoo Depot, 5/5
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. Check out her website here and follow her on Twitter @marthawells1.