Book Review: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

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I just finished this one today. For some reason, I never got around to reading anything by Wells, but I recently made it a quest of mine to seek out female fantasy authors I haven’t read (in addition to those authors, both female and male, that I already read). I didn’t know what to expect coming into this one, but I’m glad I did decide to read it.

Wells goes against quite a few trends in fantasy. In an era when so many authors write antiheroes, she wrote a book with a heroic (but troubled at times) main character. In an era of fantasy doorstops, she wrote a book that came in at less than three hundred pages. That’s a true rarity. Not only is the book short. It still feels like a completely satisfying and complex story.

What really sets this story apart is the setting. Wells brought the fantasy back into fantasy. This is a world where our main character is a shapeshifter, where there are multiple intelligent species with animal-like qualities. It was a world I haven’t seen before, and that was refreshing.

The plot and characterization are also strong. Not as strong as the worldbuilding, but still strong enough to carry you through a very good story. I’m excited to read more by Wells.

Rating: 8.5/10

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