Week 4: The Cloud Roads Read-Along

The Cloud Roads Read-Along banner

We’re starting a new Read-Along this week, with The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells! If you’re interested in participating, visit the SF/F Read-Along group for more information and to join the discussion.

With thanks to Anya for the read-along banner!


Moon has spent his life hiding what he is — a shape-shifter able to transform himself into a winged creature of flight. An orphan with only vague memories of his own kind, Moon tries to fit in among the tribes of his river valley, with mixed success. Just as Moon is once again cast out by his adopted tribe, he discovers a shape-shifter like himself… someone who seems to know exactly what he is, who promises that Moon will be welcomed into his community. What this stranger doesn’t tell Moon is that his presence will tip the balance of power… that his extraordinary lineage is crucial to the colony’s survival… and that his people face extinction at the hands of the dreaded Fell! Now Moon must overcome a lifetime of conditioning in order to save and himself… and his newfound kin.

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Week 1 – Wednesday September 7th: Chapters 1-5 – hosted by CoolCurry (Sarah)
Week 2 – Wednesday September 14th: Chapters 6-10 – hosted by Lisa
Week 3 – Wednesday September 21st: Chapters 11-15 – hosted by Anya
Week 4 – Wednesday September 28th: Chapters 16-20 – hosted by Imyril


1. All has been revealed! Any thoughts on the cross breed Fell? What about the Fell in general? What do you think of them as villains?

Mogsy: All has been revealed in indeed! I was actually surprised to find out the Fell had already successfully crossbred, and it just makes their mission all the more insidious. It’s also very troubling to find out that the mere attention of the Fell on Indigo Cloud has caused their colony to fall apart. That’s some strong corruption.

2. Do you think Moon made the right decision staying with Jade? Do you think he’ll grow accustomed to court life?

Mogsy: Moon will probably never feel completely at ease at Indigo Cloud court, but I think he’ll make a home there and be accepted. He’s more than earned his place with his actions in this week’s chapters, and it’s clear he is tired of the nomadic life and being alone. He has also forged a strong bond with Jade, so once they cleared the air it only made sense for them to stay together.

3. Do you have any thoughts on the series’s take on gender roles?

Mogsy: Raksuran culture is largely matriarchal, with certain aspects of their society closely resembling those of hive insects that have a reigning queen. However, the differences in gender roles isn’t portrayed in such a way to make one gender or the other feel more dominant or inferior. I think Raksuran society is more divided in terms of whether one is Aeriat or Arbora, and the types of roles they fill for the colony–Hunter, Warrior, Mentor, etc. Every individual makes an important contribution to the survival of the whole colony, regardless of their sex.

4. What were your favorite/least favorite things about the book?

Mogsy: I love the originality of the world-building. The Raksura are a fascinating fantasy race, and despite their culture and biology being so different, they still come across very human in their emotions and motivations. That said, I wish there had been more description of what everything looked like. I often had a difficult time picturing the environment, or what the Raksura looked like (in all of their various forms), or of what the groundlings and their flying ships looked like, etc.

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

Mogsy: Not much else at this time because I’m out of town right now and can’t go into as much detail as I would like. But I’ll definitely be writing a review soon with all my thoughts!

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