Friday, July 7, 2017

"The Harbors of the Sun"

Martha Wells has written many fantasy novels, including The Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads), the Ile-Rien series (including the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer) as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins, and non-fiction. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Edge of Worlds (2016) and the newly released The Harbors of the Sun, the last book in The Books of the Raksura series.

Wells applied the Page 69 Test to The Harbors of the Sun and reported the following:
From page 69:
They were flying far too close together. Jade bared her teeth. "They don't think much of the half-Fell." Bunching like that might be a good tactic for approaching groundlings, but not for fighting in the air. Perhaps they were relying on surprise; Fell weren't good scent hunters, and if Malachite and Jade hadn't been here, the half-Fell flight might have been taken unawares.

Malachite moved one spine. "They wouldn't. The progenitors and the rulers think of these half-Fell as something to be used against us. It's a mistake." She spared Jade a glance. "Perhaps their penultimate mistake."

This time when Malachite crouched to leap, Jade matched her and they burst into the air together.
I think this page does capture one of the main themes of the books. These two characters are queens of the Raksura, a culture where queen is the most physically and politically powerful position. Jade is younger, the sister queen to reigning queen Pearl of the Indigo Cloud court, and Malachite is older, reigning queen of Opal Night and the most feared and respected queen of the western Reaches. When the two characters first met in an earlier novel in the series, they were in conflict. Jade had taken Moon, Malachite's long-lost son, as her consort, without Malachite's permission. But they've slowly started to overcome their differences as they work together to protect their people from attack.

While Moon is the main character of the series, the female characters and the relationships between them are vitally important throughout. It's the queens who lead the Raksuran courts, and Moon, who was born a Raksuran consort, has to learn to work with them and navigate their sometimes dangerous politics to be able to help protect his new family.
Visit Martha Wells's website.

--Marshal Zeringue