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.
The Three Worlds is one of those fantasy creations you just can't get enough of. Reading The Cloud Roads, I wanted to find out more about the groundlings and their different cultures. I wanted to know more about the floating islands, the seas and underwater realms. I must admit my irrational self was disappointed that the book didn't let us see more of this, but at the same time, I knew that if it had, it would have distracted from the main story Wells was trying to tell.
This book was diverse, but not in any comparable way to our own social structures. The groundlings were perhaps the closest thing to humans, and even then they sported different skintones or other physical traits that you'd not find in the real world. It makes for a very "colourless" journey, and I found myself focusing more on the characters for who and what they were, rather than their physical appearance.
If you're looking for a fast-paced fantasy read from the get-go, then this might be the book for you.