Author: Fran Wilde
Publisher: Tor Books
Don’t tell me you missed the first part of this series last year.
Cloudbound is the sequel to the award-winning Updraft. Ms. Wilde’s ambitious world here is a marvelous city of living bones — towers rising above the clouds, where inhabitants manage to transport themselves using mechanical wings and bridges. Last time we were introduced to the world’s architecture and strange laws, and the heroine — Kirit — was part of a grand revolution against the Singers, the rulers of this world. This time the story picks up from where its predecessor ended, with everything we knew shattered, and the city slowly dying.
We have a new protagonist now — Nat. He is the wing-brother of Kirit and her best friend. The novel takes a bit of a “political” turn, and we get to know more about the factions and the impending civil war.
Like Updraft, the world-building is the strongest feat of this book. Ambitious, audacious and fresh. This is something to be taught, in fact. Ms. Wilde’s writing style is another strong point. Sharp and clear, yet beautiful prose.
My only comment is regarding Nat himself. Somehow — and that, of course, is only my opinion — I liked Kirit a lot better. Nat isn’t the one to blame, to be honest. Kirit was a great companion on the journey, a genuine, breathing person. I guess Nat just had a huge pair of shoes to fill.
Verdict? This book is a lesson in world-building. Period.