On one hand, this somewhat typical fare: Moon is the ultimate outsider; his family killed while he was young, and his entire life has been spent bouncing from settlement to settlement trying, and failing to fit in. After having given up, he finally finds other members of his people, where he serves as reader-surrogate for being introduced to the culture and biology of the Raksura, and he struggles with a deep-seated desire to have a place to fit in, and the scars of a lifetime of being unable to.

And there’s a lot that’s unusual too. Moon isn’t human, and neither is anyone else in the novel, and probably in the entire world. Most are fairly humanoid, generally in a Star Trek way, but the world is filled with various odd little species, some of which can interbreed, and others who can’t, and all with their distinctive colors, or build, or scales, or other decorations. I wish Wells had spent more time describing some of this, and repeating some of the descriptions, as its been hard to keep it in my head.

We find out early on that the Three Worlds refers to the kingdoms of the ground, the air, and the sea. We only deal with the ‘groundling’ world here as the sea gets some talk, but doesn’t come in, and the kingdoms of the air all disappeared ages ago. The world is filled with ruins from various past peoples who had their years of glory, and have moved on. It’s the logical conclusion of the fantasy tropes of mysterious lost cities, and a new species in every valley: the world is filled with fragments of the past.

Sadly, neat as that is, you don’t get to see that much of it. It’s color, it’s background, and it hints at a far broader world than can be put into one book. But I like history, even fictional history, so I can’t help but hope some of it will be a little more central in further books.

The plot itself is well-done. Some of the outlines are pretty clear early on, and a big reveal I was expecting for most of the book happened on schedule near the end. Other parts not so much. All the primary characters are well drawn, and other than the viewpoint character, Moon, shifts around a bit during the course of events. I’m really glad I happened across this, and I certainly recommend it.