Cloudbound is the second book in Fran Wilde’s Bone Universe trilogy. This review will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for Updraft, the first book in the series.
For real. Big spoilers. Turn back now if you don’t want to read them.
LAST CHANCE to avoid spoilers!!
The Spire has fallen. The Singers, except for Kirit, have had their wings stripped and are being treated as criminals. The City is trying to govern itself. Kirit’s wing-brother Naton has chosen to take a seat on this new Council to try and help make decisions that help the City. But despite Nat and the Council’s best efforts, the City is dying. Many of the Council members want to hold a Conclave – throwing the former Singers down into the clouds in hopes it will appease the City. Hoping to find an alternative, Nat begins searching lower tiers to see if the City’s history can provide an answer. What he finds instead could change everything.
Yes, that was a very dramatic ending to my summary. But it’s sorta true, and its the best I can do without giving away the ending. This book was quite a bit different than the first, mainly because it was told from Nat’s point-of-view instead of Kirit’s. When I saw Fran Wilde speak down in Philly a few months ago, she indicated that several of her fans were very angry with her for changing the narrator. Not me though! By the end of Updraft, I had enough of Kirit. She was indecisive and whiny, and only more so in this book. For me, Nat was a more relate-able character. He had a rough life, made some tough decisions, and wasn’t afraid to admit when he made a mistake, which for me was very impressive.
We also got to know some characters better in this book that we barely met in Updraft. This added diversity and interest to the story. We learned more about the world, too. The technology in this world is rather incredible. Everyone flies everywhere – like, not in a plane, with wings. The live in living, growing bone towers that reach above the clouds. There are terrifying creatures that live in the sky, though the worst live below the clouds. And no one seems to know all that much about the towers, or where they came from. But not knowing isn’t good enough for most of the citizens anymore, especially not Nat, Kirit and their friends. We learn about the City’s history along with them. We watch them uncover conspiracy and still keep the best interests of the citizens in mind, even when the citizens turn on them. There’s so much betrayal in this novel! And unexpected twists!
The third novel in the series, Horizon, releases in two or three weeks. I’m very excited to see what happens next for Kirit, Nat, and the rest of the City. Will their home continue to die? Will Kirit and Nat find out what happened to the City in the past? Will it matter? Will everyone survive? Plus, I’m willing to bet both Kirit and Nat will be narrating, which will be awesome. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book!
Cloudbound receives 4 out of 5 stars from me. An excellent fantasy and adventure novel, with a beautifully built world that gets completely turned on its side. And still no distracting love story. Hooray!