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Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone Read-Along {Week 1}

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone  Read-Along

Week 1!

Yey, time for another epic read-along! Since it’s the first week of the Two Serpents Rise read-along, I’ll try to persuade you to join us before jumping into the discussion questions (which will have spoilers after the fold!)

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone

The new novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc — casual gambler and professional risk manager — to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire… and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

Join us at the Two Serpents Rise thread in the SF/F Read-along group :D.

And now, our first discussion! Spoilers below for the first book of Two Serpents Rise! Thanks to Dab of Darkness for hosting this week :D

1) Poison in the Bright Mirror reservoir! What are your thoughts on the infestation? Then an explosion later on! Any ideas of who is the culprit yet? Are the two events related?

I suspect the two events are definitely related! I think it’s so cool that a poisoned reservoir in this world equals a demon infestation from the buggers sneaking through tiny holes in the fabric of the world, haha. I was honestly rather confused about the whole explosion until it was discussed since Caleb didn’t get a very cohesive view of things, but poor dead goddess. Hmmmm, I suspect there is an inside job going on with Craftspeople who are supposed to be helping having other motives.

2) Let’s talk about Mal and the sport of cliff running. Care to compare this sport to one here in our real world? What do you think Mal gets out of the sport?

Parkour? I think Caleb has it pretty spot on that Mal needs the adrenaline rush and stress relief, though maybe with her clearly rich background, she is also rebelling against being proper? It seems like there are always people jumping across roofs in fantasy novels ;-).

3) Are you enjoying the deities and culture this book is infused with? Has any of the architecture wowed or frightened you?

Yes! I love the clearly South American influences and dragony mounts :D. It’s a culture that isn’t pulled into fantasy worlds that often so it’s really cool to see. Now if I could figure out how it fits together with book one, I would be happy >.>. Architecture doesn’t much influence me, though I love the description of the dead land where a god died and sucked all the life out of it!

4) The Red King is a pretty serious guy. Will he make the deal with Alaxic concerning the powerhouses known as Achel & Aquel?

I keep trying to imagine him as a skeleton and have such a hard time actually holding the imagery in my mind for some reason, ha. I blame Halloween making skeletons seem silly ;-). I think the Red King will definitely make the deal if he can get Alaxic to agree, and I think he will in the end, though it will probably end really badly for all involved.

5) Finally, Caleb has a wealth of scars, linguistic skills, and a complex relationship with his father. Discuss!

Not a question!! ;-) It sounds like Caleb’s scars give him access to Craft magic somehow differently than Tara had. I really wonder how much time he spent with his father growing up since it sounds like he had a lot of influence, but also that he left to lead his rebels at some point? Also where is Caleb’s mother in all this??

Also I already adore Caleb’s friend Teo, she seems like my kind of crazy gal but also a friend that Caleb is definitely going to need.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Yeah, I thought Mal was from a certain background and that she was maybe having a bit of a rebellion thing – I suppose it could be more but for me I think she likes having an adrenalin rush a bit of danger and not feeling wrapped up in cotton wool.
    I hadn’t put the scars together with the craft marks – but it totally makes sense!
    Lynn :D

    • I still honestly don’t quite understand the craft marks even though from this week’s reading I feel like I understand Caleb’s scars more, ha!

  2. Yep. I think Mal is also from a wealthy background and I think her choice in sports is, at least in part, a rebellion towards that neat and tidy society.

    I had forgotten about the dead land! Yeah, that is harsh for the citizens and if they need/want to expand.

    I’ve been thinking about Caleb’s mom too. I really hope she died from some disease or accident, and not on a sacrificial slab!

    • Agreed about Caleb’s mom, and I feel like that was revealed this week, but now I can’t remember, darn it!

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