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Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone Read-Along! {Week 3}

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone Read-Along

Week Three!

Hello everyone and welcome to week three of our read-along of Two Serpents Rise! The wonderful Lauren has written up our questions for the week and this week we read book three of Two Serpents Rise, so there are spoilers below if you haven’t read that far!

1. After the fight at Seven Leaf, Caleb apologizes to Mal and they finally start dating. What do you think of the way their relationship has developed? Do you agree with Mal that Caleb chased her because he needs gods in his life?

Their relationship doesn’t seem to be founded on all that solid of a foundation I worry. They didn’t handle the whole blood sacrifice thing all that well, though I do like the discussion Caleb had with Teo about it. I don’t really think that Mal’s analysis is correct about Caleb, I think he likes solving puzzles, but that doesn’t really mean he needs gods in his life….

2. This section has been quite philosophical. Where do you stand on the debate – gods, no gods, or some kind of compromise? Do you agree with Caleb’s idea of sacrificing your morality because the religious alternative is even worse?

I love it when my fantasy becomes philosophical! It seems pretty clear that there is no easy solution to the need for power to keep people alive. I guess there isn’t an option for gods to willingly donate their power without ruling over the city and demanding blood sacrifices? Gah, I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable sacrificing morality, I don’t know!

3. Gladstone is still unveiling amazing things in his world, like a sport based on myth, the eclipse festival, walking on water, and a half-dead sea god whose heart is being used for desalination. What interested you the most?

I think the walking on water fascinated me the most to be honest because I’m TERRIFIED of deep water so it was like a roller coaster for me with the shark and everything! I would love to be able to walk out across the ocean like that but would also be freaking out the whole time, haha.

4. Mal has noted twice that they don’t have much time, and she apologises to Caleb while he sleeps on the ocean. Then Alaxic kills himself and tries to kill Temoc – the last two priests of the old Quechal. What do you think is going on here? Any speculation about how it might turn out?

I suspect there might be some serpents rising in the end ;-). It definitely sounds like the two serpents are waking up and there is some huge plot to bring down the Red King and bring back the serpent gods. Alaxic is a long game double agent right? And Mal is working for him and tricking Caleb I think? I really hope there is a nice explanatory sequence to make everything clear in the end!

And now it’s time for the epic conclusion :D!!!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I don’t think I will ever be comfortable sacrificing morality either…. and yet I can totally see how that is applicable in my life. Argh!

    Alaxic does seem to have played a long game. However, Temoc got away and that means whatever Alaxic (and I think Mal too) were trying to achieve is now in peril. Should make for a pretty epic conclusion!

  2. 1. I don’t quite agree with Mal’s assessment either. She’s being a bit like a religious person who can’t understand how someone could live without religion – she assumes that because he needs some sense of purpose that he wants gods in his life. I agree that he needs purpose, but that doesn’t automatically mean he wants religion.

    3. I can’t even swim so walking on the ocean would be quite a thrill for me too! But I’d still love to do it :)

    4. So looking forward to that explanation…

    • 1. Exactly! I guess I’m glad that that conversation happened though since it gave Caleb a chance to think about it, haha

  3. 1. Yeah, I actually think Mal just wants to believe that Caleb wants Gods in his life because it’s clearly what she wants. Not sure that at the moment their relationship is strong at all. It all depends on the compromise that Mal and Alaxic are working towards – although I don’t know whether Caleb will be able to forgive the way Mal has gone about things.
    3. Totally agreed, I had to reread that bit – I wouldn’t like it at all. I’d just be suspicious the whole time that that things were going to give way! I stayed in a hotel once that had a restaurant with a glass floor – the idea being to see the wine cellar below – I hated walking on that floor – it just doesn’t feel right walking on glass!
    4. I’m also hoping for some good old explanation at the end!
    Lynn :D

    • 1. Yeah, there are a lot of lies below the surface for them!

      3. I absolutely can’t stand glass floors, so scared of heights!


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