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Two Serpents Rise Read-Along! {Week 4}

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone Read-Along

Week 4!

We’re in our final week of the Two Serpents Rise read-along! This has been a really fun ride of South American inspired fantasy and I definitely recommend this trilogy for those who like unique fantasy :D. Thanks to Lynn for hosting this week and there are spoilers below if you haven’t finished Two Serpents Rise!

1. I think we all pegged Mal for involved with whatever is going wrong in Dresediel Lex after the way Book 3 ended last week. How do you feel about discovering how deep that involvement goes?

I knew it! Well, knew is a strong word, but I deeply suspected her the whole time ;-). I really love that Two Serpents Rise didn’t go with the typical “romantic interest happily ever after” storyline and went all in for Mal’s badness. Well, badness is a strong word, since she seemed like she really did think that what she was doing was best for the world, even if she was wrong.

2. Caleb and Temoc have to work together to save Dresediel Lex (and the world) from certain destruction. Do you think they make a good team?

Eh, Temoc is rather an ass and the whole betrayal thing didn’t go well ;-). It was interesting seeing the whole “enemy of my enemy” thing develop without them actually making up and repairing their relationship. I liked that Temoc didn’t suddenly become “good” when it was convenient and stayed true to his character.

3. What do you think of the narrative’s overall treatment of Teo? Especially in light of her role in the finale?

Hmmmm, I like that her and Caleb’s friendship was what saved the day. I don’t love the whole “virgin” sacrifice thing since Teo clearly didn’t consider herself a virgin, but I do understand the logic of it. I love that she was tough and ended up playing a major role in fixing things :D.

4. In the epilogue Caleb seems to have found a way to compromise between the ways of his father and the new world brought about by the God Wars. Do you think he’ll succeed in his goals?

Yey compromise! This was kind of what I had been hoping could happen all along when the question of gods versus Craft was brought up. Isn’t there a way of not torturing the gods but making a deal with them in exchange for their special powers? I once again really wish that the next book further developed what is going to happen next for Caleb since it is so interesting, though it seems like each book is still building towards a major change in the world!

We’re going to wait until June or July it sounds like to read Full Fathom Five, but I’m excited to continue this series! What did you think of the ending to Two Serpents Rise?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I too was glad that there was not happy happy ending here, either for Caleb + Mal and nor for Caleb and his dad.

    I think Teo would snort laugh at anyone who called her a virgin. :)

    I also want to know how Caleb’s plan turns out. Maybe we will get a glimpse of him and Teo or hear how Dresediel Lex has changed, etc. in the next book. Imagine all the culinary changes with making the seas safe to fish again! Fish tacos! Ceviche! Squid tamales!

  2. Isn’t there a way of not torturing the gods but making a deal with them in exchange for their special powers?

    That’s actually a really fascinating question to ask in book 2. They’re readable as standalones, but if you read them in (publication) order, then Three Parts Dead actually already gives us an answer to that question: we know gods can can dealt and bargained with because that was one of the central premises of the first book.

    I didn’t really think about that all that much whilst reading Two Serpents Rise since, presumably, there’s a good chance that these gods are not like those gods (and can’t be reasoned with) because the book makes such a point out of how long the sacrifices have been going on. But if you take the first book into account as well, I think that highlights the convictions of the characters even more strongly because we’ve seen a pretty effective partnership between gods and mortals in Alt Coulumb already. Yet we know Kopil isn’t likely to want to reasoning with the gods because he hates them, Temoc is equally set on restoring the old ways exactly as they were, whereas Mal and Alaxic are set on forging something entirely different.

    It’s just a really interesting comparison to me. ^_^
    Lynn E. O’Connacht recently posted…Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 21My Profile

    • The god in book one is still worshipped though right? I guess we never really got to see how he runs his city when he isn’t dead, haha.

      It’s definitely fun to compare the two books (and the next ones :D) to see the different ways that religion are approached in this world!

  3. Yeah, Temoc was going with a really narrow idea of “pure” here. He did express that Teo hadn’t been touched by a man (though even that’s a big assumption, since all he knew was that Teo had a girlfriend now, but not what any of her history was, and heaven forbid someone might be bisexual!), but yeah, only ever having had sex with another woman makes one not a virgin, and not pure.

    I can sort see how Temoc arrived at that conclusion, but still, it made me raise an eyebrow at the text and go, “Seriously, dude, the hell are you thinking?”

    • Pfft, bisexuality doesn’t exist silly! I’m not proof of it or anything!

      I guess it makes sense with Temoc’s older and conservative views though

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