Two Serpents Rise

Two Serpents Rise

Book - 2013
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765333124
0765333120
Characteristics: 347 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: 2 serpents rise

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daeb
Jan 03, 2016

The Craft Sequence once again addresses the nature and effects of sacrifice upon gods, holy men, and the people who are affected in ways they do not understand by the hidden workings of religions nobody fully understands. Gladstone skillfully uses the nature of the Craft itself, mysterious and poorly understood, even by its practitioners, to make some very interesting points regarding the relationship of people to the gods. At this point in the Craft Sequence, gods are more bound by than themselves binding. This, one of Gladstone's major themes, the slow realization by men that they control their own destiny does not make for typical urban fantasy reading. There are none of the typical action-packed shoot 'em ups and few banter-laden smart ass protagonists to be found here, thank God. Gladstone is no light-weight, and you have to actually pay attention to what he writes to understand what's going on. For instance, all technology is Craft-based, throughout the series. Craft itself does not make or produce anything. Rather, it binds the souls of gods and idols, and once bound, it is these souls that create such things as clean water. There is no technology, then, nothing as tangible as a "plant" of some kind, that creates anything. This is not a very subtle distinction, but apparently, has been lost on some, and it is very important to understanding the nature of Gladstone's dystopia. The Craft Sequence is not light reading, and the fanboys will absolutely not understand or appreciate what Gladstone has done here. If you are looking for an easy read, these books are not for you. Beautifully written, peopled with fascinating characters and startlingly original, Two Serpents Rise is my favorite book in this series. It poses more questions than it answers.

g
Gentowl
Sep 15, 2015

This is the second book to be published in Gladstone's Crafts Series. It starts promisingly enough with some razor sharp demons rising from a reservoir that is an important source of clean water for a desert city.

Two Serpents is an important book in Gladstone's mythology because it tells about when man started working with gods to rebuild a world devastated by their former conflict.

But this point is only apparent in the last 15 pages of the book. There were narrative weaknesses in Gladstone's first published book and they widen in this one.

Most of the story is wasted on a highly unbelievable, and boring, infatuation by our hero with a woman who is very good at, of all things, parkour. There are descriptions of dead things of vast size but the narrative never gets the scale quite right so you wonder how the characters standing close to the dead thing can see all of it when it's supposed to be as big as a city.

BTW, that desert city that is the central location of this book? It's located right next to an ocean of water. All kinds of "craft" is used to create clean water inland but apparently no one thought of a desalination plant.

JCLJoshN Jan 08, 2015

I enjoyed the first book in the Craft Sequence a lot, but I liked this one even more. (The books can be read independently of each other, as they share a setting but otherwise have nothing to do with each other.) I love/am jealous of the way Max Gladstone melds Hardboiled Detective with Baroque Aztec-ish Fantasy, making a delicious mix of razor-sharp banter, knight-in-tarnished-armor thriller, poetic description, and weird magic. Two Serpents Rise is just a really terrific novel in all kinds of ways.

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