Two Serpents Rise
March 4, 2020 10:05 AM - by Max Gladstone - Subscribe

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.

The second book in the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone (in both chronological, and I believe publication order) covers the problems of bringing water to 16 million people in Dresediel Lex, made more difficult by its nearness to the desert.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (6 comments total)
 
Previously:
Last First Snow

Nextly, but also previously: (it's complicated)
Three Parts Dead
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:07 AM on March 4


Two Serpents Rise is my least favorite book of the Craft Sequence. A particular pet peeve of mine is characters who behave like idiots at all times, but both the other characters and the book itself nonetheless regard them as Very Smart. Caleb set that off for me big time.

Ah, well. Max Gladstone has also written many books I liked a lot, and two books that I would count among my all-time favorites, so I'm happy to spot him this one.
posted by kyrademon at 3:21 PM on March 4


Yeah, I'm not sure quite why Caleb is so... meh as a protagonist. Is it because his friend is a lot more fun? As is his father? I never really got the feeling there was any chemistry between him and Mal, either. They get together because of Plot Reasons, and that's about it.

The King in Red must have been a joy to write, which I think is one of the reasons why Last First Snow exists.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:32 PM on March 4


I spent more time than I probably should have trying to map out Dresediel Lex in my head. Some of it is pretty obvious but every once in a while there was a location whose cognate I couldn't be sure about. Then I felt bad because it didn't actually matter, but I couldn't stop.

I get why people didn't like this one as much but I still prefer it to The Ruin of Angels for reasons I can't quite pinpoint.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 AM on March 5


Two Serpents Rise is my least favorite book of the Craft Sequence.

I'm glad you said that because I am bogged down like half way through it right now and thought it was a personal failing.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:58 AM on March 6


Caleb was so stupid I genuinely thought there was gonna be a plot reveal that he was being mind controlled or otherwise manipulated to explain his repeated idiotic behavior. The book had a sort of frisson of horror for me, waiting for the mind control reveal.

Buuut nope.

The last bit of the book, where Caleb is finally forced to be less totally stupid, and which also feature way more of his awesome lesbian friend and way, way less of his boring constant internal monologue about his love interest, was the only half-good part, really.

Pity because the premise was so cool!
posted by Cozybee at 8:16 AM on March 9 [1 favorite]


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