Two Serpents Rising by Max Gladstone readalong week 2

Today is the second instalment of our Two Serpents Rising readalong.  The full details can be found here.  If you want to take part then there’s still time.  Just leave a comment.

This week is being hosted by the lovely Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.

The Q&A are below and please beware of spoilers.

1)  So we’re halfway in, and we seem to have uncovered the culprit already… What did you make of the confrontation at Seven Leaf?

I sort of have mixed feelings here and I’m not sure why but I’ve left it for a while in order to reflect and all I can come up with is that I was a bit underwhelmed with the confrontation.  I don’t really know why.  It wasn’t the writing but I felt like it was a very quick confrontation and for some reason it didn’t create any tension for me personally and it didn’t feel like there was ever a real threat involved.  The only thing I can come up with is that the whole thing was a set up for something else which maybe hasn’t occurred yet or maybe it was a way of raising a number of different issues about Mal and Caleb – such as the fact that Caleb isn’t totally defenceless or the whole issue with Mal and her ideas around atonement.  I certainly didn’t see that coming.  It was good that they both worked together though and let’s face it Mal couldn’t have succeeded without Caleb’s help.

2)  Temoc is still turning up at random, and still protesting his innocence. Doth he protest too much…?

I think you could be forgiven for thinking he protests too much but somehow I believe him.  And now I’ve said that I’ve no doubt I’ll be immediately proven wrong but I don’t dislike him somehow.  He’s clearly not perfect but he doesn’t give me the creeps.

3)  The Red King. Discuss.

This guy could easily give you the creeps but again, at the moment, I’m a little on the fence with him.  There’s something about him that I can’t quite put my finger on yet.  I’m puzzled about him sending Caleb on the mission to Seven Leaf with Mal.  Does he mistrust both of them?  I wonder if he knows more about Caleb’s original withholding of information about Mal or maybe he just suspects something because they’ve come out about being in a relationship.  It does feel like he’s testing Caleb.

4)  And let’s not forget Mal! I confess, I did not see any of those surprises coming. What do you think of Caleb’s ‘sweetheart’ now?

She certainly has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.  I’m really enjoying the way theyre both ‘pinging’ off each other and even though this ‘romantic’ element isn’t the main focus for the story I’m really enjoying the way it’s being included.  There is definitely a lot of electricity between the two – and a lot of secrets.  Mal’s part in brokering the deal and testing out the security at the water plant – not sure what to make of that yet.  Can we trust her?  I think that’s the main question really.  She originally made out that she was simply out to get a bit of a rush with her extreme sporting – but that wasn’t really true.  Then again, she wasn’t involved with Caleb at the time – I wonder whether her feelings for him are going to interfere with things for her one way or another.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.  Part of me really wants everything to go okay and part of me wonders whether Mal has a different agenda of her own.

You have to love the creativity of Max Gladstone.  He comes up with such a lot of unusual concepts.  I love the ways of getting about in this one – particularly the flying.  And, more particularly, the huge dragonfly like creatures that clasp onto your back and carry you – whilst sucking out a little of your soul.  Yeah, you’d want to be careful about just how long your journey was!

That’s it for me.

This is the schedule if you’re interested in jumping on board:

1st Post Date: April 13th Book 1: chapter 1-Interlude: Fire, hosted by Dab of Darkness

2nd Post Date: April 20th Book 2: chapter 16-Interlude: Dreams, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow

3rd Post Date: April 27th Book 3: chapter 29-Interlude: Tea, Hosted by Violin in a Void

4th Post Date: May 4th Book 4: chapter 36-Epilogue, hosted by Little Lion Lynnet’s 

8 Responses to “Two Serpents Rising by Max Gladstone readalong week 2”

  1. nrlymrtl

    I hadn’t really thought about how quick the Seven Leaf fight was. It was intense, and we had some suspense building up to it with Caleb’s reveal about his scars, and Mal painting extra glyphs on him. But you’re right, it did end swiftly and it wasn’t the big showdown I thought it could be. I think Alesandra was someone’s pawn.

    Yep – both Temoc and the Red King seem to have had decent motivations at one point, and perhaps still do. But their lengthy pursuit of power, and what it has cost them, has left them with many enemies and several readers questioning their good intentions.

    I think I would give up a bit of my puny soul for a dragonfly ride! πŸ™‚

    • lynnsbooks

      Haha – yet a ride with a dragonfly – because we’re worth it!!!!
      Yeah, the thing with the Seven Leaf fight – I wasn’t expecting it to be really epic but it just seemed to start and finish very quickly. I never picked up on the point you made about Mal making that comment when she thought Caleb had been hurt – very interesting! I agree that Alesandra was a pawn and I think there’s maybe a bit of that going on here.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  2. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    Yes the soul sucking transportation was crazy wasn’t it!!?

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – you’d want to travel like that though – a huge dragonfly wrapping it’s legs around you and off you go woo hoo.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  3. Lynn E. O'Connacht

    Yay! I’m not the only one who doesn’t think entirely badly of Temoc! I very much feared I might be somehow.

    And maybe one of the things about the fight at Seven Leaf is also that it’s more in line with the Craft we saw in the first book? So that it’s not as action-based as we’d expect it to be from the rest of our reading? I think a lot, if not most, magic systems would’ve made this into a physically flashy thing with Allie hard-to-get-to regardless of whether she’s a pawn or the main bad and… that’s not really what we get here. It’s actually relatively quiet and as much fought with words than actions. Or seemed to be to me, anyway. ^_^

    • lynnsbooks

      You’re right about the fighting with Craft – it’s definitely a different way of dealing with things and I think I should have been a little more prepared for that – I think the fact they they were taking the guards with them distracted me though.
      I really don’t think badly of Temoc – at this stage I find Mal less trustworthy which is a bit of a strange feeling really.
      Lynn πŸ˜€

  4. Ria

    I’m amused that your answers matched almost perfectly with mine. And I’m glad I’m not the only person who felt underwhelmed by that mid-book confrontation.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I wonder if that confrontation was just a con – to suck us in!! I think there was something dodgy going on and I wonder if it was simply to show us that Mal was implicated???? *wiggles eyebrows*
      Lynn πŸ˜€

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