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The Serpent Sea (The Books of the Raksura) Paperback – January 25, 2012


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The Serpent Sea (The Books of the Raksura) + The Siren Depths: The Third Book of the Raksura (The Books of the Raksura) + The Cloud Roads (The Books of the Raksura)
Price for all three: $39.00

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Product Details

  • Series: The Books of the Raksura (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books; 1 edition (January 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597803324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597803328
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wells makes it work, powering through on sheer creativity and characterization. Using its alien protagonist to explore the politics of gender and belonging, this is a fascinating read for SF readers looking for something out of the ordinary."
-Publishers Weekly

The Serpent Sea is a worthy sequel to The Cloud Roads and it features all of the strengths (fantastic world-building, great story, awesome characters) of that first novel. It is so easy to fall in love with this series and the reasons are manifold. - The Book Smugglers

About the Author

Martha Wells is the author of fourteen fantasy novels, including The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, The Gate of Gods, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her newest novel, The Cloud Roads, was published in March 2011 by Night Shade Books, and the sequel, The Serpent Sea, in January 2012. Her next fantasy novels will be The Siren Depths, to be published by Night Shade in December 2013, and Emilie and the Hollow World, to be published by Strange Chemistry Books in April 2013. She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, and Stargate Magazine, and in the Tsunami Relief anthology Elemental. She has also written two media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement.

More About the Author

Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen fantasy novels, including Wheel of the Infinite, City of Bones, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Cloud Roads (Night Shade Books, March 2011), The Serpent Sea (Night Shade Books, January 2012), and The Siren Depths, (Night Shade Books, December 2012). Her YA fantasies, Emilie and the Hollow World and Emilie and the Sky World, were published by Strange Chemistry Books in April 2013 and April 2014, and her Star Wars novel, Razor's Edge, was published in October 2013.

She has also written a fantasy trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, all currently out in paperback from HarperCollins Eos. She has had short stories in the magazines Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories, Lightspeed Magazine, and Stargate Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Other Side of the Sky, and Tales of the Emerald Serpent. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written two media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement. Her books have been published in eight languages, including French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Dutch, and her web site is www.marthawells.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I read all three books in about a week.
pjjlord
I love this series for its wonderful world building, and interesting (well developed) characters.
Netter
I've absolutely fallen in love with The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea.
R. George

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Erin Satie VINE VOICE on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed THE CLOUD ROADS without being convinced that I wanted to continue with the series. I jumped on the chance to do an advance review of THE SERPENT SEA because I wanted to find out if Martha Wells could make a fan of me. The answer? Yup. She can, and did. I loved THE SERPENT SEA.

One reviewer described the plot of THE CLOUD ROADS as Moon discovering that he's been "Cursed by Awesome," and, at the time, I agreed. Poor baby discovers he's been born into a high caste, what's to complain about, right? But in THE SERPENT SEA I began to see what a perfect choice Moon's position as a consort really is.

Raksura consorts are basically trophy wives. As a consort, Moon has status but no real power. But Moon isn't content to be pampered and impotent, which means he's not content to fill the traditional role of consort. He likes to keep busy and he's a natural authority figure. So, yes, he's got enough rank to rub elbows with the movers and shakers but he has to earn every bit of authority that comes his way and constantly defend his choice to step outside of his allotted role.

The plot has the Indigo Cloud court on a mission to recover the stolen seed of their mountain-tree. They encounter obstacles on the way to completing their quest, as on the way Moon finds himself trying to play the part of a perfect consort at a foreign court, dealing with a solitary Raksura that reminds him all too much of himself, and battling a power-hungry magician.

As in THE CLOUD ROADS, Wells' descriptions of the Three Realms' landscapes kept me enthralled.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I devoured the Cloud Roads, and purchased the Serpent Sea as soon as it was available. The novel continues the journey of Moon and the Indigo Cloud Raksura. It's basically a standard "search for the magical object that will fix everything" type story. However, the book is very well executed.

I also really liked that this book explored a lot more of Raksura culture, and the chance to look at another Raksura court. The idea of Moon as an outsider comes more strongly into play in this novel than the first novel, and I really enjoyed reading about how he struggled to come to terms with his status.

Otherwise, I did not like this novel as much as the first. I still stayed up all night reading it, but I didn't feel like all the story strings were as neatly woven and snipped off as in the first novel. Honestly, I finished it feeling only partially fulfilled, because (while we do get resolution as to the major plot points) I don't feel like I got resolution as to the characters and their development/interactions. Without giving too much away, I felt like the characters were on the verge of discovering things about themselves and never quite crossed that point. They seemed to sort of back off from embracing the dramatic emotional/character changes that an epic journey would have made, and almost reverting back to their pre-Serpent Sea selves.

It made we wonder if, perhaps, a third novel is in the works?

Well, despite that, I definitely would not hesitate to buy another Raksura novel, and highly recommend this one.

UPDATE: Rumor has it there IS in fact a book 3, but it has not been purchased by a publisher yet. So, please purchase a copy of the Serpent Sea.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Professor J on April 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I freaking LOVE these books. The first book caught me by surprise, but I loved it so much jumped on the second like a starving fledgling on a grasseater.

Because the Books of the Raksura contain some of the most original, exotic, and beautiful fantasy worldbuilding I've ever seen. Those of you who complain that there's nothing new in fantasy, read these. Here is plausible ecology and biology mingled with magic in a way that feels almost science fictional. Here are created, magical races drawn with believable complexity -- none of that essentialist "always chaotic evil" crap we're so used to seeing in fantasy, and plenty of diversity and history and mystery. That the Raksura resemble shapeshifting dragons is irrelevant; they're people, human without being human, and Wells does a marvelous job of treating these people as well-rounded and flawed characters whose struggles you can't help but care about.

In this outing, Moon -- recently and uneasily accepted into the Indigo Cloud court -- travels with the group to their ancestral home, where they mean to make a new start after nearly being destroyed by the Fell in the last book. They find a paradise of giant mountain-trees and forests that stretch for miles, waterfalls and plentiful game, and unearthly beauty. However, the seed which keeps their mountain-tree alive has been stolen, and Moon -- as the member of the group with the most experience at dealing with other races -- must help his new tribe track it down before the tree dies.

If there's any critique I have for these books, it's that the characters are sometimes sketched a little thinly -- but given how much time and attention has been given to the setting, I'm not sure that's really a flaw.
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