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Two Serpents Rise Hardcover – October 29, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765333120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765333124
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Gladstone outdoes himself in this exciting and imaginative return to the brilliantly realized world of Three Parts Dead. In the city of Dresediel Lex, the civic water supply is managed by the magical Concern of Red King Consolidated (RKC). When one of their reservoirs is contaminated with demonic Tzimet, RKC risk assessor Caleb Altemoc is assigned to determine the cause and manage relations with Heartstone, an RKC acquisition with intimate links to the old Quechal gods. With the help of an enigmatic woman named Mal, who's considered crazy even by other death-defying cliff runners, Caleb discovers that the wars in which the old gods fell still cast a long shadow over the present day, posing a threat to the city and beyond. The alternate Los Angeles that is Dresediel Lex is charged with its own versions of ethnic tensions and environmental strain, and Caleb is an engaging protagonist for this taut and unique blend of legal drama, fantasy, and noir. Agent: Weronika Janczuk, Lynn Franklin Associates, in association with D4EO Literary. (Nov.)

From Booklist

Caleb Altemoc, risk manager for Red King Consolidated and part-time gambler, is sent to deal with an infestation of tzimet—shadow demons—at Bright Mirror reservoir. In the process, he encounters the maddening, magnificent Mal, a cliff runner who is far beyond his skill. She is his only lead to those responsible for the infestation and vanishes when he pursues her. Bright Mirror is not the only place attacked. Caleb’s father, Temoc, priest of the old gods and wanted terrorist, claims to be innocent of responsibility. The uncertainty about these attacks threatens a merger between Red King Consolidated and Heartstone. A contract is negotiated based on the continued slumber of the twin serpents Achal and Aquel. The serpents are made restless by a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of the city. Caleb, to protect not only the city of Dresediel Lex but the people he loves, must make a series of quite unexpected decisions and come to terms with his difficult past. Two Serpents Rise is an epic, solidly city-based fantasy with strong characters and a wonderfully built world. It’s also a fast-paced thriller, thoroughly entertaining. --Regina Schroeder

More About the Author

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale University, where he studied Chinese.

Max is a John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award Nominee for 2013. His first book, Three Parts Dead, is a Massachusetts Must Read book of 2013. Two Serpents Rise, the next novel in the Craft Sequence, will be published in October 2013.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The characters are well drawn and engaging.
Mike Irish
Fully recommend this book for anyone interested in Fantasy and who enjoys something both exciting and different (in a good way).
Anonymous
A fantastic plot that explores more of the rich world that Gladstone has created.
S. C. Justice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Geonn W. Cannon on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book takes place before the events of Three Parts Dead and really doesn't have much to do with the story of that book. They take place in the same world and the same rules apply, but you can easily read this without having read the first book and you won't miss much. Instead of continuing a story, as most sequels are tasked, this book provides a secondary perspective of the world. Last time around I compared Gladstone to China Miéville, and that comparison fits. Perdido Street Station, The Scar, and Iron Council form a trilogy that creates a vast and complex world (Bas-Lag) while still telling compelling individual stories.

If you read the first novel and you're wary about jumping in to a whole new story, don't be. This story is just as good (maybe even better) than the first novel. If you're afraid that you'll miss Tara, put the fears aside because this book has characters you'll love just as much (Teo needs her own novel... I love that lady). This series is a daunting task for a new author. It would be challenging even for an established talent. "Three Parts Dead" made me excited about what he hoped to pull off, and "Two Serpents Rise" made me confident he could pull it off. He may not have the back catalogue of someone like Neil Gaiman, but that only means you're getting in on the ground floor of an author everyone will be talking about in a few years.

Whatever story Max Gladstone decides to tell next, whichever piece of his world he decides to unveil, and who he chooses to be our guide, I'm definitely going to be camped out at the front of the line.

(Excerpt of a review originally written for Geek Speak Magazine)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Dresediel Lex--desert city of 16 million--is dependent on reservoirs to provide its citizens with water, so when a demon infests a crucial supply it's Caleb who's sent to solve the problem. While there Caleb stumbles across the wild Mal, a cliff runner in the wrong place at the wrong time who escapes before he can question her. Could she have witnessed the arrival of the demon or was her presence more nefarious?

When Caleb reports his findings to his boss, the King in Red (skeletal Craftsman, owner of Red King Consolidated, de facto ruler of the city Dresediel Lex), he's also tasked with figuring out the cause of the infestation. Was it a mistake or was it intentional? Fingers point to none other than Caleb's father, the last priest of the city's old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists. Despite his estrangement from his father, Caleb isn't convinced it was him and decides to go looking for the missing cliff runner to find out what she saw--a task easier said than done.

What follows those dense beginning chapters of set-up reminds me of the big black pyramid that's the heart of the city of Dresediel Lex: brick by brick Gladstone's story builds in intensity until you're left gasping for air by the time you reach the top.

Gladstone's first novel, Three Parts Dead, introduced us to this fascinating world of gods, Craftsmen, and even the cities themselves--these books are urban fantasy, legal thrillers, steampunk, and epic fantasy all rolled into one novel. "Two Serpents Rise" isn't a sequel to the first novel, but since it is set in the same world there is a sense of continuity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Weir on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book blends corporate politics, magic and gods into a stunning story. I've never had so much fun reading about consultants!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gooden on November 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What a great follow-up to Three Parts Dead! Where Gladstone focused on Craft in his his first book, Two Serpents Rise brings to bear the power of faith and sleeping gods. The imagery is intense and off the wall, the story veering into ideas and concepts that are stunningly unique. His world seems so ordinary-and parts of it are-if the rest wasn't so truly bizarre.

That said, much of Gladstone's crux - the war between craft and faith - share echoes of our own societal struggles of finding balance in a world of so many opposing desires. This ties his world to ours in the way that great writers are able to do - showing us more of ourselves in the voices and actions on the page.

I think Gladstone is really on a start here that will end with a series of great novels and recognition as one of this decades great new fantasy writers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir Barash on October 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Gladstone outdoes himself in this second (minus first?) chapter in the Craft universe. Two Serpents Rise is a darker, more complex work that develops the unique setting of this series - necromancers as lawyers, risk management analysts fighting many-toothed monstrosities from beyond, corporations ruled by immortal skeletons with giant lizards - and introduces us to a new, more mature cast of characters. I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Caleb, Theo and Mal; their cares and passions seem uniquely human, even as the characters themselves are on the fantastic side. I also particularly loved the second half of the book, which sticks to the labyrinthine conventions of the noir genre up until the very end, when it tears them down in dramatic, and brilliant fashion. Kudos to Max, and here's to more Craft books in the future!
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