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The Serpent Sea (The Books of the Raksura #2)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,250 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony. Moon finally feels like he's found a tribe where he belongs.

But when the travelers reach the ancestral home of Indigo Cloud, shrouded within the trunk of a mou
Paperback, 340 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Night Shade Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,496)
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N.K. Jemisin
I freaking LOVE these books. The first book caught me by surprise, but I loved it so much I pestered the author 'til she gave me an advance copy of the second.

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 dr
Joel Neff
In the second volume of The Raksura, Martha Wells does exactly what she's supposed to do: She expands the world created in the first book (The Cloud Roads), fleshes out the characters even more, including how they overcome a new obstacle, all in the guise of an entertaining story.

What's harder to quantify is just how well she does all of the above. Ms. Wells' books could be (and ought to be) taught in writing seminars on how to build out a world without giving way to undue data dumps or pointles
Melissa Proffitt
The Serpent Sea is a worthy companion to the first Raksura book, The Cloud Roads. Everything that was good about the first is present in the second, but there's more of it: more detail about the Raksura culture, more interaction between the "solitary" consort Moon and his adopted court, more detail about the elaborate world Wells has created. In fleeing the Fell, the Indigo Cloud court has moved to a different home long-abandoned by their people, only to find it's dying because its source of lif ...more
Apr 20, 2012 Estara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy author
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In the Books of the Raksura, Martha Wells has created a lush world with imaginative cultures and fascinating species. The culture of the shape-shifting Raksura is so foreign and detailed, but she makes it extremely accessible to the reader. It's such a pleasure to read.

It becomes more clear in the Serpent Sea that this is not epic fantasy. The focus is not on a grand scale, but on the fate of a single, struggling clan in a large, indifferent world. We get glimpses of that world, but mainly we le
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Im still fascinated by the world setting and the raksura.

I just felt the plot meandered a bit at times.Henche the two star rating.

And then the relationship between Jade and Moon...well Jade scolded Moon...and they had some sex.And that was it.

Sure they had scenes when they were loving and caring too,but I detected a pattern. Moon would do something "non-raksuran",Jade would dissapprove.Moon would feel unsure about her feelings and they would make up again. I think this happened at least three ti
I really enjoyed this book, Martha Wells is such a wonderful author, the second you open one of her Raksura books you fall headfirst into wondrous lands filled with strange creatures. Once you start reading one you cannot put her book down until you are done.

This book is a continuation of Moon's journey. I was worried to get my hopes up too high since I liked the first book so much. I worried for nothing though. I rather enjoyed watching him spend more time with the Raksura on their journey to f
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

The second book in the Raksura series was a pretty tense adventure. I enjoyed the fantasy element and the characters. The only drawback for me was the over the top challenges that kept coming at the main characters.
Okay, I kept going debating what to give this book in terms of a rating, I've settle'd on 3.5 stars, I think. The world-building is phenomenal. It is a very interesting a capturing world to read about with many different facets that can be explored. The writing is fantastic although during some battle scenes, I was a bit confused on what exactly was happening. I loved seeing all the characters again and learning more about the Raksuran culture especially when meeting a thriving colony.

What sent
I love, love, love Martha Wells. She's excellent at world-building and creating non-humans that I can still understand and empathize with.

Moon is an outsider. Although he was born into high status in his native culture, he was orphaned very young. He raised himself and never knew who his people were. He's constantly getting caught out by what everyone assumes he knows. Since he's the viewpoint character, we learn with him, fitting in bits and pieces. Half the time he truly doesn't know what's e
This sequel to the excellent The Cloud Roads (one of my top 10 books 2010) starts where the first book left of, as Moon, the now-consort to Jade, the sister queen to the Indigo Cloud and their court are on their way to their ancestral home in the hope of finding a new settlement for their people. The court is battle-weary after their fight against the Fell and worried about their diminishing numbers but still hopeful for a bright future at the new settlement. And at first, it seems all of their ...more
Katharine Kimbriel
Welcome to a panorama of world building that you may not have seen for a while. Martha Wells always takes us places we haven’t been before, and in her Books of the Raksura, her new series from Night Shade Books, she’s brought us a story that is wonder, exploration and adventure all rolled into one. Most people would call this fantasy, because there is indeed magic here, but the peoples of this world are so well thought-out anthropologically that sometimes this feels like SF.

Moon was a young orph
Just A. Bean
I like this series. A lot. This is the sequel to Cloud Roads, which you need to read first, but that's not a problem as you should be reading Cloud Roads. I liked this one even better than the first one. I'm trying not to spoil either of them, but the protagonist, Moon, spent the first book trying to figure out what the hell was going on and doing total culture shock. In this one, he's a bit more settled in, but there's still so much stuff that he doesn't get. Most of the book is a really fascin ...more
Sonia Lal
The Serpent Sea is a fantastic fantasy. It’s world-building is original, the most original I’ve seen in a long time. The characters are good.

The Serpent Sea is a sequel to the Cloud Roads and it’s not the kind of sequel that’s easy to read without reading the previous book.

In the last book, Moon, our hero, an orphaned young man, has spent his life going from one groundling community to the next, always hiding, always trying to fit, never revealing that he shift forms. Then he discovers he is R
Seregil of Rhiminee
The Serpent Sea is a wonderful and spellbinding sequel to The Cloud Roads, which was one of the best fantasy books of 2011. It gloriously continues the saga of the shapeshifting Raksura. (Note! The Clouds Roads and The Serpent Sea form a duology, so it's important to read The Cloud Roads before The Serpent Sea.)

In the first book (The Cloud Roads) Moon was banished from his home for being different, because his companions feared him and his ability to shapeshift. He found out that there are other
In this book we will again have an opportunity to enjoy in descriptions of wonderful world that Martha Wells created.
Indigo Court is moving to a new location and of course there will be a couple of problems that will need to be fixed. But when Stone, Moon, Jade & other Raksura join forces you know that there is HEA lurking in the end. :)

My only complaint is that I felt this book a bit more stagnant than The Cloud Roads, so we do not get to visit as much new places as before. (Yes, I am spoil
i read this interview with Martha Wells recently, where she explains what happened after she published the Fall of Ile Rien books, which got me thinking how something similar happened to Sarah Monette, and how it's weirdly hard to get Michael Swanwick books even though everyone in the whole world should be reading him, yet my local library (which is pretty fabulous, i add) has enough copies of the latest godawful paranormal romance to make a decent bonfire out of. something doesn't stack up. any ...more
Having fled their previous home, the Indigo Cloud court anticipates once more resettling their ancestral home. But arrival reveals a theft of monstrous proportions. Sometime while their mountain-tree was unoccupied, invaders stole a magical artifact integral to keeping the tree alive. If they can't find a way to save the tree, they'll have to move again; only this time they would have no idea where to go.

So begins the adventure, as Moon, Jade, and a select few venture out to discover their own h

Martha Wells seems to be getting a lot of praise for the setting of this series. Some of the accolades seem to place her right up there with Frank Herbert (Dune, in case you didn't know) and his world building.

And she's not up there. No. She's. Not. Don't even go there.

The start of the book is as good as the first in the series, but the arrival in the city built on the back of this serpent, is the end of the suspension of belief.

Sheesh! An extensive city built on the back of an even la
Not as good as the first and didn't give me any of the information I was hoping for (nothing about where Moon came from or what was up with his "mother") and it had a weak, "LAST TIME ON TALES OF THE RAKSURA:" opening. It felt like a filler episode, honestly, and while it was an enjoyable one I feel like it definitely wasn't as strong as the first book, and I'm hoping the third book gets back to the stuff I'm interested in -- Moon's history, the possible common ancestry between the Raksura and t ...more
First off this is a wonderful imaginative book in the lush setting of the Raksura books from Wells who excels in fascinating characterizations and imaginative worlds. It's not your standard fantasy, in fact some aspects read more like a low-tech sci fi, and the world is beautifully fresh, teeming with life, and wholly its own in culture and biology.

One of the things that struck me when re-reading this book most recently (because it is fully worth re-reading) is the way Wells interweaves the alie
Once a lonely wanderer, Moon is now consort to Jade, sister of the Inidgo Cloud Court. He soon realizes that being a consort has its share of responsibilities, particularly when the colony returns to their ancestral forest after fleeing the conquering Fell only to find it deserted and dying. Now he must search high and low using his place in matriarchal Raksura society and his experience as an outside to hunt down the thing that could save their home. Wells' follow up The Cloud Roads widens the ...more
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
Moon and the survivors from Indigo Cloud court have fled their old home after (view spoiler). The windships bring them across the lands to their ancestral home – a great mountain tree, but when they arrive they discover that the tree’s seed is missing – the magical artefact that keeps the enormous tree alive and allows the Arbora mentors to control its growth. It is clear that the seed was stolen by groundlings within the past year, but where have they take ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading The Serpent Sea was like putting on an old but comfortable and familiar pair of slippers. As with the first book, The Cloud Roads, I enjoyed exploring the world that Martha Wells has created, and I enjoyed spending more time with the delectable Raksura. This novel, though, feels more like the next episode of a procedural TV show than it feels like a bonafide sequel. I don't feel that Moon and Jade and progressed much in their characters or their relationship with each other and with the ...more
Nick Fagerlund
I am completely digging Wells' Raksura books, and am greatly looking forward to the third one; both of these have been a joy. This is the second in the series that started with _The Cloud Roads,_ and it's as good or better. The leviathan city in particular is a creepy and amazing setting, combining a blighted de-industrialized milieu with a staggeringly sick act of pointless cruelty that everyone is now stuck living with, and a pervasive and palpable sense of rot and stink, and the endless grind ...more
I definitely enjoyed this book, pretty much for the same reasons I liked nr. 1, The cloud roads: nice world, nice shapeshifters, nice characters. I particularly liked the Raksuran society, where no-one is less because they are female or male, or because they are Arbora or Raksuran, or because they are groundlings or not. So why not more than 3 stars? Well, the world is very different from our own, with many different species and habitats. I'm ok with some description where necessary for the stor ...more
Finally! I've been so distracted that I hadn't read this right when I bought it.

I can't help but compare her masterful writing with other books I've recently read...I LOVE the details & depth! It was such a relief after the (forgive me) garbage so many are "publishing" these days!

Now, I didn't give it 100% this time; 4.5* on my other rating site.

My issues:
(view spoiler)
Martha Wells gives us a strong follow-up to her earlier novel, The Cloud Roads, one that is just as engrossing and richly-detailed as I'd come to expect after reading the previous book of the series.

Whereas before we see the protagonist, Moon, really coming to know himself and being the perfect blank-slate character to introduce us to a world unlike the vast majority of fantasy on the shelves today, here we see Moon as someone who has accepted his place and his role, embraces it, and moves forwa
4 1/2 stars from me for this one.

This is book two in a series and it really works best if you have read the first book--you have been alerted.

Moon, our hero, is still finding it hard to believe he's found a permanent home; he's still adjusting and feeling his way. Though he is not as paranoid as he was in the first book(Cloud Roads).
At the end of the previous book our group of Raksura abandon their diseased home and head into the forest to find and re-establish their ancestral home. Mission acco
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Martha Wells is the author of over a dozen SF/F novels, including Wheel of the Infinite, City of Bones, The Element of Fire, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. She has a fantasy trilogy: The Wizard Hunters, The Ships of Air, and The Gate of Gods, currently out in paperback. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Cloud Roads (March 2011), The Serpent Sea (January 2012), and The ...more
More about Martha Wells...

Other Books in the Series

The Books of the Raksura (3 books)
  • The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)
  • The Siren Depths (Books of the Raksura, #3)
The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1) The Death of the Necromancer (Ile-Rien, #2) The Siren Depths (Books of the Raksura, #3) Razor's Edge (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #1) City of Bones

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“Flower lifted a brow, dubious. 'You have to pay for a place to be dead in?'
Moon shrugged. 'Sometimes, in cities. It’s a groundling thing.”
“It's not going to make a very good story, in the annals of my time as sister queen.” She quoted dryly, “‘Then her consort jumped up and knocked the foreign queen unconscious with a kettle.” 5 likes
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