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

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  2,167 Ratings  ·  195 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
Published January 10th 2012 by Audible Frontiers (first published January 3rd 2012)
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Final rating: 5/5 stars

“Don’t give up. Promise me you won’t give up on us.”

Another 5 star worth book! Although just a bit weaker than the first one, I really enjoyed reading it for so many reasons: even more development to the world, addition of new and interesting characters and other courts. It's even more interesting now than before.

But the first half of the book had a bit more relaxing and a bit slower pacing than the first one, but the second half really picked up and was worth every mi
N.K. Jemisin
Nov 03, 2011 N.K. Jemisin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 14, 2013 M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Serpent Sea takes place after the fight with the Fell. Moon is now a member of the Indigo Cloud court and takes his place beside Jade as her Consort. He’s settling into his new role and has even made a few friends, but before he could get comfortable, new trouble finds its way to the court.

The survivors of Indigo Cloud decide to pack up and leave their pyramid mound. Too many bad memories there for them to stay, and like Stone said, the colony is too hard to defend from Fell attacks. So they
4.5 flying stars

You are your own worst enemy, he told himself. Not that that was a new revelation; it was just that he was starting to notice it more.

Sep 22, 2015 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
What a wonderful story!!! It broke my heart several times, but in a good way, if that makes sense...
I love Moon, Stone and Jade! I feel for Chime and my heart hurts for Flower!!! I am totally emotionally invested in this beautiful magical world! Now on to the final one...
Read more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum.

Last year, the first book in this series, The Cloud Roads, was easily one of my top reads for 2015. Wells presented a wonderfully creative world with races who fall outside of human norms. This year, I said that I was going to continue this series. I want to finish up the main trilogy as well as the short stories in preparation for the upcoming fourth book in the series, The Edge of Worlds.

Readers are introduced to the Raksura in The Cloud Roads, a shapeshif
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
Joel Neff
Jan 15, 2012 Joel Neff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 McShane
Jan 04, 2012 Melissa McShane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy
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
Dec 30, 2011 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  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.
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.
Aug 01, 2015 Roxane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

Full of interesting creatures, magic, characters and relationships. I love that series, can't wait to start the third one!
Seregil of Rhiminee
Jun 16, 2012 Seregil of Rhiminee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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

2.5 stars

Moon and the Indigo Cloud court of Raksura shapeshifters have lost their home, and are returning to the court's original location. When they reach it, they find looters have stolen the heart seed, without which the home tree is dying. Moon and other Raksura set out to track down the seed and recover it.

If there weren't plenty of evidence against it, I'd think that the Martha Wells who wrote this book and the one who wrote City of Bones are completely different p
Aug 11, 2012 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Reread in 2016 to catch up with all the books in the series.)

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
Sonia Lal
Feb 11, 2012 Sonia Lal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 19, 2012 Coffcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Apr 19, 2016 Athena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of intricately developed SF/fantasy
Recommended to Athena by: Carol.Mimi
Volume Two in Wells' Books of The Raksura series, The Serpent Sea breaks the mold for most SF/Fantasy multi-book series: it's a second novel that is every bit as good, if not better, than the first in the series. So often a second volume spends itself explaining & expanding background rather than furthering the story, absolutely not the case with Serpent Sea. If you enjoy a well-crafted and interesting story with believable, intriguing characters do yourself a favor and buy, beg, or borr ...more
Aug 19, 2014 Contrarius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The prose in these books is very simple and basic -- occasionally annoyingly so -- and if I'd been reading in ebook format I would've counted how many times a character "snapped his wings". OTOH, you don't often get to see fantasy this aggressively nonhuman -- even elf/shifter/vamp/etc. stories are pretty much "humans with cool abilities" stories or "human among the aliens" stories. In Wells's books, though, we have a carefully constructed, complex, and detailed look at an "alien" species that l ...more
Katharine Kimbriel
Dec 31, 2011 Katharine Kimbriel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 10, 2016 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, want-to-buy, lib
This story relies on the previous book to establish the characters and the fanciful world, which is good because it frees the author to dig in and tell the story. Moon has accepted his position within the colony, to a certain extent. But to say he is sanguine about it would be wrong. Action opens with the colony relocating back to its home settlement within its ancestral home mountain tree. Unfortunately, with the Raksura gone, it left the tree undefended and the tree is damaged and dying. The c ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Saphirablue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everbody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 16, 2014 Connor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
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, 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
Just A. Bean
Mar 22, 2012 Just A. Bean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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
Ryan W.
Aug 05, 2016 Ryan W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoyed this one. I'm not sure I liked it as much as the first in the series. That might be because the world is not as new as it was originally, which allowed some of the story's weaknesses to show up a bit more. I feel like I should love this, and I do like it. I can't quite put my finger on what's missing.

The world is very creative and original. However, I find the plot and characters to be good but nothing special. So I enjoyed it, but not as much as I hoped I would.

Rating: 7.5/10
May 16, 2015 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moon and Jade and the other members of Indigo Cloud have found a new place to live -- Indigo Cloud's previous colony in a mountain tree. (A tree the size of a mountain, that is; have I mentioned that I love this world?) Well, they've found a place to live if they can keep the tree from dying, that is ... Which will require a lengthy journey across the titular sea to a ... most unique city.

More great world-building, Raksura politics, adventures, and fascinatingly flawed characters.
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Martha Wells has written many fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads), the Ile-Rien series (including the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer) as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, media tie-ins, and non-fiction. Her most recent fantasy novels are The Edge of Worlds in 2016 and The Harbors of the Sun forthcoming in July 2017, the ...more
More about Martha Wells...

Other Books in the Series

The Books of the Raksura (5 books)
  • The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)
  • The Siren Depths (Books of the Raksura, #3)
  • The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura, #4)
  • The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura, #5)

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“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.” 11 likes
“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.”
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