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Two Serpents Rise

(Craft Sequence #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,897 ratings  ·  683 reviews
The new novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc — casual gambler and professional risk manager — to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, craz
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Tor Books
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Britannia Yes, there is definitely some sexual content though it isn't terribly in depth. I'm not sure I would describe it as "inappropriate" considering this i…moreYes, there is definitely some sexual content though it isn't terribly in depth. I'm not sure I would describe it as "inappropriate" considering this is an adult fiction novel. (less)

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Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two Serpents Rise was a huge downgrade from Three Parts Dead.

Two Serpents Rise is the second book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series but chronologically, this takes place before the event of the first book; look at the number in the title of each book, that’s the chronological order of the story line. Because Craft Sequence is a standalone series, almost every book featured different main characters and story in a different locale.

Unfortunately, the changes in characters, story, and settin
Sometimes there are books that I want to re-read, almost from the first minute after turning the last page. Gladstone’s first novel Three Parts Dead was one of those select few. One of the more original fantasies I had read last year, it easily made my “Top Reads” list. So it was with some surprise that I finished Two Serpents and found myself avoiding it, unwilling to write a review and unwilling to read again. At the end of the book, my reaction was a solid “meh,” and yet there were intriguing ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You know what it's like. You read the first book by a new author and you fall in love with the series. You know you shouldn't. You've been hurt before.

Then the second book shows up and it's just... meh.

It's called the sophomore slump. And all of us who have been burned by it learn to dread it. Especially when we *really* enjoyed the first book of the series.

Good news. You don't have to worry about that here. If anything, I enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series. And that's re
Sometimes I wind up blown away. It seems to happen more and more often with UF than I thought it would, but so be it. It happened again.

Max Gladstone is awesome.

We move to new characters in the Craft Sequence, but not a new world. The God Wars haven't really gone away and certain quasi-avatars are still a going concern. But wait... is this really a novel about Risk Management and preventing the world's power or waterworks from drying up because the great systems that plug themselves into sleepin
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I believe most people read this book (TSR) after they had read Three Parts Dead (TPD), as myself. I could not help myself comparing both books, and harshly judge TSR is a lesser book than TPD. But after finished the book, I am not so sure. Some points that I want to share comparing these two books:
1. TPD has faster pace, the entire novel is telling stories in time length of days (without the background stories, of course). TSR story takes months, maybe a year. Maybe some readers who like the fas
I really wanted to like this book. I loved Three Parts Dead and I knew that Two Serpents Rise changed locations and had a new cast of characters but it just didn't work for me.

Two Serpents Rise introduces us to Caleb, a risk manager in the city of Dresediel Lex. He's enjoys gambling and... that's about it. I found him to be incredibly dull and he bored me to tears. He's your average white guy. He "falls in love" with Mal, a cliff runner (parkour, basically). He has daddy issues. Yeah, that's abo
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-fantasy

My GR friends' ratings of Two Serpents Rise are all over the place, and I can see why. For me, the worldbuilding, the ideas, the questions, the pure conceptual brilliance not only saved the book but made it memorable. However, while the setup was promising, the first half of the plot was in desperate need of resuscitation. Caleb Altemoc, risk analyst, is called out to a gruesome death by one of the reservoirs he had assessed. ("The Wardens thought this was a homicide until the reservoir trie
I tried reading this book twice before with no luck, only getting as far as 10% before setting it aside. This time would have been my final attempt if I couldn’t get any further than that. Good thing I was in the right mood and frame of mind to appreciate it for what it is: a composite of magical legalities involving water distribution and municipality, and a short meditation on sustainable living and reconciling tradition and modernity in an uneasy post-revolutionary world where the gods are de ...more
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog
**This review is of an Advance Uncorrected Proof provided by Tor in exchange for an honest and fair review**

A burgeoning desert city, Dresediel Lex depends upon Craft and the power of fallen gods to quench its ever growing thirst. When demons are planted in the city's water supply, Red King Consolidated, the utility that provides water to the city, suspects religious fanatics eager for the return of the gods or good old-fashioned corporate competition. Caleb Altemoc, a risk manager for the omnip
Nov 30, 2016 marked it as abandoned-reads
Recommends it for: really determined UF readers
This is the second book in Gladstone's Craft Sequence series which I finally gave up on as it was just annoying. Everything I loved from the first book (Three Parts Dead) was here, but overdone, almost as though the author was trying so hard to create a modernized mashup Aztec/Maya Strange Civilization that he didn't have much left over for his disenchanted, and frankly boring, main character. He was too busy packing in oddness to pay much attention to either characters or plot.

It all feels far
The Captain
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys! So earlier in the year, wendy @ the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead. I absolutely loved it. So when I saw the second book, I picked it up without even reading the blurb. I didn’t want to spoil any fun.

So I was completely not prepared for what I found. Ye see, the first book centers around a first year associate named Tara whose firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to go to a cit
oh my god this was SO BORING. i will continue with this series because thank goodness each book is a self-contained story, and i really love this mithology. but i hated this one. i hated caleb, i hated mal, i hated their stupid instalove and i hated that i already knew the ending at the 20% mark but kept reading anyway. ugh.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Tentative three stars. Rating may be lowered later idk. Also this review is a mess, I'm gonna come back and fix it up later, so just ignore how messy it is lmao

This was... a disappointing read, to be completely honest. I really enjoyed Three Parts Dead because it was refreshing and different, filled with characters I grew to love and had an intriguing plot that drew me in. This novel had the world-building elements that I adored from the first novel, but the main character and his love interest,
Executive Summary: This book is more of the so-so Urban Fantasy that has turned me off of the subgenre. It's not bad, but there are a lot of better books out there.

Full Review
I generally don't like much Urban Fantasy, but there are some exceptions. I'm a sucker for book deals though, and I'd heard good things about this one so I picked up the entire series on the cheap.

I was happy to find that I rather enjoyed Three Parts Dead and was eager to jump into this one. Unfortunately I never really
The god wars affected Max Gladstone's incredibly rich world in many ways. In the first book in The Craft Sequence, Three Parts Dead, we learned about the death of a warrior goddess and what the hollow form that remained after her resurrection meant to those who loved and worshiped her in Alt Coloumb. Two Serpents Rise takes us over to the desert city of Dresediel Lex, where the storm god was defeated, and water is now supplied by Red King Consolidated.

Caleb Altemoc works for RKC. His first task
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fantasy Review Barn

There has been a twitter hashtag game going strong for the last few days where people have been describing movies badly. No doubt it has originated from an old Wizard of Oz description that ‘a young girl kills the first person she meets, then teams with three strangers to kill again.’ And after finishing Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise I realized how much fun I could have with this game in literature. Because on the surface this has the ability to be the most boring book of
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Max Gladstone has done something I haven't seen in a long time... well, two somethings. First, he's managed to make an excellent urban fantasy on a completely unique world. It's very much a modern-day universe, with tequila, poker, burlesque shows, pretentious performance art... but it's not Earth by any stretch of the imagination.

The setting of Two Serpents (and it's prequel Three Parts Dead is a world where, sixty years ago, people rose up and literally killed their gods. Not metaphorically.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015, e-books
5 Stars

Two Serpents Rise, book two in the Craft Sequence is one of those rare novelties where the sequel is far superior to the fantastic original. Max Gladstone has created a world to be remembered. In this the second book, we are moved to a completely different part of the world than in Three Parts Dead. We also have a completely new cast of characters and God's as well. The imagination and writing of Gladstone set's this series apart from the crowd.

Gladstone has taken genres and smashed the
I love the Craft Sequence, but this particular book frustrates me. The world is as interesting as ever, and there are some potentially great concepts underlying the story, but ultimately I get stuck on Caleb and his storyline with Mal. Partly it's just that I don't like him as a character, but I actually think I could get over that if it wasn't for the fact that his obnoxious, inexplicable pursuit of Mal is basically the centerpiece of the whole book. I hate pretty much everything about this par ...more
My feelings about this one haven't changed much since my last read.
Amazing worldbuilding, an interesting plot and some really solid characters (I love Teo, a sapphic queen, and Kopil is my second favourite magic-wielding skeleton), but the Mal/Caleb romance is, to me at least, unbearable. With that in mind, it's a 3-3.5* read for me.

Can't wait to continue on with Full Fathom Five!

Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Almost good. Scattered plot which made it not only hard to follow but hard to care. The romance helped keep me going a bit. Although I was interested in the religious issues they, again, were explained here and there that made it difficult for me to follow.

I'm glad the Craft books can be read separately as I'd like to read at least one more as I enjoyed the first book.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I enjoy Gladstone's bizarre Craft Sequence fantasies, they aren't another boring generic western setting with elves and such. Instead we have competing magical frameworks where Gods strive against magically powered corporations in a unique manner.

It takes place in a vaguely Los Angeles like area with a post Conquest-Aztec setting. Caleb is a somewhat reformed gambler and insurance adjuster, which within the Craft can be a high risk job! In addition to his adventurous job, he also has a father wh
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this might be a better book than the first one, but I didn’t enjoy it as much.

The prose in this series is incredible. The feeling of it is different every time, but no less moving. This time around the whole book moves like water. Dream water, even, difficult to hold on to, difficult to get a good look at. The whole thing ebbs and flows and there are many moments I found myself asking what was dream and what was reality.

And what an ending. I said about the last one that it was an insane
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This felt like it took me forever to read - I had to kind of bribe myself to pick it up. I didn't hate it (I am taking the 2 star rating at it's stated value - "it was ok"). I just never felt invested in any of the characters, I didn't worry about them, and I didn't really care what was happening.

However, some of the philosophical issues in the book were pretty interesting to me - different views on sacrifice and what it means, ways to fix problems, etc.

“The trouble with atheism," Temoc said, "i
Scott  Hitchcock
Book 1; 3.75*
Book 2: 1.75*

I think I'm being kind rounding this up to 2*. Book 1 while imperfect showed promise that this books quickly crushed. The story line was was boring and the relationships drove me crazy with how trite they were. both the girlfriend and the father.

I won't be continuing.
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gladstone is a hell of an author, and this series seriously needs a wider readership than it currently has. For world building, he’s second to none. His plot is fast paced and interesting. His characters are vibrant and well realized. The main conflict is so riddled with past and present baggage, it is hard to think of it as anything but fascinating. In all honesty, Two Serpents Rise is one of those books that I want to read again and again just to make sure I have absorbed it all. It worked for ...more
Gladstone's Two Serpents Rise images a South America where the anicent gods were not quite destroyed by beings who are not Gods. This has lead to some disruption.

Look, it's great, it's creative. The sudden lust/love concept is used but Gladstone is aware of it, and even has his characters Caleb and Teo discuss it. The most wonderful thing in the book is the friendship between Caleb and Teo.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was another very interesting story on Gladstone's alternate Earth. Or so it was very briefly implied in the first book in the series, I think I remember something about a window showing many alternate dimensions and worlds including some where magic didn't work and one that was described to be very much like ours. I didn't feel quite the emotional connection to Caleb that I did to Tara in the first book, but I liked him well enough, and the supporting characters were better fleshed out in s ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Minus one star for that ending.
Oct 28, 2013 rated it liked it
So, not as good as Three Parts Dead. I knew going in that this was not a sequel, but that Gladstone has decided to do sort of a weird order to his books- Three, then Two (Serpents Rising), then (Full Fathom) Five, then the First (Last Snow) and then presumably #4. So I was ready for that, and for different characters, different setting. Fine. Even exciting!

The series is set in a world just a bit sideways from our own, with recognizable mythology and cultural components, but also with magic, diff
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The Not a Book Cl...: TSR: Book 4 & Epilogue (Full Spoilers) 6 7 Apr 02, 2018 07:22AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: TSR: Book 3 3 5 Apr 02, 2018 07:16AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: TSR: Book 2 8 5 Mar 20, 2018 01:20PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: TSR: Book 1 8 9 Mar 11, 2018 04:17PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: * TSR: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 7 12 Mar 06, 2018 12:20PM  
SF/F Read Alongs: Two Serpents Rise 32 30 May 05, 2015 08:52AM  

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Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence: THREE PARTS DEAD, TWO SERPENTS RISE, FULL FATHOM FIVE, and most recently, LAST FIRST SNOW. He's been twice nominated for the John W Campbell Best New Writer award, and nominated for the XYZZY and Lambda Awards.

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale Univer

Other books in the series

Craft Sequence (6 books)
  • Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence, #1)
  • Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence, #3)
  • Last First Snow (Craft Sequence, #4)
  • Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence, #5)
  • The Ruin of Angels (Craft Sequence, #6)

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