Two Serpents rise by Max Gladstone

Craft Sequence, Book 2

Synopsis: 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, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire… and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

Review: Oh what can I say about this novel? First of all I think Max Gladstone has a wonderful talent to build his worlds and intrigues. It’s pretty impressive to see the mix he manages to present us, all that with a fantasy and urban fantasy genre in stories which are very complex and searched. I also loved the first novel for this reason and I was so curious to find out what the second would introduce us.

I know I do not read a lot of fantasy novels but I always find it interesting to read one from time to time and I think this series is really worth it for those who want to try it. But back to the story, we discover Caleb, a young man who takes his work to heart. But when one day someone tries to wake snakes living in the depths of the water in the city, our hero must find the responsible! But the only person he discovers there is none other than a young woman who appears to be unrelated to these events. However, this meeting will change his life, and while he does not know her, Caleb will do everything to find her and put at the same time his job in Jeopardy. I admit that I was immediately intrigued by Mal, she is so different from the other girls and at the same time the complexity of her character attracts us and makes us want to discover more about her. But I confess that I did not expect all the revelations we learn in the novel and I was more than surprised all along the chapters. However, I found that the relationship between Mal and Caleb throughout the story was touching, as they take their time and they support each other carefully. But this is not all and while the two are forced to work together to save the city, the Caleb’s father is also wanted for terrorism, living a life completely opposite of his son. It is true that I also had a lot of questions about him. It is very difficult I think to know if what he says is the truth or not. He always seems to want to prove his innocence to his son and to explain what is happening.

The quest for our two heroes is very interesting and I was really curious about the identity of the culprit behind the poisoning of water and once again I did not expect this person. When we believe that the plot is finally resolved, we realize that it is only the beginning of something bigger between those people who hope to return to a life filled with gods and those who are happy with the result of the war. And like for the first volume, it was very interesting to discover a little more about this world so different from others and to learn about his organization. We discover some new characters here and I’m curious to find out what the author has in store for the future. If you are looking for something different, this book is perfect!

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Two Serpents rise de Max Gladstone (VO)

Craft Sequence, Tome 2

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Les démons de l’ombre contaminent le réservoir de la ville, et le Red King Consolidated a envoyé Caleb Altemoc – joueur occasionnel et gestionnaire des risques professionnels – pour nettoyer l’eau pour les seize millions de personnes de Dresediel Lex. Sur la scène du crime, Caleb trouve une coureuse de falaise séduisante et intelligente, Mal la folle, qui le dépasse facilement.

Mais Caleb a plus que l’infestation de démons, Mal, ou la sécurité de son emploi à s’inquiéter quand il découvre que son père – le dernier prêtre des dieux anciens et le chef des terroristes True Quechal – a fait irruption dans sa maison et est recherché dans le cadre des attaques sur l’approvisionnement en eau.

Dès le début, Caleb et Mal sont liés par leur attraction mutuelle, le Craft, et la chance, car les deux jouent un jeu dangereux où les dieux et les gens sont des pions. Ils dorment sur ​​l’eau, ils dansent dans le feu … et tout cela pendant que les Serpents jumeaux endormis sous la terre se reveillent, et ils ont faim.

Avis : Ah que dire de ce roman ? Je pense tout d’abord que Max Gladstone a un talent fou pour la construction de ses mondes et ses intrigues. C’est assez impressionnant de voir le mélange qu’il arrive à nous faire découvrir, le tout mélangeant de la fantasy et de l’urban fantasy dans des histoires qui sont très complexes et recherchées. J’avais d’ailleurs beaucoup aimé le premier roman pour cela et j’étais alors curieuse de découvrir ce que le second allait nous présenter.

Je sais que je ne lis pas énormément de fantasy mais je trouve toujours intéressant d’en lire un peu de temps en temps et je pense que cette série vaut vraiment le coup pour ceux qui veulent la tenter. Mais revenons à l’histoire, nous découvrons Caleb, un jeune homme qui prend très à cœur son travail. Mais quand un jour, quelqu’un essaie de réveiller les serpents vivant dans les profondeurs de l’eau de la ville, notre héros se doit de trouver le responsable ! Mais la seule personne qu’il découvre là, n’est nulle autre qu’une jeune femme qui ne semble pas liée à ces événements. Pourtant cette rencontre va changer sa vie, et alors qu’il ne la connait pas, Caleb va tout faire pour la retrouver et mettre par la même occasion son job en jéopardie. J’avoue que j’ai tout de suite été intriguée par Mal, elle est tellement différente des autres et en même temps la complexité de son personnage nous attire et nous donne envie d’en découvrir plus à son sujet. Mais j’avoue que je ne m’attendais pas du tout aux révélations que l’on apprend au cours du roman et j’ai été plus que surprise. J’ai cependant trouvé que la relation que Mal et Caleb tissaient tout au long de l’histoire était touchante, sans trop se presser et en se cherchant l’un l’autre, espérant qu’il se passe un peu plus entre eux sans être pressé. Mais ce n’est pas tout et alors que les deux se voient obligés de travailler ensemble pour sauver la ville, le père de Caleb est aussi recherché pour terrorisme, vivant une vie complètement à l’opposé de son fils. C’est vrai que je me suis aussi posé beaucoup de questions à son sujet. Il est très difficile je trouve de savoir si ce qu’il dit est la vérité ou non. Il semble toujours vouloir se justifier auprès de son fils et lui expliquer ce qu’il se passe et en même temps rien n’est jamais sûr.

La quête de nos deux héros est très intéressante et j’étais vraiment curieuse de connaître l’identité du coupable derrière cet empoisonnement de l’eau et encore une fois je ne m’y attendais pas. Quand on croit que l’intrigue est enfin résolue, on se rend compte que ce n’est alors que le début de quelque chose de plus grand opposant toujours ces gens qui espèrent revenir à une vie remplie de dieux et ceux qui sont contents que la guerre ait été gagnée de cette façon. Et comme pour le premier tome, c’était très intéressant de se retrouver une fois de plus dans ce monde si différent des autres pour en apprendre un peu plus sur son organisation. Nous découvrons de nouveaux personnages et je suis curieuse de découvrir ce que l’auteur nous réserve pour la suite. Si vous cherchez quelque chose de différent, ce livre est parfait !

4

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Guest Post ~ Max Gladstone + Giveaway

We’re very happy to have Max Gladstone today on the blog. He is the author of a unique series: Craft Sequence. The second book Two Serpents Rise is out from TOR/FORGE, so don’t hesitate to read it! Thanks to the author, we you can discover this amazing guest post.

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There’s a poster on the internet called « the time traveler’s essentials. »  One page, small type, available as a t-shirt, this poster presents time travel hacks—little tricks and tips you could use to achieve fortune and fame, or failing that at least to survive, if you found yourself trapped in the past.

Here’s an easy way to calculate longitude.  « Invent » it, and take the credit.  Here’s how you make penicillin.  Take the credit.  Here’s how to extract aluminum, which used to be so rare they made the tip of the Washington Monument out of the stuff as a show of extravagance.  Take the credit.  Tricks upon tricks upon tricks, most simple, any of them seemingly magic to people of the time in which you, unfortunate traveler, will be trapped.  Put them all together, and… well, you’re still stuck in the past, deprived of basically all modern convenience.  But at least you can calculate longitude!

I’ve written before about the magic of the modern world—the fact that while our planet and the inventions with which we’ve filled it are both based on scientific principles, most of us relate to those inventions, and to that planet, as if it was magic, practicing rituals that range from « shake it until it works » to « wait and see if it fixes itself » to « have you tried turning it off and on again while praying softly? »  The way we’ve used magical praxis to relate to a fundamentally scientific world was part of the inspiration for my books Two Serpents Rise and Three Parts Dead, and I tried to make that relationship explicit by showing people relating to technologies and systems analogous to those in our own world, with the sole exception that they truly are « magic. »

But the negative space of that time traveler poster shows another side of our modern world: just how much of our world can’t be contained by simple tricks and basic inventions.  The poster features a handful of world-shaking inventions that anyone can replicate with time and a few basic tools, sure, but pondering these for a few seconds you can see how many thousands of recombinant advances we’ve layered on top of those basic hacks—and how many of those advances altered the original inventions beyond their inventor’s recognition.  The first cars were built in garages by bicycle mechanics, much in the way electronics and radio geeks built the first personal computers from kits.  Many modern cars are so computerized that the mechanic takes a backseat to the onboard diagnostic system.  These transformations and innovations are at work everywhere, and only a small portion ever emerge into daily life enough for us to notice.  From telecommunications to supply chain management to the electricity in our overhead wires, we live in a transformed and transforming world.

That’s before we even get into the natural environment!  The ingredients for a Big Mac evolved on five different continents.  Traditional Mexican agriculture recognizes several thousand varieties of corn.  And most of us still think the Aral Sea is the same size it was in 1992.

So, building my world, I wanted it to feel full, and complicated, and weird.  I wanted literature and culture and history and I wanted fast food restaurants and mixed drinks and deep magics operating behind the scenes.  I wanted a place that felt rich enough to inhabit—real enough to support stories beyond the ones I choose to tell.  A world where people could go, camp, and live.  I took the joseki approach at first, using suggestion and reference to hint at the size of the space beyond the story.  Since then, I’ve slowly filled that white space with characters and stories about people from a range of cultures, personal backgrounds, and sexual orientations—expanding the whitespace at the same time by offering more hints of events in the distant past, and on the other side of the world.

I wanted a world based on more than a few simple hacks.  And I wanted undead gods and coffee-dependent skeletons in the bargain.

So that’s what I built.

Gladstone, Max-2Bio:

Max Gladstone has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia and nominated for the John W Campbell Best New Writer Award.  Two Serpents Rise, his second novel, is about water rights, human sacrifice, dead gods, and poker.

Links:

AmazonIndieBoundBarnes and Noble, Powell’s, blog, and twitter feed.

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Craft Sequence, Book 2

Synopsis: 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, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire… and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

Thanks to the publisher, you can win a copy of Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone. The giveaway is open to US&CAN and ends on November 24th.

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