READALONG: Two Serpents Rise, by Max Gladstone – Week 2

This week I continued the readalong for Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise, and as with last week, I’ve got some questions to answer. This week’s questions have been provided courtesy of Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.

1)  So we’re halfway in, and we seem to have uncovered the culprit already… What did you make of the confrontation at Seven Leaf?

Well, I’d say the fact that we’re only halfway in means we haven’t uncovered the culprit. What a boring second half the book would have then!

Though that does bring up an interesting point on perspective. From the viewpoint of the characters, they think they’ve solved the problem. We as readers know that they can’t possibly have, or at least that there’s a larger connected problem, because of where the confrontation happened in the book. I find this similar to problems that arise with first-person narratives. Knowing that a book is told from behind the eyes of a character takes the edge off some of the action, because you know they have to survive to be telling the story. Here, it was an interesting event, but from our standing-back perspective, we know that it can’t have been the end of things, so the weight of the event is lessened.

Of course, Gladstone being the fantastic writer that he is, he’ll probably make me eat my words with some amaing plot twist later on.

2)  Temoc is still turning up at random, and still protesting his innocence. Doth he protest too much…?

Not really. Well, actually, it’s hard to say. Much like with Mal, I don’t think he’s behind this directly, because he was too obviousd a suspect. But it wouldn’t surprise me if someone influenced by him has a bit of a hand in all this.

Maybe it’s all misdirection and smoke-and-mirrors, but weirdly, he seems too honest to be lying. I know the best liars always do seem honest, but he seems like he wears his heart on his sleeve, and really, what would he have to gain by lying? Seems to me that if he is behind a lot of this stuff, intentionally if indirectly, he’d want to draw sympathetic people to his side and make proclamations. “Look at what our faith can do!”

3)  The Red King. Discuss.

Well, that’s not at all vague! :p Honestly, he doesn’t interest me that much. Or rather, I don’t find him as compelling as other characters. He has a powerful presence and his fingers in many pies, and there’s clearly more to this RKC-Heartstone deal than appears on the surface. But while he plays a large part in directing events, it’s thus far been largely from the shadows. He’s a mysterious figure without much mystery to him, and I find him good as window dressing, but so far I’m more interested by Caleb than by the King in Red.

4)  And let’s not forget Mal! I confess, I did not see any of those surprises coming. What do you think of Caleb’s ‘sweetheart’ now?

Mal’s a really interesting character because she’s got so many layers to her. She’s very real, very flawed, and absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to see more of her revealed. I’m especially interested to see more of her religious background come into play, since that little gem was handed to us near the end of this section, and religious integration fascinates me.

3 comments on “READALONG: Two Serpents Rise, by Max Gladstone – Week 2

  1. Yeah, I found the Seven Leaf confrontation a little bit odd – I wonder if it was in actual fact thrown in to try and reveal something. Susan mentioned about Mal saying something like ‘hurting Caleb wasn’t in the deal’ – probably not those words tbh – but definitely a bit suspicious, like it was a set up??
    I actually don’t feel suspicious about Temoc at the moment – no doubt I’ll be wrong though. The thing that does intrigue me is that he keeps showing up to see Caleb such a lot – it feels as though he’s waiting for something to happen and wants to be there when it does.
    Mal – I’m sort of enjoying the interaction between her and Caleb but I think she has her own agenda completely and it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
    The religious aspect at the end was definitely a bombshell!
    Lynn :D

  2. Yeah, I too wonder about those influenced by Temoc, or even just those who look up at him like he is some legend. Right now I would be more inclined to suspect one of them that Temoc for the explosion and poisoning of water sources. However, the only such person we have met so far has been Mal. Hmm….

    And that leads me right to Mal and her religious inclinations. I have SOOOOOO many questions. Is she an active worshiper and protester? Or is she one of those strong believers who practices privately? I am definitely keeping my eye on her!

  3. Pingback: April in Retrospect | Bibliotropic

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