I forgot to mention it before now, but I’m participating in a readalong for Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise, book 2 of the Craft Sequence. I enjoyed the first book, Three Parts Dead, a while back, and this readalong gave me the perfect motivation to stop procrastinating and to read the rest of the series. And though I’ve only read less than a third of it so far, I’m not regretting that decision.
This week, we all read the first 15 chapters plus the first interlude, which sounds like a lot until you realise that the chapters are short and that this was less than 100 pages. Not too bad a requirement for a week, really, in between the other reading I do. As is typical in a readalong, we all have some questions to answer. This weeks questions are courtesy of Susan over at Dab of Darkness.
(Sidenote – Does anyone else in readalongs with questions like this ever feel self-conscious answering them? We’re all talking about speculation and unknowns and our theories when other people reading this may well have read the book and know what happens, and they’re probably sitting and thinking, “Haha, those answers are hilarious in their ignorance!” Seriously, am I the only one who feels this way?)
1) Poison in the Bright Mirror reservoir! What are your thoughts on the infestation? Then an explosion later on! Any ideas of who is the culprit yet? Are the two events related?
I think it’s safe to say the two events are related, though I’m not sure how yet. I don’t think Temoc is behind it, though. Someone like him, yes, and probably inspired by him, but not him. He’s too obvious a suspect to actually be the culprit, I figure. Ditto Mal. This is a mystery, and in mysteries, the truth is never so easy to spot. My money’s on the King in Red, just because it would be a twist and he could stand to gain a lot from events he controls like that.
2) Let’s talk about Mal and the sport of cliff running. Care to compare this sport to one here in our real world? What do you think Mal gets out of the sport?
Since cliff running is a thrill-seeking thing, it comes across very much like skydiving. You get the adrenaline rush, and if you screw it up, there’s the potential for massive bodily damage. Can you call skydiving a sport, though? Still.
Honestly, Mal may just be an adrenaline junkie looking for another fix, and that’s why she does it. But much like with the previous question, I don’t think so. At least, I don’t think that’s all of it. She seems like there’s more to her than just that thrill-seeking behaviour.
3) Are you enjoying the deities and culture this book is infused with? Has any of the architecture wowed or frightened you?
Absolutely. I love the way deities seem to work in this world, the way they’re powerful but not necessarily divine, depending on how you view the idea. They’re a hard thing to wrap my head around properly, and that’s part of what I like so much about them.
As for culture, well, I’m a culture geek myself, and I love seeing amazing worldbuilding like this. Real-world analogues that aren’t medieval Europe are awesome to see in fantasy, and generally speaking, urban secondary-world fantasy isn’t exactly common, so the novelty of it really interests me, alongside the awesome culture stuff.
Can’t say I’ve been wowed much by the architecture. I probably would be were I seeing it right in front of me, though.
4) The Red King is a pretty serious guy. Will he make the deal with Alaxic concerning the powerhouses known as Achel & Aquel?
Probably. It likely wouldn’t have been brought up as a plot point were it not going to develop further. I definitely think there’s more to that deal than meets the eye, though, but I couldn’t say just what that is.
5) Finally, Caleb has a wealth of scars, linguistic skills, and a complex relationship with his father. Discuss!
Caleb’s an interesting character. I like that complex relationship with his father, since there’s clearly a great deal of animosity there but the two are still very much on speaking terms, albeit a strained and mistrustful one. There’s clearly a lot of backstory there that hasn’t been revealed yet, and I’m curious to see the layers peeled back.
And being a language geek as well as a culture geek, I always love multilingual characters.