Hello everyone! Welcome to the Two Serpents Rise read along! You can catch the schedule over HERE. Feel free to join us in the comments if you like!
This week, Lauren from Violin in a Void is your host, so make sure to swing by her blog to see what she thinks, along with everyone else thinks.
1. After the fight at Seven Leaf, Caleb apologizes to Mal and they finally start dating. What do you think of the way their relationship has developed? Do you agree with Mal that Caleb chased her because he needs gods in his life?
At first, I was a little sad they didn’t sleep together that first night. But in retrospect, I think Caleb was right – that would have been their one and only night together.
Besides, things have been much more interesting this way. So, I am glad that they have had all this time to play off each other, the good and the bad. If they can both survive what’s coming, they could have a lasting relationship.
The sex on the beach was awesome, including that whole engulfed in a shark’s mouth thing. Though I do hope the force field kept out the fetid mouth breath of the beast.
I think Caleb is both attracted to and repulsed by people who have strong spiritual beliefs. He grew up in his father’s shadow, in some ways loved and protected, and in other ways horrified and disgusted. I’m going to go all Psychology 101 on this and guess that he has that same attraction/hate for Mal because of her strong beliefs, even it is only subconscious.
2. This section has been quite philosophical. Where do you stand on the debate – gods, no gods, or some kind of compromise? Do you agree with Caleb’s idea of sacrificing your morality because the religious alternative is even worse?
While I am not a religious person myself, I think a world without gods (and yes, I like there to be many of them and not just one) would be rather dull. Lots of inspiration comes from deities in one way or another. For this world, I think the humans have gained enough Craft knowledge and enough tech that they could reintegrate the gods without losing clean water and plentiful food. As we saw in Three Parts Dead, some (if not all) gods can be negotiated with using the Craft. Maybe that would be possible here.
It took me a while to figure out what Caleb was getting at – that no matter what choice is made, there is indeed a sacrifice. I think this is because my morality isn’t based on religion, so I was having trouble connecting the dots in this world where gods are real. For this world, I can no see clearly what Caleb is saying – imprisoning and enslaving gods, even the vegetable-mind kind, destroys a bit of society’s morality.
So with all that in mind, I have to look at what little we know of these gods. So far, they all seem to be a beastial in nature, taking from and feeding on the humans as desire drives them. Now, this has mostly been through Caleb’s eyes that we learn this, so have a grain of salt to swallow with it. But if that is so, then the gods themselves would understand the Red King’s destruction of them, and enslavement of what remained. they wouldn’t like it, but they would get it. And yet, I still am not entirely OK with enslaving these particular gods. Damn morals.
3. Gladstone is still unveiling amazing things in his world, like a sport based on myth, the eclipse festival, walking on water, and a half-dead sea god whose heart is being used for desalination. What interested you the most?
It was nice to see the ancient Aztec ball game being used as a live sport with raving teams and jerseys and drunken after game parties. This game isn’t based on myth, but on a real ancient ball game (Wikipedia Article). Doesn’t look any more brutal than hockey of Polish Knight League melees.
Haha! I laughed a little too at the Red King’s woes over the cost for a fireworks display for the eclipse festival. I like fireworks, but am not particularly enamored of them. Plus, I live in the desert where we have to perpetually be wary of forest fires. Fireworks season can suck. I think I would rather have free coffee for the entire populace for a day than fireworks.
Desalination isn’t easy, so it was mighty impressive that they found a perpetual power source to do the job in a vegetative state god. Now I am an organ donor and if I ever end up in a vegetative state, I hope they cut out the organs and tissues they can use and then pull the plug. OR plug me into a desalination plant and put me to work for the greater good!
Yet I doubt the god was an organ donor card carrier.
4. Mal has noted twice that they don’t have much time, and she apologizes to Caleb while he sleeps on the ocean. Then Alaxic kills himself and tries to kill Temoc – the last two priests of the old Quechal. What do you think is going on here? Any speculation about how it might turn out?
Something big is coming. I am a little surprised that Caleb, with all his inherent skepticism, hasn’t caught on to Mal’s little phrase of there not being much time left. Perhaps he has a blind spot there, being that he is trying to have a serious kissy-kissy relationship with her.
Alaxic was talking about worthy sacrifices on the night of the lunar eclipse. However, sacrificing himself wasn’t enough. So does this mean that he holds Temoc in high regard, so taking Temoc with him in this poisoned suicide was a worthy sacrifice? Or had Alaxic truly retired to the sidelines and knew Temoc was up to something and so was not only sacrificing himself & Temoc, but also whatever Temoc was trying to achieve?
Still so many questions on this one, and I look forward to getting the answers in the final part!
I had forgotten the Red King had kept Mal’s pendant. It’s checked out and now Caleb has it back, along with the order to find the cliffrunner woman. Caleb is walking a slippery slope…..
Hooray for female sports celebrities!
Mal is the one who bought Teo’s girlfriend’s art piece. Coincidence? Or does it mean something? I’m going to go all conspiracy theory here and wonder if both Teo and Caleb are being shadowed in case they need to be eliminated or controlled for whenever this Big Something happens…..cause we all know something big is yet to come, right?
Below are the blogs participating: