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Journey to The Serpent Sea

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

theserpentseaMartha Wells’ tales of Gilead and Ilias have been some of the most popular stories we’ve published in Black Gate. Her opening novel in the Books of the Raksura series, The Cloud Roads (Night Shade Books, March 2011) won her a new legion of fans, and this month the second installment finally arrives.

The Serpent Sea is already getting a lot of great press as a major new fantasy novel. Here’s Keith West over on Adventures Fantastic:

There was a time, more in science fiction than in fantasy, where authors created detailed worlds or universes, such as Known Space (and especially Ringworld), Dune, or more recently Karl Schroeder’s Virga, places unique and filled with that sense of wonder that seems to be missing from so much of contemporary fantastic literature. The Cloud Road and The Serpent Sea are brim full of sense of wonder…  With these books Wells is writing at the top of her game, and given their breath, originality, and complexity, this series is showing indications it could become one of the landmark series of the genre.

When I asked her to describe the series, here’s what Martha shared with us:

The Cloud Roads is a fantasy adventure novel about dragon-like shapeshifters who can fly, but it’s also about searching for a place to belong. When the main character does find his own people, his difficulties don’t end.

The sequel, The Serpent Sea, is about finally finding the place you were meant to be, but realizing that it’s going to take a lot of work to finally belong there. If you can survive long enough.

You can try a sample chapter of The Cloud Roads here, and The Serpent Sea here. Don’t wait to check out one of the most exciting new fantasy series of the last few years.

11 Comments »

  1. Ah, now I can finally start reading The Cloud Roads. I like knowing there’s more Martha Wells to read, so when I’m down to only one book left in her body of work that I haven’t read, I always hesitate to read it, because then I’d be all out.

    (Okay, I admit, I haven’t dipped into the media tie-ins she’s done, but I’m leaving them for a time when I’m absolutely desperate for a fix and there’s none of the good stuff left.)

    So, now that there’s a next novel out, and relative certainty that there will be more to come soon, I can begin the series.

    Comment by Sarah Avery - January 22, 2012 10:22 pm

  2. That is a ridiculously good cover…

    Comment by Scott Taylor - January 23, 2012 10:54 am

  3. Hi Sarah!

    I wasn’t even aware Martha had DONE any media tie-ins. A quick trip to Amazon tells me there’s two novels I didn’t even know about:

    – Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement: SGA–6

    – Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary

    Thanks for letting me know. I’m not a big Stargate fan, but the collector in me is glad to know about them. :)

    Comment by John ONeill - January 23, 2012 11:48 am

  4. Scott,

    Isn’t it? Cover artist is Steve Argyle. Jeremy and his team at Night Shade sure know how to turn out a quality product.

    Comment by John ONeill - January 23, 2012 11:50 am

  5. […] Fantastic tells us our mention of his recent review has helped out: Thank you for the quote in your post about Martha Well’s The Serpent Sea yesterday. I’ve noticed an increase in traffic to […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Letters to Black Gate: Poul Anderson, Digital Publishing, and The Dying Earth - April 3, 2012 1:03 am

  6. […] Martha Wells’ The Serpent Sea […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » 50% Off Sale at Night Shade Books - April 17, 2012 5:26 pm

  7. […] Martha Wells is the author of the Nebula-award nominated The Death of the Necromancer, the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, Wheel of the Infinite, and other fantasy novels. The final novel of the Books of the Raksura, The Siren Depths, was released in December, and her YA fantasy Emilie and the Hollow World is scheduled for release in April. Charlene Brusso reviewed The Clouds Roads for us here, and we featured The Serpent Sea here. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » How Well Does The Cloud Roads Fit as Sword and Sorcery? - March 13, 2013 11:32 am

  8. […] of fourteen fantasy novels, including City of Bones, The Element of Fire, The Cloud Roads, and The Serpent Sea. Her most recent novel is the YA fantasy Emilie and the Hollow World, published by Strange […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction Presents the Complete The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells - June 3, 2013 4:21 pm

  9. […] of fourteen fantasy novels, including City of Bones, The Element of Fire, The Cloud Roads, and The Serpent Sea. Her most recent novel is the YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, published by Strange […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction: The Death of the Necromancer, Part Two - June 10, 2013 11:19 am

  10. […] of fourteen fantasy novels, including City of Bones, The Element of Fire, The Cloud Roads, and The Serpent Sea. Her most recent novel is the YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, published by Strange […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Black Gate Online Fiction: The Death of the Necromancer, Part Three - June 17, 2013 11:36 am

  11. […] from the instant I first discovered Martha Wells’s Raksura series – The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths — they went straight on the list of Books I Will Love Forever: because […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Fascination of Dragons - May 2, 2014 5:31 pm


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