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The Serpent Mage by Greg Bear

The Serpent Mage (1986)

by Greg Bear

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Songs of Earth And Power (2)

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299454,167 (3.83)8



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Showing 4 of 4
One of my favorites by Greg Bear, and I really don't often like fantasy (which this is). It's the sequel to "The Infinity Concerto" (which made me afraid to drive by a building that was described in the book, and which has been since torn down). The language is rich, and it was nice to have the story wrapped up. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Nov 30, 2013 |
The conclusion to the series that started with Infinity Concerto. Unlike a lot of 2 book series, this does actually wrap up the story. Back in the real world, Jack feels compelled to back to the faerie world, if only to prevent things from happening on Earth. A slightly different take on the Earth person goes to Faerie, and with a good conclusion, too. ( )
  Karlstar | Oct 15, 2009 |
An interesting action-packed finale to a good series: This is the 2nd book of a 2 book series. The first is The Infinity Concerto. My detailed rating would be 4.5 for this book. The main character (Michael) has completed his magical training, and now he has to use it. There is lots more of a story to this book compared to the first. What with meeting a nice girl, training an apprentice Sidhe, trying to force a peace between Sidhe and humans, and trying to save the world, Micheal has much to do. The main problem in the book is that the Realm, created by Tonn as a home for the Sidhe, is literally falling apart. So everyone there needs to find a new home, quick! And considering the history of this universe, there will obviously be cosmic problems with that. The book also includes a lot of film/film score/classical music scholarship. It doesn't interfere TOO much with the story. The book DOES answer some questions -- what IS the Loch Ness monster? But at the end I still have a few. What happened to Michael's horse? Why did saving Tonn's wife fall to Michael, not the Crane Women, or the Ban? In any case, this pair of books is quite satisfying when you reach the end. If you can't find the first book, this one stands on its own fairly well.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
The gripping conclusion to the Infinity Concerto (which you definitely need to have read first) - the Sidhe are coming to Earth.

Michael is just getting to grips with his won return 5 years of earth time after he left, and doesn't know if the 5 months he experienced this in the Realm makes him 17 or 22. His parents while overjoyed to have him back aren't sure either. Meanwhile he gets a job, looks after Arno's house and estate of buried papers and falls in love.


The girl in question is a fan of Arno's scores and they find a copy of the old Infinity Concerto and try to organise a new performance. Michael wakes up in a tiny reality knowing that Kristine is missing.

Initially this was much better than Infinity Concerto; the opening chapters were quite compelling. However the latter stages bogged down a bit. Michael becomes involved in some complex Sidhe magic which isn't fully explained regarding the formation of worlds, and the requirements of mages. There's also quite a bit of exposition regarding how humanity 'works' which while interesting isn't well written regarding the pacing of the plot. However in general the writing and characters are significantly better than in Infinity Concerto and the book as a whole more enjoyable.

Although a major premise of the work is the Sidhe crossing into Earth, the consequences of this are only lightly touched upon, which is a shame because it's an area that could have scope for a lot of fun. Instead the focus is more on the practicalities of how the transition was managed without everything collapsing to null. Interesting, and I particularly like the final location of the Song of Power - but not as much fun as the full Sidhe human story would have been.

Definite conclusion to the series, worth reading to find out how Michael copes with his return to Earth.

..................................................​..................................................​ ( )
  reading_fox | Apr 17, 2009 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greg Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heller, JulekCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Please distinguish between this Greg Bear novel, The Serpent Mage (Book 2 in the "Songs of Earth and Power" Series), and the similarly titled novel, Serpent Mage (Book 4 in the "Death Gate Cycle") by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. Thank you.
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In this sequel to THE INFINITY CONCERTO Michael Perrin, a teenage poet returns to contemporary Los Angeles hoping to lead a normal life. But his time trapped in the dangerous faerie land of the Sidhe has left him with magical skills and a mystery to solve. The Song of Power still hangs in the air, strange bodies have been discovered in a nearby hotel, and an ancient creature calls to Michael from the waters of Scotland. Worlds are falling apart. An apprentice needs training. Could an unfinished symphony save the world and create a lasting peace between humans and the Sidhe? A classic YA novel that blends the intricacies of complex SF with the wonder and danger of fantasy, THE SERPENT MAGE a sequel to THE INFINITY CONCERTO was re-written and expanded from its original version to form the series SONGS OF EARTH AND POWER. This E-Reads edition is based on those expanded works.… (more)

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