This week I bought two books – one is a new book that is one of my most anticipated books of 2012 and the other is an older book I hadn’t heard of until recently. (And hopefully I will get that review of The Spirit Rebellion up on Monday – I got a bit distracted this week.)

The Serpent Sea by Martha WellsThe Serpent Sea by Martha Wells

The Serpent Sea is the second of the Books of the Raksura, following The Cloud Roads. It is available in trade paperback and ebook. Martha Wells recently announced that the third book in the series will be called The Siren Depths, and it will most likely be released in January or February 2013.

The first two chapters from The Serpent Sea are available to read online, but you may not want to read that or the description below if you haven’t read the first one. If you are unfamiliar with the first book, the first two chapters from The Cloud Roads can also be read online.

I loved The Cloud Roads, which ended up being one of my favorite books from last year, so I’m very excited about reading The Serpent Sea! I was also very excited to open it up and see my review of the first book was quoted – seeing review quotes from books I loved always makes my day.

Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony. Moon finally feels like he’s found a tribe where he belongs. But when the travelers reach the ancestral home of Indigo Cloud, shrouded within the trunk of a mountain-sized tree, they discover a blight infecting its core. Nearby they find the remains of the invaders who may be responsible, as well as evidence of a devastating theft. This discovery sends Moon and the hunters of Indigo Cloud on a quest for the heartstone of the tree – a quest that will lead them far away, across the Serpent Sea. In this followup to The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells returns with a world-spanning odyssey, a mystery that only provokes more questions – and the adventure of a lifetime.

The Merro Tree by Katie WaitmanThe Merro Tree by Katie Waitman

The Merro Tree is a stand alone science fiction novel that won the Compton Crook Award in 1998. This award is for the best first novel of the year in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres as judged by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.

Katie Waitman has only written one other novel since then, The Divided, which was released in 1999. I actually hadn’t heard of her until recently. I was browsing my Goodreads recommendations and this one caught my eye when I saw it was recommended because I enjoyed Wraeththu by Storm Constantine. So I took a look at it and saw that my friend Janicu (from Janicu’s Book Blog) had written a review of it and it was one of those books she really loved and reread several times. So I decided I had to read it! Unfortunately, it’s out of print so it’s hard to find new copies, but I found a used one that’s in decent shape.

In the far reaches of our galaxy, the artist will face the ultimate censorship.

Mikk of Vyzania, the galaxy’s greatest performance master, commanded stages on all the myriad worlds. His sublime, ethereal performances were unforgettable, drawing on the most treasured traditions of every culture, every people, throughout inhabited space. His crowning achievement, and his obsession: the Somalite song dance, an art form that transcends both song and movement to become something greater and more spectacular . . . almost divine.

When tragic events caused performance of the song dance to be proscribed, Mikk was devastated . . . until his strong sense of justice forced him to defy the ban. His trial will be the most sensational in the recent history of the galaxy; the sentence he faces is death.

Now the greatest performance master must hope to become the greatest escape artist. Somehow Mikk must break the stranglehold of censorship and change the law . . . or die trying!