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The Long Price (Shadow & Betrayal) Paperback – 4 Oct 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841496111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841496115
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,622,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist. A poignant human tale of power, heartbreak, and betrayal' George R.R. Martin '[An] impressive first novel ... The long outcome should be the addition of Daniel Abraham to the pantheon of major fantasy authors' Locus 'One of the most elegant and engaging fantasies I've read in years, based on an intriguing, original premise. I eagerly await the remaining volumes in Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet' Jacqueline Carey 'In addition to the creation of an architecturally-perfect fantasy world filled with a fascinating, highly distinctive set of characters, Daniel Abraham has introduced into fantasy one brilliant, stunning new idea, a magic system in which the Word is made Flesh' Walter Jon Williams on A Shadow in Summer 'There's something genuinely new here... Fascinating' Locus

Book Description

A powerful and elegant fantasy debut from an author destined to become a major new name in the field. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MKL Yoong on 1 Mar 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Well written and thought provoking, this is an amazing debut novel. The author has created a world that you can imagine living in, peopled with characters that have realistic and authentic motivations and reactions. Just with one very important difference in the magic of the Andat. This first volume contains two books, tracking the progress of the main character from boy to young man and maturity. Along the way he will reject godhood, save a people and conquer a kingdom but none in exactly the way you might expect.

It reminded me strongly of Ursula le Guin's Science-Fiction novels - the magic is there not for its own sake, but instead the focus is on people and societies. The pacing is slow, but this has the depth of a true classic.

I can understand where the other reviewers who have given low ratings are coming from - this is not the book to read if you are looking for conventional, action-packed, escapism, but if you are looking for a fantasy novel that unfolds at a slower pace and will challenge your understanding of the genre then there are few better books I could recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clive on 18 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've read Daniel Abraham before, then this review should hold no surprises but, if you're reading this wondering whether or not to take plunge, then I hope that this helps. If you have read the Dagger & Coin series ( as far as it's reached ) then I can tell you that these two / four books follow. a very similar line. So the first question is 'how many books are in this series?' and the answer is that the whole story is told in two volumes and each volume contains two 'books'. Each book continues the story with the same characters with a time gap between each book. Now,pay attention because this is important: this review is about the first book only and to make any real sense it has to be read in conjunction with the review of the second book, Seasons of War. Shadow & Betrayal only gets three stars from me but both Seasons of War and the series as a whole gets a much higher score.
As with other Daniel Abraham series, the concepts here, including a world where magic is harnessed by poets and communication is as much by gesture as by speech, are brilliant. There are profoundly deeper meanings in the details of this fantasy world but they are revealed in 'book 3'. The threads of racism, sexism, wealth disparity, political exigencies and love are all, very, very, slowly drawn together and, for me, is what makes these books so remarkably good. You have to persevere with these books ( read on) but the message and sense at the end makes it worthwhile.

OK, here's the bad part. Book 1 is terribly slow going and very little actually happens. That this volume is necessary is not contested and it does lay a rock solid basis for what follows, but it is unnecessarily torpid and could, easily, be trimmed without affecting the story at all.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
The world is in a state of flux. The old Empire has fallen and the new upstart nation of Galt is flexing its muscles, making inroads on three continents. Yet the city-states of the Khaiem are not concerned. They wield the power of the andat, concepts and ideas that through the magic of those known as poets are given humanoid form and wield tremendous power, enough to give the rulers of Galt pause. To be a poet is one of the most prestigious jobs it is possible to achieve, but for every one who makes it many drop out in their training. A very promising young poet-to-be named Otah learns some unpalatable truths about his destiny and disappears during training, but leaves a vivid impression on another student, Maati. Many years later their paths cross in the fabled city of Saraykeht as they confront a dark conspiracy that could shatter the power of the Khaiem and cost one man his soul and self-respect.

Daniel Abraham's debut two novels are a tremendous breath of fresh air in the fantasy genre. Abraham hasn't gained as much attention as some other high-profile recent debuts (Abercrombie, Lynch and Rothfuss in particular), possibly as his European debut has some some time after his American, but hopefully this will be rectified. These two books are inventive, clever and possess a strong moral core. That Abraham attended writing courses led by George R.R. Martin should come as no surprise, but echoes of other fantasists (particularly the emotional resonance of Guy Gavriel Kay) can be detected as well in his work. His characters are deeply flawed and human, but also utterly convincing in motivation and deed. His fantasy landscape is well-realised, with summer-blessed Saraykeht and cold, distant Machi becoming as much characters as any of the humans (or magical andat) in the tales.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mygoditsraining on 2 Sep 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Long Price Quartet is an excellent example of fantasy written with a specific goal - to describe the arc of a man's life - set against a concept that is both simple and world-changing in its power - the andat. I struggled slightly with the second part of the quartet as it seemed characters avoided drawing conclusions to keep the plot going, but nevertheless it is a very good read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Neil J. Pearson on 5 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off this contains two books, so is excellent value for money.
This is one of the most original fantasies I've read in terms of execution. Far less epic and more concerned with economics and relationships than huge battles and murder. I think it could have done with something more substantial to it but I can see how many people may love this approach to fantasy. I did enjoy the concept of the Andat, thoughts/forces made corporeal, and Seedless was very interesting in his motives and behaviour. I thought the poses were a nice touch although they sometimes took me out of the story as i was wondering what a pose of "respectful query", etc might look like.
The second book has even more in common with a shakespearean tragedy and while the characterisation is excellent the plotting is still a little pedestrian. Part of the problem is that the readers know exactly who is behind the murders, leaving the characters trying to solve the mystery look a little stupid and leaving me a little frustrated in places. I hope the remaining half of the series starts to address the bigger machinations at work within this world. Excellently written but could do with a sharper execution.
For people who are tired of the "grim and gritty" fantasy trend but still want an intelligent and mature story, they should really check this out. I enjoyed it enough to try out the second collection but I suspect many will love the approach far more.
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