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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and enthralling
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...
Published on 1 Mar. 2011 by Amazon Customer

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DIFFICULT BUT WORTH THE EFFORT
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...
Published 20 months ago by Clive


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow build, but a stunning story., 23 Feb. 2011
By 
Lewis J. King "Severian_Random" (Harrogate) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price (Paperback)
I have to say I loved this book, or duo of books, they were not the fastest action paced books I've read, but I think these books would have been spoiled that way.

It's more about the relationships, the desire, the manifestation of godly power and the cost of this. It really is a slow build, it's more of a proper story than a blockbuster film.

It's also about how people react and respond to each other, a pose states a million things, whereas the Galts are a very different group of people.

The magic system alone is worth reading about, magic is brought into the world by an idea, that idea is personified and then embodied, if it goes wrong, there's a price to pay. But that barely hints at the power, the magic is as powerful as god hood.

Read this book, enjoy it slowly, revel in the next book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something new for a change, 5 May 2009
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An interesting book (actually a compendium of the first two books in a series). A fantasy novel set in a vaguely Japanese / oriental setting. The culture is well described, I liked the comminication by gestures. The fantasy element is subtle, understated (which I like) and original, based on the enslavement of creatures called Andats, who are a kind of personification of abstract ideas.

The characters are morally ambiguous as in real life, it's never clear who are the heroes or villains, instead they all have complex motivations and flaws.

Plenty of action, intrigue and adventure too.

The style reminds me of Paul Park and Ursula Le Guin.

I also like the way he is always describing the food and drink that the characters eat along the way. They always seem to be stopping off at a roadside stall or teahouse for some delicacy. I'd love to try some of these. Reminds me of Jack Vance in that regard.

Originality sometimes seems rare in this genre, but this book is definitely diferent. Very thoughtful, subtle and fascinating.

Highly recommended, if you want something beyond the usual epic quest retreads.

Looking forward to reading more in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An unfair review, 29 Nov. 2014
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I'm giving it three. It may be good but the names and place names were just too confusing for me so I've given up on this. I should have read the sample first, lesson learnt. I think I was just hoping for more dagger and the coin style books because they are consuming. This may be that thrill but again the names are too difficult to pronounce for me, a trivial pet hate.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent debut, 11 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price (Paperback)
There are a number of aspects that can help one fantasy novel stand out. Excellent prose. Deft, inventive worldbuilding. Believable characters that possess genuine human qualities the reader can relate to. A new take on a classic theme that lends freshness to the story. Fluid, realistic dialogue.

Most novels achieve a couple of the above, others maybe more.

A Shadow in Summer possesses all five. The fact that it is American author Daniel Abraham's debut novel makes this feat all the more impressive. Yet what pleased me the most is that Abraham deliberately set out to write something different:

"I wanted to do something to reset people's expectations. I wasn't trying for a traditional epic fantasy, and I thought that would be one way to alert readers that this one might be a little different."

"A little different" being something of an understatement. There are no dark lords, epic battles, magic swords or commoners discovering they have royal blood. In fact, many of the obvious trappings of the fantasy genre are conspicuous by their absence.

And A Shadow in Summer is all the better for it. Don't misunderstand me; there's nothing at all wrong with any of the above elements. It's just nice to read a fantasy book that doesn't immediately feel like two-dozen other ones you've already read. What we have instead is a character-driven story that delves into both the light and dark sides of the human psyche.

The city of Saraykeht is the greatest of the cities of the Khaiem: one of the world's great trading hubs, whose ruler commands a power to rival the gods. This power is the andat Seedless - a captive spirit, formed from thought - who is controlled by the poet Heshai. Seedless is crucial to both the city's cotton trade, and to protecting it from the threat of external enemies.

Yet a plan is in motion that could destroy Saraykeht's influence, and leave it at the mercy of foreign powers. A plan that will cause the collapse of old friendships, betrayals of trust and abuses of power. A plan that will send shockwaves around the world.

And all that is required is the death of one child...

Despite the large-scale repercussions of the secretive machinations in A Shadow in Summer, the cast - unlike many epic fantasies - remains reassuringly small, and each and every character is fleshed out and developed very well. Liat possesses an outward confidence that hides a fragile sense of self-belief, Maati struggles to balance his desires and loyalties, while Otah discovers that you cannot raise barriers against the past. Heshai the poet convincingly flits between wry humour and bleak depression, while Amat and Marchat - two old friends - struggle to understand the changes in their lives as they find themselves on opposing sides in a confrontation that is both political and ideological. The relationships that Abraham builds between these various figures, and the way those relationships grow (or collapse) is utterly convincing, and often touching.

The star of the show, however, is the andat Seedless. Quite simply, he's a wonderful creation, and steals pretty much every scene he appears in. Secretive one moment and painfully honest the next, he's utterly unpredictable - and this is what makes him such an absorbing character. This unpredictability, coupled with a sly wit, means that he oozes menace. Yet the flaws in his binding - the fault of Heshai - are largely to blame for his mindset, so he's far from a simple black-hearted villain. Like everyone else, he has his motivations and reasons to explain them.

Abraham has developed a colourful, vibrant world for his story to unfold in. The land of the Summer Cities possesses a distinct Eastern flavour that provides a refreshing break from the Western European-esque setting of so many fantasies. There's little exposition, as the story doesn't really call for it. Instead, Abraham prefers to breathe life into his world through little touches and flourishes. The use of poses is a good example (characters adopt various physical poses when conversing, almost like a second language). This feature - so easily implemented - adds texture to the world and society.

Another element that makes A Shadow in Summer stand out from other epic fantasies is the speed at which the story unfolds. The plot develops well and at a steady pace, with no unnecessary fluff: the book itself is only 304 pages long. Abraham's prose is also worthy of praise, as it's sharp and precise, yet very evocative:

"To his left, dawn was breaking, rose and gold and pale blue of robin's egg. To his right, the land was still dark. And before him, snow-covered mountains - dark stone showing the bones of the land. He smelled something - a perfume or a musk that made him think of women. He couldn't say if the vision was dream or memory or something of both, but a powerful sorrow flowed through him that lingered after the images had gone."

Perhaps the most striking aspect of A Shadow in Summer is the lack of large-scale set-pieces (as mentioned earlier, there are no battles or epic confrontations). In fact, there's very little physical violence at all - and I found this rather refreshing. This is a novel that - despite the large-scale consequences of the conspiracy at its heart - is very much about the emotions of a select few people, and their respective struggles to maintain their identities and relationships as they try to resolve their own problems. I'll draw a parallel with George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire here, another epic fantasy series that is inherently driven almost entirely by its characters (Martin himself acknowledges Abraham's very "human tale" in his cover quote). And, based solely on this evidence, I don't think mentioning Abraham in the same sentence as Martin flatters him at all.

Verdict: A Shadow in Summer is the sort of novel that we need to see more of if the fantasy genre is truly going to thrive. It's fresh and intelligent, beautifully written and introduces some wonderfully believable characters. In essence, it's a convincing demonstration that you don't need to fall back on the same old familiar tropes in order to write a good fantasy novel. Abraham may not get the exposure that many other more prominent authors in the genre receive, but he certainly blows many of them out of the water in terms of ability. I'll definitely be reading the rest of The Long Price quartet - of which all four books have been released, and recommend that if you're hungering for something a little different, you give A Shadow in Summer a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed, 9 Nov. 2014
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Two in one. This is an Eastern themed fantasy with unique magic systems, interesting characterisation and quite gripping. Struggled to put it down - as can be witnessed by my 1am finish!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The book, 24 Jan. 2015
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I found this book hard to put down I recarmend this book to everyone that love reading thank you to the author
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grows on you!, 31 May 2011
This review is from: Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price (Paperback)
Five months ago I would have given this book 3 stars and not have bothered buying the next as I thought it was rather slow.
However, unusually, since then I have wondered more and more about what will happen and went out and bought the second one
last week. I find the world the author has created unique and compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price (Paperback)
Purchased as a gift. As described.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, slow start, 18 April 2013
By 
Mr. N. Moore "runty_royal" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Enjoyed this book a lot, really clever idea that works well. However I found that the first book was quite slow and took a bit of time to get in too.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a read, staggeringly good, 13 Feb. 2013
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If you are into this genre just red this, it's brilliant. The writing is superb, it's got everything, Mr Abraham is truly a master.
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Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price
Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price by Daniel Abraham (Paperback - 21 Jan. 2010)
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