Top positive review
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How is this not more popular?
on 7 July 2014
I don't often write reviews for anything at all, but Daniel Abraham continues to be frustratingly under-appreciated.
I won't bother with a synopsis as they are readily available in other corners. Allow me to simply give you my view on this book, this series and this author.
I first came across Daniel Abraham through George R R Martin - Abraham is one of Martin's unofficial apprentices, if you will. I began with The Long Price Quarter and was astounded it hadn't caught a wider following. The Dagger and the Coin is similarly superb and apparently widely ignored by the greater reading world, even to my dismay the more niche fantasy fiction fans like myself who voraciously devour everything fantasy. Let me say plainly, Daniel Abraham is up there with the best - Martin, Hobb, Rothfuss, Abercrombie, Lawrence and Lynch.
There is a precision and crispness to Abraham's prose that few can match. There are no long winding stuffy descriptions of the landscape or surroundings, yet somehow they manage to bleed through in perfect, startling clarity. The different cities of Camnipool, Porte Oliva and the other destinations are all vibrant, unique settings brought to life through the perspectives of some seriously compelling characters.
As with many of the best fantasy series, the focus shifts a little in this third entry in the series with supporting characters like Clara Kalliam, Vincen Coe, Yardem Hane and Master Kit taking significant promotions into the limelight while series staples like Geder and Marcus continue to keep you turning the pages until dawn. The real genius of the novel for me though, is the dialogue. It snaps off the page like a firework. Characters speak to each other with bare minimum of conversation at times, yet underneath is an ocean of meaning, depth and an intimacy masterfully portrayed as few other authors can accomplish. Case and point: a rather significant conversation between Marcus and Yardem perfectly encapsulates their relationship. They truly do sound like people who have been around each other so long that each understands the others thoughts with a few simple words.
If you like your fantasy fresh, surprising and with just the right amount of bite, don't hesitate to get involved. And please, of course, start at the beginning. I hope Abraham keeps writing for years and years. Bravo.