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Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price by [Abraham, Daniel]
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Shadow And Betrayal: Book One of The Long Price Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 624 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Enjoyable, intelligent, original fantasy (Starburst)

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2317 KB
  • Print Length: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (17 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MQM7FU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,677 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
It's been a very long time since I've read such an enjoyably complete story - although technically 4 books it's sold in 2 tomes and thus (brilliantly to my mind) avoids the hackneyed cliche of the middle volume of a trilogy that often seems there just to draw a plot over too many pages and to get you to buy another book.

Whatever, Daniel Abraham tells a fine story with an engagingly original style - I'm not a fan of giving away best bits and the like, but would add that it's one of the only books where I've slowed up in the final chapters to take in the enormity of the journeys that the surviving characters have been on.

Buy it and find some quiet time and places to have disbelief suspended.
:o)
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