The Tyrant's Law (Dagger and the Coin) Paperback – 14 May 2013
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"Everything I look for in a fantasy."--George R.R. Martin on The Dragon's Path
"Abraham builds on The Dragon's Path to create and sustain a rich, satisfyingly complex epic fantasy." "Publishers Weekly on The King's Blood.""
"Everything I look for in a fantasy." "George R.R. Martin on The Dragon's Path""
"Abraham builds on The Dragon's Path to create and sustain a rich, satisfyingly complex epic fantasy." Publishers Weekly on The King's Blood."
"This smart, absorbing, fascinating military fantasy, exciting and genuinely suspenseful, will keep readers on their toes." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Tyrant's Law"
"Prepare to be shocked, startled, and entertained." Locus on The Dragon's Path"
"It's as if Clint Eastwood went to Narnia...A pleasure for Abraham's legion of fans." Kirkus on The Dragon's Path"
"Everything I look for in a fantasy." George R.R. Martin on The Dragon's Path"
"Abraham is fiercely talented, disturbingly human, breathtakingly original and even on his bad days kicks all sorts of literary ass." Junot Diaz on The Long Price Quartet"
The third instalment in this enthralling epic fantasy series, from the author of the critically acclaimed Long Price Quartet --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I love this series and it's shaping up to be one of the best I've ever read and I have read a lot of incredible stuff.
As with the previous books we follow Geder, Clara, Marcus and Cithrin, the chapters are divided up whereby each of the them is the main point of view character and we get to witness events through their eyes. What I love is that each character is so different - not just in age and gender - so every chapter is fresh, you see things from a different perspective and they all have distinctive voices; this author is such a talent.
The story arc is fantastic, Geder is a revelation of a character; I feel sorry for him at times and yet he's a monster. Cithrin describes him perfectly at one stage: "He's a terrible person, you know. But he's also not. I don't think I've ever known anyone who managed to make himself so alone".
Marcus was a little underused in the previous book but his adventures with Kit are the strongest chapters in the book in my opinion. Secrets are revealed that shocked me and I have no idea how this will all end but I can't wait to read more and find out.
If you're onto book 3 then you already know the standard of the prose, plotting, character growth, world building and story arc that Abraham exhibits. It's complex, clever and hugely enjoyable.
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.
Clara Kalliam finds herself in very different circumstances after her husband has been executed for treason against the Throne and Palliako. No longer a prominent lady in Court circles, Clara has to adjust to life on a limited budget while living in rented accommodation. However, her reduced circumstances don't stop her from planning the downfall of those who destroyed her happy life. She is secretly plotting against those in power in order to save the country she loves. But while her scheming appears to be successful, Clara will find out that the best laid plans can have unexpected and unwanted results.
Cithrin bel Sarcour has, at last, been accepted by the Medean Bank but has to serve a learning period with one of the branches; a posting that will put her directly in the line of war and force her to both grow up fast and make decisions that would have been impossible to even imagine in the past.
And while the war spreads ever further Captain Marcus Wester and Master Kit are on a quest to find a way and the necessary weapons to stop the progress of the Spider Goddess. This is a quest that will take them into inhospitable areas, shatter long held believes and lead to a surprising conclusion.
As I mentioned above, this is the third book in this series and while it could be read as a stand-alone I would really advice against that. These books work as well as they do because they are a series and there is a clear build-up through out the books. We slowly but carefully get to know the characters and the world they inhabit. As the story continues we get an ever better idea of the dangers this world faces and the connections between the various players. With every book the tension is heightened and the dangers become clearer. It is a pleasure to experience the story getting ever more intense, and the only way to fully enjoy that is to read these books in sequence.
This is not an action packed, thrill a minute sort of fantasy series. Abrahams takes his time with the story and his characters. A lot of the tension is just below the surface and it is to the author's credit that he can make me feel that danger and the accompanying urge to keep on turning the pages without resorting to endless scenes of danger and violence. In these books the characters, what happens to them and their reactions to those events are what drive the story. And those characters, despite the fact that a lot of them are described as looking nothing like us, became so real to this reader that I found myself forgetting I was reading a fantasy at times. None of these characters are only good or bad. Palliako may make some despicable decisions but he never loses his humanity and it is easy to believe that he may be under the illusion that he is doing the right thing for all the right reasons. At the same time Markus and Master Kit may be our questing heroes, but that doesn't mean that they don't make mistakes or take wrong decisions. All of which results in the story becoming more intriguing and harder to put down.
The cover-blurb, by George R.R. Martin states:
"Everything I look for in a fantasy".
I agree. This book does deliver it all and then some; a well developed world, characters that are as fascinating as they are credible, a well plotted and even better presented story-line and a tension that is slowly but steadily building to a crescendo that can't be too far away. This world and these characters have captured me and I can't wait to see where this journey will take us next. My only regret is that I will have to wait a year before I find out how this story will continue and whether or not the fourth book will bring the conclusion or more tension build-up. And, if I'm honest, I'm not sure whether I'm hoping for that conclusion or the pleasure of more books to look forward to in the future.
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The same old characters, but with added depth, as well as some new ones.Read more
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