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on 30 April 2017
(Spoilers for the entire series so far)

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.

Exceptional. 10/10.
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on 13 July 2016
The second book was disappointing but this one got back on track.

The same old characters, but with added depth, as well as some new ones.

The various sides of the war are shown as individuals and nations struggle against the unexpected power of Geder's priests.

There is plenty of action but the book bypasses tactics for magic leaving the actual prosecution of the war as a very shallow affair.

The personal side is better written and much more interesting, Clara's quiet war is an unusual angle to take and handled deftly, Cithrin's role in this book is less interesting but still keeps you interested and Geder's disconnected dual personality is shown throughout.
The plot thread with Marcus and Kit is by far the most interesting as it exposes new history, several plot twists and a potential new direction.

The ending is good and it really makes you want to get the next one.
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on 12 June 2013
Often, series get accused of middle-book syndrome but this is a very solid entry and brings in quite a lot of new threads to the story that are sure to change the outlook of the remaining books.

What stood out for me in this installment was how each of the four POVs brings a very distinct voice and aspect of the story to life. We have the cringe-worthy tyrant (Geder) the power that banking and commerce can have (Cithrin), the affect of politics/rumours (Clara) and good old fashioned sword wielding (Marcus). What I enjoyed was how the lone hero is possibly the least effective which makes for a nice change of pace in epic fantasy.
The lead characters are interesting but Daniel does his usual trick of having excellent supporting characters in the form of Kit, Vincen and Yardem who easily come to life despite not having in-depth POVs and feel more "real" in the sense we don't know their inner thoughts.

Fans of action may be disappointed as there isn't much hands-on fighting and the large battles tend to happen off the page. Then again the book does have more than enough drama and tension exploring the other aspects of the war so the lack of action wasn't an issue for me.

Daniel also starts to explore racism among the 13 races - something that is often ignored in fantasies with such diverse inhabitants and I'm curious to see where this leads.
I also appreciated some unexpected developments in the book as there were at least two story threads that resolved differently one was plot driven and the other was character driven. The book doesn't end on a cliffhanger but the revelation of the final chapter has me eagerly awaiting book 4.
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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.
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2013
I am loving this series, and am looking forward to the last two with enthusiasm ; not to mention some frustration at having to wait and see what happens!]

I am enjoying the character development in these books, and the fact that the characters drive the plot; the back story of the world is gradually being unfurled too - finally a dragon! The action stays firmly rooted in realism, however, as economics remains the driving force.
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on 16 November 2016
Gave it five stars cos it just gets better with every page. Who would have thought that bankers would be so interesting lol . A real page Turner interesting plot ,characters believable,and heroes waiting to emerge. At last a dragon ! Where do we go from here ,can't wait too find out.
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on 13 October 2016
The stories are worth reading but the story line is a bit jagged and the characters hard to remember and follow as you don't get to know them too well. I'm still hooked though.
It's difficult to imagine the races as they are not effectively described to allow our minds see them.
These books are bette screen plays than books.
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on 5 December 2015
Looking to the next volume
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on 12 April 2014
I cannot wait for book 4. I read all three books within a week and am in awe of the complexity of the plot, the witty dialogue and the sheer brilliance of this author. Bravo!
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on 13 October 2015
Very good series
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