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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 August 2014
The Widow's House is Book 4 of 5 in The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham.

The plot is epic in scope as the conflict escalates into a world war. However the author manages to keep The Widow's House tightly focused as we continue to follow Clara, Cithrin, Geder and Marcus.

Geder as the Regent is one of the most unusual antagonists. He is petty, insecure and weak which make him occasionally an object of sympathy but also very dangerous thanks to the machinations of the priesthood. Clara the widow tries to change things from behind the scenes as her family is forced to stand on both sides of the growing conflict. Cithrin the genius banker who just escaped Geders clutches (or embrace) continues to plot and scheme. Marcus, who unlike the others almost fits the stereotypical fantasy warrior, has to deal with the dragon he woke at the end of The Tyrant's Law.

Overall a very good read. I found the dragon to be a wonderful introduction, terrifying and very alien. The world building and fast paced storytelling are excellent. The characters remain compelling and the action is plentiful. Under the surface there are several interesting themes. Namely the influence of perception on reality, the distinction between types of power as well as the impact of banking and money on society.

Looking forward to reading the end of the series in The Spider's War next year.
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on 14 January 2016
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on 30 December 2016
Good book, fast delivery.
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on 10 September 2014
I've read some good books lately, including several in this genre, but as soon as I began The Widow's House I recognised the step change from good to great. Each of the three previous books in this series has improved upon the previous novel, with the characters becoming even more fleshed out, the pace of the plot accelerating and, very gradually, the reason for the series title of 'The Dagger and the Coin' becoming apparent. I love all of these books and I thought that I had it all worked out now and could see where it is heading but, even here, there are twists and revelations that I just hadn't foreseen.

All of the favourite characters play parts in this book and I guess that the title, 'The Widow's House', is appropriate because Clara is such a major figure in this book. It's weird to refer to a fantasy novel as 'believable', but, if such a thing is possible, then this does it superbly. I love the expression of the macho hero, Marcus Wester, weakening as time and effort take their toll on him and, all of the way through, there are thoughtful little details of 'reality', especially in the sections describing how an army passes through a region.

And then there's the dragon. This isn't like any dragon that I've ever come across in a fantasy book before and the complexities of Inys' character, status and, indeed, vulnerabilities, make for a fully rounded character in his own right. I can't describe more without spoiling some of the fun for those who haven't read this yet but, trust me, this dragon is much more interesting that anything you've read before; George RR Martin eat your heart out!

What is so unusual about these books, apart from the fantastic craft in their creation, is that, just when you're comfortably buried in your small scale fantasy story, it takes a twist and you see that you've been dealing with the huge issues of life all along. It questions the meaning of love and honour but then so have other books of this nature, but this one delves into the meaning of war, trade, peace, religious belief, bigotry and even the meaning of what it is to be human. This is helped by having three dimensional characters who aren't entirely 'bad' or 'good'; the feminine heroine is a drunkard, the main villain is a man for whom we have huge sympathy and he really does want to do the right thing, the brutish dragon is, actually, dextrous and massively intelligent...and so on.

I knew when I read the first in this series that it was a cut above the rest and it has just raised its game with every new book in the series. As with the previous books, Widow's House ends poised for a landslide run to the finish and I just can't wait.
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on 22 August 2014
The plot/s thicken... Political, financial and a touch of romance. This is a wonderful series and I can't wait for the final denouement.
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on 17 August 2014
Beautifully written with a good story line. Very interested to find out what happens next. Characters are well created and believeable
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on 20 September 2014
A better book in this splendid series than its predecessor. Learn the limits of the Spider and the Dragon, and how one big lie can bring down the Lord of Lies. Know the vengeance of a mother and a tyrant's darkest fears.
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on 15 March 2015
Reasonable pace and good complexity of characters. Suitable read for us older folk who desire something less black and white.
The characters have been created with depth and humanity. Excellent read.
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on 8 November 2014
The previous book was a bit slow, but this one picks up the pace considerably. The plot also keeps revealing uenxpected things, with the truth always a bit more complicated than i'd previously thought.
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on 30 January 2015
Love love love this series, I'm just mad they aren't all out yet as I've devoured the ones that are! I can't wait to find out how everything ends. If you're a fan of fantasy you'll be a fan of these
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