Shadow and Betrayal
In a remote mountain academy, the politically expendable younger sons of the Great Houses study for an extraordinary task. Most will fail, some will die, but the reward for the dedicated few is great: mastery of the andat, and the rank of Poet. Thanks to these men - part sorcerers, part scholars - the great city-states of the Khaiem enjoy wealth and power beyond measure, a...more
The thing I’m finding most fascinating about this world are the poets – and therefore the use of language. Abraham creates a magical system that’s based on people being able to accurately describe forces of nature – and therefo ...more
The world of this series is heavily influenced from a medieval Asia, and more from the Japanese culture, and Abraham here brings a more different style than the usual in the Fantasy genre, ...more
There was this fantasy series I loved like a mad thing when I was about fourteen or so, but I won’t say which one as I don’t want to spoil anyone. There was one character in particular I was very fond of, a dashing young prince. The trilogy, among other things, followed Prince Dashing on various adventures until he saves the land and his lady love and lives happily every after.
But the author did not stop with just this trilogy, he went on to wri ...more
Shadow & Betrayal is the omnibus edition of A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter, the first two books of the Long Price Quartet.
I’m not going to try to describe the story; it’s simply too layered for me to do it justice. Let me just point out that it’s set in a different fantasy world: it has the flavour of the far east and is a rich and different fantasy world with a language that uses physical forms as well as words to convey all its meanings, the scheming children of king ...more
Shadow and Betrayal, by Daniel Abraham, contains the first two books of the Long Price Quartet, namely the books A Shadow in Summer (SiS) and A Betrayal in Winter (BiW). After reading BiW, it is my impression that SiS is the weaker book of the two and functions mostly as an introduction or prologue to the series. That is not to say that SiS is a bad book, only that it's not as strong as BiW. BiW shows Abraham in his stride, showcasing his great narrative and storytelling skills with excell ...more
I recently mentioned that the best SFF doesn't leave its world unchanged. For me, a story that ends 'same-old' falls far below one which explores the plethora of changes - not just 'new-king-on-the-throne' change (and he'd better not have been a farmboy...), but social change. Societal change. Magical change. Technological change. Fantasy in the Industrial Revolution? All for it.
...And at its heart, the Long Price Quartet is uniquely about ch ...more
A Shadow in Summer:
I’m more a fan of intricate, character-driven fantasy than sensational sword-and-sorcery quests; I’d choose Robin Hobb over David Gemmell in a trice. So when I was told that – despite the moody warrior on the front cover – Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price belonged more to the former camp than the latter, I was intrigued.
I was right to be. Having just finished A Shadow in Summer (book 1 of The Long Price quartet, and the first of the tw ...more
First, let me talk the world and the rich, glorious detail of it that seeps through in the crack of every lovely sentence Abraham crafts. Because I'd read a hundred and more pages of this without any clear driving sense of the story, but ...more
This is an unusual but interesting and well written saga set in a time and place that is not of this Earth (I don’t think). The main characters (Maati and Otah) lives are bonded together but go their separate ways while intersecting at numerous points as they both grow and learn and get caught up in a devious plot to topple the leader of a city.
The most bizarre and original and interesting element to these stories are the manifestations of ideas into physi ...more
Con questo libro (in realtà la prima parte di uno dei due volumi che raccolgono la quadrilogia) comincio la lettura della saga di Daniel Abraham, The long price quartet.
Una saga fortemente sponsorizzata da Tintaglia (che, in effetti, mi ha passato i due tomi lo scorso anno per farmela leggere, da brava spacciatrice di testi).
Devo ammettere però che, alla fine, questo primo libro è stato abbastanza deludente.
La scrittura dell’autore è ottima, e tiene il lettore incollato alle p ...more
A Shadow in Summer:
The first book mostly plays out in Saraykeht, the dominating city of the Summer Cities. It has immeasurable wealth and a lot of this wealth comes forth from an andat named Seedless. It’s a creature made by th ...more
The magic is original and the politics is viscous and believable.
The characters are well written, changing as they get older and experience more.
The endings are both good but the first one is better, Seedless steals the show.
The world we are introduced to is largely controlled by The Cities of the Khaiem; city states ruled by a controlling family headed by the Khai. The reason ...more
The thing I love the most in A Shadow in Summer is the amount of world building and the attention to detail. The Khaiem has a very strong Oriental feel. First, the school that Otah Machi attends reminds me very much of the Shaol ...more
Two-stars for A Betrayal in Winter
My full review can be found on my
Shadow and Betrayal is actually a compilation of the first two novels of the Long Price Quartet (A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter respectively). I was drawn to this series not only for the Asian influences (down to the style of the prose, which might feel familiar to those who have read The Analects of Confucius or another such work in translation) but because it promised to cover the ...more
A Shadow in Summer: Otah Machi turns aw ...more
What is different are the peoples and their cultures, and this at times makes it difficult to read, as some of the feat ...more
Cons: characters make disappointing choices
Otah Machi, sixth son of the Khai Machi, gives up his chance to become a poet and leaves the training school he was sent to without a brand, in order to make his own way in life. Years later, one of Otah's pupils, Maati, comes to Saraykeht to apprentice with its poet. Poets keep Andat, spirits made flesh who perform particular tasks. Saraykeht's Andat, Seedless, helps with the cotton tr ...more
An idea that lives and is bound to its creator, where its purpose is to serve and continually look for means to break that servitude. It brings power...and it brings danger.
In the country of Saraykeht, the cap ...more
I don’t think any one thing in particular stands out as being particularly good, or bad, but overall I have the feeling of having read a book carefully crafted by a master. The plots flow naturally, and realistically. The prose is appropriate to the situation.
I can see why people have problems getting into “Summer”, however, it is an essential part of the quartet. The events that occur here echo throughout the rest of the books with significant ...more