Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book

Daniel Abraham delighted fantasy readers with his brilliantly original and engaging first novel, and in his second penned a tragedy as darkly personal and violent as Shakespeare's King Lear. Now he has written an epic fantasy of much wider scope and appeal that will thrill his fans and enthrall legions of new readers.

Otah Machi, ruler of the city of Machi, has tried for years to prepare his people for a future in which the magical andat, entities that support their commerce and intimidate all foes, can no longer be safely harnessed. But his efforts are too little, too late. The Galts, an expansionist empire from across the sea, have tired of games of political espionage and low-stakes sabotage. Their general, a ruthless veteran, has found a way to do what was thought impossible: neutralize the andat.

As the Galtic army advances, the Poets who control the andat wage their own battle to save their loved-ones and their nation. Failure seems inevitable, but success would end the Galtic threat.

With wonderful storytelling skill, Abraham has wedded the unique magic, high-stakes betrayal and political intrigue of his previous works with a broad tapestry of action in a spectacular fantasy epic.

366 pages, Hardcover

First published July 1, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Daniel Abraham

248 books2,809 followers
Daniel James Abraham, pen names M.L.N. Hanover and James S.A. Corey, is an American novelist, comic book writer, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known as the author of The Long Price Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin fantasy series, and with Ty Franck, as the co-author of The Expanse series of science fiction novels, written under the joint pseudonym James S.A. Corey.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,451 (34%)
4 stars
2,891 (41%)
3 stars
1,337 (19%)
2 stars
240 (3%)
1 star
92 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 323 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
689 reviews46.2k followers
May 4, 2023
(I read this in The Price of War omnibus.)

4.5/5 Stars

Heartfelt, original, and magnificent; I’m baffled by how underrated this series is.

Usually in a series—doesn’t matter what the genre is—there’s a tendency where I wish some of the characters would just die because they just don’t provide anything to the main storyline; or maybe just utterly boring and infuriating (I’m looking at you, Isana from Codex Alera). This is not the case with this series, I did think that way towards several characters in the first book but this installment proves me wrong; they were all necessary. Abraham smartly used every knowledge that the readers have accumulated from the first book to create a sense of connection with the world and the characters; especially in their personality complexity and believability. Abraham’s characterizations are wonderful and felt real, ever since the second book, whether it’s new or returning characters, each of their journey was compelling and simply unpredictable.

Like the title said, the third installment in the Long Price Quartet is where war finally happened between the Khaeim and the Galtic empire. Surprisingly, beneath all the conflicts, the power of Abraham’s character-driven stories as he weaved a tale of war that’s highly original with tons of relatable message and topics spread throughout the pages. Three of the most often occurring themes within this book is parenthood, acceptance/regrets of our past decisions, and the horror of war. It’s been another 15 years since the end of the second book and Otah-Machi, our main character, is now 48 years old. After decades of scheming and political battles, the war with the Galt empire is finally here. An Autumn War is technically the most action-packed—though they are still very low in quantity—book in the series, it’s also the most emotional as Abraham managed to show the price of war articulately. Take a read at this passage:

"You're talking of slaughtering a nation. Thousands of innocent people destroyed, lands made barren, mountains leveled and the sea pulled up over them like a blanket. And you're feeling sorry for yourself that you had to wring a bird's neck as a boy? How can anyone have feelings that delicate and that numbed both at the same time?”

The last five chapters of this book were completely pulse-pounding. Even though the action scenes were done in minimum, the scale was epic, the stakes of the war are enormous, and these chapters made me grit my teeth and emotional; the slow story buildup towards the climax sequences pays off magnificently.

Picture: An Autumn War by zippo514

I don’t know how this series will end from here, my reviews for this series so far has been pretty short in comparison to my usual reviews but it’s really hard to go into full detail without spoiling stuff because of the series originality and unpredictability. If the fourth book of the series somehow ends up being even better than this, The Long Price Quartet will without question be included in my small list of favorite series of all time. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s okay with almost zero action scenes and are looking for an original adult fantasy series with a lot of Eastern influences.

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews884 followers
June 19, 2018
This was brilliant. Heartbreaking but brilliant. Also vicious. Still brilliant, if you get my meaning.

The third book in the Longest Price Quartet is neither about cotton or mining industry nor about betrayals and conspiracies (well, maybe a bit); it is mainly about war and other things even worse than book-burning. The intrigue grows in scale and the spins out of control. War is hell waged to escape the fears of what might happen, magic is a weapon of mass destruction. It is not about individual fates anymore. The world is at stake.

“One simple death is the best we can hope for, sometimes. If it saves the world.”

Otah, a ruler by necessity, has governed Machi for past 14 years. He has been forced to assume a role that placed him somewhere between the manager and a demigod (Khai means a servant after all). Years of ceremony and negotiations and court gossip worn him down but didn’t break him; he still refuses to follow the traditions blindly and so instead of having a cohort of wives he is married to one woman only and instead of a healthy flock of offspring that would attempt to kill each other in a bid for power, he has one daughter and one son (and a sickly one at that). But now, a time comes when he needs to sacrifice everything he holds dear in order to protect everything he has been questioning his whole life.

For the ever-expanding Galtic empire, the cities of the Khaiem amount to the anathema. Their schemes aimed at the destruction of the andat, previously thwarted, are about to bear fruit at last. It is possible thanks to a renegade poet, but mainly thanks to one man, general Balasar Gice. Man, ridden so hard by his personal demons that what he planned is not a simple war (don’t be deceived by the title). What he planned, is the end of the world.

The figure of Balasar has been superbly written; this single-minded Galt, physically unprepossessing but of an immense charisma and terrifying strategic mind reminded me of Napoleon in the way he is leading by example or believes that battles are won or lost long before they are fought.

“At heart, he was not a conqueror. Only a man who saw what needed doing and then did it.”

But so is Otah, whether what needs doing is killing a man, taking a throne or waging a war. The clash between these two personalities is one of the main axes the book revolves around. Sparks fly, but equally, tears fall and blood flows. Otah’s transformation is interesting to observe: how he negotiates and compromises between lofty ideals of his youth and the pragmatic considerations of his maturity. Admittedly, Mr Abraham also tries to paint Balasar in different hues to escape the image of a straightforward villain. In fact, what we get is a man of integrity, intelligence, and vision. Sometimes, it is hard to place him as an antagonist at all.

Needless to say, I found it hard to accept this reasoning and agree with the premises it has been built on. Every time Balasar was given voice to verbalise his hopes and fears, I wanted to kick him in straight into his double-standarded righteousness. I ended the book knowing that I hate the Galt general and Balasar Gice in particular. I really don't think Mr Abraham can ever redeem them for me.

However, the book is more than the clash of these two titans. I love how Mr Abraham wastes nothing. Not a single motif or a character is forgotten. There is Maati torn between his calling to be a poet and his desire to be a father. Liat, the long-lost lover, makes an appearance as she has been busy these long years, running a house that had been founded to keep watch on the duplicity of the ever-scheming Galts. She brings her son whom fatherhood is shrouded in mystery. There is Otah’s daughter’, half a girl, not quite half a woman yet, already fiendishly smart and independent. The jungle of feelings between parents and children, the motif of a family, of things worth sacrificing for and things that cannot be saved, are also important aspects of many individual arcs. And underlining it all, the reader will find the question of the price we are willing (or unwilling but forced) to pay, and then pay again.

Regardless of the one star killed by Balasar Gice, I have to say that the Autumn War is the best book in the whole set. Well written, repeatedly punching the reader in the most vulnerable places. The closing of chapter 15 and the opening of 16 was viciously brilliant (wait for it!). But, again I need to underline that Mr Abraham surprised me with his grand design. And as much as I can dislike the way he developed the story, or have a preferred alternative, I cannot argue with his version because it has both depth and sense that goes beyond mere neatness. Check yourself.

Also in the series:

1. A Shadow in Summer ✮✮✮✮
2. A Betrayal in Winter ✮✮✮✮✮
4. The Price of Spring ✮✮✮
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews235 followers
May 19, 2017
Another phenomenal book in this series and the best so far. I'm still in love with all the eastern culture and how subtly it's projected. The characters are just so real as are their emotions and interactions.

The horrors of war are not sugar coated in this book nor are they stylized or heroic. They are a brutal reality. The ending of this book was likewise brutal on a different scale and completely unforeseen. The horror of what they had wrought and the scale of grief it represented was chilling.

If book #4 is as good as the first three this will be a top #5 series all time for me. It's probably not for everybody as it's not an Arnold or Stallone movie in book form but the subtle complexities of the human interaction coupled with his smooth writing style make it a winner for me.
Profile Image for David Sven.
288 reviews449 followers
July 12, 2015
I had trouble motivating myself to pick this up each reading session. I think I'm all Abrahammed out at the moment.

The central and cool concept of the Andat was all done in the first book and it hasn't really developed much further from there. The Khaiem and the system of succession by attrition was explored in the second book and that was interesting

This book the Galts play there master stroke and there is war as the title suggests. It should be the best book so far - but it just didn't grab my attention as much as the other two. I think the jumps in time between books don't help. I feel like I'm reading about characters who have undergone changes off stage and they aren't the same people I connected with earlier.

I'm not sure if I want to continue on to the last book at this stage. Not because this book was so bad - but this book ends at a place where I don't need to see how the rest will play out. I could end the series here and guess at what the future will be.

I might read some other books in between and then see if I feel like finding out where the characters end up in the aftermath of the events in this book.

3 stars.
Profile Image for Lee.
351 reviews192 followers
May 8, 2015
It will be difficult to go into any detail about this book without getting into spoilers, It is book 3 out of 4 after all.

Needless to say, this entire story creeps up on you and then completely hooks you in. I felt book one was an interesting story, but book 3....wow... I literally could not put it down. A late night reading became a very late night, because I just had to find out the ending. The pressure during the story kept building and building, the pace was brilliant and i got so antsy about what was coming that I found myself speeding up during the non essential paragraphs and had to stop myself glancing ahead.

The basic story premise is there are poets in the world, who can describe an idea and bind that idea into a mini god. This mini god is called an Andat and only one race of people have them. Given that the Andats can be beings like 'stone made soft' means that they wield incredible power, the power holds all the power with his control over the Andat, so if you want to dig a mine for raw materials, well poet will come and make stone like butter. It of course scares the shit out of the neighbours as your poet could from his bedroom turn an entire nation into quicksand and sink everyone in it.

That is as far as I am going, because everything else will spoil. I am definitely recommending this to all my fantasy buddies. By the time you get to book three you will be an absolute fan.

Profile Image for Margret.
142 reviews62 followers
December 9, 2016
Very good and emotional. Daniel Abraham is best when he's portraying the true cost of war
Profile Image for Grace Dionne.
277 reviews217 followers
August 25, 2023
Re-reading this has cemented it as one of my favourite books of all time

This book was absolutely incredible. Video discussion will be coming at some point soon :)
Profile Image for Mark.
1,007 reviews63 followers
October 17, 2013
A lot of the time you read fantasy the book ends up being some world-traveling epic. Lots of the second half of the Wheel of Time series, for instance, seemed to be making a checklist of all of the assorted nations that the action had not been to yet, and going to those places. Lots of politics, lots of tertiary characters, sad yarns spun. It's automatically epic if a half-sketched world is threatened, right?

Some wars are fought between good and evil. Some wars are just fought because two sides, neither of whom is entirely good or evil, end up fighting. In the third volume of The Long Price Quartet, it is the latter sort of war. The distant Galts come invading, because it turns out there is a general who is very interested in the world not having andats any more, a stance which is not indefensible. Only the Khai Machi, our old friend Otah, who has spent another fourteen years or so being an eccentric part of the Khaiem, has any interest in envisioning a post-andat world, and so he becomes the nemesis, because it turns out that when you have magical beings that are largely used for commerce but can be used for aggressive purposes as well, there's not a whole lot of need to maintain a standing army.

This is cool to see play out. A strength of this series is multiple complex characters, perhaps because there have been years (in world time) between books for them to develop conflicting motivations. They get along, or don't, and what they've been through matters, and sometimes they change, sometimes they rise to the occasion. Or they don't. War is messy. Anyway, sometimes I see praise heaped upon characters for being complex when they're like one-dimensional with one or two token backstory bits to differentiate them and this is about as boring as one-dimensional characters. Daniel Abraham has actual human beings for characters and it's awesome.

There are gobs of fantasy series out there that sprawl and turn into gigantic messes. I've read and liked my share of them, but seriously, sometimes, goddamn. Goodreads notes that the hardcover edition of An Autumn War was 366 pages. That is a tightly-packed, fast-paced story with its share of action that is nonetheless character-driven. Choices are made that matter, without the prose wanking at us about how much those choices matter. Scenery is painted vividly but briefly. The whole "took a pose" thing mercifully blends in with the rest of the scenery.

Basically, take all the good parts of 21st century fantasy stuff and then remove all the parts that suck but you just kinda put up with them because fantasy is fun. Then you get the Long Price Quartet. And it's finished! Right now I can go read the next book, which is the last book! Amazing.
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
580 reviews218 followers
December 28, 2015
This was brilliant at times. At others, it dragged a little. But even when it was moving slowly, I enjoyed it.

I'm really starting to like some of these characters. New ones, and the ones carried over from the earlier books. Abraham writes them so well that love or hate them, they're worth reading about. Or listening, in this case. The audiobook performance of Neil Shah was perfect for this book. At first I wasn't sure at all I liked him, but after a couple of chapters his voice molded to the story. And his character voices are perfect.

I really need to see where this series will go from here. One more book and it's over. The way this one has built up to it, I think I'm in for a real treat.
Profile Image for Rob.
853 reviews540 followers
July 5, 2015
Executive Summary: Best one yet. More action than the previous two, but again the emphasis is character driven political conflicts.

Audio book: Neil Shah continues to be a good, but not great narrator. It makes audio a viable option, but far from a must listen.

Full Review
I continue to be impressed with Mr. Abraham. Each book continues to improve on the previous one.

This one has more action than the previous ones, but again the main focus is on the politics of the Khaiem, and raises the stakes with it's conflict with Galt.

The best part of this series continues to be it's characters. In this book, my particular favorites are the new antagonist Balasar and the mercenary captain Sinjah (or however you spell it).

I bounce from despising Balasar to starting to like him, or to remember how misguided and hateful he is being. And the actions of Sinjah kept me guessing the whole time. Both are very complex characters that relish in the shades of grey Mr. Abraham seems to be so good at.

I must also add I had no idea where this book was going to end up. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out at least the broad strokes of most stories. This one, not so much. I will say, I'm glad I have the time to jump right into book 4, because I just had to know what would happen next.

As this is the third book in a series, there isn't much else I can say without getting into spoiler territory for either this book or the two previous ones.

This has easily been the best of the series thus far, and if the trend continues, I'm in for an excellent ending.
Profile Image for Sarah Aubert.
475 reviews348 followers
February 19, 2022
My favourite of the series so far. Abraham is a masterful character writer and it's so satisfying to see small moments from the first book reverberate through the narrative. I'll save my in-depth thoughts for our upcoming discussion, but this series just gets better with each instalment.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,158 reviews312 followers
August 11, 2015
This is an easy 5 star rating for me. Abraham weaves a tale of war and heartbreak with signature skill. Finally in book three, we see the female characters stepping to the fore, and as expected, their involvement feels necessary and natural to the evolution of the story. One of the best (and most impressive) parts of the story arc as a whole has been seeing the characters change and mature.

What I like most about Abraham's characters has always been their reality - they do not act like perfect archetypes, they act like the flawed people they are. It makes them more interesting because you can't always rely on them to do the "right" thing, or even to know what the "right" thing is for that matter. That hasn't changed in this book. We still see the characters struggling with their humanity, their inability to control their world, their wants and desires, and the people they love and cherish.

On the writing itself, there were so many small moments that were captured in this book so perfectly. I find that is something of a rarity, and it made reading this book a particular pleasure.
Profile Image for Eh?Eh!.
374 reviews4 followers
April 5, 2011
...that feeler explodes. Um, not a spoiler to say it's a big ol' war (see book title).

This book begins maybe another 10 years later. A rival nation, maybe based on England with its pale skinned people and steam engines, and a general determined to remove andats by wiping out the poets and their libraries. With a ploy that's a little too convenient for my taste, the general blitzkriegs the Summer Cities. War is hell, the locals attempt guerilla warfare, and a finally a love triangle I dig - more because it's barely there, viewed through screens, not in-your-face. The general ends up at the northernmost city from the previous book where the last remaining poets attempt to harness an andat. Oh man, another wow! scene where the result devastates both nations .

I remember the word bacon appeared on page 138. Sinja and his line near the end, yay!

Amazing set-up for the last book.
Profile Image for Lema.
192 reviews84 followers
January 9, 2018
My first favorite book of 2018 and the book that would add this quartet to the rank of my FAVORITE SERIES OF ALL TIME.

Man, let me start out by saying that EVERYONE should read this book!
But Lema, you didn't give the full 5 stars to the first two? (You can see here the reviews for Book 1 and Book 2)
Well I was an IGNORANT FOOL BACK THEN! ok not really, it's just that this book is everything and it's totally worth it to read the first two just to get to this one (true they can be a bit slow, but they are short with excellent writing and plots and each one surpasses its predecessor by miles and miles).

Again, remember when I was complaining about the detachment I felt in book 1, well it's all like all the lacking emotions has been packed tightly in this one, I swear I had misty eyes at some interaction like every other page, and the climax? oooh the climax, the battle scenes was so well done, it came close to something out of the Stormlight Archives or the Faithful and the Fallen, yes THAT good, with the added bonus of this being my constant state of mind for like 100 pages straight (you can ask Petrik, I was wailing the whole way through :P)


Another way that I want to describe this book is being beautiful inside out, the cover is just magical, and this one focuses a lot more than the previous ones on themes of family love, friendship, devotion and loyalties and urgh my heart just thinking about it *clutches chest*, you find yourself rooting for freaking everyone, and all sides of conflict. The characters, after following them for the past almost 30 years of their lives, have become my family and I now love every single one of them, I find their joy is mine and their sorrow is sadly mine as well.

I just can't praise this book enough, just do yourself a favor and buy the beautiful bindups of every 2 novels. Kylie, girl I owe you for this wonderful recommendation :')
Profile Image for Scott.
385 reviews22 followers
August 11, 2015
I probably say this in all my reviews of Abraham's books but I'm so impressed with his writing. There's nothing wasted in these books; each chapter, each paragraph, each word feels meticulously planned to create the desired affect. His stories truly feel alive

And not only that but his characters always feel honest and human. There are no perfect people in this world, who always do the exact right thing at the right moment. There are people who love, who hate, who make mistakes, who attempt to better themselves. Very three dimensional
Profile Image for Robyn.
827 reviews131 followers
August 22, 2015
That did not end the way I thought it would, and I think that's a good thing. In many ways, I think this has been the most relatable book of the series - for the most part, the characters feel extremely real and the world remains utterly vibrant. I was thankful for the Galt POV this time around, but at the same time I continue to find their motivations very obscure. (To offer advice in hindsight, I think Abraham should have been including them from the very beginning.) It would appear, though, that I remain quite happy to read anything Abraham writes.

Profile Image for Joanne.
619 reviews60 followers
August 28, 2022
The 3rd book in a quartet and one of the best fantasy books I have read. The entire series has been fantastic, but this 3rd book took it to a whole new level for me.

Daniel Abraham is a master of characterization. There are so many layers underneath these people he has created. Also, the world he has built (based on the Far East) is so unique, along with the magic system. What an imagination!

The title basically tells you that this book is about a war. Abraham does not sugar coat the horrors of war torn countries, he makes it very real and heart-wrenching. Nothing is sugar coated.

If you enjoy High Fantasy, I highly recommend this series and author.
Profile Image for Mike.
408 reviews103 followers
October 12, 2018
Holy shit.

Holy SHIT.

Next book please.
Profile Image for Campbell.
548 reviews
May 23, 2019
I like this series. I really like this series. It's fantasy, but not as you know it. No dragons, no flashy magical pyrotechnics, no annoying youthful protagonists who become puissant practitioners of High Art.

Instead we have the mundane, mercantile Empire of Galt facing off against the exotic, Ottoman-esque Khaiem city states with their pet Djinn (known here as 'Andat') and the Poets who both wield then and keep them from destroying the world.

The world-building is particularly well thought-out.
Profile Image for Birte.
683 reviews22 followers
January 14, 2021
I have finally finished this book. Although I've enjoyed it more than the first two entries in this series, it still took me forever to read this because I was never motivated to read it.

One of the reasons for that is just, that I'm not really invested in any of the characters and even the plot couldn't interest me that much. But that sounds a bit too negative than my experience actually was.

I did really like the story, just how it was sometimes told didn't sit right with me. And the fact that I didn't like the characters didn't help that much. I was interested in them and their choices but not just for the character's sake. This was still so far my favourite of the series so far, because there were a lot of stakes and choices to be made, which were hard and sometimes kinda stupid, but it was very realistic and thinking of all the consequences was an intriguing concept.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
October 7, 2010
4.5 to 5.0 stars. This is the third book of the Long Price Quartet following A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter. It is also the strongest and best book in a series that is fast becoming one of the best in recent years.

Following the events in A Betrayal in Winter, war is brewing between the Galts and Khaiem. The Galts are led by a brilliant and daring general named Balasar Gice who has a plan to remove the one great advantage of the Khaiem...namely the poets and their magical andat. Meanwhile, Otah (now Khai Machi) and Maati prepare for the inevitable war with Galt, a war they can not win without unleashing the andat on the Galtic cities.

What ensues is a superbly written piece of epic fantasy that moves along at a breakneck pace with believable and interesting characters and one of the most unique and imaginative magic systems in recent years (i.e., the poets and the andat). What I particularly liked about this story is that General Gice was a POV character and you were able to see and understand his motivations for the war and come to respect him as someone who beleived in what he was doing. No black/white good guy/bad guy , but rather well-fleshed out individuals with complex motivations. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

Profile Image for Penny -Thecatladybooknook.
605 reviews31 followers
March 24, 2022
Updating this to all FIVE STARS after finishing the series.

4.5 rounding to 5....I may edit and give a solid 5 stars but I want to read The Price of Spring before I make any hard decisions.

This series...WOW!!! (Ryan, you need to read this PRONTO!! LOL) Yes, it starts out slower in Book 1 but the end of that book was SO GOOD!!! Book 2 built on what had happened 14 years prior and felt a bit faster paced to me. Then here comes book 3 and I've been having to save my stars to rate this book and the next one!

This book has just the right amount of battle, of battle planning, of politics, of backstabbing and I was a nervous wreck the whole way through this book. I can't wait to read the Price of Spring to see how this all ends up. HIGHLY recommend this series if you like great writing and prose, and are fine with a slower paced story with big bang!
Profile Image for Kylie.
134 reviews148 followers
December 9, 2016
Honestly, this book series is so underrated. It is really fantastic and also the writing is beautiful and gives us a unique look at our characters. This magic that I've thought was so interesting for two books made me turn against it and hate its existence. Ridiculous! I've never changed my mind about something big like that in a book. Ever! Cannot wait for the last installment in this companion book Quartet.
Edit two minutes after I posted this: I enjoyed the first book for its un-epic-ness but as the series goes on, the books get bigger and more epic in scale and I love it! Something to love for every fantasy lover I feel like.
270 reviews16 followers
August 16, 2019
4.5 Star.

Unlike the first two books, where I felt the plots were too convoluted just for the sake of being convoluted, I really thought the plot in this third book of the Long Price Quartet series to be fairly straightforward. I knew and expected, based on the title, to see the long-awaited war between the Galts and the Khaiem, and Daniel Abraham delivered. I also absolutely agree with the price of war that Mr. Abraham set for both sides in this war. Masterfully done.

Another element that makes this book so much better than the first two books is the villain. The villain in the first book, while important to introduce us to what the Galts were like, was too unremarakble to be a villain. The villain of the second book, while ruthless and memorable, seemingly had nothing to do with the Galts. A wily veteran general with ambiguous morality, high principles, supreme self-confidence, extreme loyalty to his men and surprising humanity, Balasar, on the other hand, is the perfect embodiment of the threats the Galts possess against the Khaiem. An excellent villain.

Despite a bit of a pacing issue in the early going of the book, An Autumn War is a truly satisfying read and the best book of the series, so far. I'm looking forward to continue to the final book of the series, as I still have a few questions that I want answered, hopefully.
Profile Image for Narilka.
605 reviews42 followers
August 17, 2019
An Autumn War is the third in Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet. The story kicks things up a notch as the long awaited war between Galt and the Khaiem finally arrives. The result is nothing short of brilliant though I almost gave up on the story due to it's glacial pacing in the first half of the book. Reader be warned: this is not a happy tale. Abraham paints war in all it's horrifying and tragic glory.

Fourteen years have passed and Otah Matchi has settled into his role as Khai for the people of Machi, albeit in a non-traditional manner. He has only one wife, a single son and a single daughter, and has undertaken the training of a standing militia, something not seen in the Khaiem in ages. Most believe it unnecessary with the power of the andat at their side. After all, the Khaiem have used the threat of the andat to ensure peace and prosperity for their people for centuries. Why would this ever change? One Balasar Gice, general of Galt, is about to change everything.

Similar to the previous book, I'm fairly conflicted in my feelings. The first half of the book was a complete slog, taking me 10 days to complete. We spend even more time in the heads of the same characters, almost 30 years later, older but not necessarily wiser. If there was one character I felt truly drawn to this would have been OK. I still haven't connected with anyone in the cast so it makes reading these long sections more of a chore than it might be otherwise.

The second half of the book is completely different. Around chapter 16 plot takes off and I could not put the book down, finishing the remaining chapters in a few hours. The scale of the war is enormous, with an outcome I never saw coming, one that has changed the face of the world. Abraham's writing is elegant. He paints a tragedy that is almost Shakespearean in it's beauty and brilliant in its execution. I am in awe of what he pulled off.

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Balasar Gice at least a little. He is a wonderfully drawn villain. Rather unimposing physically, Gice is incredibly charismatic, a scary-smart tactician, leads his men by example and is willing to start a war to acheive his goal . In the book's own words: “At heart, he was not a conqueror. Only a man who saw what needed doing and then did it.” There is nothing scarier than a true believer.

At this point I have no idea what is in store for this world next. I am looking forward to finding out. Just please give me a character to root for!
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,233 reviews1,048 followers
July 10, 2013
I really liked the first two in this series. This one, I loved. I feel like the themes of the story come to full fruition in this one.

Otah Machi has, somewhat reluctantly, become Khai, and is working on the difficult business of ruling. His job is about to get much harder, because General Gice, of the Galtic Empire, is terrified of the Khaiates. He believes that it is inevitable that the Khaiates, if left unchecked, will use the power of the 'andat' to destroy his civilisation, and he has made it his personal mission to get the jump on that destruction, and destroy the Khaiates utterly.

The book does a beautiful job of presenting two believably different cultures, and showing the motivations and perspectives of each side convincingly. While I believe the action would satisfy a fan of military strategy/tactics, the real focus is on the human cost of war, the sacrifices made for power, and the difficulty of making the correct decisions in an ambiguous world; balancing personal desire against political responsibility.
Profile Image for Kelly.
889 reviews4,129 followers
August 9, 2012
I started out enthralled, got pretty unsure about this in the middle, but it finished up pretty strong. The end tattooed the moral onto my face more blatantly than I would have hoped for, but I still liked a lot of it. Plenty to talk about. Like:

"Good men shouldn't be able to make mistakes with such a high price."

Review to come after I finish book four.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 323 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.