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Long Price Quartet #4

The Price of Spring

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Fifteen years have passed since the devastating war between the Galt Empire and the cities of the Khaiem in which the Khaiem’s poets and their magical power known as “andat” were destroyed, leaving the women of the Khaiem and the men of Galt infertile.

The emperor of the Khaiem tries to form a marriage alliance between his son and the daughter of a Galtic lord, hoping the Khaiem men and Galtic women will produce a new generation to help create a peaceful future.

But Maati, a poet who has been in hiding for years, driven by guilt over his part in the disastrous end of the war, defies tradition and begins training female poets. With Eiah, the emperor’s daughter, helping him, he intends to create andat, to restore the world as it was before the war.

Vanjit, a woman haunted by her family’s death in the war, creates a new andat. But hope turns to ashes as her creation unleashes a power that cripples all she touches.

As the prospect of peace dims under the lash of Vanjit’s creation, Maati and Eiah try to end her reign of terror. But time is running out for both the Galts and the Khaiem.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published July 1, 2009

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About the author

Daniel Abraham

230 books2,728 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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 366 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
664 reviews41.3k followers
November 4, 2018
(I read this in The Price of War omnibus.)

The Price of Spring concluded the Long Price Quartet wonderfully and I couldn’t possibly ask for a better conclusion for this series.

I’ve said all I needed to say about the great things of this series in my previous three reviews—which I’ll link at the end of my review below—and they are all still true. I’m just going to add a few more tidbits about this series and what kind of audience it catered to.

The Long Price Quartet is thoroughly an adult fantasy, and by that, I didn’t mean it as gritty, heavy world-building, and that kind of stuff; I truly meant it as a series that will appeal more for an adult. The main theme of this series is the cycle of life, the passing of the torch to the next generations, regrets, acceptance, and how the passage of time changed people and the world we lived in. If I was younger like let's say 15 years old, this series wouldn’t have worked at all for me; it would've bore me to death. I’m not kidding, there’s almost no action at all within the entire series.

“Every nation ends and every empire. Every baby born was going to die, given enough time. If being fated for destruction were enough to take the joy out of things, we’d slaughter children fresh from the womb. But we don’t. We wrap them in warm cloth and we sing to them and feed them milk as if it might all go on forever.”

Ever since the beginning of the prologue in the first book of the quartet, 50 years have passed and within that period of time, these characters have gone through tons of changes, hard choices, and consequences. This is a series that I think will truly appeal more to an adult audience, especially if you already have your own kids on or sadly, lost your parents; not talking about secondhand experience here but truly experienced it on your own. Parenthood, redemption, family, and friendship are a huge aspect of this series. When we were young, we tend to act righteously without thinking about the future. When we have become an adult, we look back at what we did, regret them, or laughed at some of the things we thought were a big deal back then.

“if good judgment were part of being young, there would be no reason to grow old”

Keeping these in mind, combined with great characterizations, excellent world-building, unique originality, and wonderful prose, The Long Price Quartet is a great series that will intrigue readers as they grow older and have experienced the harshness and beauty of life.

That said, the last installment is in my opinion not the best installment of the series; the third book is. In this book, Abraham changes a bit of its storytelling style. In the previous three books, the POV changes between multiple characters; that is not the case here. Prologue and epilogue aside, the content of the book shifts only between the two main characters of the series. This is good for the more intimate approach as we have watched the two character’s growth from childhood. However, one of the character development infuriate me repeatedly and I simply can’t empathize with him. This character’s POV ruined a bit of my enjoyment of the last book, sometimes even bore me.

Regardless of the minor cons I had in the book and although the series fell a bit short to be included in my list of favorite series of all time, The Long Price Quartet is still a wonderful series that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a highly original low-fantasy series with a lot of subtlety and Eastern influences. Thank you to Scott Hitchcock for recommending me this series; thank you to my friend Lema who Buddy read the entire series with me; thank you to Celeste who bestowed me the two omnibus of this series for my Xmas and birthday present. Without them, I wouldn't have gotten around to reading this underrated series.

Series review:

A Shadow in Summer: 3.5/5 Stars

A Betrayal in Winter: 4/5 Stars

An Autumn War: 4.5/5 Stars

The Price of Spring: 4/5 Stars

Long Price Quartet: 16/20 Stars

You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,517 reviews10.9k followers
January 10, 2012
No elves…no trolls…no hobbits…no magic wands, no legendary swords...absolutely no problem.

The Long Price Quartet is one of the truly remarkable achievements in epic fantasy over the last decade. A unique, fully-realized and thoroughly convincing three-dimensional world that oozes authenticity and has been decorated with a single, amazing fantasy element (i.e., the andat) that forms the dramatic focal point for the narrative tension throughout the series.

Congratulations, Mr. Abraham, on a job most spectacularly well done.

In describing the series, the morally nuanced characters and the political bent of the main plot is bound to call Martin’s SOIAF to mind by way of comparison. However, as much as I mangasm over Martin’s series, it’s a disservice to tie Abraham’s work to that particular hip. This is unique.

This is singular and an example of the best that fantasy can do.


*Warning*…the plot summary below necessarily includes references to events that have occurred over the previous three books, though little that is not disclosed on the back flap of the book itself.
It’s 15 years after the disastrous war between the Khaiem and the Galts has left both people devastated and the last andat eliminated from the world along with all written knowledge of how to create and bind new ones. In the wake of the andat’s destruction, the men of Galt have been rendered sterile as have the women of the Khaiem. The only hope for either people is a desperate blending of the two peoples; an agglomeration that will require overcoming generations of mistrust, deep-seated hatred and memories of atrocities.

Oh, and if matters weren’t precarious enough, a group of would-be poets are working in secret to correct the damage done to the two peoples by creating a new andat; an action that could rupture forever the fragile hope of peace between the two countries.

Ah...tension-filled story-telling awesomeness.


So many aspects of this series are unusually polished and worthy of note. My personal favorite is the page-time given to the descriptions of and interactions with the powerful and dangerous andat (i.e., ideas and concepts made manifest and given human form). Throughout my experiences with the fantasy genre, I have never encountered a more eloquent, beautifully conceived “magic” than the binding of the andat, nor one that more perfectly encapsulates the risks and dangers of weilding such power as the relationship between the andat and their creator poets.

It is simply gorgeous.

Keep that in mind because, as much praise as I dump below on the other aspects of the story, my love of the concept of the andat and all it represents is clearly #1.

Coming in at #2 would be the characters. I don't recall a fantasy series that has been able to imbue characters with this much genuineness while deftly avoiding the boredom that can sometimes result from such portrayals. These people live and breathe on the page and constrain us to care for them despite the risk that such caring brings with it. The personality profiles are broad and deep and filled with wonderful quirks. For example, Otah, aging and troubled ruler of the Khaiem, who writes letters to his dead wife who he misses with every breath.
Well love, it’s all gone as well as a wicker fish boat. Ana won’t have Danat. Danat won’t have Ana. I find myself host to the worst gathering in history not actually struck by plague. I think the only thing I’ve done well is that I did not wrestle our son to the ground when he walked away from me. I feel everyone is wrapped up in what happened before and I’m alone in fearing what will come after. We won’t survive, love. The Khaiem and the Galts both are sinking, and we’re so short-sighted and mean of spirit we’re willing to die if it means the other bastard goes down too.
This plot device allows us a unique window into Otah whose actions are hated by a majority on both sides who view him as either traitor or fiend. These moments and others allow us to see a man struggling to do what he feels he must to save a world.

The above dovetails nicely into #3 on the list of strengths, the the prose. It is precise, practical and potent and conveys the powerful, emotive story on glassy currents that never intrude on the reader’s connection with the characters or the plot. Not as lush as Vance, or as evocative as Tolkien, or as savagely engaging as Abercrombie… but perfect for the quiet seriousness of the story. I’m tempted to call this Literature but that sounds so damn snobby and derisive to the other quality works out there.

I’ll just say that it’s impressive and wonderfully balanced.

Rounding out my top 5 we have #4, politics and #5, customs, which mesh together seamlessly. Abraham has created cultures that feel offspring to more eastern and middle-eastern patterns than the typical Western European standards found so often in epic fantasy. My favorite aspect of this flavoring is that Abraham’s Khaiem communicate as much through posture, body language and gestures as through speech. This adds a wonderful feel to the dialogues. For example, when an aide informs Otah that someone wishes an audience, “Otah smiled and took a pose that granted the request and implied that the guest should be brought to him here, the nuance only slightly hampered by the pen still in his hand.” So much information communicated through non-verbal means. I have never seen this technique deployed so well in fantasy literature and I found it to be one of those rich details that added weight to the story.

Then there is the politics, something that this series does as well as any in recent years. It may sound oxymoronic, but this is realpolitik with honor and compassion. This is not emotionally-devoid "ends justify the means" callousness. This is complex, big issue politics being played by people straddling the grey line of moral ambiguity while trying to do what they feel is right. Here is a favorite quote from early in the story. Khai Otah’s son and the daughter of a Galt noble family have refused to marry to cement an alliance between the people and the aunt of the Galt woman advises Otah’s son to be seen with another woman.
Preferably someone prettier than my daughter. You needn’t look shocked, my boy. I’ve lived my life in court. While you poor dears are out swinging knives at each other, there are wars just as bloody at every grand ball.
I feel the gush gates threatening to burst, so I will wrap up by saying that I was truly impressed with this series and this final novel managed to arrive at conclusions for each of the various plot-threads without feeling rushed or convenient.

This is a wonderful series and one that I strong urge you to check out.

Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews221 followers
June 13, 2017
All four books 5*’s.

I think the reason this series doesn’t have an overall higher rating is because you need the context of a full life lived to understand all the nuances. To be able to feel compassion for the flaws of characters who have made massive mistakes.

I don’t think I would have liked this series at twenty something. I didn’t have the depth of experience. I hadn’t learned enough compassion. At forty something I can appreciate it and feel empathetic towards the lives lived during this series.

If you’re looking for excitement and battles this isn’t your series even though there is some of that. The culture is Eastern. The interactions have the subtlety as such. Body language or poses as the books call it play a major part in it. I found that fascinating. The relationships and mistakes over the course of a lifetime change and take on new nuances as time goes by. The scorn you might have felt for a character in book two is replaced with empathy and a level of understanding in book four.

DA is simply the most elegant writer in the genre for me. When I hear people talk about the KingKiller Chronicles and how much they love the world because of his prose that’s how I feel about this series (and I don’t see it with KingKiller). Everything has shades in this story and it’s one of the most realistic to the real world I’ve ever read.

Simply for me a top five all-time series.
Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews807 followers
June 19, 2018
“If it is the only way to save us, then we aren’t worth saving.”

I wanted to love this book. It turned out that the ultimate price was too high for me to pay.

The world is devastated and laid barren by the war. Two enemy nations after a genocidal campaign started by one and finished by another are locked in complementary curses. Otah Machi, the emperor of this fallen world faces a future with no future in it: if the Khaiem and the Galt do not unite, both will perish.

If you are afraid that this is yet another book about how Otah Machi saves the world, I hasten to reassure you that thankfully in the Price of Spring the centre of the stage is taken by his daughter, Eiah. In the past, she would have been defined by the reproductive abilities of her body; in the new world, she is free of any expectations and pursues a medical career. Also, she is estranged from her father who sacrificed half of the nation in the name of a peace compromise and who cannot see anything wrong with it. For his daughter, Otah is a man who turned against his own people in order to salvage foreign people, worse even, invaders. Eiah was the brightest point of the whole book; engaged, intelligent and compassionate but not in a simple way of a diamond-cut paragon.

The final instalment in the quartet tackles the topic of loss and longing. Not the ordinary wishfulness, but a deep yearning that changes your desire into a disease, a wanting that that develops into a sickness. But equally, it is also a book about healing; that one of the main protagonists is a doctor makes it even more poignant. And healing is never an easy or a fast process, some things will always remain beyond repair. This is why the motif of redemption, sometimes impossible, is the third pillar of the book.

“There are crimes that can’t be made right. Trying to make justice out of this will only make it longer.”

As the two crippled states hobble together, there are still some who believe that past can still be salvaged and work to thwart the rapprochement. For me the bromance between Otah and Balasar was utterly disgusting. I have to say that I entirely surprised shocked myself by being totally team Maati in this instalment. I simply couldn’t stand Otah's rightful arrogance! Instead, Maati who doesn’t give up, who believes that human ideas given form and volition do not necessarily have to be evil, who conducts illegal research and runs an underground university for women, this older Maati turned out to be not exactly a stellar hero, but somebody I could finally attach to. .

“You want the world saved, but you don’t know what that means any longer.”

The thing is, I had an impression that halfway through the series, Mr Abraham changed the assumptions governing the andat. Initially, they were supposed to be only thoughts made flesh. In this part, it is obvious that they are not neutral, akin to elementary forces of nature. Wanting release is not the same as being evil and destructive. They, out of the blue, acquired sinister abilities and moved onto the evil side of the normative. I considered this development stupid and inconsistent. Previously, the wielding of the andat depended entirely on the human; just like wielding the knife. A good human could do a lot of good things (e.g. sculptures), bad humans meant disaster (e.g. mass killings). The final outcome depended on the poet and the perfection of the binding. Good poet and good binding made a good andat. For this reason, the training was such a crucial aspect. In this book, Abraham turns the table by 180 degrees. It is not about humans anymore. Even the best of them can and will eventually be destroyed by the andat (the repeated line “how could we thought we could do good with these tools” attest to this line of thinking.) This whole setup drove me crazy. I hate when the author changes the ideas throughout the series and goes from A to Z for reasons that are not clear.

The last straw was the Galt moping around and playing the victim when the time has come to pay the price for the senseless war they had concocted and the atrocities they have perpetrated. The ending was downright pathetic, and the epilogue made me choke with pomposity (can an Author do this to a devoted reader?).

I am still a great fan of the series and in spite of my personal dislike for Mr Abraham's playing with certain concepts, I believe it is top notch fantasy worth reading. I just hoped to love it and instead I was saddened and angered in equal parts. Thus, I am taking a formal pose of leave-taking, appropriate to the beginning of a long journey or else a funeral.

Also in the series:

1. A Shadow in Summer ✮✮✮✮
2. A Betrayal in Winter ✮✮✮✮✮
3. An Autumn War ✮✮✮✮
Profile Image for Chris  Haught.
570 reviews212 followers
December 28, 2015
Wow, great ending to a great series. This one was almost a letdown after the last two, but it turned into more of a slow build with yet another great payoff. That's a trademark of this series, the endings.

I'm a bit sad that I've finished this. While I didn't ever love it enough to quite give it 5-stars, it came damn close, and it held that 4-4.5 star range beginning to end. The characters were a strong point too, many of them coming to full resolution here in the last book.

It really makes me look forward to Abraham's other fantasy series that starts with The Dragon's Path, as well as getting back with the series he co-authored as James S.A. Corey, The Expanse.
Profile Image for Christy.
Author 4 books386 followers
July 29, 2011
Review #2: [I have been putting this off, thinking that I'll be able to sit down and come up with something amazing to say about the series that does it justice. I've just decided that that's not going to happen, so here's a slightly edited version of my notes from reading this last book in the series.]

I don’t read that much fantasy. In fact, I often have trouble with fantasy – I don’t care about elves and shit, I don’t generally like to read about battles, and I prefer science to magic. This series qualifies as fantasy, but it is grown-up, complex fantasy; it is fantasy that leans toward science and rationality even as it deals with magic. Abraham does not glorify battle, wealth, and tradition but challenges all of those things. But he never demonizes or condemns the people involved. The characters are paramount and they are all fully humanized, fully explored, whether their decisions are right or wrong, conservative or progressive. The truth is, Abraham shows us, that there is no simple answer to the problems of a fucked up world. There are options for change and there are consequences that must be lived with alongside those options; there are also consequences to be lived with for doing nothing. You do the best you can do and you live with it. You fuck up and you try to make up for it.

And I love his treatment of women. Abraham draws a hierarchical and patriarchal world in which women are, no matter their class, property. They are servants, whores, princesses; they are never leaders or poets. Slowly but surely he tears this to bits. Not only does the society within which this occurs collapse, providing a space for a new way of life that just might be more equitable, but Abraham creates fabulous female characters. They are dynamic characters, never simply someone’s wife, mother, or lover – although they are those things, too – and never simply a damsel in distress or a ballbuster. They grow and change alongside the male characters, sometimes better than, sometimes worse than, but always present.

The final book in particular hinges on this issue of gender difference. I would normally be skeptical of a writer who relies so heavily on difference in the way that he does here, creating a women’s grammar, having characters appeal to women to take action because they think so differently from men, etc. I do not believe that men and women are inherently so different. But I’m not sure that Abraham believes this, either. He has done the groundwork in setting up the extraordinarily different experiences that men and women have in a divided and sexist society and it is that experience that creates the possibility of turning to women and their women’s perspective for answers and for help. Abraham says, essentially, “You’ve gone and fucked it all up in so many ways, but here’s how you might salvage something from it. Look at those you’ve disenfranchised and ignored – what might they have to say? What powers might they have?”

Abraham even questions these assumptions about differences between men and women within the text. At one point, Cehmai, a former poet, says, “I don’t see how making poets of women instead of men will make a world any different or better than the one we had then” (70).

The title of this series – the Long Price Quartet – is incredibly apt. The most consistent throughline of the series is the price that we pay for our choices. No one is exempt.

It sounds simple spelled out in this way, and in some ways it is simple. We can never do anything – whether it is good or bad, right or wrong – without there being some price to pay. But it is also as complex as the lives we lead. Causality is not so easy to see, and even when the price is apparent from the beginning, the ramifications of that price are not. It is significant that this series covers decades because this allows the reader to see and experience all the ways in which the characters’ decisions, some of them made when mere children and hormonal teenagers, affect the rest of their lives.
“There are two sides to this, love. But they aren’t the two sides we think of—not the Khaiem and the Galts. It’s the people in love with the past and the ones who fear for the future.” (95)
This is not a series about good versus evil; in this series, even the heroes do horrific things and have to suffer the consequences. Is it evil to protect your family? Your country? Is it good to do so at the cost of others’ families and countries? As one of the characters notes, “It takes so long to build the world . . . and so very little to break it I still remember what it felt like. Between one breath and the next, Vanjit-kya. I ruined the world in less than a heartbeat” (173).

The series is also about aging and mortality. Because it follows the same characters throughout (Otah and Maati primarily), we as readers get to watch them age. We get to see them as children, teenagers, young men, middle-aged men, and old men, as sons and fathers, lovers, brothers, husbands, students, teachers. In the final book, we get to see where all of this leads: so much responsibility and power but bodies and hearts that are weakened, watching younger men and women take up the roles they are vacating. I have recently found myself wishing for this kind of coverage of aging in more fiction and entertainment. So much of what we are given to read or watch focuses on young people growing up. That is an important and interesting story, but so is this progress from youth to adulthood to old age. There are lessons to be learned beyond those in adolescence and early adulthood. The fact that this series addresses all of those stages pleases me.

Despite such heavy ruminations on responsibility, loss, and death, these books are remarkably hopeful. Idaan says, for instance,
We’re all born to die, Most High . . . . Every love ends in parting or death. Every nation ends and every empire. Every baby born was going to die, given enough time. If being fated for destruction were enough to take the joy out of things, we’d slaughter children fresh from the womb. But we don’t. We wrap them in warm cloth and we sing to them and feed them milk as if it might all go on forever. (245)
Abraham finds this perfect balance between optimism and realism. Yes, the world is fucked up and yes, we’ll probably find ways to make it worse; but there is still joy and the potential for us to also make things better, even if only in small and personal ways.


Review #1: Wow. This series is going on my list of books that I recommend to everyone.
Profile Image for Eh?Eh!.
364 reviews4 followers
April 5, 2011
15 years later.

Now this one, I broken-record-like call this amazing. The last, desperate act at the end of the previous book has had time to really sink in. In atonement, in anger, in shame, in pride, in helplessness, in hope, the last active poet has been secretly training girls (even though the andat creation and poet roles had always been a "no gurls allowed" club). A diplomatic mission from the Summer Cities is not fully supported but is successful...until the renegade poet succeeds in his goal, and discovers he hadn't screened his candidates as well as the old poet school did for certain traits necesary in one who will wield that kind of power. Whew, hard to twist around a sentence like that.

Here is where I wish I could've been a better writer, to discuss this, to beat around the bush without flushing out all the ducks. What is the worth of a woman? Is it more important to avenge or to heal? Can one release grievances without acknowledgement by the transgressor? SO GOOD! And the play on communication, .

Hilarious and touching courtship scheme.

Blah, I hate that I end up summarizing.

I'd been all grumpy and determined that I was done with epic fantasies. Boycott, handmade signs on sticks, chants. For series like this, I'll become a scab.

Some (more) incomplete sentences on the series as a whole:
- Great, great descriptive passages. Epics tend to go long and boring on scenery chewing. This one was beautiful.
- The gaps between books means the people should change and by golly they did. Time passed, people grew. I appreciate it.
- This last book reminded me a great deal of the short story "A Hunter in Arin-Quin" from his collection Leviathan Wept and Other Stories, the same thoughts on .
- He seemed to repeat certain scenes. There was this one part where someone was throttled and was unable to get fingers underneath the garrotte, then another person was throttled and the same fingers thing appeared. There were a couple similar scenes describing the taste of a green apple. There was a man who pulled out a chair and sat down, and then less than a page later pulled out a chair and sat down. That last one is probably an error, hah.
Profile Image for Lema.
191 reviews81 followers
January 12, 2018
I should give this like 4.5 stars but screw that I'M GIVING THIS THE FULL 5 STARS <3
The perfect conclusion to a most elegant, thoughtful and sophisticated quartet.
Did I mention emotional as well?
oooooh the emotions...


"The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid." *tears*

Let it be known though, don't except this to be a flashy fantasy series, there are no dragons, no wands, no bolts of lightening and no glittering pieces of legendary weaponry. You can expect however a cast of wonderful three dimensional characters that you follow throughout their entire lifespans, an original magical system, and just magnificent ideas wherever you go. Discussions that vary from right and wrong, forgiveness and vengence, racism and how to let go of old blood feuds, grief and emotional strength and so on and so on...

This finale was perfect, it certainly had its flaws; being not as epic as its predecessor, had a lot of scenes that could have been edited out, but I loved it nonetheless and I binge-read it with pretty much one breath. Believe me, I had no control, I couldn't put it down until the end and then I just didn't want it to end. Daniel Abraham also has that talent that makes a book an immediate favorite of mine, is when he can masterfully play with character development, making us hate previously loved characters and make us absolutely adore previously loathed characters (we need more of the trope of the old villain reluctantly agreeing to help!)
And I just wanted to throw it out there that a certain element in this book certainly creeped me out and made my skin crawl, it almost reminded me of this little bugger..

In conculsion, I recommend this quartet to readers already familiar with the fantasy genre who are looking to freshen up their perspective, or to adult readers in general who are interested in a new spin on economical and political intrigue who don't mind slow burn books, because believe me you'll be rewarded (freaking Book 3 guys, totally worth it!)

1.A Shadow in Summer: 3.75 stars
2.A Betrayal in Winter: 4 stars
Profile Image for Sarah  Aubert .
458 reviews339 followers
August 27, 2022
This is a finale executed perfectly, elevating every book that came before. The characters, who I had come to understand so well over the past four years, were given satisfying conclusions, and the plot supported the themes while maintaining perfect tension. This was my favourite of the series and will ensure that I think of these books for years to come.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,019 reviews13 followers
June 14, 2017
A wonderful end to a brilliant series that turned out to be one of my all time favourites.
Profile Image for Maggie K.
469 reviews121 followers
February 11, 2015
Wow,I can't say enough good things about this series. An unexpected wonder. I was always surprised with action and the characters. A new favorite!
Profile Image for Rob.
845 reviews532 followers
August 9, 2016
Executive Summary: An excellent conclusion to an enjoyable series. 4.5 stars.

Audio book: Another solid, but not remarkable job by Neil Shah.

Full Review
Another book, another time jump. It's not something I normally like, but I think it's worked well for Abraham in this series. It may be problematic some though.

Time changes a person, and that's most dramatic in this book than it has been in any of the previous ones. I found Maati downright unlikeable. He was never my favorite character, but age and the weight of his past mistakes have turned him into an angry bitter (and stupid) old man. In some ways he has good intentions, but as per usual, he just goes about everything wrong.

Otah continues to be the best character, but I really enjoyed both Eiah and Denat as well. My only minor complaint is Vanjit. She's well written, but so grating. I probably shouldn't hold it against Mr. Abraham for evoking frustration and disgust at his characters, but it was just a bit much for me at times.

Beyond that, it's hard to say much without spoiling this or previous books. This series is very much a slow burn, and is not action packed, high fantasy. It won't be for everyone. I've found each book better than the last, and was very happy with the conclusion.

I'm sad that I'm out of books to read. I wouldn't mind another book set in this world at some point in the future, but if we never get one, I'll be perfectly content.
Profile Image for Robyn.
827 reviews132 followers
August 31, 2015
I feel like all four of these books should be read in omnibus form - it makes it clear how much more striking the story format is, following the central characters from their teens to old age. I also really appreciate Abraham's world-building - the cities & their culture feel very real. I am left with a lingering sense of unease when it comes to how women are dealt with in the book; Abraham deals with really sensitive topics, sometimes not very well. I admire him for taking it on, and for featuring older, capable, intelligent women so frequently, but there are also cringe moments. (In this one, for instance, the idea that all women are so desperate for a baby that infertility drives them near-crazy - I know (very well indeed) that this is a real struggle, but not all women respond the same way.) But anyway! I am glad I read the series.
Profile Image for Scott.
385 reviews22 followers
August 13, 2015
A really satisfying conclusion to this wonderful series.

There's not much more I can say about these books that I haven't already. This was probably the best of them even though it was bittersweet having to leave these characters.
Profile Image for Joanne.
553 reviews54 followers
October 28, 2022
This final book in the quartet was a fast, nerve racking roller coaster! I enjoyed the ride immensely.

Decades have passed since book # 1 and beloved characters have aged and changed with the years. It is not so often that a Fantasy writer can have me thinking so deeply about change and effect-not only in his fantasy world, but relating it all to my own real-life world. When a writer can move my emotions from joy, to despair to utter WTF-making me laugh, cry and scream No! not him, don't kill him! (until the punch in the arm comes from my husband)- Well, that's a damn good writer.

Things I have said in earlier reviews on this author: Such panache in writing style and creating interesting, complex characters, magic system and world.

If you enjoy high fantasy and have not sampled Daniel Abraham's solo work, I highly recommend you read this series. If you don't like it, well then, I am sorry we just cannot be friends.
Profile Image for Mike.
379 reviews92 followers
October 21, 2018
Finished this about a week ago, only now getting to the point where I no longer feel like sobbing. Brilliant series.
Profile Image for Mark.
981 reviews63 followers
October 20, 2013
The highest praise I can offer for the final volume of The Long Price Quartet is that the room was rather dusty as I finished it. Few books can say this. Even books I like, to have the kind of emotional connection with any of the characters as I felt for the people in this book, it's just rare.

Then again, perhaps it's not surprising. Otah and Maati, still two of the important characters even though it's been 50 years since the first book of the series, we have literally followed them through their whole lives. They now stand opposite one another, taking differing views on how to salvage the world after the events at the close of the third volume - events for which they both should shoulder blame, but which ultimately fell upon Maati, something that comes with a cost years later, which is the story of this fourth and final part of the quartet.

Often, though not always, the fantasy battle between magic and technology casts the magic as the romantic view of the past. Abraham avoids this because the andat and what they can do and have done are just so terrible that, while the romanticism of the past is there, you just can't avoid their true legacy. Maati stands for the old ways and traditions of the Khaiate, but what does that really mean? People can be killed at will by unaccountable supreme beings. Great harm is done when these andat are controlled by the wrong people. So the forces of technology - at least, they have steam wagons and steam ships - are the heroes of the tale because they are the ones who strive to bring an alliance out of the disaster that befell two peoples, to do the best they can to make whole what was done wrong. Old enemies coming together for the common good of all their people. Now that's a romantic notion.

Well-written but not over-written, The Price of Spring is, if not the best, one of the best concluding books to a fantasy series ever written. The story rises and falls, at the same time a story that is intensely personal and focused on its characters, while also feeling larger than this, with world-shaking importance. And as mentioned in the review of the previous volume, I have got to appreciate a fantasy author in my lifetime who conceives of a series of modest length, writes and publishes it in short order, keeps things tightly focused, doesn't let it spiral out of control, and finishes.

It is done. No years to wait for the next book. It is good. You should read it.
Profile Image for Kylie.
134 reviews149 followers
December 28, 2016
This Quartet ended exactly as it should have. All of the books in this series are separated by 15 years and you can tell that our characters have grown and changed and developed off the page and it's unlike any fantasy I've ever read before. Really great.
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,121 reviews1,110 followers
May 12, 2018
I feel like I should love this book. I was ready to give it at least four stars.

But I couldn't. The amount of drawn-out self contemplation in this book was killing me. Maybe it is because I am not the type of person who thinks about the past alot, this constant remembering of other people felt grating and made the pacing too glacial.

It could have been a leaner book as well if there is less minutiae of court life in Otah's POV (we have plenty of those in previous books and we already know he hated them).

And Maati. Don't talk to me about Maati. His self pity took maybe 1/3 of the book and 90% of his POV. Tiring. The only POV I enjoyed was Eiah. Maybe I am just not emphatic enough, but I just don't like characters that wallow most of the time.

Having said those, I really loved the world. It is not your typical faux medieval sword and sorcery story. The magic is minimal and yet epically fatal. Strong, multifaceted female characters is another trait I totally applaud. Overall, I can definitely see that Daniel Abraham has grown a lot but he did already start from a very good spot.

While my ratings are not as high as The Dagger and the Coin series, this is still a highly recommended series for those who like to try something different, more contemplative and perennially slow-burn.
Profile Image for Narilka.
577 reviews39 followers
September 22, 2019
The Price of Spring is the fourth and final book of Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet. The series title is quite apt. There is both a high price to pay and yet even more time has passed between books. Fifteen years to be precise. Otah Machi now rules the Khaiem as Emperor and he has decided to ally with his country's rival nation and mortal enemy in order to save both countries. To say that Otah's decision for his country is unpopular is putting it mildly.

I found this book to be a fitting end to the series. The theme of the cycle of life, the passing of the torch from one generation to the next, and how the passage of time changes people (or not in some cases) is strongly felt. It's an impressive feat to have pulled off and it makes for a series that is likely more appreciated by older audience than perhaps a younger one.

I'm happy to say I finally found a characters I could get behind in Eieh and, eventually, Danat and Ana. Poor, poor Maati. He has to be one of the most tragic and misguided characters I've read about in a long time. I both feel bad for him and disgusted by him. Vanjit was another interesting and different villain. I was mostly able to predict where she was headed given her situation, though I was still surprised just how far she went in the end.

As much as I enjoyed the book there were several things that also bothered me. I also found the final resolution to be anticlimactic. I'm glad it worked out the way it did - it was just over too fast, basically wrapping up in a page and a half.

While I don't think I'll ever reread this series, I'm glad to have read it. I truly enjoy Abraham's writing and had an interesting time visiting the world of the andat. I think I'll be picking up the author's Expanse series sometime in the future.
Profile Image for Kathi.
818 reviews47 followers
October 5, 2019
The Price of Spring exceeded my already high expectations. Good intentions with unintended or unimagined consequences, and all the prices paid—for old hurts, for words said and unsaid, for betrayals, for misunderstandings and misplaced affection, and for love. Always the price of love.

This book (and series) is peopled with characters who are wonderfully imperfect. They inspire love, fear, despair, disgust, wonder, respect, frustration, and satisfaction. They face heartbreaking choices and unbearable decisions. And they persevere. There were a number of relationships that drove the story, but the heart of it always seemed to come back to Otah and Maati. Love, trust, jealousy, betrayal—all played out between them and in their world.

A completely satisfying conclusion to an excellent series!
Profile Image for Penny -Thecatladybooknook.
563 reviews26 followers
March 24, 2022
WHAT an incredible end to this series! And I loved this whole series with how Abraham ties it all together all the way from book one that I'm going to go and increase my 4 and 4.5 star ratings on the other books to 5 stars (yes, Just like the Library of Allenxandria did because it DESERVES IT!!).

HIGHLY recommend this series for those who LOVE characters and character studies with a slow-burn plot and low magic. Also an Asian-like setting adds bonus points. :)

Profile Image for Mav.
336 reviews51 followers
July 17, 2010
There's a scene in this book where the main characters are left to ponder in silence and exhaustion the weight of all that has happened, of the world being broken and remade half a dozen times over the course of the series that does an excellent job of conveying how I felt after reading this book.

The Long Price Quartet is the most understated and yet powerful epic fantasies I've ever read. It deals with events are are epic and world changing in scope, yet the story moves by grounding itself in the lives of very flawed people. Somehow, in a story about choices, redemption, justice and power and two men, Abraham still manages to address the issue of women's bodies in relation to the nation-state. This is the series that you give to fantasy readers - especially female readers - who've read so much fantasy that they're jaded.
Profile Image for Mountainroot.
145 reviews10 followers
September 5, 2016
Θα πω για το 4ο βιβλίο πρώτα και μετά η εντυπώσεις μου για ολόκληρη την σειρά.

Για το 4ο βιβλίο:
Είναι το χειρότερο απο όλα τα προηγούμενα 3. Είμαι με τους ανθρώπους που λένε οτι η σειρά θα έπρεπε να τελειώσει στο 3ο βιβλίο και θα ήταν μία χαρά η ιστορία. Το πρόβλημα είναι πως μου έδωσε την εντύπωση σαν μία σειρά που τελείωσε και επειδή πέσανε λεφτά είπαν να βγάλουν ακόμα μία σεζόν. Το 4ο βιβλίο ακολουθεί και αυτό με την σειρά του την λογική "μετά απο 10-14 χρόνια απο τα τελευταία γεγονότα" οπου και πλέον είναι σαν να βλέπουμε ένα μεγάλο κλείσιμο της ταινίας. Δεν γίνεται σχεδόν τίποτα (οχι οτι περίμενα καμία τρελή δράση, δεν ειναι το στυλ του συγγραφέα αυτό) και μιλάμε για το τελευταίο βιβλίο μίας 4-λογίας. Θα έπρεπε να είναι περισσότερα. Βλέπεις τους ηρωές μας παλιούς και μερικούς νέους και τι έκαναν κάνουν με την ζωή τους και πως τελειώνουν όλα με ένα όμορφο κλείσιμο στο ηλιοβασίλεμα.
Είχε ένα ωραίο ηθικό κομμάτι με τα Αντατ και τι πρέπει να κάνει κανείς με αυτά και πως χειριζόμαστε την απόλυτη δύναμη αλλά μέχρι εκεί. Δεν ήταν με την καμία άξιο για τελευταίο βιβλίο σειράς.
Επαναλαμβάνομαι λέγοντας που ενώ δεν έχω κάτι άσχημο να του προσάψω απλά ήταν όλο το βιβλίο "ρε να γυρίσουμε 4-5 επεισόδια ακόμα να δείξουμε τι κάνανε οι πρωταγονιστές μας".

Για την σειρά γενικότερα:
Ξεκίνησα την σειρά του κου Abraham ακριβώς γιατί μου είχαν υποσχεθεί κάτι το διαφορετικό απο το συνηθισμένο fantasy και το έκανε. Δράση που να αγγίζει το μηδέν αλλά με αληθινούς ωραίους χαρακτήρες (σε βαθμό που να σε ξενερώνει το πόσο προσγειωμένη και απλοί είναι κάποιοι απο αυτούς), ωραίους διαλόγους και με έναν όμορφο κόσμο. Πολύ ωραία ιδέα τα Αντατ και ας είχαν πάρα πολλά προβλήματα στον μηχανισμό που δουλεύανε και κενά.....Δυνατά συναισθήματα σε όλη την σειρά.
Να τονίσω οτι το κάθε βιβλίο απέχει το ένα απο το άλλο 10-14 χρόνια οπότε βλέπεις την ιστορία των ηρώων στα 18 τους στο πρώτο βιβλίο, στα 32 στο δεύτερο, στα 48 στο τρίτο και στα 60 περίπου στα τελευταίο. Αυτό απο την μία είναι ωραία για το εύρος του φάσματος της ζωής και το πως αντιλαμβάνονται τα γεγονότα ανάλογα με την ηλικία στην οποία είναι αλλά απο την άλλη τα τόσο μεγάλα χρονικά άλματα σε κάνουν να χάνεις την επαφή σου με τον ήρωα και δεν είναι σαν να στον ξανασυστήνει γιατί έχουν γίνει πολλά πράγματα στην ζωή τους απο οταν τους αφήνεις και όταν τους ξαναβλέπεις.
Είναι το Long Price Quartet απο τις καλύτερες σειρές που έχω διαβάσει? Σαφέστατα και όχι. Είναι όμως μία πολύ καλή και όμορφη προσπάθεια με την οποία πέρασα πολύ ωραία και καλά και πήρα και κάτι διαφορετικό. Σίγουρα θα διαβάσω και τις επόμενες σειρές του εν λόγω συγγγραφέα και ας μην με έκανε να πετάξω στα άστρα αυτή η πρώτη του 4-λογία (αν δεν κάνω λάθος είναι η πρώτη του οπότε του δίνω και ένα ελαφρυντικό).
Την προτείνω σε άλλους? Χμμμμμμ.....γενικά ναι αν θέλουν κάτι διαφορετικό αλλά δεν είναι για όλους οπότε δεν θα παραξενευτώ αν δω απο κάποιους κακές κριτικές.

Πέρασα ωραία και το χάρηκα και σαν συνολική σειρά νομίζω οτι θα έβαζα ένα 2.5-3.0 / 5.0
Profile Image for Liam Johnstone.
221 reviews12 followers
December 4, 2014
Amazing. A great finish to a wonderful series. I'm glad I read it. You should, too... if you can find it anywhere.
Profile Image for Rinaldo.
259 reviews51 followers
April 17, 2019

Once again, Abraham proved that long game does pay off. It's Long Price Quartet after all, a series about the weight a generation has to bear, the cyclical follies, and the price they have to pay.

Recently, I watched a documentary about environmental damage in my country. Dirty energy sources were the folly of the older generations, but an absolute necessity and inseparable element of life for my generation. Yet, it is also a price that my generation and the next have to pay at some point. The people who live in the proximity of the mining spots have already been bearing the consequences which are not their fault to begin with. The Price of Spring captures this feeling perfectly.

Reading this also reminds me to Le Guin's Tehanu, the fourth book of Earthsea Cycle. Similar to how Tehanu serves as an epilogue of the previous trilogy and a prologue of a new saga, The Price of Spring also deals with the themes of getting old and the weight of the past: success, failure, vengeance, bitterness, victory, and everything in between. Long price is all about things and people returning from the past, and the causes and effects. There's also the bittersweet memory of passing the legacy into the younger generation, even when the price is steep.

Clash of Generations, Clash of Cultures
Like its previous books, The Price of Spring takes place 15 years after the ending of An Autumn of War. The aftermath of the war between Galt and Cities of Khaiem was devastating, similar to the plot of Children of Men where there has been no born babies for the last generation. The Emperor of Khaiem tries to amend this by offering an olive branch to the Galts, as he plans cross marriages between their people to ensure the continuity of their nations.

Meanwhile, back in Khaiem, there's also the effort to raise new poet and bind fresh andat, but this time with woman poets. The implication of this is very fascinating, since this results in dramatically different grammar and approach. This book has most interesting depiction of andat in the series, as it redefines the relationship between the poet and their andat.

The parallel endeavours to save the nation builds up to the clash of ideas and clash of cultures. As usual, instead of relying on pure violence, Abraham put more emphasis on the conflict between person and their ideals. The stakes are higher than ever, yet they also feel personal. The value and vision difference between family members from different generations even sharpen the drama. Some characters from the past also return to make appearance in this book, getting to the mix for better or worse.

The whole book is a unique experience for me, it's the mixture of stressful situations and warm gatherings of family and friends. You can feel the weariness of age felt by the older characters, but there's also joy in sharing the old age with their students or children. The climax is a mixed bag for me. It gives bittersweet and relieving feeling, but it also leaves me wanting a little bit. .

The Price of Spring is the ending worthy of a series. With the most elegant prose so far and the accumulating plot elements over the 45 years in the books, this bittersweet instalment serves as both the extended epilogue of the third book while leaving a fresh, new beginning for an ending.
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