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A Shadow in Summer (The Long Price Quartet) Mass Market Paperback – July 31, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: The Long Price Quartet (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765351870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765351876
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gesture and posture convey as much information as spoken words in Abraham's impressive first novel, a fantasy set in a world where poets create and bind powerful shape-shifting creatures called "andat." The Empire hangs on, literally, by a thread; the cloth industry depends on the ability of andat Seedless to magically remove seeds from cotton plants to keep commerce flowing and the barbarians in check. Seedless, who can also remove unborn children from their mother's womb, aims to drive his poet-creator, Heshai-kvo, mad with grief. A love triangle develops among a threesome—Heshai's apprentice, Maati; Itani, a laborer with a past; and the beautiful scribe Liat—as they unknowingly assist the andat in his plot to abort a wanted child. When Liat's master, Amat Kyaan, uncovers the plan, Amat must flee and live as a bookkeeper in a brothel. The complex characters all struggle to navigate a path between their duty to their Empire and to themselves. A blurb from George R.R. Martin will help alert his fans to this promising newcomer. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Debut novelist Daniel Abraham bolts out of the gate with an enthusiastic recommendation from SF guru George R. R. Martin. The critics agree with Martin's appraisal, and reviewers welcome Abraham's rich characterization, deft plotting, and the particularly ambitious central conceit that ideas can be made flesh—and controlled by poets, no less. Critics nitpick here and there (a communication method that involves posing rather than speaking furrows some eyebrows), but nothing dissuades reviewers from eagerly awaiting the Fall, Winter, and Spring installments. (Winter Cities will be published in 2007.)<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Daniel lives in New Mexico. He keeps a blog at www.danielabraham.com. He also writes as MLN Hanover and (with Ty Franck) as James S. A. Corey.

Customer Reviews

I just wish he had spent more time thinking about the characters and the plot.
DL
While the plot and the world are certainly well crafted and entertaining, the development of the characters is the real strength of this novel.
Amazon Customer
The descriptions of a persons stance are really strange and give absolutely no indication of what their stance actually looks like.
Laura

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By the_smoking_quill on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Cities of the Khaiem shine like jewels in the East, and the brightest is the port of Saraykeht. The realm's profitable cotton trade flows through the city, quickened by the artistry of the poet Heshai. For in the East, a poet's art can become incarnate as a powerful spirit-slave (andat), and it is on the shoulders of Heshai, master of the andat Seedless, that the weight of Saraykeht's continuing prosperity balances ... a weight outsiders would gladly topple.

In these delicate times, first-time novelist Daniel Abraham chronicles the poignant choices of a handful of characters seldom seen in the "fantasy" genre: a middle-aged, female overseer of a foreign merchant house; her aging employer, the house's lord; her young assistant; the assistant's lover (a common dock-laborer); and Heshai's newly-arrived apprentice. Together and individually, without sword or spell, these elegantly-realized few will determine Saraykeht's fate.

Mr. Abraham, quite often a poet himself in fashioning the novel's lacquer-smooth prose, has written a marvelous novel--a "fantasy" by virtue of its setting and the andat's power, but a fantasy that can be gleefully dropped in the lap of anyone complaining of generic, Arthurian or Tolkien-esque settings; paper-deep protagonists; or unrestrained gore. "Shadow" (Book One of the planned "Long Price Quartet") is both fresh and literary, and as Mr. Abraham has spent years writing short fiction and honing his craft, he deserves every compliment that comes his way.

Although "Shadow" is not a perfect book--some will no doubt label the communicative custom of "poses" (e.g.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Cathyn Lesanges on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am in love with this book. The characters, which in some ways are familiar (the Hidden Prince, for example) are richly written, real people with real lives rather than fleshed out stick-figures who only serve to advance the plot. The relationships are complex, both friendships and emnities are well founded, and the interactions are genuine, almost making the reader feel embarrassed to be evesdropping on conversations rather than reading them in a work of fiction.

Mr. Abraham amazes me with his ability to paint details into scenes with an economy of words, relying on mastery of vocabulary rather than volume of prose. Having only read of the place in this book, I feel I know Saraykeht. It's seedy dockside, it's glorious noble quarter, it's teahouses, inns, and places where workers toil at their labors are all familiar territory to me. I can hear the beggars singing for alms, the the prostitutes singing for clients, and the food vendors hawking parchment wrapped parcels of fish and ginger or sugar-glazed almonds. The climate of the place is so well detailed that it too seems like another character.

The plot and storyline are also impressive. I have read enough novels to this point to be tired of over-reaching tales of high improbability. Mr. Abraham's story is above all things believable, written on a scale that takes no great leaps of faith to bring to life in the mind's eye. Normal people doing business, living and working in a world where the greatest magic is not wizards raising armies of undead or lobbing fireballs about the firmament, but that of the Poet, who once in his lifetime chants a song that's taken him years to write, to capture a thought and make that thought flesh and purpose. Court intrigue is at play here, not high wizardry and grand adventure, and I applaud the author for it. This story is pure, well considered, and believable.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sucka27 on January 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I had mixed feelings about this book. On one hand it was very well written for a debut. Lots of visual imagery making it feel like I was reading a painting come to life. The characters were anything but cliche and I found myself feeling like I knew each and every one of them. I also empathised and sympathized with them during the book and that is a sign of strong characterization. I also have to give Abraham serious props for making the book ~300 pages and not needing to go longer, this can be hard to pull off. So why only 3 stars?

Well, I'd actually give it 3 1/2 if I could but this book suffered from a major flaw and it was fundamental so it kind of ruined it for me. It is one of those "why didn't they do this?" questions that when answered usually sounds like "because then the book would be 10 pages." What we have is a beautifully described land reminicent of the medieval orient. At one end we have Galt, a war mongering country hell bent on taking over its neighbors. One of those neighbors is Saraykeht, one of the summer cities, which is a group of neighboring cities to the east. All of these summer cities are protected by an andat which is a kind of god-ghost that is controlled by a human poet from the city. The god may not want to protect the city but if the poet demands it, it pretty much has to (to keep a long story short).

To become a poet, one must go through years and years of tough schooling and even then only a few make it. For a thousand years the summer cities have been protected because of their control of these andat. Here is the flaw.
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