25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Familiar elements, all new story.,
This review is from: A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet) (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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Initial post: Apr 28, 2011 7:21:20 PM PDT
Having just finished this book, I found this review does a better job describing my thoughts than I could put words too. This is not the action driven, world in chaos, type of fantasy I was half expecting but is more intellectual and relationship driven. Very interesting and I look forward to the rest of the series to see what comes of the events this first book has put into motion.
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