The Price of Spring (The Long Price Quartet) Hardcover – July 21, 2009
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"When We Believed in Mermaids" by Barbara O'Neal
From the author of The Art of Inheriting Secrets comes an emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth. | Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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From Bookmarks Magazine
- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 076531343X
- Dimensions : 6.49 x 1.22 x 9.58 inches
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765313430
- Publisher : Tor Books; First Edition (July 21, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #846,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Poetry and the poets have a specialized meaning in this stunning world that Abraham has built. The poets, rigorously trained from childhood, undertake the dangerous process of using words in exactly the right way to call up and enslave a concept made flesh, called an andat. A successful andat— one who can remove seeds from cotton, say, or soften rock for mining—allows the nation controlling it to achieve success and security. But it takes a poet a lifetime of struggle to keep his andat enslaved. What happens to such a society when some destructive force destroys the poets and their andats? What happens when some rogue poet without the proper training and ethical constraints calls up an andat to use as a weapon?
A fascinating concept, well-drawn characters, and good writing makes the whole series a compelling read, and in the fourth book, we readers are rewarded with the closure we deserve.
It's cheap, the insides do not match the covers, and it leaves you with a bad feeling in you stomach but hey, it's everywhere and it's not "Joe meets Carol, they fight, he picks a flower, they live happily ever after" because there's a dragon here and there or magic or Dwarves or an elf warrior princess, or something.
And this is why I only read fantasy on recommendation for the last 20+ years.
The Long Price Quartet is different. Firstly Abraham resists the temptation to tell us how clever he is with his version of magic and he never goes into grueling detail trying to rationalise said magic, next he gives us a series of actual three dimensional characters, none of whom are without flaw or beyond redemption. It's a grey world inhabited by people trying to make their way through it to the best of their ability and to serve both their high goals and petty hatreds, like real people.
Lastly, he devises cultures that are similar enough to what we know that we can accept the oddities without convoluting over them and these cultures are rich and deep and each holds its own beauty and rage.
The story is nothing new. It's the story of folks trying to live their lives and protect their families and leave a safe world for their children. And because the story is nothing new Abraham can concentrate on the characters and plot and interactions so that the reader can feel compelled to turn the page or worried about the people they have come to admire or, even, delight in some victory and mourn at some defeat.
It is a superbly written book in a superbly written series.
If all you want is half naked heros swinging swords at dragons and other things, this is not for you. If you want a thoughtful adventure with action and intrigue and plot twists that do not rely on randomly killing off characters and lists of food or bodily functions, you will enjoy this series and the conclusion to it in this book.
If, however, you like vapid screaming and mind numbing descriptions, plot-less wandering, and faux action scenes that remind you of bullying, you will hate this book more than life itself and seek to destroy all happiness around your through idiotic and insane actions.
I had a wife like that.
But I'm not bitter.
Like the other volumes, this fourth one has a suspenseful, smoothly moving plot, although most the the twists are more predictable than in the earlier books. The characters continue to be complicated and full of human failings, and there are moving explorations of grief, loss, and aging, as well as writing rich in imagery. I had a few complaints: the afterward is long and anti-climactic, and Maati's failure to see the mistake he is making by giving a disturbed young woman control of an andat seems not just flawed, but stupid. These problems fade into the fascination of the story, however. The Long Price Quartet is an excellent, highly original work of fantasy which I enjoyed and recommend.
Top reviews from other countries
Der Preis des Frühlings ist hoch. Abraham schreibt ein sehr persönliches Buch über seine Charaktere ohne weitreichende Kampfszenen. Vielmehr schreibt er ein Buch darüber was nach einem Kampf alles passieren muss. Also genau das, was wir in klassischen Kriegsgeschichten ausblenden. Seine Charaktere sind gezeichnet vom Tod und Leid einer ganzen Generation. Dabei verschwimmen Wahrheit und Lüge, Gegenwart und Zukunft und Freund und Feind. Nicht alle haben das Ende des Bisherigen gut überstanden und so steht im Mittelpunkt schließlich auch die Frage ob Rache erstrebenswert ist und wenn ja: Rache gegen wen eigentlich im Angesicht der totalen Vernichtung?
Insgesamt betrachtet ist Abraham ein wundervolles Buch und ein glänzender Abschluss einer Reihe gelungen. Es ist ein Abschluss der in vielerlei Hinsicht neue Standards setzt und kein noch so ein unangenehmes Detail auslässt. Und es ist ein Abschluss ohne losen Enden. Das war es mit der Welt um Maati und Otah. Ich werde sie vermissen. Vielen Dank an den Autor für eine der besten Serien des letzten Jahrzehnts.