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Shadow and Betrayal (Long Price Quartet) Paperback – March 27, 2012
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“A Betrayal in Winter is exactly the kind of book I love: dynamic characters, sharp plotting, and an original, thoughtful take on magic.” ―Brandon Sanderson, bestselling author of The Way of Kings
“Daniel Abraham's spectacular debut [A Shadow in Summer] begins as an intimate story about one man's involvement in an unsavory job but soon expands into a breathtakingly complex conspiracy that could topple empires and kill thousands. In a word: Brilliant!” ―Barnesandnoble.com, Editor's Choice: Top Ten Novels of 2006
“An impressive start.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“An ambitious, intelligent, and assured debut that should satisfy both readers hungry for the satisfactions of traditional fantasy and readers hungry for something more.” ―Science Fiction Weekly on A Shadow in Summer
About the Author
DANIEL ABRAHAM won the International Horror Guild Award for his short story "Flat Diane." He has been short-listed for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. His most recent novel is The Dragon's Path. He lives in New Mexico.
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A Shadow in Summer: Otah Machi turns away from the traditional paths a young nobleman like him has been told to choose to create a new life for himself. Almost a decade later Otah under an assumed name meets a former pupil, Maati, who kept on the traditional paths and succeeded in training to be a poet. The two soon find themselves caught up on a insidious conspiracy to ruin the city of Saraykeht that is instigated by the andat, magically being that is thought made flesh and leashed to a "poet", Seedless who hopes to undermine his handler Heshai who is to teach Maati.
A Betrayal in Winter: Set fifteen years later after the first volume, Otah and Maati take different paths to the city of the former birth Machi. The sons of the Khai kill one another for the honor to succeed their father, something Otah has no intention of taking part in as he continues his assumed existence. However this eldest brother is murdered, but neither of the other two claim responsibility and conspire with the Dai-kvo to find the murderer is Otah by sending Maati to find out what's going on. Both men soon find themselves caught up in another conspiracy instigated by a surprising source allied with a not so surprising accomplice.
As stated before the two stories are independent from one another thanks to the 15 years separating them from one another, however they are connected through minor storylines seen in Shadow that are expounded upon in Betrayal. The stories center around Otah and Maati primarily, however both do feature a significant female point-of-view character that helps bring another perspective to the story that improves its overall quality. Abraham slowly explains his magical system that employs the andat by first seeing them from the training poet Maati's point-of-view in Shadow and then from the point of view a poet handler in Betrayal in which Maati's observations expounded upon.
On grading both stories on their own merits, Shadow is the weaker of the two as it seemed to meander a few times and would have been graded around a 3.5 out of 5 while Betrayal would have rated a solid 4 out of 5. After finishing Betrayal I was left looking forward to seeing what would happen in An Autumn War, the third volume of the Quartet, a feeling I didn't really have after finishing Shadow but was quickly forgotten since I was able to immediately start Betrayal thanks to this omnibus edition. Overall I did enjoy both stories and so I recommend this book to lovers of characters, well-rounded stories, and fantasy.
A Betrayal In Winter. In Machi the realm is ruled by the Khai and when a new leader is needed the ruler's sons fight to the death to win the throne. The last one standing is the new Khai. The Khai has more than three sons; he has given them to the poets who keep the cities at peace and bring in wealth from other countries. Otah Machi, the sixth son, refused to take the brand, rejected the post, and has made a life for himself as Itani Naygu a courier loved by inn keeper Kiyan. When the eldest son is murdered, the two younger sons go into hiding while the people (commoner and noble) believe Otah was behind the assassination.
This omnibus collection reprints the first two terrific tales in the superb Long Price Quartet fantasy saga. Fifteen years apart, the powerful cast makes everything in this strange magical world seem plausible and exciting.