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A Shadow in Summer (The Long Price Quartet) Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 7, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
I'm not going to review this series with a description of the plot and characters, beyond some general strokes to set the stage. The world revolves around two regions. The first is a loose grouping of independent cities (the Cities of the Khaeim) of a former empire. These cities are as much rivals as allies. The second, The Empire of Galt, is a fairly aggressive, warlike empire which obviously has the strength to take the cities of the Khaiem if they so desire, or at least enforce far better trade agreements than they currently have. The Cities of the Khaiem have a powerful deterrent however, in the Andat which are literally ideas made flesh. And these ideas, when controlled by the Poets who call them into being, have no limits beyond the idea itself and the imagination of the Poets. So, the main Andat in the first book of the series, "A Shadow in Summer", is called Seedless, and the idea behind him is "Removing the Part that Continues". In every day usage, Seedless is forced to remove seeds from cotton bales to greatly speed up the processing, and this makes his Poet's city incredibly rich.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Review for Entire Series
The Long Price Quartet is an entirely unique take on high fantasy, with no dragons, no different races other than humans humans, no magic…... Read more
This book was just okay, the writing is excellent, but the story slow not very interesting.Published 2 months ago by Kurts gun
I'm beginning to think Amazon should add a category called Classical Fantasy. These would be books with elves, dragons wizards etc. Read morePublished 4 months ago by norton850
Fantastic start to a fantastic series. Started here and breezed through all four books. Fantasy for grown-ups.Published 4 months ago by MajorIcehole
Not content with the run-the-mill wand-bearing wizards and dragons, Daniel Abraham has come up with a different game altogether. Read morePublished 4 months ago by robby charters
I noticed that some reviewers gave this book poor ratings because they thought it was boring. I almost didn't read it because of these reviews. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Todd S.
I had a hard time getting into this book, but I have read his second series before this so I knew he was amazing. Get past the slow start and I think you will be impressed. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dani
I checked it out from my local library. I didn't even make it 100 pages before I quit. It initially had me wrapt in, but quickly became very boring. The writing style was....eh. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Al