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A Shadow in Summer (The Long Price Quartet) Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 7, 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Long Price Quartet Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 7, 2006
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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.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Long Price Quartet (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313405
  • ASIN: B000ZJYD1I
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,103,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
So I've done something that I haven't done since I was a teenager: gone back and started to re-read a novel or series somewhat shortly after finishing it the first time. The series, as you can probably guess, is "The Long Price Quartet". I can also safely say that I doubt I would have gone back and started to re-read this particular series a mere few months after having finished it if I were still a teenager. I feel that this series requires a certain maturity to properly appreciate it, and much as I once rolled my eyes at concepts expressed as "a maturity that comes with age", I think it's quite appropriate here.

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.
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