I will admit that I had to start this one a few times to get going. The opening chapters jump around from character to character and right when you st..Show More »art to get your bearings in this complex world a new chapter starts and you are lost again. This is all compounded by the fact that you are exposed to the history of the world along with the present and a myriad of different races of humanity. It is a lot to absorb all at the same time and it is easy to lose track when you don't know what is important and what is not. I am going to guess many listeners do not make it through the first third of this book so be sure you don't start this one when you are distracted.
Things do settle down after a while and the characters start to come together in the storyline but even then it isn't the most interesting tale. Laden with banking contracts and political maneuvering the story slogs on slowly - mostly setting things up for the second book. The very ending ties back to the very beginning and ties off one of the lose ends but I still found myself ambivalent toward most of the characters when it was over. The spider goddess and the powers of her priests do make things interesting but for the most part there is little magic in use throughout the story.
Book 2 is when I really started to care about some of the characters and what was happening to them. If you don't plan to give this series at least 2 books to form an opinion then I would recommend that you save yourself the trouble and go for a different fantasy series. Things definitely get more interesting in book 2.
Pete Bradbury does a good job on the narration and is the narrator for the first 4 books in the series which is all that is available as I write this. (The series is supposed to include a 5th book as well.)
They worship a goddess that has spend centuries in hiding, “a spider” who blesses them with the powe..Show More »r to divine whether or not someone is lying, as well as the ability to speak truth. When you hear them, you believe – despite the circumstances, or whether you have evidence to the contrary, you believe. And so what the priests say comes to pass. They are prophets, and they’re creating self-fulfilling prophecies. Probably.
“Probably” is what’s important. Because what the priests are speaking isn’t actually the truth. It’s a belief made of sincerity, certainty, and absolute conviction. Even if it’s wrong.
If you haven’t checked out Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin series, you need to do that ASAP, starting with The Dragon’s Path. It’s epic fantasy, and it does what it says on the tin – it’s full of all the stuff we love about epic fantasy – an incredible cast of characters, magic (albeit a very subtle magic), fantastical creatures, adventure, romance, and most surprisingly – banking. And yet, it grapples with big ideas like forced belief and fundamentalism.
If you’re looking for B&B (Battles & Badasses), there’s some of that but the books are generally more subtle, and instead focus on what’s really special about this series: the characters. Whether it’s ex-soldiers Marcus and Yardem waxing philosophical and theological while collecting a debt (like shades of Jules and Vincent from Pulp Fiction) or banking ingenue Cithrin meeting up with her old friends from an acting troupe, the characters feel like friends you haven’t seen in years, but when you reunite with them, it’s like no times gone by.
Not all of them are heroic – some are monstrous, whether in actions or philosophy, but Abraham doesn’t let us forget they’re humans too, and gets us to empathize with them far easier than we should. Dawson Kalliam’s class-warfare attitudes are despicable, yet the genuine affection he showers on his wife and children is endearing. Geder Palliako was bullied before his unpredictable rise to power, and so when he uses his newly gained positions to keep people from lying ot his face and taking advantage of him, we understand, despite his awful and barbaric actions.
The Dagger and the Coin is one of the best kept secrets in epic fantasy. Unfortunately, the audiobooks aren’t released until about 9 months or so after the print and eBooks come out (which seems to happen as often as not for Recorded Books)…or maybe that’s a good thing? Like The Dragon’s Path, I ended up reading this book, and then listening to it once the audio came out, right in time for The Tyrant’s Law (3 of this 5 book series). There are two reasons for this: 1) Daniel Abraham’s series is just that good (I expect to revisit these books and characters many, many more times, and 2) Pete Bradbury’s narration gives an added gravity to the story that’s phenomenal. Daniel Abraham was born to write SF/F, and Pete Bradbury was born to narrate it.
Let the countdown to The Tyrant’s Law audiobook commence!
Book three continues the war against the Spider Goddess. All main POV characters are back advancing their storylines as you would expect:
Mas..Show More »ter Kit has recruited Marcus Wester and the two of them set off to slay the Spider Goddess. Of course Master Kit knows that the priests of the Spider Goddess are not spreading truth because he shares their same powers, but is he certain that he knows the actual truth? Probably.
Cithrin continues to learn the banking trade from another Magistra, this time in a different city than Porte Oliva. However, much like in her past, no matter where she goes the war comes to her and she is forced to make difficult choices.
Clara Kalliam is no longer the family matriarch and now must find her way without the support of the family that she kept together for so long. Much like Dawson before her, she considers the prospect of trying to save the nation of Antea by betraying it.
And finally, Geder Palliako remains at the center of it all. Still manipulated by the priests, he drives Antea's armies forward from victory to victory spreading "truth". As the chosen of the Goddess he brings peace to the world through war and conquest.
This is the third book in a planned 5 book story arc and it reveals that the truth is not what it seems to be, which results in many of the characters having to adapt to their ever-changing understanding of the struggle before them.
Pete Bradbury is excellent once again and if you have already listened to the first 2 books then you will feel right at home with this one.
Daniel Abraham and Pete Bradbury team up once again on book 4 of the series and deliver an engaging story. If you haven't read/listened to the first 3..Show More » books then there is no sense starting here.
Lord Regent Geder Palliako remains a brutal yet naïve dictator. His spurned love for Cithrin now fuels his paranoia and the rest of world suffers the consequences. Antea continues to expand and conquer neighboring nations but has spread itself so thin as to become vulnerable. The spider priests meet resistance of their own as another version of the "truth" appears in the form of the dragon Inys.
Inys reveals the details of the ancient Dragon War and the origin of the races of humanity. His knowledge exposes the lies of the spider priests for what they are and he reveals tactics of how to best fight them. Marcus, Yardem, and Kit are all alongside Inys and attempt to help the dragon orient to the realities of the new world.
Cithrin continues to reshape the bank that raised her by changing the rules of the financial game they play. She concludes that for the bank to survive she must fund the resistance to prevent Antea from achieving it's goals so she positions herself to do just that.
As you may have guessed by the title, Clara comes to the forefront in this book and house Callium becomes a focal point. Clara has lost her husband to Geder's wrath, one son to Geder's banishment and a second to the spider priesthood and she has had enough. She takes action to prevent Geder from ruining what little she has left.
This is book 4 of 5 so it goes without saying that little is wrapped up here. The story gets flushed out, the background behind the motives of the spider priests is exposed, and everything is set up for a final showdown in book 5, The Spider's War. I can't wait.