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Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.
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 start 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.)
26 of 27 people found this review helpful
I read this book when it came out last year, and enjoyed it, but the characters lingered with me more than I would???ve expected. So much so, I ended up picking it up in audio to revisit it in anticipation of the sequel coming out. And now I???ve spent several days grinning so much that my face hurts.
For those looking for an epic fantasy filled with bloodbaths, this is probably not your ticket. There are battles and swordfights, and people die, but generally, the action tends to take place in dark alleys and small rooms filled with quiet, desperate moments. It focuses a lot on the journey of its characters, and what???s best about these characters is how sympathetic they all are - even the characters with despicable beliefs, or those who go on to do despicable things. They all think they???re heroes, and even if we don't agree, we understand why they think that.
From the acting troupe that gets hired on to pretend to be caravan guards, to the orphan girl brought up as a ward of the bank, to the political maneuvering that places an unlikely character in power, Daniel Abraham is clearly having a lot of fun playing with the tropes of the genre, all the while creating something unique. Abraham (who co-wrote Leviathan Wakes under the pseudonym James S.A. Corey) has become one of the top authors I watch for in the SF/F field.
I loved listening to Pete Bradbury???s narration ??? his voice has a natural gravity that lends itself to epic fantasy, and it really added to the story???s atmosphere.
I???m glad I listened to it ??? I certainly picked up on a lot more hints and themes Abraham had layered in, and I???m really looking forward to his follow-up The King???s Blood, and listening to these books over and over again.
47 of 50 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
For fans of the genre, this book has what you'd look for and expect in a fantasy tale with multiple main character perspectives and twisting plot points. You even get some fantastical creatures and powers thrown in for the bargain. The book starts out making you think it's going to be heavy on the military strategy front but softens the corners with interpersonal relationships and the characters' inner struggles. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it to others. However, to really appreciate its conventions and denials of those conventions found in the book, a fan of the genre will enjoy it more.
What other book might you compare The Dragon's Path to and why?
I found similarities in this series with Joe Abercrombie's First Law series.
Which character – as performed by Pete Bradbury – was your favorite?
I really enjoy Pete Bradbury as a reader and his performance was part of the reason I picked up this title.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Some of the characters are incredibly frustrating people and, just when you expect them to break out of their nature... they don't. Or they do. It's a good bit of unpredictability.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
The Dragon's Path was an enjoyable story, if not terribly original in plot. It felt very traditional--at first--in that all the usual fantasy tropes were in place. This is not a bad thing, however, when done properly. Daniel Abraham knows his business. I was hooked to the story after the first few paragraphs in chapter one. Marcus, Cithrin, Geder, and Dawson are fully-fleshed characters. The world they inhabit is mysterious, intriguing, and colorful.
If you enjoy Joe Abercrombie or George R.R. Martin, The Dragon's Path is right up your alley. Only don't expect a ton of action. This is book one, and is setting the stage for things to come. It doesn't stand well on its own.
A lot of the focus is on economics and banking, which I found refreshing for a fantasy. (Those of you upset with this should have paid attention to the series title: Dagger and Coin.) This different approach to fantasy is where The Dragon's Path shines. It feels traditional out of the gate, and then rises above the same old stuff by its conclusion.
A credit well-spent. (Oh, and the narrator is perfect for this story. Suppose I should mention that since I listened to it.)
39 of 42 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I am currently listening to the second book in the series... <br/><br/>Love the reader! <br/><br/>I seem to fall asleep allot listening to this series and I need to go back an re-listen..<br/><br/>The series is "Good" but not great.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
This is an attempt at a high fantasy (I wouldn't call it epic) centered around diplomacy and war between kingdoms, but the barriers to entry it erects hamper it from achieving its potential.
I believe that a novel should start strong, especially if you're going to introduce us to a new multi-book fantasy series. Right from the beginning, I got the feel that this was going to be something of a trudge, with no real hook and a viewpoint switch for every chapter. I've heard this described as Game of Thrones lite, and I can see that it seems to want to capitalize on that series' success (even before the TV show was a thought). Jumping around is fine, but the problem was that I couldn't identify or empathize with any of the characters. So in the end I feel pretty blase about the whole ordeal. In audio form, it's hard to distinguish between the different kingdoms and characters because many have similar names, and we have no map to help us out. In the end, none of the separate storylines really captured my attention or imagination the way I'd hoped. Also there is no real magic to speak of, so this is more like medieval fiction than fantasy.
You might like this if you're feeling like reading about court intrigue and the machinations of banking deals, but you'll have to invest quite a bit into following all the different races, kingdoms, and factions. For me, it isn't exciting enough to continue investing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Daniel Abraham has hit a home run with Dragon's Path- and I am none to easy on Fantasy Series (read my other reviews). Equal to George RR Martin's first three novels (not an imitation any more than Monet copied Manet) but compelling- excellent prose- (not to much ala Jordan in Wheel of Time) nor to little (Malazan Empire). Great Character Development - you care about them and when a POV changed I felt myself saying "drat, I am regret this segment is ending" then two minutes later I could care less because I am engrossed in the next POV segment.
WIthout giving to much away Abraham has surprises ala Martin- and each POV segment is titled with the characters name.
I can only hope he does not pull a G RR Martin as he continues (or a Robert Jordan) whereby somewhere in the series they lost their respective ways and turned a fantastic series into meandering cul -de-sacs of nothing.
I just realized as I am about to spring for volume 2 in the series that audible has not yet publisher VOLUME 3 (who knows why). I enquired and audible gave me the standard "sometimes we do not have rights to the entire series...blah blah blah"- Don't get me wrong I love audible- but with decent Fantasy Series HARD to find- it is infuriating to find this one not complete!
Please audible get the rights to the last of the series!!!
Okay- in summary if you like Abercrombie or Early Martin this series is a MUST for you!!!
19 of 22 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Dragon's Path the most enjoyable?
The ending was superb, made me want to get the second book. It has a slow paced implantation of fantasy and action. I see why people compared it to some other popular epic fantasy books. So if you looking for a book that is not extreme Fantasy this is it. I cant not vouch for the next books however.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Marcus at first but Gedar kind of stole the show in the end. Marcus: a tough old ex captain turned mercenary: whats not to like about that. He seems to drive the story at first and keeps you interested. <br/>Then Gedar comes in and you start to listen to castle politics. Then I start to thinking NOOOO not another one of these. But he comes out kind of a grey hero in the end that's fun to listen too.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
I liked the narrator, however I think that there are too many characters for his style of reading. The voice changes in the main characters were, well not really there. I kept getting confused and would have to listen harder to figure out the characters I was with in the story. Sorry but I kind of love different voices. In his defense the guy has a awesome voice.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I really liked the end. It was fun. I liked it when the sudo vengeful geder won his day.
Any additional comments?
Its worth the read. But remember this has been labeled epic fantasy so be prepared.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Dragon's Path?
This is not a typical fantasy novel, and not a single spell is cast, that takes a very different approach to the story telling. No brawny warriors or mystic mages are at the forefront, it follows a byzantine path that lays the groundwork for the fundamental story told through the eyes, varying chapter by chapter, of a small group of characters.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Geder was probably my favorite character because he was the most significantly transformed throughout the story and it's really unclear whether the changes are for the better.
What about Pete Bradbury’s performance did you like?
All the character voices were distinctive and recognizable and he managed to do women's voices well.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
This book starts out with an exciting tale of a priest who escapes from a temple where the followers worship a spider goddess. After this, the priest mostly disappears from the book until the end when his identity is revealed.
Between these two sequences, this book seems to mostly set up the characters and the beginnings of plots for the rest of the series. There are a few exciting happenings going on, but at the end of the book you realize that the major plot happenings will be in the future.
This description may not sound like a ringing endorsement for this book, but despite the relative lack of any action, I found myself really enjoying this book. There are several solid characters, and I liked most of them. The book switches between them at the right times keeping the pace moving well. Pete Bradbury's narration is solid as usual.
Overall, this book was a fun and enjoyable listen. I like to listen to my books before bed, and was surprised that this story kept me up late an more than a few occasions. I'm looking forward to the next book.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful