Customer Reviews for

A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 49 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

INDELIBLE

When you've read fantasy for as long as I have (I'm 37 and started at 11 with LORD OF THE RINGS and then Zelazny's AMBER SERIES), you get tired of the fact that 90% of fantasy tales revolved around a dumb farm boy who is the missing heir to the kingdom or to long gone m...
When you've read fantasy for as long as I have (I'm 37 and started at 11 with LORD OF THE RINGS and then Zelazny's AMBER SERIES), you get tired of the fact that 90% of fantasy tales revolved around a dumb farm boy who is the missing heir to the kingdom or to long gone magical powers, he has a good heart but can't seem to get the girl, he has to leave home and help the world/nation/kingdom against some Dark Lord, who tends to be archetype and has some old mentor who gives him the sword/magical talisman to win and kick the beejesus out of the Dark Lord. Oh, and then he gets the girl usually or finds someone better than the girl because the girl wasn't a very nice person. Heh. Back then there weren't too many variations on this tale unless you wanted to read Michael Moorcock or maybe H.P. Lovecraft, though, he's more horror than fantasy. Nowadays, fantasy is beginning to shift to grittier/realistic tales George R.R. Martin being at the forefront. So, now, it isn't about such tales so much and if it is the dumb farm boy might not be such a nice guy or he may lose against the enemy. Maybe, unlike traditional fantasy, someone can wear black and not be a bad person. So, saying all that for those who have walked with the fantasy genre as long as I have, we finally get to encounter a novel that takes another spin. A SHADOW IN SUMMER has a distinctive Asian flair to it with almost no focus on the usual medieval European setting. Moreover, there isn't some Dark Lord to defeat. The tale focuses on politics between various factions within the city of all cities. This city has gained the powers of a powerful spirit that has the ability to give the city a major up in the cotton trade by taking the seed out of cotton plants, thus, giving them a huge advantage upon other cities that need to hand pick the seeds out of each cotton bushel. Naturally, other cities, most notably one similar to a European one, wants to free that spirit or control that spirit so that they can then monopolize the cotton trade. So the whole story is about various groups either trying to do this or about other people investigating this plot, not quite realizing the full details until later. One of the world details I liked about this world and that is based on historical facts is that the people communicate very much in body language rather than words so people will be talking and then take on a pose of apology, love, joy, anger or conciliation. It's definitely a nice touch. So read this book if you like intrigue, court politics and strong characters, who are not the usual archetypes and are actually doing something besides running the from the minions of the Dark Lord.

posted by Anonymous on November 1, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Good Begining

This was a fantasy series and an author I was not familiar with but I found the hardcover at The Dollar Tree for $1 so I thought I would at least give it a try. The worst that could have happened was that I wasted a dollar. Well I'm glad to say that while I may not h...
This was a fantasy series and an author I was not familiar with but I found the hardcover at The Dollar Tree for $1 so I thought I would at least give it a try. The worst that could have happened was that I wasted a dollar. Well I'm glad to say that while I may not have loved the book I don't think my money was wasted.

I'm not sure you could call a story that mainly takes place inside the bounds of one city to be epic fantasy but it did have all the other elements. A strong cast of characters that you really do end up liking, even the "bad" ones and a unique magic system that I found to be an intersting take on a society with limited magic.

I guess I should explain the "magic" first. The book takes the premise that all magic is put towards capturing an idea and turning it into human form. One of the oldest andats, what they call the captured ideas, was Rain, but when she escaped she was recaptured as Falling Water and so on and so on. Each idea can only be captured once by any given name. Hence the poet is trained to verbalize that idea in a different way. The current adant in this book is named Seedless, because the concept they turned into a andat was taking what makes something reprodcue away. Hence cotton seeds can be pulled out of large bales of cotton with one command or an entire nation of pregnant women could have their babies pulled out of their wombs. You can see why each city-state has a poet-sorcerer who has command of one of these andats. With that much power you can assure the peace and tranquility of your city. It's a brilliant idea that I'm really interested in exploring further in the rest of the books.

The main protagonists are two young men, Otah and Maati, who were current and former "apprentices" to the poet-sorcerers and Amat who was the buisness manager of one of the major trading houses along with her assistant Liat who is involved with both of the young men. Their role is to save the city from being destoryed by those who want to see Seedless disappear for forever and want to conqueor the city. They are an interesting group of characters and for the most part they are believable in thier roles and you find yourself cheering for them without even realizing that you liked them.

The only other thing I wanted to touch on with this book was the very Asian feel the characters had in name and in title. Appearance is never really discuess within the book but between the characterization, the formal bowing and hand posing which they use to convey emotion or intent, and the formal tea taking all lend that "Asian" feel as well as a sense of refinement to the book that I was not expecting. Now this could be the fact the book I read before this one was set in Ancient Japan, but I think it was intentional on the authors part, at least I hope it is.

This is the first book in a quartet and I am looking forward to the rest of the books to find out how their journey finishes.

posted by Ryan_G on July 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    INDELIBLE

    When you've read fantasy for as long as I have (I'm 37 and started at 11 with LORD OF THE RINGS and then Zelazny's AMBER SERIES), you get tired of the fact that 90% of fantasy tales revolved around a dumb farm boy who is the missing heir to the kingdom or to long gone magical powers, he has a good heart but can't seem to get the girl, he has to leave home and help the world/nation/kingdom against some Dark Lord, who tends to be archetype and has some old mentor who gives him the sword/magical talisman to win and kick the beejesus out of the Dark Lord. Oh, and then he gets the girl usually or finds someone better than the girl because the girl wasn't a very nice person. Heh. Back then there weren't too many variations on this tale unless you wanted to read Michael Moorcock or maybe H.P. Lovecraft, though, he's more horror than fantasy. Nowadays, fantasy is beginning to shift to grittier/realistic tales George R.R. Martin being at the forefront. So, now, it isn't about such tales so much and if it is the dumb farm boy might not be such a nice guy or he may lose against the enemy. Maybe, unlike traditional fantasy, someone can wear black and not be a bad person. So, saying all that for those who have walked with the fantasy genre as long as I have, we finally get to encounter a novel that takes another spin. A SHADOW IN SUMMER has a distinctive Asian flair to it with almost no focus on the usual medieval European setting. Moreover, there isn't some Dark Lord to defeat. The tale focuses on politics between various factions within the city of all cities. This city has gained the powers of a powerful spirit that has the ability to give the city a major up in the cotton trade by taking the seed out of cotton plants, thus, giving them a huge advantage upon other cities that need to hand pick the seeds out of each cotton bushel. Naturally, other cities, most notably one similar to a European one, wants to free that spirit or control that spirit so that they can then monopolize the cotton trade. So the whole story is about various groups either trying to do this or about other people investigating this plot, not quite realizing the full details until later. One of the world details I liked about this world and that is based on historical facts is that the people communicate very much in body language rather than words so people will be talking and then take on a pose of apology, love, joy, anger or conciliation. It's definitely a nice touch. So read this book if you like intrigue, court politics and strong characters, who are not the usual archetypes and are actually doing something besides running the from the minions of the Dark Lord.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read

    The Price of Summer, by Daniel Abraham is the first in a quartet set in the Summer Cities. The book starts with a young man in the Poet's school, unsure of himself and his place in the world. The power of the poets is the control of the andat, thoughts given form. Examples of andat are "Stone-Made-Soft" who can turn the hardest granite into mud, or "Removing-The-Part-That-Continues," called Seedless, an andat whose powers are harnessed to speed the harvesting of cotton, but can also be used for more nefarious purposes. These Poets, and their andat give the rulers of the Summer Cities control of god-like powers. Their neighbors, the Galts, view them as a threat that must be neutralized. When seedless is used in a plot to destroy an "unwanted" child, and thus hurt his controlling Poet, choas is unleashed, and the war over the andat which is soon to follow will rock the Summer Cities to their core.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2009

    For Those Waiting for GRRM

    If you need something to hold you over until George R.R. Martin finishes the long-awaited A Dance of Dragons, then give his protege, Daniel Abraham, a try. His Long Price Quartet is elegantly written, complementing the elegance of its peoples who use poses to accentuate their words. The most fascinating aspect of his series, however, is the relationships between poet and andat. Poets, in this sense, find the perfect combination of words to describe a god (andat), thus binding it in human form. If they fail, they die excruciating deaths. Once an andat is captured, the poet must struggle constantly to control and command it. This gives the poets unimaginable power, but mostly they use the andat for economic reasons, such as mining, or extracting seeds from cotton. Meanwhile, the andat want nothing more than to escape. It is a beautifully written and unique series, and the best handselling point is that there is no waiting for the next book. The quartet is complete.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Begining

    This was a fantasy series and an author I was not familiar with but I found the hardcover at The Dollar Tree for $1 so I thought I would at least give it a try. The worst that could have happened was that I wasted a dollar. Well I'm glad to say that while I may not have loved the book I don't think my money was wasted.

    I'm not sure you could call a story that mainly takes place inside the bounds of one city to be epic fantasy but it did have all the other elements. A strong cast of characters that you really do end up liking, even the "bad" ones and a unique magic system that I found to be an intersting take on a society with limited magic.

    I guess I should explain the "magic" first. The book takes the premise that all magic is put towards capturing an idea and turning it into human form. One of the oldest andats, what they call the captured ideas, was Rain, but when she escaped she was recaptured as Falling Water and so on and so on. Each idea can only be captured once by any given name. Hence the poet is trained to verbalize that idea in a different way. The current adant in this book is named Seedless, because the concept they turned into a andat was taking what makes something reprodcue away. Hence cotton seeds can be pulled out of large bales of cotton with one command or an entire nation of pregnant women could have their babies pulled out of their wombs. You can see why each city-state has a poet-sorcerer who has command of one of these andats. With that much power you can assure the peace and tranquility of your city. It's a brilliant idea that I'm really interested in exploring further in the rest of the books.

    The main protagonists are two young men, Otah and Maati, who were current and former "apprentices" to the poet-sorcerers and Amat who was the buisness manager of one of the major trading houses along with her assistant Liat who is involved with both of the young men. Their role is to save the city from being destoryed by those who want to see Seedless disappear for forever and want to conqueor the city. They are an interesting group of characters and for the most part they are believable in thier roles and you find yourself cheering for them without even realizing that you liked them.

    The only other thing I wanted to touch on with this book was the very Asian feel the characters had in name and in title. Appearance is never really discuess within the book but between the characterization, the formal bowing and hand posing which they use to convey emotion or intent, and the formal tea taking all lend that "Asian" feel as well as a sense of refinement to the book that I was not expecting. Now this could be the fact the book I read before this one was set in Ancient Japan, but I think it was intentional on the authors part, at least I hope it is.

    This is the first book in a quartet and I am looking forward to the rest of the books to find out how their journey finishes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great New Series!

    I usually read the first few pages of a book before I purchase it, but the story was so interesting and enthralling right from the start that I read fifty pages of it before I even got it home :). Abraham brings a fresh new voice to the fantasy world, with which he tells a fascinating tale using wonderful characters. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, along with anything else this author writes in the future!

    If you enjoyed the overall "feel" of the story, you might like the "Isles of Glory" trilogy by Glenda Larke.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    Fascinating

    I have read books one and two and find the characterization fully developed and the world intricately realized.
    I love finding a novel where i am immersed in the world and discover the nuances for myself. Reminiscent of Guy Gavriel Kay or George R R Martin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific fantasy

    A thriving center of commerce, the city-state Saraykeht depends on the magic of a detained Andat spirit, Seedless, compelled to do the biddings of the sorcerer Heshai-kyo as long as his owner lives, but once his possessor perishes, he dies too. The Galts Empire conquers everything in it path except for Saraykeht in spite of the powerful thrusts of the invincible military. Using trade as a means to get small forces inside the city, the Galts begin to set in motion the murder of Heshai-kyo, which subsequently would lead to the demise of Seedless and ultimately Saraykeht. --- Teacher Milah-Kvo catches student Otah Machi sneaking out of the city. Otah explains he will go elsewhere as he disgraced himself in the class. Instead his teacher suggests a different safer alternative as a black robe to serve as a bodyguard to an andat and its owner. As Otah inadvertently learns about the assassination plot, Seedless works on a ploy to destroy the mind of his possessor by driving Heshai-kyo insane with grief over losing a child that the andat plans to remove prematurely from the womb of the sorcerer¿s beloved. --- This is a terrific opening fantasy that uses two major fabulous subplots in which either could have serves as the plot, but instead brilliantly tie together to establish a strange magical world that seems plausible and real. The tale is action-packed, but it is the cast that makes everything seem plausible and exciting. Fans of deep sagas will want to read book one of the Long Price Quartet, A SHADOW IN SUMMER, as this will be on everyone¿s short list for great genre 2006 novels. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    A Shadow of Potential

    I'm half way through the book and can't decide if I like it or not. I'll end up finishing it, but it'll take a while. Great characterization, but the other descriptors are a bit lacking - environment, scenery, etc - elements seem to be missing. At the half way point, there really isn't much that's taken place and while bits and pieces of the narrative and story are catching, the majority of the story is rather mundane. I'm sure plenty of people will find the story interesting, but at this point, not overly gripping.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Blah.

    Slow...and obvious. Close to George rr Martin? Absolutely not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Passable

    A bit slow and lags a bit occasionally, could have been very good but never reached the hight it could have

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Well done.

    I came across this series asking the eternal avid readers question 'What next?'. I had just finished Jaqueline Carey's Kushiel series (10 out of 5 stars for the entire series) and was thinking of reading Martins Game of Thrones, but wasn't ready to get into an all encompassing epic. This series was perfect. Its well written, the characters are believable, and its not heavy on detail and explaining every little act. It leaves something to your imagination. Some authors can't seem to find that fine line but Abraham danced on it like an acrobat. A great series to fill the time but not make you an obsessive insomniac.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    To i like punddinh

    Ok...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Ok

    It was good enough for me to finish the series, but I would never recommend this book to anyone. If you like political books, this stories for you

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    I like puddinh

    Pudding is good

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Terrible

    I want my eight dollars and five hours of my life back i did not enkoy this book at all

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    great book. great series.

    i'm a huge fan of epic fantasy... loved this book. loved this series. so glad i stumbled upon it. read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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