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

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

3.7 49
by Daniel Abraham
 

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From debut author Daniel Abraham comes A Shadow in Summer, the first book in the Long Price Quartet fantasy series.

The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
KENH1 More than 1 year ago
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.
ir0nli0nzi0nzbee More than 1 year ago
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.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit slow and lags a bit occasionally, could have been very good but never reached the hight it could have
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Slow...and obvious. Close to George rr Martin? Absolutely not.
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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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