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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In a genre where the majority of new releases are in some way derivative, Daniel Abraham's debut novel, A Shadow in Summer, is simply incomparable. This spectacularly unique fantasy -- the first installment in Abraham's Long Price Quartet -- begins as an intimate story about one businessman's reluctant involvement in an unsavory plot involving a pregnant woman but soon expands into a breathtakingly complicated conspiracy that could topple empires and kill thousands of innocents.
The city-state of Saraykeht is a thriving hub of commerce for good reason -- its economy is powered by an enslaved spirit called Seedless, whose ability to remove seeds from cotton makes Saraykeht's most valuable import desired by empires far and wide. The sole person responsible for controlling the willful Seedless is the poet-sorcerer Heshai, a world-weary man who has slowly succumbed to the overwhelming pressures of his position. When a brilliantly Machiavellian plot to destroy Heshai -- and in turn the entire city-state of Saraykeht -- is uncovered, only an unlikely group of traders and laborers can possibly bring the scheme to light…
Like Brandon Sanderson's 2005 debut novel, Elantris, Abraham's A Shadow in Summer will absolutely blow the socks off any fantasy fan who reads it. Set in a vividly described realm where slight gestures are just as important as the spoken word and featuring a cast of diverse and complex characters, this impressive first novel is not only the beginning of what should be a remarkable fantasy saga but also the start of what will hopefully be a prolific and inspired writing career. Bravo, Daniel Abraham! Paul Goat Allen