Marcus wants to get out before the fighting starts. His hero days are behind him and simple caravan duty is better than getting pressed into service by the local gentry. Even a small war can get you killed. But a captain needs men to lead -- and his have been summarily arrested and recruited for their swords.
Cithrin has a job to do -- move the wealth of a nation across a war zone. An orphan raised by the bank, she is their last hope of keeping the bank's wealth out of the hands of the invaders. But she's just a girl and knows little of caravans, war, and danger. She knows money and she knows secrets, but will that be enough to save her in the coming months?
Geder, the only son of a noble house is more interested in philosophy than swordplay. He is a poor excuse for a soldier and little more than a pawn in these games of war. But not even he knows what he will become in the fires of battle. Hero or villain? Small men have achieved greater things and Geder is no small man.
Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path -- the path of war.
This is a fantastic start to a new series, and I loved it! This is the first I've read by Daniel Abraham, but you can be sure it's not the last. I'm already plotting on when I can get to the Long Price Quartet. The plot moves along at a good pace, and while there was a tiny bit of faltering near the end, I feel like it was nearly flawless.
The story shifts chapter by chapter between four main characters, all with very different lives and goals. Marcus and Cithrin's stories are intertwined, as are Geder and Dawsons (a noble who resists change and fights for what he feels is the honor of the King). The side characters were also fantastic, and I would love to read some different POV's in future books, but I'm not sure if the plan is to stick with the same characters. Either way, I can't wait to see.
The world isn't very different from a lot of epic fantasy that you'll read. You have court intrigue, wars, and a touch of magic, but it all comes together beautifully. Fans of epic fantasy should really enjoy this.
A Sample of the Writing:Book Details
And now he had fallen from grace, and none of it might be true. There might be no such place as the Keshet. He believed there was, so much so that he had risked his life on flight to it. But he had never been there. The marks on the maps could be lies. For that matter, there might have been no dragons, no empire, no great war. He had never seen the ocean; there might be no such thing. He knew only what he himself had seen and heard and felt.
He knew nothing.
He knew nothing.
Author: Daniel Abraham
Page Count: 464
Publishing Info: April 7, 2011 by Orbit
Why I Read It: netgalley review copy
Grade: A+ (favorite)
Cover Thoughts: I like the cover, but it's nothing spectacular.