The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

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The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: What seems like a routine fantasy epic is lifted head andshoulders above the crowd by brilliant characterisation and dialogue and some unexpected twists and turns. Massive recommendation!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 576 Date: April 2011
Publisher: Orbit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1841498874

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A hero of renown, jaded by fighting and ready to leave the city before war breaks out. The only son of a noble house, taking more of an interest in books than swords. A court baron who strives to keep his king from being killed by traitors. And a young girl, left orphaned, disguised as a boy in a desperate attempt to smuggle the city's fortune to safety. Reading the cast list for the first volume of Daniel Abraham's new fantasy epic, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd read very similar works before. You'd also be completely wrong.

Abraham takes some of the most played-out archetypes in all of fantasy and breathes new life into them with a mixture of superb characterisation, brilliant character development, and some of the most enjoyable dialogue I've read in ages. It's a lengthy book which absolutely demands to be galloped through, holding the reader glued to the page as twists and turns in the plot come to light and the characters develop in ways I'd never have expected but which make perfect sense looking back. Geder, the young nobleman, and Cithrin, the orphan girl, in particular stand out as characters who change incredibly over the course of the novel. While the four main characters are clearly the best thought-out, there's an enjoyable supporting cast, especially the actors who the veteran Marcus employs to pose as caravan guards to give him a legitimate reason to leave, and Baron Dawson's wife Clara.

The world Abraham creates is a rather different one from the standard fantasy setting as well – rather than dwarves, elves or orcs, we instead get thirteen races created by the dragons who have long since left the world. There's not an awful lot of emphasis on the different races, to be honest, but this is probably a wise decision as packing anything more into this weighty novel would have been more likely to subtract from the overall storyline than add to it. There's certainly the basis for further volumes in The Dagger and The Coin series to tell us more about the world's history and the different races and I'd definitely look forward to reading about it.

Overall, extremely high recommendation and I'm already licking my lips at the thought of book two!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: So much great high fantasy out there you're spoilt for choice; two particular favourites are the Moorhawke trilogy – starting with the The Poison Throne – by Celine Kiernan and NK Jemisin's books, the first of which is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Abraham himself has clearly been influenced by George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, which he's adapting as a comic, and that's another one which you may be interested in trying.

Buy The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dagger and Coin: The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham at Amazon.co.uk.


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