The Widow's House (Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham
|The Widow's House (Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: My favourite epic fantasy series just gets better and better. Combination of great action, romance, politics, economics and wonderful characters makes this a must-read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 512||Date: August 2014|
|External links: [www.danielabraham.com/ Author's website]|
I never know whether people read the spoiler warnings or just skip over them, and I love this series too much to risk giving anything away, so let’s go for something even vaguer than usual, and try to review without giving specifics of The Dragon's Path, The King's Blood, and The Tyrant's Law.
The fourth in Daniel Abraham’s majestic The Dagger and the Coin series has pretty much everything you can want in an epic fantasy adventure – even more so than the first three. There’s action, war, politics, betrayal, great relationships between family and friends. There’s a surprising amount of laughter here, even if it’s all rather bleak, as some of the heroes are using gallows humour to cope with the amount of death and destruction they're forced to see. Even better than any of this, though, is the superb characterisation. Abraham has given us perhaps half a dozen character arcs which are absolutely masterful. From the widowed woman trying to save her country by betraying its leader, while juggling an inappropriate romance with a servant (these two are probably my favourite couple ever), to a villain who manages to be simultaneously evil enough to make your skin crawl yet often pitiable and, sometimes, even likeable, all of the main players here are brilliantly portrayed. I also think the dialogue here is outstanding, hugely quotable.
It’s also worth noting that it’s a series which is remarkably restrained in its depiction of horrors. Yes, there have been massacres and dreadful crimes committed throughout the series, but none of it is particularly graphic, and it’s the impact of the violence which makes it so memorable. As you’d expect from previous works in the series and Abraham’s earlier novels, economics continues to play a key part here, and the violence done with a contract may end up being as important, if not more so, than that done with a sword. This really makes it stand out from anything else in the genre I've read, and adds impressive layers to an already wonderful series.
My current favourite series, I'm already salivating at the thought of the final book next year!
For more epic fantasy, I'm a huge fan of NK Jemisin's Kingdom's series, starting with The Hundred-Thousand Kingdoms, and the superb teen series Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf by Curtis Jobling is one that adult fans will find much to love in as well.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Widow's House (Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Widow's House (Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham at Amazon.com.
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