One of the biggest buzzes in fantasy this spring has been about The Dragon’s Path, the first in a new series by Nebula-, Hugo-, and World Fantasy-nominated author Daniel Abraham, who’s written the popular Long Price Quartet series under his own name and the urban fantasy Black Sun’s Daughter series under the name M.L.N. Hanover. Today, I welcome guest reviewer Christopher Pollard. As always, details about an international giveaway of The Dragon’s Path are at the end.
THE OFFICIAL BLURB: All paths lead to war…Marcus’ hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody’s death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps. Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation’s wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords. Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become. Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path-the path to war..
CHRIS’ THOUGHTS: The Dragon’s Path, by Daniel Abraham is a long book, the first part of an epic novel. While a good story once into it, it took several chapters to find the story. The first few chapters are used to introduce the characters. While important, they were a little disjointed without a common thread of place or time.
About chapter five or six the common tread of the rebel-besieged city (to be put in its place by the army of the crown), the court intrigue at the capital, the last escaping caravan, and the girl who is secretly smuggling out the wealth of the city finally gets into place. How are the plots at court going to affect the army in the field and the disposition of the city when the rebellion is put down? What effect does all of it have on the fleeing caravan and what does the girl do with all that wealth in her care? All these questions and more are answered by the end of the book.
Overall a good story, the characters are well fleshed out and the actions are believable. Unfortunately, there are so many main characters in so many places that don’t seem to have a common plot. I hope the next book will finally put these stories together. While each individual story is well told, I don’t see the tie-in yet.
Unlike most epic novels where the main characters (while completing a major milestone) are still in the middle of the journey, the majority of the main characters here seem to have resolved their journey. Only one mid-level (in this book) character on the last page gets a clue of momentous things to come.
Again, this was a good story and it kept my interest. I await the next book to finally tie the story lines and characters together.
Thanks, Chris! Want to win a copy of The Dragon’s Path? Tell me your favorite epic fantasy. I’m not a huge epic reader, so I have to go for the tried-and-true Lord of the Rings: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Fly!