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A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham
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A Shadow in Summer

by Daniel Abraham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Long Price Quartet (1)

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1,1184811,062 (3.6)68
  1. 30
    Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (lottpoet, souloftherose)
    lottpoet: similar highly formal society facing rebellion
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English (46)  Dutch (1)  All languages (47)
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SUMMARY:
The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless's bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan. In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.
  buffygurl | Mar 8, 2019 |
I became aware of Daniel Abraham as one half of the J.A. Corey partnership that penned the Expanse Trilogy, so I decided to try out his fantasy novels - and what a find it was...

The main definition I can come up with for this first volume of The Long Price Quartet is enchanting: the unusual, almost-far-Eastern setting , with its customs and sights and smells, is so very different and so aptly described that I could practically feel it taking shape all around me.

More than once I wondered if there was not some subtle message in the concept of poets giving shape and life to ideas (the andats) with their thoughts, because while I was immersed in Mr. Abraham's words I thought that he had managed the same feat, to create a vivid world that lived and breathed under my eyes. The same notion that andats do possess a will of their own, often in contrast to the poet's, seemed to reinforce my belief, because sometimes a story does indeed take off in a direction a writer had not foreseen at all.

The tale is all about subtle games of power, intricate plots and far-reaching consequences more than about clashes between good and evil or warring empires; struggles are more focused on the inner workings of a character's mind rather than on armies; choices and decisions, and their consequences, have more impact on an individual's moral compass rather than on a kingdom or a world. And yet, for this very reason - and not despite it - they resulting anguish and strife feel more profound and meaningful.

This subtlety is mirrored by the fascinating detail of hand gestures that supplement and enhance the spoken language, adding nuances of meaning that cannot be conveyed by word alone; these gestures, together with the different name suffixes that define the various social relationships, are so very pervasive and yet unexplained, adding to the depth of the story in an undefined but very effective way.
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  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Beautifully written. It's nice to see a fantasy novel that doesn't rely on elves with swords. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
An intriguingly obscure and increasingly difficult to establish control of supernatural entities has protected the city states of the long gone empire from predatory powers with advance war technology. An old trader, his primary local aid, her apprentice and two young men, all well drawn, get caught up in the struggle for power in an unfortunate intrigue that both succeeds and fails. ( )
  quondame | Aug 1, 2018 |
I didn't finish this book. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get interested in the characters. It had an interesting premise and I was intrigued in the beginning. But one day it got put back on the library shelf by one of the children and I just never picked it up again. I'm willing to be convinced that I should retry :) ( )
  MommaTracey | Jul 24, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Abrahamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martiniere, StephaneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
to Fred Saberhagen, the first of my many teachers
First words
As the stone towers of Machi dominated the cold cities of the north, so the seafront of Saraykeht dominated the summer cities in the south.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765351870, Mass Market Paperback)

The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless's bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan.
 
In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The city-state of Saraykeht dominates the Summer Cities. Its wealth is beyond measure; its port is open to all the merchants of the world, and its ruler, the Khai Saraykeht, commands forces to rival the Gods. Commerce and trade fill the streets with a hundred languages, and the coffers of the wealthy with jewels and gold. Any desire, however exotic or base, can be satisfied in its soft quarter. Blissfully ignorant of the forces that fuel their prosperity, the people live and work secure in the knowledge that their city is a bastion of progress in a harsh world. It would be a tragedy if it fell. Saraykeht is poised on the knife-edge of disaster. At the heart of the city's influence are the poet-sorcerer Heshai and the captive spirit, Seedless, whom he controls. For all his power, Heshai is weak, haunted by memories of shame and humiliation. A man faced with constant reminders of his responsibilities and his failures, he is the linchpin and the most vulnerable point in Saraykeht's greatness. Far to the west, the armies of Galt have conquered many lands. To take Saraykeht, they must first destroy the trade upon which its prosperity is based. Marchat Wilsin, head of Galt's trading house in the city, is planning a terrible crime against Heshai and Seedless. If he succeeds, Saraykeht will fall. Amat, House Wilsin's business manager, is a woman who rose from the slums to wield the power that Marchat Wilsin would use to destroy her city. Through accidents of fate and circumstance Amat, her apprentice Liat, and two young men from the farthest reaches of their society stand alone against the dangers that threaten the city."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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