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The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham
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The Dragon's Path

by Daniel Abraham

Other authors: Chad Roberts (Map)

Series: The Dagger and the Coin (1)

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8854314,555 (3.77)34
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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
The Dragon's path follows four different characters along their journeys as war threatens to grip the land.

The Bad Stuff: Maybe I'm becoming a grumpy old codger, but I struggled to get through this book as the story switched between the four characters, again and again. While the characters were well developed, I wanted something more from the storyline and less head hopping would have made this a more enjoyable read for me.

The Good Stuff: The story was well written and I found most of the characters interesting. Marcus and Cithrin held my attention, but Cithrin was by far my favourite and I wanted to see more of her in this book. I think a lot of people will love this novel and maybe I just had my grumpy pants on when I read this one, because as I reflect on the content I find I remember more than I thought I would.

I enjoyed the prologue to this book and was expecting to enjoy the rest of it, unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations. I think that if the prologue had not been there, I wouldn't have built up a preconception about what I was going to get from this book and I probably would have enjoyed it more. I'm only giving it 2 out of 5 golden bookmarks, at least until I take my grumpy pants off. ( )
  AWA1 | Sep 24, 2018 |
3.75 really, it's not quite a four as it lags and jumps about a bit too much for my liking, but by the end I'd gotten used to the style and the plot drew matters together nicely.

The world was once ruled by dragons, and if humans existed at all (a matter of academic debate) they were feral, and hidden. However the dragons quarrelled as seems to be the fate of all sentient races, and finally the last two remaining next-mates killed each other, leaving humans free to enter the world. Some past magics (presumably although not explicitly draconic) has split them into 12 new tribes each merged a little with some animal traits, plus the remaining Firstbloods, who remained more or less baseline. Further academic debates covered whether or not the new races had a 'purpose' but by now centuries later, they are fully integrated if still somewhat geographically separated.

We follow four (with the random addition of a fifth late on for little purpose) Firstblood characters in two different locations, changing between them in sequence. There's a city in the North where the King is failing to control his competing Lords. One young son is sent on campaign when he'd much rather stay reading his historical archives. Meanwhile further south a half breed is sent to smuggle the banks valuables ahead of the siege, and a famous soldier takes a turn as a caravan guard.

My favourite character was definitely the young smuggler turned banker who's just intelligent and capable of insight into the human condition - always an enjoyable position. I couldn't care about the lords' problems at all especially not as the protagonist seemed to be supporting the status quo and oppression rather than fighting for freedom. The soldier falls in with some actors which at least makes for a different scenario than usual, and allows less of the darkness to creep in - something that modern epic fantasy has become prone to. It is overall not that bleak at all, and apart from a city burning down, and one ritual execution, it's all quite tame. Even the women seem to have power responsibility and intelligence.

Whilst it was all enjoyable enough, it lacked spark, drive and passion. Only perhaps towards the end did you care even a little about whether one or two characters would succeed in their goals. They never seemed in danger.

Don't read if you're afraid of spiders though. ( )
  reading_fox | Jun 7, 2018 |
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. There were a few things that had me raising my eyebrows but I am assuming they will come clear later. I loved the banking aspect of the book. Wars are won with gold. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I love books with a lot of details. This one has a lot of medieval banking details. The world is very interesting. Once ruled by dragons and now inhabited by thirteen different races of humanity created by the dragons. Unfortunately not much detail is provided regarding the various races and their cultures.

Great character development. I loved Cithrin and Marcus. Cithrin is an orphaned girl who grew up as a ward of a bank. she has to escape a war zone smuggling the wealth of a city and ends up starting a bank branch. Marcus is a mercenary captain with a tragic past who always does the right thing. Clara is another character that i really loved.

Geder and Dawson are unlikable but interesting characters. Geder starts out as a soft noble who is more interested in philosophy than war and is placed in a difficult situation. But he then performs an evil deed which basically makes him unredeemable. Dawson is the conservative noble who believes in the superiority of his own blood, frowns upon peasants and wants to preserve the strict social class order.

Overall great characterisation and story. I just wish that the author provided a little more space to the world building but i guess the world will get a lot more developed in the further books. I loved it. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham is the first in The Dagger and the Coin series. This is definitely one of those books that feels like it is a set up for something much bigger to come. The world and the story are slowly revealed through the point of view chapters of four main characters.

Marcus Wester is a hero of past battles and has had enough of fighting. As it looks like another war is about to start in the Free Cities, Wester takes a job as guard captain for a caravan in hopes of escaping the area before the situation escalates. This means he will need men to lead and, unfortunately, his own crew was just arrested. Where to find another crew? Cithrin bel Sarcour is a ward of the Medean Bank in Vanai. When the bank's original caravan driver dies Cithrin is assigned the task and must move the bank's assets out of the city before the invaders arrive. How can an inexperienced young girl be expected to survive such responsibility? Sir Geder Palliako is the only son of a minor noble house in Antea. He is a poor excuse for a soldier, more interested in speculative essays than swordplay. Yet he finds himself assigned to the company that has been tasked with capturing Vanai. Little more than a pawn for other nobles, will he end up hero or villain in the conflict to come? Sir Dawson Kalliam is a noble member of the Antean Court and childhood friend of King Simeon. Kallaim enjoys his politics and has uncovered a plot against the throne. Will he be able to save the King?

The Dragon's Path touches on a lot of the things I love in epic fantasy. There are several factions at play, political intrigue, the beginnings of an interesting world and a strong cast of both main and supporting characters. Master Kit and his troupe were so much fun to read that I couldn't wait for them to come up in Cithrin and Marcus's points of view. What is missing is the action. There is very little action for a story set during wartime. The story is mostly character driven which works, though it does make for a much slower paced novel.

My favorite thing about the book is how it portrays choice and consequences. It is the choices of the main characters that make something that should've been fairly simple to cause events to spiral out of control and is the concept that connects all the points of view when characters are in different parts of the world. Along with that goes the idea of how we're always the hero in our own story. Geder's story takes this idea and runs with it.

My main complaint is with the world building. It could have used more depth. I enjoyed the hints of history but it definitely needed more. There are 13 distinct races of humans that were "created" in the past for various reasons and purposes, none of which is very well explained and sometimes it's hard differentiate between each. I hope the author goes into this with more detail in the next book.

Overall The Dragon's Path is a solid start to a series. I'm looking forward to reading more in this world. ( )
2 vote Narilka | Sep 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
... [T]his is a subtle intelligent fantasy novel about a world with a long history and fascinating economics, with war, peril, and adventure, and great characters of both genders. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the author of the Long Price Quartet (post) if he’s been asked to produce something a bit more European, a bit more mainstream, a bit more Martinesque.
added by lquilter | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Sep 15, 2011)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Abrahamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Roberts, ChadMapsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316080683, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:15 -0400)

Marcus, Cithrin, and Geder ponder their destinies as they are drawn into a war where dark forces are at work.

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