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The Tyrant's Law (The Dagger and the Coin)

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  • By Mary Soon Lee on December 19, 2017

    This is the third book in Abraham's "The Dragon and the Coin" epic fantasy quintet. The book contains some unusual elements, including the cult of the spider goddess and a thread about banking, yet it mostly feels like standard fantasy fare. Well-executed standard fantasy fare, and hence agreeable, but nothing out of the ordinary. The main part of the book switches between four point-of-view characters, two of whom--Marcus and Cithrin--I liked quite a bit. Yet I didn't love either of them. I didn't think about them in between reading sessions. On reaching the end, I didn't yearn to start the fourth book in the series.I note that I very much liked the author's earlier fantasy work, "The Long Price Quartet." Perhaps my tepid reaction to this newer series is due to disappointment that I don't like it as well as I did "The Long Price Quartet."

  • By Ian K. on October 21, 2013

    George R.R. Martin seems to have had a huge influence on fantasy writing. Martin was one of the first fantasy authors to write about the filth, disease and hardship of feudal worlds. Martin is also famous for writing the vastly ambitious A Game of Thrones books with a story that never seems to end.Daniel Abraham, author of the Dagger and Coin books (and many other excellent books) has collaborated with Martin and lives in New Mexico, as Martin does. So I can at least imagine Martin's influence on Abraham's work. Abraham's Dagger and Coin books have the brutal reality of feudal worlds. Reading these books feels more like reading a history of the early Renaissance than a fantasy novel, except that we get much more detail than would ever be possible in a history. Abraham plays with the elements of fantasy novels, and then stabs them to death. There is a bit of magic here, but not much.Considering the quality of Abraham's books and the depth of his plots, he is a remarkably prolific writer (I'm sure that Martin's fans wish that he wrote as fast as Mr. Abraham does). Abraham is good at world building and at describing setting. What makes his novels powerful are the deep portraits of his characters. One of the most powerful portraits is that of Geder Palliako, the Lord Regent. The books follow Gedar from his early days as an incompetent knight to his rise as Regent and ruler of an empire.In Geder we see the banality of evil. Geder has no moral compass. He was bullied and picked on and is determined that no one will ever laugh at him again. He is easily manipulated but also a somewhat tragic character as we see him become more and more of a monster. Many writers can create characters that are evil. Only a sophisticated writer can see that evil in the real world is not so simple.Epic stories tend to be about the end of eras. This was the case of the Lord of the Rings and it is also the case of World War I and II. At the end of these epics and historical cataclysms new eras were ushered in. In the world of the Dagger and the Coin we see the rise of merchants and banking. In our world this eventually spelled the end of feudalism. One of the core characters in this story is Cithrin bel Sarcour, a banker. In this story I wonder if Cithrin will not be the harbinger of a new era that will rise out of the ashes of the conflict ignited by Geder.The only annoying feature of these books are all of the questions about the nature of the world the story is set in. There was a dragon empire, ruled by dragons. But how would that work? Dragons don't have hands and thumbs. There are cities and dragon roads. How could the dragons build them? Or create the humans and the other thirteen species of humanity that inhabit this world? Abraham has published a brief description of the thirteen species, but there's not much in the way of historical detail beyond legend.Like George R.R. Martin, Abraham writes large stories. The story of the Dagger and the Coin does not end with Tyrant's Law. Given the challenges of the plot, I'm not sure how many books will be required to bring it to an end. I hate waiting for the next book, but I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series.

  • By N.J. Sommerhoff on June 7, 2013

    Daniel Abraham is a terrific author and has always seemed a bit underrated to me. He creates interesting worlds, characters you can love or hate and care about in some fashion, even if you cared for them to die a miserable death. It follows the point-of-views of mainly four characters:Marcus Wester: the famed mercenary captain, on a quest with Master Kit through lands forgotten since the Dragons ruled.Cithrin bel Sarcour: a Voice of the Medean Bank, currently tasked with being an apprentice in all but name.Geder Palliako: Currently the Lord Regent, and perhaps the most brilliantly written villainous geek to have ever been created. Spreading war yet again in this book, and with it, the spider temple as well.Clara Kalliam: the fallen Baroness that sees Palliako for the danger he is, even if she is unaware just how insidious the power that backs him is even more dangerous. In the humble and subtle ways available to her, she attempts to subvert Palliako in what ever way she can.The storylines cross in wonderful and unexpected ways. The actions by and reactions caused by the characters are interesting and run the emotional gamut between hilarious and heart-wrenching. All characters face suffering and growth throughout the book that doesn't feel forced, but rather a natural and real progression of life itself.His stories are easy to read through, yet have a bunch of depth if you care to look for it. (However, he writes in such a way you can treat the stories lightly and still enjoy them.)'The Tyrant's Law' is the third book in a five book series. The pacing felt correct for a middle book and by the end, the story is definitely setup for a intense conclusion in the next two books.(Note: I haven't looked at the physical edition, but if you get the Kindle edition, the "Entr'acte" chapter does not directly follow the last chapter. So, unless you recall the "Entr'acte" from previous books, you could miss it. You do not want to miss this.)If you haven't started the series yet, I would highly recommend it. It is everything you probably want in an epic fantasy, yet not quite like anything else you have probably read.If you have read the first two books, but the last one felt a bit slow in its pacing, I felt this one made up for it in spades.If these are the only books you have read by Mr. Abraham, I highly recommend his 'The Long Price' quartet.

  • By Jonathan Wood on January 27, 2018

    The series continues and becomes even more interesting as the various characters, mostly separated up to this point, meet and then break apart again, with intriguing complications ensuing. The plot of the story is deep and wide-ranging, but as in most fantasy series, it's the characters who hold it together and make us want to know what they will do next and what will happen to them. In this, Abraham excels. There are great descriptions of war and how people react to it, how it changes them. Lots of good things to think about and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.


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