"Everything I look for in a fantasy." - George R. R. Martin
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.
The Dagger and the CoinThe Dragon's PathThe King's Blood The Tyrant's LawThe Widow's HouseThe Spider's War
Writing as James S. A. Corey (with Ty Franck)
The Expanse (soon to be a major SyFy Channel television series)Leviathan WakesCaliban's WarAbaddon's GateCibola BurnNemesis GamesBabylon's AshesPersepolis RisingTiamat's Wrath
Abraham (the Seasons of War quartet) starts this rich, exciting, and fresh epic fantasy series opener in a fairly standard fashion: an orphaned girl and a once great general escape from a city under siege with the help of a traveling theater troupe. But that's where the clich s end, for Marcus Wester would far rather guard humble caravans than cruel kings, and Cithrin bel Sarcour's loyalty is not to her long-dead noble parents but to the Medean Bank that took her in. Cithrin and Marcus must smuggle the treasury of the lost city of Vanai through a war zone in which every army seeks new sources of funds and every king wants them dead. With a deft and light hand, Abraham questions and explores the fantasy-world assumptions that most authors take for granted, telling an enjoyable and genuinely innovative adventure story along the way.
Customer ReviewsSee All
DP: Good start to a promising series! +LW: Mediocre.
Anyone familiar with GRRM and his Ice and Fire series will be familiar with the point-of-view chapters that Abraham follows in his new novel. Fortunately that's where the similarities end (not to suggest Martin is bad - he's great - this is just different).
Expect a cast of (mostly) likable characters whose plots interweave as the story progresses. I very much enjoyed everyones stories with the exception of maybe Dawson whose story revolves around bickering nobility/politics (these bits were the least interesting to me).
I found the novel to be a quick read. I like that the chapters are all fairly short so it makes the progression of plot seem faster.
What you're getting is a fantasy novel that tries not to be "epic" (read: long winded and boring) and instead focuses on a few select characters in different roles than what you may be used to reading (i.e. Cithrin the banker? It works, trust me).
The twist with the Apostate at the very end of the book was also highly unexpected and satisfying.
All in all I liked it and would read the next in the series without hesitation.
Bonus book review: Leviathan Wakes (included at the end of The Dragons Path):
2.5 out of 5 stars (I suppose I'd have to round it up to 3 if I were giving it an official star rating on itunes)
Meh. It was okay. I was a little disappointed with the book. Fortunately I read this first and Dragons Path second.
LW didn't do anything for me. I like my sci-fi a little "harder" I suppose (I prefer Peter F. Hamilton or Dan Simmons) so this one was more like one of those scifi movies you watch on a Saturday afternoon and then forget about completely the next day.
Ironically I read the whole thing rather quickly, so I give it points for keeping me until the end. I enjoyed the detective-lite (noir) parts but the second half/final act was weak.
I also thought the character of Holden was annoying and really needed a good punch in face. Wayyyyy too boy scout. Miller was cool but his grizzled veteran detective facade was shattered by his openly weeping upon separation with his sort-of-friend Holden.
When Frodo and Sam get all weepy - that's okay. A Detective and Ship Commander? No, and not when they're the only people in our galaxy saving Earth. I like my heroes a little more stable.
In the end Leviathan Wakes was a fun read - just not worthy of the hype, in my opinion.
Think: Jerry Bruckheimer does sci-fi. This ain't Blade Runner.