The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham has been a book series that I’ve meant to read for a long time. It has been on my radar for several years when it was recommended to me. They have billed the series as original and fresh to the epic fantasy subgenre. That billing has kept these books on my mind and now has come the time to read the series.
A Shadow In Summer is the first book of the Long Price Quartet and begins the story of Otah Machi. The story begins with a lengthy prologue showing Otah as a child and training at school. Otah is tested repeatedly but makes a decision that will alter his destiny.
The city-state of Saraykeht is under siege from the Galt Empire of the west. However, the city has resisted the empire’s power with the andat, magical creatures brought into being by the poets who control them. The Galt Empire cannot seize Saraykeht and the other cities of the east because of the andat presence.
Political maneuvering and intrigue has set a plan in motion for the Galt Empire to continue their expansion of the empire to the east. Abraham has created an Asian-influenced secondary world of The Khaiem that was rewarding to read. I believe the novel really shines with its characters. I will admit it took about 50-60 pages to get a handle on where the novel was going but the characters kept me interested.
I will have to finish the rest of the series to make my determination on its originality to the fantasy genre. But, I will write that A Shadow in Summer is off to a great start in that direction and I totally enjoyed reading it. I’m looking forward to reading Book 2, A Betrayal in Winter, to find out what happens next in the world of the Khaiem.