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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 go 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 WarWriting 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 Games...

Title : The Dragon's Path
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316080682
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 576 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Dragon's Path Reviews

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-10-08 09:43

    First off, I love this freaking cover!! I liked the book well enough and hope to enjoy the rest of the series even better. I have them all but the second book. It's on some kind of backorder on Amazon. Anyway, the book revolves around four characters, but my favorite is Cithrin and then Geder. They seemed the most interesting to me. I really, really hope to like the rest of the series 😊Mel ❤️

  • j
    2018-10-08 10:48

    The star rating system is vague and imperfect. My feelings on this one are somewhere between "liked it" and "really liked it," but I decided to give it four stars because if any author deserves an extra star, it is Daniel Abraham. His first published series, The Long Price Quartet, has been named among the best fantasy series of the last decade by just about everyone whose opinion I respect. As a reward for his efforts, he was dropped by his publisher. You could argue that this is justified, since his books didn't sell. You can argue more convincingly that the publisher didn't bother to work very hard to sell what was a rather unusual take on the genre (I mean, from what I have heard, since I haven't read it yet). In an effort to really rub salt into the wound, once they'd cut Daniel loose and he signed with Orbit for his follow-up series, a quintet (of which The Dragon's Path is the first), his old publisher decided not to bother releasing the fourth Long Price book in paperback. This means, of course, that once the hardcovers are gone, no one is going to bother reading it, because why start a series in which the fourth book is impossible to find (even on Kindle, they still want a hardcover price for it, two years after publication).So by all means, Daniel, take your extra star (half-star, really). You have earned it. You've also written a pretty good book!The Dragon's Path has famously (well, internet famously... actually, internet genre blog famously) been called the author's attempt to tackle "traditional" fantasy after the LPQ, which apparently confounded the legion of fantasy readers out there who are ironically unable to imagine a fantasy world that isn't set in a quasi-medieval Europe and doesn't have knights and quests and swords and dragons. So here you go, masses: a fantasy book that with a quasi-European setting. It even has a sword on the cover and the word "dragon" in the freaking title!Ever the smart-ass, of course, Daniel Abraham is only pretending to write a cliched genre entry. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of conventions on display -- a plucky young orphan seemingly destined to play a role in larger events, a war-weary mercenary with a heart of gold, political machinations, a fight for the throne, etc. Stealing from the best, it also apes the structure of George R.R. Martin's HBO-spawning series A Song of Ice and Fire, spinning out the tale through alternating third-person limited POV chapters.I don't know if it is because it is only the first book in the series or because things are being kept deliberately low-key, but I wouldn't exactly say this one is crammed with incident, despite its length (though don't let those 555 pages fool you -- this thing is printed in fifth-grader font with those big margins they use when they want kids to think the book they are reading is as good as Harry Potter). The politics are interesting but not very complex (or maybe I am just surprised because I understood them even without access to some sort of character index, ahem George R.R. Martin and Jacqueline Carey). There are rumors of war but only a few light skirmishes. Aside from one shocking, game-changing event, all the big stuff seems to be coming in future books (not a spoiler, really, but ending volume I with the words, "It has begun" is probably a clue that things are just getting started).Even still, I enjoyed myself. Rather than focusing on big fantasy events, the book seems more concerned with the whos and whys of the characters anyway. Abraham considers all sides of cultural and economic issues that most fantasy books ignore in favor of more plot. The driving force of this volume is, in fact, commerce (the series is called The Dagger and the Coin after all). Our requisite plucky orphan, Cithrin, isn't a thief or an assassin or a mage, she's a banker, and her efforts to found a new bank branch take the narrative in some interesting directions. Here is a book that ends not with a battle, but with an audit. No, really, it was kind of an exciting audit.I like this world, though it is clearly still developing. There's not a lot of magic, but it lingers at the edges of the frame, offering intriguing hints of what's to come. You get the sense that the parts that don't quite fit yet -- like the fact that humanity has been separated into 13 different races with fantastical physical attributes like horns, tusks and gills -- will be developed down the line. No live dragons yet, but at least there's a dragon skeleton. I'm in for book two.

  • Conor
    2018-10-18 07:51

    The Dragon's Path is the first book in a planned 5 book series. I found it very similar to ASOIAF in the complexity of it's characters and the scope of the political and military struggles. Abraham has worked with GRRM for many years and he's obviously learned a lot in his time getting coffee, helping kill off the Starks and fighting off angry fans who want to know when 'Winds of Winter' will be released. This book is told using the same chapter/POV style as ASOIAF. After reading a lot of books lately with sloppy, rapidly changing POV's I really appreciated the distinct and unique POV chapters of each character. The more personal voice in these chapters made it easier for me to get involved with the story. It also allowed the characters (the 4 main POV's especially) to be developed extremely well. The draw-back of the split-up chapters as opposed to the WoT style of having a character's chapters run together is that at times it disrupted the flow of the individual narratives. It also resulted in me frequently skipping past the chapters of less interesting characters (looks at Marcus Wester*) to reach my favourites.The standout character for me was Geder Palliako. Early on Geder establishes a connection with the reader due to his love of speculative fiction...er, I mean essay. However the jocks involved in this military campaign don't approve and proceed to wedgie him, take his lunch money and give him the medieval equivalent of a swirly. This sets the stage for Geder's arc aka 'Revenge of the nerd'. (view spoiler)[ Geder's burning of Vanai was one of the most unexpected and shocking moves I've seen from a fantasy protagonist and completely changed the complexion of the character and the story. On the downside I felt his initial ruthlessness and determination in carrying it out made a weird contrast with his later remorse and guilt. The motivation for a normally meek guy to take such extreme action always seemed somewhat thin. I also felt that the motivation for Geder, a frail bookworm, to go on an arduous journey into an unforgiving desert were badly explained.(hide spoiler)] Overall I found Geder's arc in this book to be one of the most compelling I've ever read.The other star character for me was Dawson Kalliam. Dawson seemed to me to be a cross between the Ned Stark/Leo Atreidas mould of being a good family man and an honourable lord and the scheming, stuck up nobles that populated the background of The Wheel of Time. His plotting gave us the best insight into the politics going on in Antea and along with Geder were the most interesting chapters. I also found him to be a really well-written morally ambiguous character. He was an ambitious schemer who was willing to deal with his nations enemies to further his plans and is determined to keep the 'peasants' oppressed. However he was also a loving father and husband, a brave warrior and a loyal supporter of the king. Also he had a load of puppies. Puppies! The other 2 characters Cithrin and Marcus West weren't as interesting. Cithrin spent most of the book as a classic fantasy trope, an orphan lEaving her home for the first time in her life due to attacks from a dangerous enemy. She is sent on an important mission that takes her on an arduous journey across the world. However about half way in her chapters become interesting as she comes into her element as a merchant banker. Her scheming and plotting was interesting and she provided an insight into economics and how it affects politics and war that is apparently a big part of the series. Another interesting break with traditional fantasy was her realistic approach to sexuality. Most male fantasy authors tend to write their female main characters as pure and chaste (see pretty much every female WoT character, Arista in Riyria) and even edgier writers err towards this with their female leads (Catelyn, Sansa and Arya in ASOIAF). However Abraham breaks with this tradition, which makes Cithrin a much more interesting and believable character. While Cithrin became more interesting as the story goes on Marcus never did. He is the archetypal tough, experienced soldier, his backstory even includes the tragic death of his wife and daughter. As I read this book I couldn't help but compare him to Logen in The Blade Itself. The comparison wasn't kind. I realised that Logen also fell into this character archetype but that I never noticed it at the time. Maybe that's because Logen was so much funnier, more likeable and generally badass. Perhaps the difference between them that was most striking however was that Logen really seemed like a grizzled veteran, a survivor. I remember his speech early on in 'The blade itself' where he describes how he has fought in wars, battles and raids and how he had killed without mercy and begged without shame for his life. In comparison despite being an experienced soldier Marcus is still a romantic hero. According to one exchange with his second helping a refugee escape the pursuit of a hostile army with a fortune drawing even more danger to them is just business as usual. This attempt to blend cynical realism with idealistic heroism seemed forced and I struggled to view Marcus as a realistic character. Even on his own merits Wester felt like a shallow, clichéd character and I really had to struggle through his chapters to find out what would happen to Geder. Overall this was a really enjoyable start to a series that I have high hopes for. I'm really interested to see how the intriguing characters and vast political struggles introduced in this book develop as the series goes on.

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2018-10-21 10:59

    Onvan : The Dragon's Path (The Dagger and the Coin, #1) - Nevisande : Daniel Abraham - ISBN : 1841498874 - ISBN13 : 9781841498874 - Dar 555 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2011

  • Carol.
    2018-10-23 05:56

    Three and a half stars.I cut my reading teeth on fantasy and science fiction. A regular at the local library, I had gone through their “SF/F” offerings by early teens (which is how I came to read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant) and relied on my babysitting money and the local Waldenbooks for more current fare. The scarcity of material meant I re-read books I owned many, many times. As a result, when I encounter something that feels new in fantasy, that has a fresh take or inspired writing, I tend to gush (in case you are wondering, both N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon and Frances Hardinger’s Fly By Night were dazzling takes on the genre). I was intrigued with the positive buzz about Abraham’s epic fantasy The Dragon’s Path and had it on my radar for some time. Unfortunately, it felt surprisingly familiar.Continued at: http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2014/0...

  • Emma
    2018-10-11 07:56

    I've been a long time picking up this series..in the end I didn't pick it up at all- it picked ME up and charged through the story with me in tow!'There are two ways to meet the world. You go out with a blade in your hand or else with a purse.”And this was one of the things I loved about this book. It is an example of the fine balance between war and economics.This is character led story telling at its best.: they change and evolve, grow and transform. The world building was fabulous. I would love to see the thirteen races on the big screen.If you love fantasy and you haven't read this series yet, you're missing a trick! Of course, I've only read the first in the series so I hope those aren't famous Last Words...

  • Tammy
    2018-10-20 10:51

    I guess it's a good sign when you read the first few chapters of a book and start searching google for similar books. Man, this book was amazing. Less action, but more character development, realistic dialogue, unpredictable plot twists and just awesomeness.Geder was my favorite character and i cant wait to see how his story unfolds. Vincen Coe was another favorite, a man of few words, usually lets his sword do the talking but his loyalty is what i love most about him.The Dragon's Path has introduced me to a different side of epic-fantasy. I have Daniel Abraham to thank for that.

  • Igor Ljubuncic
    2018-10-03 12:02

    OK, so this is a weird book.The fact Martin, GRR is a buddy did not help. Because I could not escape the feeling of heavy influence on our present author.It seems Daniel has heard of epic books and that, if you want praise from Martin, should contain dragons, puppet shows, nice clothes, a sense of noble melancholy and pending doom, characters that are gritty and confused and human, and such like.Sounds good.But the execution is, like I mentioned, weird. First, there are three or four main characters, and they all start pretty strong. Interesting, colorful, flawed. But the only one that remains interesting is Geder Palliako (a Ukrainian folk dancer). The rest, Cithrin, Markus and Dawson all become kind of boring. They do not change, they repeat their points over and over, and they brood without any hint as to why this is useful or contributory to the story. Almost autistic.You can't really sympathize with any of them. Situations are portrayed without any emotional investment or depth, and you don't care what happens. There's nothing cataclysmic about any of the so-called danger scenes, no real feeling of dread, anguish, pain or anything. More like a recital or a report. Beautifully written, with nice descriptions, but nothing that touches the soul.Furthermore, the book's plot is difficult. It lacks coherence. There's no real point to the background story of dragons - and spiders, WTF, they show up at the last page, uh suspense, a cliffhanger, more like Earthquake Scale 14 suddenly dropping on you, but for no good reason except to wrap the story that does not lead to any satisfying conclusion.It's about nobles fighting their dirty little games - reminds you of someone - and there used to be dragons once upon a time - reminds you of someone - and then you also have the mysterious monk that can do wonders - cliche to the point no faking, cooking MCs like a pound of bacon - and then what? Why do we need Marcus? Or Cithrin? What's their purpose? What does their story have to do with anything? Something relevant in the third or sixth volume of this series? What's your point Vanessa?Crazily, in retrospect, looking back at my readings throughout 2014, I tried many of the new hits recently, and the only one that left with anything approaching cozy nostalgia, in a sense that I felt engaged (with a big fat disclaimer) in the story beyond the immediate reading thrill, is, absurdly, the second novel in the Locke Lamora series, even though it was significantly worse than the first one, and much worse reading and prose and quality material than the rest of them. But at least it gave a feeling of HOME. The rest are all carefully orchestrated, well oiled screenplays with accurately balanced doses of grit, drama, suspense, gore, and such, but little to no soul. Authors writing excellent stuff that they do not relate to in any way. You can tell. You can feel it. It's wrong. And super wrong with this novel.This is nothing specific to The Dragon's Path, but this book really clarified it. In a way, it eroded my emotional attachment, which is not a good thing. Exhausted me even. All this, despite the fact the story was ok, the writing very good, and the plot, all in all, readable and enjoyable. A crazy duality that is very difficult to explain. Like cartoons you watch as a kid and love and hate at the same time, but you must stay and watch and watch until your eyes melt or your parents take out the belt. A rhyme there.I'm frustrated, because it took me six or seven paragraphs to try to explain how I feel, and I can't really do it, except that a good meal does not mean an enjoyable restaurant experience, and that's what we have here. Something does not gel. Weird. Really weird. Paradoxical. And emotionally scarring. Daniel has done the impossible then. He's taken Martin's style, unwrapped it, and then packaged it in a way that leaves you no satisfaction. Like a nice adult movie without a money shot.A limerick!Geder was a fatsome bloke,Vanai he left in a cloud of smoke,Daniel's path,Invoked my wrath,With this book, the genre he broke.Bye bye,Igor

  • Ashley
    2018-10-22 07:56

    11/4/2014: I didn’t go in to this book expecting to be disappointed (quite the opposite, in fact). It just worked out that way.Firstly, The Dragon’s Path is the first in a five book epic fantasy series. It’s a multiple POV novel, in the style of GRRM, although with only four POV characters instead of who knows how many at this point. The four characters are Dawson Kalliam, a noble who gets embroiled in political intrigue of the court; Cithrin Belsarcour, a young orphan raised as a ward of a bank, who finds herself without a home and in possession of a great fortune; Marcus Wester, an infamous general who lost his wife and son more than a decade before, who now works as a merceneary; and Geder Palliako, a man whom nobody really likes, and who spends all his time reading ‘speculative essays’ about the history of his world–he’s basically the fantasy equivalent of a D&D geek (she says with love in her heart for all you D&D geeks).I’ve had multiple positive (even very positive) experiences with Daniel Abraham’s writing. The Expanse series (space opera co-written with Ty Franck), for one. Started out liking it, now a huge fan. Very much enjoyed his graphic novel adaptations of GRRM’s A Game of Thrones. His story even merited one of my rather rare four-star ratings in the Rogues anthology I read earlier this year. But looking back, it sort of makes sense. Everyone says his first fantasy series (The Long Price Quartet) is a very different sort of fantasy, more thinky and less focused on adventure and knights and princesses and stuff, and all those other examples I listed above, were either very short, or collaborations/adaptions with other authors. Because overall, my experience with this book was that its premise sounded exciting, even some of the events that happened in it when examined out of context were pretty mind-blowing. But for me, there was always this emotional disconnect to everything that was going on.I think part of this is that Daniel Abraham is a very cerebral writer. What I mean by that is that he’s meticulous with structure, very focused on details and making sure every beat of a story fits in its own place and makes sense for each character. He’s also very into ideas, and taking the least-beaten path in order to examine them. This series is called The Dagger and the Coin, after all. It’s his sort of experimental take on epic fantasy, examined through the lens of money and war. Unfortunately, something about the way he does this just falls flat for me. It’s like he’s too focused on the details and ideas, and not focused enough on the characters. They have arcs, even ostensibly compelling ones (more on this later), but none of them were fulfilled to my satisfaction, even as intellectually I acknowledged that all of them had ended and began in the right places, and they’d hit all the right beats, even some very surprising ones. I just didn’t care. At all.The frustrating part of this is I can’t really point to any thing specifically that made me feel this way. It’s more just his . . . everything. I mean, I guess I could say I don’t think he spends enough time on any of the individual parts of his story, or at least the parts I would normally care about. He’s got this really awesome world to play around in–-one in which dragons used to exist and ruled the world, but are now extinct, most likely due to killing themselves in endless wars, and also one in which dragons created humanity. I mean, that’s really cool. All of humanity is an offset of what Abraham calls the First Bloods (normal humans), who were slaves for the dragons. But the dragons also experimented in creating other races of humanity before they died out, and there are now thirteen races of ‘humanity.’ It’s actually a bit much to take in because Abraham doesn’t bother going into great detail about all the differences between the races, and sometimes its hard to keep them straight, unless a main character is part-Yemu (large, tusk-horns coming out of face), or Cinnae (very pale, slender) or whatever. He focuses instead on stuff that was so mundane. I don’t know how else to describe it. I guess I admire him for trying to get his worldbuilding out in a more organic fashion (death to infodumps?), but it sure was way less satisfying for me.Normally in split-POV books I do have favorite characters, but I’m at least still interested in the other characters. My main problem in this book, besides a general reading malaise, is that Dawson’s story was just mind-numbing for me. And I mean that quite literally. I had to force myself to pay attention, and I can’t tell you how many times I had to rewind things on my audiobook because my brain had stopped listening out of self-preservation. It’s like he was going for all the court intrigue and politics GRRM juggles so well in A Song of Ice and Fire, but he forgot to write it so that you would care about it, at all. Towards the end I just plain stopped trying to care about those sections, because it was exhausting rewinding and having to relisten to something I just wasn’t interested in. Really, that just reinforced my opinion that most of the writing there was take-it or leave-it, because when I tuned back in, I was still perfectly able to understand what was going on.The other three characters were much, much more interesting. Cithrin was the one I related to the most, perhaps simply because she’s a young girl, and I used to be one of those. Also, because I like stories about smart people doing scheming sort of things. Her journey from young and naive orphan to where she ends up was pretty satisfying, all considering. It was certainly the most satisfying part of the book, even though the climax of that particular story (which also acts as the main climax of the book) was a blink or you miss it sort of moment. At least it’s better than other main climax, in Dawson’s section. You get to that part and you’re just like, okay? I guess that happened? It’s super disappointing and anti-climactic. Geder’s story was the one I was most intellectually interested in, and the one that seems to have the most connection to the main arc of the series. He goes from loser-noble-nerd-nobody guy, to accidental one thing after another, and he actually does some pretty horrifying things the more importance he gains. But you understand why he does them. Really the only thing to say about Marcus is that his affection for Cithrin, who reminds him of his dead daughter, is heartbreaking. But they don’t actually speak to each other about it ever, so that part is also unfulfilling as well.Not to be entirely negative, but there were things about this book I did enjoy. It’s just frustrating to see so much potential wasted. I feel like Abraham and I are at odds about what is actually interesting in his story, and he gave me just enough cool things to keep me there, while forcing me to sit through things I would rather not have. (I should probably put the word forcing in airquotes . . . or you know, actual quotes . . . because nobody was making me listen, but I just can’t start a story and not finish it. It hurts me inside.) Anyway, the good stuff! Like I said, from what we see of the worldbuilding, it was really cool, and hopefully there’s much, much more of it in the next four books. I really like that dragons created humanity, and that “humanity” has such a broad definition. The audiobook narrator was pretty great, if audiobooks are your thing. I also really liked Cithrin and her banking shenanigans, how she was smart but not so smart that it was unbelieveable. How she failed, and how heartbroken it made her. I also like reading about a world where dragons used to exist, where a whole bunch of scary things used to exist, actually. Which leads me to my next thing . . . the main arc. So the prologue has this priest guy running away from his priest cult, which involves having blood that dissolves into spiders, and also means anyone in that cult can tell when someone is lying. He’s running away from the cult because he fears what’s coming, which it is heavily implied that his spider goddess is coming back, and she is going to, and I quote “eat the world.” What. The epilogue brings this full circle, and that along with Geder’s adventures means that the spider goddess and her priests are probably going to be a larger part of the next books, which is a very good thing.Hopefully, this will be one of those times where I look back on a book and say, okay, I see why he did it that way. Hopefully I enjoy the sequels more than I enjoyed this one. But for now, I remain disappointed.10/19/2014: Hmmm. Some parts of this were SO COOL and other parts made me zone out hardcore from lack of interest. I can see how it might develop into a really great series, though, so starting the second one via audiobook as soon as my library is able to get it to me. Might as well do it now while I still remember (most of) the minutia of this one. Full review later.

  • Paul
    2018-10-08 11:07

    I absolutely loved Daniel Abraham's fantastic Long Price Quartet when I read it a few years ago, so I'm quite surprised it's taken me so long to start his other major fantasy series, The Dagger and the Coin, of which this is the first volume.I'm happy to say I enjoyed this every bit as much as I did the LPQ books... perhaps even a little more!The world-building is superb; you really get a sense that this is a fully realised world and that there's so much more going on outside the parameters of the story you're currently reading. History is one of the main themes of the book and, appropriately, you can feel the history of this world lying just beneath the surface of the current events.Another thing that makes this world feel real is the economics... no, wait, it's not as boring as it sounds! As you can probably infer from the title of the series, money is another of the main themes of the series and the author actually makes the economics of this fantasy world absolutely fascinating and key to the central plot. It made me realise how most fantasy novels don't deal with money much other than to have it as the treasure at the end of the quest. In this world, it makes things seem a lot more plausible to see how the more day-to-day financial affairs are run.That's not to say it's devoid of action and adventure; far from it! There's plenty of the old stabby-stabby and quite a few 'OMG' moments that had my jaw hitting the floor.I also fell in love with virtually all of the characters. I spent most of the book thinking to myself 'Geder's definitely my favourite character... no, wait, it's Cithrin... no, no; it's definitely Wester...' and so on. I'm SO happy there are four more books in this series and I don't have to say goodbye to these characters just yet!Overall, I absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it to any fan of the fantasy genre. Now, on to the next one...

  • Maria V. Snyder
    2018-09-22 07:47

    I finally finished listening to this one! The narrator is fantastic - he did a great job with the reading and the voices, which I think for an audio book is key! The story is also well done - it's an epic fantasy and has a great cast of characters and plot and I was drawn into the world. It didn't seem too heavy with the details, but there's lots going on and the pace is brisk. If you enjoyed The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, you'' like this one as well!

  • Rob
    2018-10-03 04:06

    Executive Summary: An enjoyable start to a fantasy series that seems to focus more on politics and the economy than it does on battles and magic.Audio book: I initially really struggled with the audio book. This wasn't Pete Bradbury's fault. Rather there is a lot sort of dumped on you at the beginning and it would have been nice to go back and reread which isn't always possible for me when I'm listening.By the second day I had my bearings though, and will continue on with this series in audio moving forward. Mr. Bradbury is a good, but not great reader. He speaks clearly and at a good volume. He does a few accents and voices but nothing too elaborate.Full ReviewMy only exposure to Daniel Abraham was in the guise of James S.A. Corey where I have no idea which writing is his and which is Ty Franck. However since I love those books, I really wanted to check out some of their other writing.I got this one on a daily deal earlier this year, and with the fourth book out this month, I decided to give it a go.The setting for this is one where magic has almost passed from the world. The dragons that once ruled are gone. Leaving 13 races and many ruins in their wake, but little in the way of record or magic. Normally I prefer books with cool magic systems, but there is a lot to like here that I didn't mind their not being any mages throwing fireballs around.Most of the book follows 4 POV characters, with a 5th used in the prologue and a 6th one added near the end. Of the main ones we have Gedar, Marcus, Cithrin and Dawson.Gedar is a young and mostly foolish noble, whose ideas come from books rather than experience who is out on his first campaign. Marcus is a season veteran of much renown with a troubled past. Cithrin is a young ward of a bank, who is smart and capable despite her lack of experience of the larger world and Dawson is a powerful noble whose sense of honor only extends to those with the right blood.They make for a good mix of characters, each having things I like and dislike about them. These aren't perfect characters by any means, and it's sometimes hard to know who to root for when their positions oppose one another.This book is a lot more about politics and economics than it is about big battles or magic. Most SFF books tend to gloss over the economics most of all, even if they are focused on the politics. The two pretty much go hand in hand and often money is relegated to not having enough and taxes. This books focuses on banking and the roles the banks play in the politics of the nations. The banks are independent and only care about making a profit and not about who is at war with whom. There are 1 or 2 points where I wish I could have skimmed over some details about costs and things in the book, but for the most part I found it really interesting and important to the story. Economists would probably be disappointed, but compared to most other fantasy books I've read this covers things far more thoroughly.This book has a lot of grey areas without really ever getting into dark fantasy. Do you root for the noble who wants to protect his kingdom and king from chaos, but regards farmers and other commoners as little better than dogs? Do you root for the kindly noble who may mean well, but is often ignorant or spiteful in his actions?I will say that this book had a point where I saw where the plot was going and thought it would keep following a predictable path only to throw me for a complete loop.Overall I enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing on with the series when I have a chance.

  • Jonathan Terrington
    2018-10-08 03:50

    4.5 StarsWhen it comes to writing modern fantasy it appears that authors need to do one of two things. They need to write something unique or edgy, something or a treatment not seen before. A prime example being how J.R.R Tolkien took Norse mythology and turned it into his own mythology of the world or how Brandon Sanderson took the idea of the physics' based magic system and made it his own. The second thing authors can do is to write very, very well: the best examples being E.R.R Eddison or Mervyn Peake. Daniel Abraham may not be a very good writer at the aesthetic level of the aforementioned but he is very good nonetheless, his work here is in fact surprisingly well written with its own unique style.There is no doubt that The Dragon's Path is inspired by G.R.R Martin, but with all respects to Martin, I find that this novel performs better than A Game of Thrones and the subsequent novels. The main reasons for this are that, though Martin and Abraham have different approaches, Abraham's novel feels like a more solid historical fantasy novel. The world and the characters feel more fleshed out, more realistic and the sense of grittiness isn't perpetrated by a sense of artificiality. This is mostly carried off because Abraham is remarkably subtle with his work and though not ashamed to introduce topics of sexuality, death and war, is mature in his handling of those subjects in a way that is not offensive. In short: Daniel Abraham knows how to write in a way that few other fantasy authors writing now do. In fact the one reason I could not bring myself to give five stars to this novel is that the plot felt lacking in some aspects as part of an entire planned series.Of course, that provides a segue into discussing the plot itself. The novel is set in a fictionalised world (as is the tendency with these fantasy epics, a nuisance isn't it?). In this fictionalised world the reader finds out that it is a world built upon the ruins of a world populated by dragons. These dragons are now long deceased, having it appeared, help create multiple variations of humans. There is a suggestion of humans like mermaids and human races with tusks in their chins but in this first entry it can be hard to distinguish. In this world, there is the hint of a grand religious destruction set to occur, a destruction alluded to at the beginning and end of the novel. However this is the subplot of the novel and no doubt will feature in the series as a whole. This particular novel follows a set of four particular characters whose interactions in the world are individual and yet have particular connecting roles which are particularly important in this particular imaginary world. Or to clarify, the four characters are: 1. Marcus Wester - a grizzled old, soldier who at first seems archetypical and later is shown otherwise 2. Cithrin - an orphan taken in by the bank of Vanai and placed in charge of delivering the bank's gold from a war threatened nation 3. Dawson - an advisor and friend of the King of an empire under threat who wishes for nothing more than to uncover traitors to the throne and 4. Geder - Geder is a soft seeming noble scholar who is placed into a difficult environment and proves himself as a hero. Of the characters his viewpoint was perhaps the most fascination, but only just.Each of the characters in the novel is designed to have both black and white elements to them. In other words to be both a hero and a villain in many regards. The characters each play to the archetypes. Marcus fills the role of the old, war hardened soldier, Cithrin the role of orphan girl, Dawson the role of nobleman with influence towards the king (think Eddard Stark) and Geder as the naive scholar turned hero. Yet, despite the use of tropes or archetypes Abraham manages to create something that is fascinating and well written. Perhaps because instead of allowing the tropes to do all the work of writing for him he uses the tropes to allow identification with the characters and then proceeds to further develop his storyline. In short there is a level of depth and intrigue to Abraham's work that when compounded with his sensibility and subtlety in handling characters, worldbuilding and plot makes for a fascinating, well handled opening to a series.Those looking for the next intelligent gritty fantasy should try this novel. I have also heard that Abraham's first series, beginning with A Shadow in Summer, is one of the most unique fantasy novels around currently. And certainly this novel has compelled me to want to read more of Abraham's oeuvre. Abraham can write, he can write well and he understands how to craft a novel that feels like a historical tale (with a sense of magic and intrigue that I have personally found lacking in the denser novels of G.R.R Martin). I would rate this as one of the fantasy novels to check out and Abraham as one of the fantasy authors to watch for the next few years.

  • Emelia
    2018-10-17 08:02

    A great start to a series !Really enjoyed this book.Will write a review when I finish the series.A very good book...and 3 more to go, can't wait !

  • Algernon
    2018-09-25 08:45

    Probably the best new fantasy epic in 2011. I already read and liked The Long Price quartet, but Abraham has upped his game in this ambitious project. The influence of George R R Martin I think is clear in the grand scale of the world, the low but powerful magic that is more a dark threat than an active presence, and most of all in the careful development of the main characters and in the unexpected / brutal twist in the storyline. In the interview at the end of the book Abraham also mentions another favorite series of mine as an influence : The House of Nicollo by Dorothy Dunnett.Indeed the focus of the Dagger and Coin series will be the relation between the military mindset (destruction) and the mercantile attitude (the builders of civilization).The writing is self-assured and unobtrusive, pointing to a mature writer capable of keeping all the balls (POV's) in the air, and while I have my favorite in Cythrin, there wasn't any main character to turn me off the narrative. One slight peeve is that everytime magic is actually used I am strongly reminded of Obi Wan Kenobi and I expect the wielder to say " These are not the droids you're looking for!".I would have liked to know more about the history of the world and about the 12 humanoid races, but the first volume was already long enough. I only hope these will be revealed in the next book and not left obscure as in Malazan. I also hope the next book will be out soon, preferably next month.

  • ScottHitchcock
    2018-09-27 10:06

    Very well written first installment of series. I enjoyed the story arc of all the characters but especially Geder who definitely took a different path than I thought at the start. Two of the main story lines only touched briefly a couple of times so I'll be interested to see how they affect each other.

  • Aristea
    2018-10-11 04:40

    This is a book that is a must in fantasy literature, and it is a solid 3.75. It has the right amount of war(ish), political intrigue, unusual elements (a bank!) and a veteran. The PoV are enough but not too many to confuse the reader. The characters were okay for me, nothing special and nothing bad. I did not connect with any but I was extremely intrigued by the story and it was a difficult book to put down and stop reading. Yet, I believe had a "big" miss which is the overarching story was pretty much missing. The ties are really at the beginning and at the end. And about the end, I thoroughly enjoyed 3/4 of the book, the pace was quite significant and then it slowed down a bit for me. Until the very last sentence; that one line truly blew my mind. I am in awe and I am most certainly adding this series to my TBR!

  • Kaitlin
    2018-10-15 03:48

    First up, let's get something clear, this book doesn't have any actual Dragons in it, despite the name, and The Dragon's Path is actually a road which connects various places in this world which was once made by Dragons (back when they were in the world). I don't know if going into this book I should have known that there were no dragons, because I would say that the title is misleading, but unfortunately I didn't realise and therefore the distinct lack of Dragons was a source of constant disappointment for me.Moving on to the other points of the book, this was my first Abraham book and I have to say one thing which really stood out to me was that Abraham really has a strong interest in creating a convincing economy. This series is called the Dagger and Coin series and I think that that's a far more apt name than the title of the book as this series certainly has a heavy focus on money and banks, loans and greed. I personally wouldn't consider myself to be avidly intrigued by economy, and whilst I don't necessarily think it's a bad think for an author to have as a prominent part of the book, I wish I'd known that that was what I was diving into before I had started the book.This story certainly seems to have a very slow build up. I found the first three quarters of this book very, very slow and somewhat tedious in places, as I say maybe if I had gone into it with more knowledge of what I was getting into maybe it wouldn't have been quite as much of a shock, but I just found it very hard to connect with any of the characters because so much of the plot was focused on something I barely knew anything about. Unfortunately because of the first 3/4 being slow by the time that the story really did kick off and keep me interested it just wasn't enough to recapture my attention.I have heard from various people that this book is not great (since starting it and updating on Goodreads my thoughts) and that the next few in the series are a lot better. I can certainly say I could see how that could be the case. The ending of this book did leave me very interested in the potential of where the story could go, and there's a lot which takes place at the end which surprised me. However, because of the slow beginning I don't know how inclined I feel to want to continue, so if you have read the series and you've continued, just how much better do the next books get? Is it truly worth giving another shot??This story focuses on a few different people, we have Wester who is an older Captain who's been through some tragic things and is working as a guard for hire. He's a fairly cynical and sad character because of the things he's had to cope with, but as this story goes on his personality and drive is put to the test and I think he became a better character as the book went further.We also follow Cithrin who is a young ward of the Bank as she attempts to stray from the town with a large chunk of the bank's wealth in tow when there's political mayhem breaking out. She begins as a very shy and worried character, but she soon became my favourite character and I liked her storyline the most out of all of the characters we followed.Next we follow Dawson who is a friend of the King and believes that there may be some sort of plot involving a rival of his afoot. He is a powerful man, but he's also always had a rivalry with the man he suspects and so proving the validity of his beliefs is certainly hard for him to do.Geder is a young soldier who is not really anyone of note when we begin the story. He's obese, he's not really very good at fighting and he's far more interested in books than anything else. However, when suddenly forced into a commanding role he has to change and adapt to the situations he faces and this certainly gave some shocking results.Finally we have Master Kit who is the head of a troupe of actors. I found that there were some sections of this book where I definitely liked seeing the plays put on by Kit and his troupe, but there was also always something a little mysterious about him too.Whilst I think we have the beginnings of some wonderful characters I don't think that they're truly given the chance to flourish in this story. I believe that over the course of a series it may well be that some of these become wonderful and gripping stories, but for the most part it was only Cithrin's story that I found I liked, unfortunately.I would say that if you have a keen interest or strong understanding of economy and politics then you may well love this story but for me it was a lot of laying out the groundwork for a much bigger plot. I think there's a lot of potential for the book and series to become far more intriguing, and I think there's a lot I'd still like to know more about, but for this book alone it was only a 2.5* rating for me, just okay.Let me know if I should continue on and what you thought if you have read the book/series as I'd really appreciate your feedback! :)

  • Penny
    2018-10-06 06:54

    I really enjoyed this multiple POV low fantasy story. This was the first Daniel Abraham I've read, although I've enjoyed his work in the writing duo James S.A. Corey. The characters are diverse and although it's seldom the case in multiple POV books, I found myself invested in all of them. I usually have favourites and not-this-one-again's fairly early in a series of this sort, but that didn't happen this time. I found each of the main characters engaging and interesting enough that I was always happy enough to read their chapters when I got to them.I thought that the growth and change in some of the characters was very well executed and I look forward to seeing what trouble they get into next. I particularly like the idea of seeing into the truth of things and found this an interesting part of the tale. (Vague so as not to spoiler). I'm looking forward to reading on in the series soon!

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    2018-09-28 08:50

    I'd heard great things about this author in the corners of the internet I frequent, so trying out his new book seemed like a good idea. The beginning didn't grab me, but in the first chapter we meet an acting troupe putting on a play that so cleverly mocks epic fantasy--"despite the actor's warnings [that anything could happen], the good triumphed, the evil were vanquished"--that I was intrigued enough to continue. And so I did, even though as of about halfway through the book I found myself disliking it. Fortunately for me, it's a quick read for 555 pages; there aren't a lot of words on a page. The story follows four main characters about their lives (in the military, in banking, in court intrigues) as their world seems to be heading toward a major war. Sometime. The relative lack of action didn't bother me so much as the fact that this is by no stretch a standalone book, with its stopping point seeming almost arbitrary. I do think the first book at least in a fantasy series should be able to stand on its own. But there are things of interest in the characters' plotlines; what killed this book for me were the characters themselves. There are four major POV characters, with the page time divided up more or less equally among them. The level of character development is probably above average for fantasy, and they'd have been fine for an action-packed type of book, but for something slower and more contemplative I was expecting psychological depth more along the lines of what we see in Robin Hobb's books, and there was none of that here. A couple of mid-book SPOILERS follow. Marcus is essentially the good-hearted military man with a dead family; nothing new or captivating there. Dawson is interesting in a meta kind of way. Abraham is trying to play with fantasy's traditional conservatism, and so he gives us a character who might have been a hero in another book: a man who loves his family and is absolutely opposed to the threatened changes in his world. The difference here is that the extreme classism required to uphold a system of "nobles" and "commoners" isn't glossed over; he thinks of those outside of the nobility as "low, small people" who "understood nothing that wasn't put on the table before them." The people he's fighting against support restrictions on slavery and the creation of something analogous to a House of Commons. But while this is clever, I strongly disliked Dawson and so asking me to be in his head for a fourth of the book was a tall order. Geder is truly awful. His storyline is where the book really lost me. Abraham seems to think a character's ordering 10,000 people slaughtered out of spite makes that character interesting, rather than despicable; he seems to think that if a character who does such a thing also loves his father and is a scholar, that makes him "gray" rather than truly awful. It's a sad reflection on the fantasy genre, with villains who so often are pure evil in every aspect of their lives, that when a character comes along who's about as "gray" as a Nazi commander in real life, some people actually like him. And we spend another fourth of the book with Geder. If there was more narrative awareness of how awful he is I might have hated him less.... but there isn't much, and I've actually read that Abraham sees him as a "sympathetic geek." The idea that an author would expect me to feel sympathy for a mass murderer honestly creeps me out.Cithrin was the only main character to be both somewhat interesting and somewhat likeable. I did like her storyline; it's about banking and you don't see a lot of that in fantasy, and she certainly breaks the mold of the typical fantasy heroine. Still, she wasn't enough to carry the book by herself. /SPOILERS There aren't nearly as many supporting characters as you'd expect in a multi-POV epic fantasy. Those we do meet are rather flat for the most part, although a few seem interesting. I'd have liked Jorey's POV rather than Dawson's or Geder's; it might have made the book more bearable. Otherwise, I was not impressed with the book. The world Abraham has created has history, but no culture, no sense of place; he seems to think because it's quasi-European readers can fill in the blanks, rather than his researching interesting aspects of European history or inventing new customs. The writing style is nothing special (at one point he describes the "close-built wooden buildings" of Vanai). The inclusion of thirteen "races" of humanity, some with fur, some with horns, etc., seems extraneous, and they all more or less live together, again, with few hints of any culture. It is nice that there's little magic, and what we do see is unique. But. In the end, this book had nothing to make it stick out to me. I don't care what happens to these characters and their world in the next book. Abraham has some interesting things to say about the fantasy genre, but it wasn't worth reading a novel for them. Come on, GRRM, I'd have expected better from one of your recommendations.

  • Jenna Kathleen
    2018-10-14 09:53

    Where are my dragons?!Despite the lack of dragons, this book was great. I wasn't expecting much when I started, but I am now excited to see how the rest of the series will unfold.Dawson was an incredibly boring character and it took awhile before Geder grew on me, but he had wonderful character development and I am sure it is only the beginning for him. I loved Marcus and Cithrin. The setting with the bank made the world very unique and well-developed.

  • Liviu
    2018-09-30 09:01

    Excellent series debut and while a partly introductory book, there are a lot of goodies, a great ending at a perfect stopping point and potential for this to become of my top series of all time.I will add more as the release date gets closer and of course I will add the full FBC review later in the year but for now if you want a reasonable comparison, i would say that this reads like a much better Way of Kings without all the unnecessary verbiage that was such a drag there - traditional fantasy but with no cliches and with enough "newness" not to be fully predictable, great characters and set-up.My take from the full FBC review done with Robert Thompson and available on FBC:While previously I have enjoyed some of Daniel Abraham's short fiction, I am not a fan of The Long Price Quartet, so I had a mixed feeling about The Dragon’s Path - an extremely tempting premise, but what if the author's style just does not match my taste at novel length?Happily, I really loved The Dragon’s Path and the book quickly vaulted to my ongoing Top 25 2011 novels list and so far it is the only new fantasy series to do so.The Dragon’s Path is traditional fantasy as best as it gets for me : nothing that we have not seen before as content goes, but pitch perfect execution, vivid characters that we get to know and love during the course of the book and ones we are eager to spend more time with, beautiful writing, action, intrigue and well thought world building with great expansion potential.The book is also tightly written so despite its almost 600 pages, it does not feel long and I strongly regretted when I turned the last page - the review copy I got has the traditional Orbit "goodies" from the finished product including an interview with the author and an extract from the next book and I just lapped that up and was really sad that I won't get to read the next installment for a while.The structure of the novel is discussed above with four main threads following Cithrin, Marcus Wester, Geder Palliako and Dawson Kalliam, while several other characters play important roles too, most notably Dawson' wife Clara, the master showman Kit who leads a performing troupe that will have its destiny intertwined with our heroes and Marcus' sidekick, his Tralgu faithful companion Yardem Hane, but the cast of the novel is large and varied as befits an epic.The younger heroes, Geder and Cithrin who are set to be the main drivers of the action - however unwittingly - combine both expected traits: destined, try and achieve hard things despite the odds against them, with some unusual ones:Geder is not in that great physical shape to start with, he is both the "nerd" and the lowest ranking noble of his small circle and the butt of the jokes for both reasons, not to speak of his secret interest in "speculative fiction" that sparks derision from his peers and superiors, but which of course will prove important as the story progresses.Growing up as the ward of an important banker, Cithrin is manipulative and in love with numbers and with finance, so she is determined to have her own trading house which again is not quite what usual fantasy heroines who tend to be princesses or magicians desire...Of the older heroes, Marcus is probably the most stock - the silent strong type with a tragic past, a cynical but generally accurate view of life and who finds himself doing the "right thing" despite all. While in The Dragon’s Path, Marcus is outshined by Cithrin and Geder, I expect him to play an increasingly important role as the series goes on.Dawson on the other hand is an unapologetic ultra-conservative noble with clear ideas about his well deserved importance in life, ready to commit what is essentially treason to further his class' interests against the upstart "new men" who compete for the king's influence by among other things daring to promote the interests of the common people... And the author' skill is such that what in other books would be the quintessential villain who opposes progress, turns out here to be an interesting character who also fights the "good fight" in his own way, however ideologically wrong it reads for us modern readers from a democratic age.The Dragon’s Path world building discussed above by Robert at greater length is actually very good in my opinion - sure it is not yet spelled out in full detail, but there is enough to give a clear impression of what's what and to achieve a sense of the big picture, while of course leaving a lot of scope for expansion in latter installments. To me this is ideal since one of the things I dislike about fantasy series is predictability and conversely one of the things I appreciate the most is finding out new unsuspected things about the universe in cause and here we just scratch its surface, so this is another reason the next book is such a huge asap.Overall The Dragon’s Path (A++) is a first superb installment in a series that has established itself already in my top level of current ongoing fantasy series and moreover one I easily see becoming one of my top-top if the promise implied here continues to be fulfilled.

  • Dara
    2018-10-08 07:01

    The Dragon's Path is a story more concerned with character, politics, and economics more than battles and magic. We follow a mercenary, a bumbling soldier, and a banker throughout most of the story. I enjoyed the book despite having some issues with it.What I really enjoyed about the book is that it's a nice change from what I've been reading lately, mainly the Malazan series. The Dragon's Path isn't grimdark. It's not doom and gloom, battles all the time, and solidering. Daniel Abraham focuses on the politics, economics, and character development. There's one short battle scene in the entire book. Abraham's world is... alright. It's not particularly deep and not much sets it apart from other fantasy worlds aside from having 13 different species of humans. There's no magic at all (or if there was, it doesn't exist anymore) and despite the titles, no dragons.I enjoyed the character development, mostly that of Geder. He goes from an incompetent soldier to political force. Wester is your typical mercenary with a dead wife and daughter (surprise, surprise) and Cithrin is... problematic. She's a lush and for some reason, Abraham always relates her relationship to sex with the men in her life more than her skill at banking.I'm hoping the world is more fleshed out in the next book, along with the characters. I'll likely continue the series but not sure when.3 out of 5 stars.

  • Andrew
    2018-09-27 10:46

    The Dragon's Path is the book I've been looking for for years. This is made all the more painful given that this book has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for almost four years, waiting. The more I read it, the more I found myself agreeing with the GRRM blurb on the front: This book ticks off nearly every box on the list of things I look for in a good fantasy story. It's original, yet familiar. It's epic, yet doesn't shy away from letting you get into the heads of deep, believable characters in a personal way. The worldbuilding is strong, but not over-the-top. The writing is excellent, the pacing remarkably smooth. If I could find a fault in the beginning of Mr. Abraham's five-part story, it's that the book feels like a prelude to the real story. That being said, there is little wrong with leaving your readers wanting more, then delivering.

  • Liviu Szoke
    2018-10-20 11:40

    Am tot zis că am să-i dau patru stele, dar acum, când a sosit vremea, mi-am zis „what a hack!”, cine scrie o astfel de poveste fantasy ce pare că va umple de sânge orașe întregi și va lăsa în urmă munți de oase, și tu în schimb capeți o poveste realistă, chiar dacă pe lume există treisprezece rase de umanoizi, create cu mii de ani în urmă de dragoni ce s-au măcelărit între ei? Ei bine, cel care o scrie este nimeni altul decât Daniel Abraham, care reprezintă, toată o lumea știe, jumătatea cuplului de autori ce semnează sub pseudonimul James S.A. Corey celebrele romane din seria Expanse. Iar aici avem o poveste fantasy în care fantasticul pare că ține mai mult de trecut, în schimb se pune accentul pe oameni, pe personaje, cu bunele, dar mai ales cu relele lor: ratați, manipulatori, bandiți, hoți la drumul mare, asasini, curteni ticăloși, mișei, dar și oameni cu simț de răspundere, oameni onorabili, într-o lume în care legea este făcută cu ajutorul pumnalului și al monedei. Mai multe, pe FanSF: http://wp.me/pz4D9-2BL.

  • David
    2018-10-21 11:58

    I'm going to take a bit of a risk by comparing this to George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones, since I have yet to actually read any of those books. However, I haven't escaped the general critical acclaim and analysis of the story, or many of the plot points, being the popular phenomenon it is, so I'm going to say that Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path looks like "A Game of Thrones" without the constant shots of sex, violence, and grimdark despair.That's not to say there is no sex or violence in this book, but it's handled in moderation and it's relatively infrequent. There are only a few scenes of people actually being killed, though granted, one is an entire city being razed.Abraham's world is not exactly a "faux medieval Europe," but it's certainly another in the long list of secondary worlds created in an ongoing dialog with Tolkien, which means it's definitely Western in flavor - feudal monarchies with hints of pre-modern capitalism, and a vaguely-mentioned religion that seems to be monotheistic, but there are other religions, and other gods, as well, one of which will be pivotal towards the end of the book.Instead of elves, dwarves, and orcs, Abraham has created thirteen races of men - all descended from the Firstbloods, or true humans. They each have unique traits - the Jasaru are scaled, the Tralgu are dog-headed, the Cinnae are beautiful, elfin, and long-lived, the Kurtadam are furry and tusked, the Drowned live underwater, etc. Only a few actually make an appearance in this book, and racial tensions and other cultures are only hinted at, but clearly there is more worldbuilding to be revealed in future volumes. All of these races (except the Firstblood) were supposedly created by the Dragons, who ruled the world long ago but now have left only jade roads behind.Despite these little hints that there was once epic magic in the world, there is almost no magic in The Dragon's Path. Instead, it begins with the political machinations of various nobles in the court of Antea, one of the major empires in the post-dragon world, presently ruled by a well-intentioned but somewhat gormless king. There are factions circling the throne, some under the influence of Antea's neighbors, and all of them collide in interesting ways that send ripple effects outward affecting other characters.The Dragon's Path is told from multiple POVs, GRRM style. The main characters are: Cithrin, a teenage girl who's a ward of the great Bank of Medea; Marcus Wester, a legendary war hero with a fairly typical tragic past; Dawson Kalliam, Baron of Osterling Fells, and Sir Geder Palliako, a low-ranking noble who starts the book out on his first campaign. None of them know each other to begin with, and each of them winds up in vastly different circumstances at the end of the book than where they started.I liked several things about this book. First, it has the feel of a grand epic fantasy without layering on magic and fantastic creatures or an otherworldy setting. The world is not Earth, but it still has a certain familiarity about it.Second, the characters are all interesting and human, and some of the ones who seem sympathetic initially turn out to be on a path to becoming right bastards, while the ones a modern reader might be less inclined to sympathize with are in fact much more likable than their enemies. Dawson, for example, is a stiff-necked traditionalist who believes in noble birthright and keeping the peons in their place — his enemies are would-be reformers among the nobles who want to introduce a bit of democracy and class mobility into the empire. This should make Dawson the villain, fighting to preserve ultra-conservative, authoritarian rule, but his enemies really aren't any more benevolent than him, and Dawson is basically a decent man for someone of his class and views. Also, his wife is a marvelously adept player of political games herself, who becomes a POV character later in the book.Geder Palliako, on the other hand, begins the book as comedy relief, a portly young man who would rather stay in a library but has to go out campaigning because he has the misfortune to have been born into the nobility and that's what they do when the king calls for a campaign. He's a nerd, he's socially inept, and he's the butt of all his comrades' jokes.By the end of the book, (view spoiler)[he's an arch-villain who's put an entire city to the torch and seems set to take over the empire (hide spoiler)].The two main threads in this first volume are the infighting among Antean noble houses, mostly involving Geder and Dawson, and Cithrin and Marcus's flight from Antea, bringing them to a small coastal town where they set up shop for future adventures, surviving on a combination of Marcus's wits and martial prowess and Cithrin's wits and financial acumen.It all wove together quite effectively for me, and made me want to read the next book. Some of the best revelations did not happen until the very end, and I'm hoping to see a bit more grand epicness of the sort that's hinted at in this world's ancient past. 4.5 stars.

  • Lisa
    2018-09-29 08:47

    Full Review at Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/0...The book is reminiscent of a historical fantasy. There are references to dragons and different races of humans, but really there is not much “fantastical” (creatures or magic) in this book. Which is honestly fine by me as I most of my favorite books are low fantasy. There are four main characters that are really two sets of two, meaning Cithrin and Marcus’s storylines intersect and Geder and Dawson’s storylines intersect. Though I feel it was really about Cithrin and Geder more than their companion perspectives. Or maybe I just favored those two enough that they overshadowed the others. I don’t say that because any of them were bad. I just definitely had preferences for Cithrin and Geder. I will also mention, none of these characters are perfect people. All storylines have some moral ambiguity and shades of grey. This is something I love as I find it much more relatable and exponentially more interesting than black and white good versus evil.I do have a confession to make in this review. I am a complete sucker for the girl dressed as a boy trope. I just love it for some reason, so I was thrilled when I realized that the one female perspective in this fell into that. Maybe it shouldn’t amuse me as much as it does, but hey, we all have personal preferences/weaknesses/quirks/tropes we love. This is mine. Cithrin is an orphan who was taken in by a banking house. Being intelligent and raised in a bank, she has a serious head for money and business. By a strange turn of events, she finds herself alone on the road with an incredible amount of wealth (the bank’s treasury). Cithrin is a young woman, and there is a bit of coming of age for her, but it’s not an overwhelming part of the story. She’s young, she’s placed in extraordinary circumstances and she has to grow, adjust and learn to survive.Being the first in five book series, there is a lot of set up in this book. When I think back, there were definitely some big events, but for the length of the book I feel like more of it was getting familiar with everything and set up for future books. I am not complaining! I love epic series and there was not once in this book that I felt the pace was slow or that I was sludging through world building info dumps. It all just flowed, and suddenly the book was done.Overall this was an enjoyable read, I do plan to continue the series and just hope it won’t take me years to get to the next one!

  • Vderevlean
    2018-10-05 04:42

    Un început foarte bun de serie, matur, cu personaje ok, cu mai multe fire narative și cu o scriitură bună. Nu e prea fantasy, cel puțin primul volum. Dacă treci peste capitolul de introducere care cam păcălește viitorul cititor, povestea se transformă imediat într-o intrigă politică, medievală, foarte asemănătoare cu cea din cărțile lui George RR Martin.Și asta nu e rău deloc, deși eu parcă aș fi vrut un pic mai mult. Există un trecut fantasy cu dragoni care au creat lumea și omenirea și cele 13 rase umanoide pe care le avem în roman și din cauza cărora volumul ăsta ia 4 și nu 5 stele. Nu găsesc justificarea raselor, de altfel nici nu sunt detalii foarte multe despre ele, ci mici descrieri pe ici, pe colo. Și numele diferite întâlnite de la un capitol la altul mă fac să nu pot să îmi amintesc cine ce rasă e și care sunt trăsăturile ei. Până acum, rasele diferite par mai degrabă materializări ale prejudecăților rasiale din lumea noastră: albi, negri, asiatici, evrei, țigani etc. Dacă e mai mult de atât, vom vedea în viitoarele volume.Un mare plus: personajul Dawson - personaj păpușar, secundar dar cauzator de intrigi și fire narative. Prieten al regelui, pozitiv, apărător al regatului și al coerenței tradiției e totuși un personaj cu o sumedenie de convingeri care mai de care mai extremiste: oamenii sunt făcuți să fie sclavi, să muncească și nobilii să aibă drept de viață și de moarte asupra lor. Cel puțin o parte dintre oameni. Femeile pot fi prostituate, că e destinul lor, sângele e diferit și inteligența e pe măsura sângelui. Etc., etc, etc... Și totuși e unul dintre personajele pozitive foarte puternice din roman. Vezi Tyrion din GOT. Iarăși la plusuri de menționat intriga financiară: rolul unei bănci mondiale pentru acel univers în intrigile politice și personajele din jurul băncii.Minusuri? Romanul se termină brusc, prin urmare să sperăm că traducerea volumului 2 vine repede, altfel uiți din poveste și din personajele secundare. Și rasele, da. Nu pot reține deloc rasele astea.

  • Paul Nelson
    2018-10-01 09:51

    The Dragon's Path follows four main protagonists: Geder, a noble in military service, Cithrin, the determined ward of a bank threatened by invasion, Marcos the military hero who's chequered past leads him to take Cithrin under his wing and Dawson, a noble conspiring to protect his King against traitors and rebellion.All four of them are all flawed in some way creating interesting situations as their story's develop. Cithrin is an orphan with a flair for business, coming into adulthood, she begins to see sex as a way to gain information and turns to alcohol when things start to go wrong for her. Her part is not the most compelling but the characters around her keep the story from becoming flat.Marcus is more straightforward, the ex-hero who lost loved ones and becomes closed when coming into contact with others, aside from Yardem, his trustworthy Tralgu... His best moments are with Master Kit, a troupe leader with a lot of charisma and a hidden identity.My two favorite characters were Geder and Dawson. Dawson is a stubborn nobleman believing in the higher calling of aristocracy, his plans to save his friend the King and the monarchy seemed doomed to failure, but the political intrigue was a stand out feature of the book for me. His family entourage is composed of a great supporting cast including his wife, bodyguard and sons. Geder is a young outcast dreamer, sent to war but he'd much prefer to read a book. A low born noble Geder is the butt of the company jokes until his fortunes take a better turn. His storyline is both fun, horrific and distressing to follow. He ends up being the saviour of the kingdom but equally he could lead to its doom. This is the first novel by Daniel Abraham that I have read although I have had the Long Price quartet on my to read shelf for quite some time now. This story centres on excellent characterisation, not a great deal of action and I will defiantly read the second book in the series to see where Geder's storyline goes.

  • Mark Halse
    2018-10-16 08:01

    Excellent read. A lot of people have compared this work to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE for some pretty obvious reason that have little to do with the writing or story telling. Though they do share a genre and a similar POV chapter setup, in my opinion they share little else in common.This book suffered a little in the beginning from a very quick POV chapter change. I was very confused for a quarter of the book however once my brain caught up with my eyes I found this book greatly satisfying. The story is intricate and engrossing. Most of the main characters are interesting and have entertaining arcs. Even the less interesting characters had their moments. But let me make this clear: Cithrin is THE must boring character in the book. Sometimes her story was interesting but mostly she is a cold, alcoholic bore. The most interesting character was easily Lord Geder Pallikos who is shaping up to be a powerful menace.This book is full of intrigue, war and with a hint of magic. If you are looking for something to fill the void between ASOIAF books this may do the trick. If you're looking for a book that's similar to ASOIAF I'm sorry, but this ain't it, bub.Highly recommended.