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Book Review: A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham

a1Title: A Shadow in Summer

Author: Daniel Abraham

Series: The Long Price Quartet #1

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit, Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, a juggernaut of an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht, though, has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless’s bonded poet-sorcerer, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. With secret forces inside the city, the Galts prepare to enact their terrible plan.

In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend’s boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht, either he stops the Galts, or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

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The Review:

I will be the first one to admit that the overview sounds a little boring and convoluted. The first time I picked it up in a bookstore, I almost disregarded it right away and put it back on the shelf. The reading gods must have been looking out for me that day because for one reason or another I cracked it open to read the first page… And didn’t stop for thirty minutes. It was fascinating and engaging – starting out by introducing a complex communication system that involves intricate hand gestures that conveys everything from emotion to social status. And you know what? It only got better! Abraham then went on to developed a mind – blowing magic system that was as dangerous as it was beautiful. These elements combined with an unforgettable writing style made for one of the most original stories I have ever read!

Both the communication and magic systems went a long way to build this world, but Abraham expanded on it anyway and created a stunning city that I can still remember vividly years later. Top that off with an incredible cast of characters (who will have you laughing and crying with them by the time the series ends) and you have one of the most memorable stories on the market. All of the characters were amazing and they only got better with each book.

I loved every minute, and I’ll say it again: this was easily one of the best series I’ve ever read. I will definitely be reading it again and will DEFINITELY be buying anything else this author publishes (be on the lookout for my review of The Dragon’s Path – the first book in Abraham’s latest series – hitting the blog sometime next month). Outstanding!

Recommendations: If you have read all the classics, from Robert Jordan to Brandon Sanderson, and are looking for your next great series, this is definitely the author for you! I recommend him as often as I can because of how profoundly his work affected me. Fantasy fans out there – this is a must-read!

by Niki Hawkes

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