"A value-priced omnibus of the first two novels of Daniel Abraham's classic Long Price Quartet--groundbreaking, unique fantasy of rare power and originality. In this omnibus edition of A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter, the aggressively expansionist Galt empire has already conquered lands across a huge continent. But the cities of the Khaiem resist Galt's power with the andat--creatures of magic with godlike powers. Each andat is brought into being by a "poet" who must say the right words and exert the iron will needed to control gods. The industrialized Galt war machine is helpless against the powers of the andat...but political intrigue and deep treachery combine to shift the balance of power in a world of ancient empires and immortal magics. One man, Otah Machi, stands at the crossroads of history in these imaginary world fantasies, the fulcrum around which the wheels of epic history rotate through achingly poignant cycles of life and death, love and betrayal. Shadow and Betrayal marks Daniel Abraham as one of today's most brilliantly original young fantasy writers"--"DANIEL ABRAHAM won the International Horror Guild Award for his short story "Flat Diane." He has been short-listed for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. His most recent novel is The Dragon's Path. He lives in New Mexico. www.danielabraham.com "--
A Shadow in Summer: Otah Machi turns away from the traditional paths a young nobleman like him has been told to choose to create a new life for himself. Almost a decade later Otah under an assumed name meets a former pupil, Maati, who kept on the traditional paths and succeeded in training to be a poet. The two soon find themselves caught up on a insidious conspiracy to ruin the city of Saraykeht that is instigated by the andat, magically being that is thought made flesh and leashed to a "poet", Seedless who hopes to undermine his handler Heshai who is to teach Maati.
A Betrayal in Winter: Set fifteen years later after the first volume, Otah and Maati take different paths to the city of the former birth Machi. The sons of the Khai kill one another for the honor to succeed their father, something Otah has no intention of taking part in as he continues his assumed existence. However this eldest brother is murdered, but neither of the other two claim responsibility and conspire with the Dai-kvo to find the murderer is Otah by sending Maati to find out what's going on. Both men soon find themselves caught up in another conspiracy instigated by a surprising source allied with a not so surprising accomplice.
As stated before the two stories are independent from one another thanks to the 15 years separating them from one another, however they are connected through minor storylines seen in Shadow that are expounded upon in Betrayal. The stories center around Otah and Maati primarily, however both do feature a significant female point-of-view character that helps bring another perspective to the story that improves its overall quality. Abraham slowly explains his magical system that employs the andat by first seeing them from the training poet Maati's point-of-view in Shadow and then from the point of view a poet handler in Betrayal in which Maati's observations expounded upon.
On grading both stories on their own merits, Shadow is the weaker of the two as it seemed to meander a few times and would have been graded around a 3.5 out of 5 while Betrayal would have rated a solid 4 out of 5. After finishing Betrayal I was left looking forward to seeing what would happen in An Autumn War, the third volume of the Quartet, a feeling I didn't really have after finishing Shadow but was quickly forgotten since I was able to immediately start Betrayal thanks to this omnibus edition. Overall I did enjoy both stories and so I recommend this book to lovers of characters, well-rounded stories, and fantasy.
It took a bit of time for me to get into this book, but boy it was worth it.
I generally prefer more action, more *BOOM* so to speak than this series offers so far.
The Long Price however does have very good writing, emotion, a
This is definitely an enjoyable read and I look forward to sitting down with the second half in a few days.