Milo slipped in the darkness, falling to one knee. The stones of the beach cut his skin, and the blood darkened the oiled wool of his leggings. The old fisherman, Kirot his name was, paused and looked back at him, lifting his lantern and one white eyebrow in query. Are you coming, or staying here? To the north, the waves cracked with ice. To the south, the deep darkness of the village waited for their return. Milo forced himself to stand. A little more blood would do him no harm. He'd lost enough, God knew. Kirot nodded and turned back to the long, slow trudge along the shore.
Dragons slumber as a tyrant rises in Camnipol. Following the events of The King’s Blood, The Tyrant’s Law finds our four main characters – Marcus, Cithrin, Geder and Clara – pretty much where we left them. Marcus is accompanying Kit on his quest to kill a Goddess, Cithrin is apprenticed to the lady who runs the Medean Bank in Porte Oliva, Geder is planning his war under the guidance of the priest Basrahip, and Clara is trying to survive while looking for a chance at revenge against the man who had her husband killed. The Tyrant’s Law follows all four of these strands as they twine together through Geder’s war, notably his army’s assault on the city of Porte Oliva.
Daniel Abrahams hooked me with his four-book debut series, The Long Price Quartet, a cunning mixture of epic fantasy, with a generous helping of George R.R Martin’s character development, all set in a quasi-Asian world. When his new series, The Dagger and the Coin, was announced, I immediately set out to read the first book and have enjoyed each successive volume.
Abraham has managed to bring a fresh look to the epic fantasy genre, notably by paying more attention to the political and economic implications of his worlds, without losing sight of the sense of wonder and magic needed in any good epic fantasy. In The Tyrant’s Law, this continues, though at a slower pace since this is basically the middle volume of the five-volume series. As with many middle volumes, the story has gotten to a point where the characters are already set, so there are not as many surprises as in the first two volumes. However there are some unexpected twists, notably in the Marcus and Cithrin storylines. I enjoyed the way Abraham continues to make it difficult to decide whether to root for or against poor Geder, though by the end of this volume it seems clear where he stands. The other characters continue to be fully fledged and interesting – I especially enjoyed the Clara chapters in this novel, as her intriguing and spying get her to a place she was not expecting.
While suffering from the inevitable middle volume blues, The Tyrant’s Law is a self-assured, thrilling epic fantasy novel, full of moments of wonder, fantastic world building and great characters. The next volume, The Widow’s House, is slated for next year, with a breathtakingcover. Can’t wait!
Buy It For Kindle
From the Blogosphere:
Fantasy Book Critic
A Dribble of Ink
From the Author's Mouth:
Interview at Apex Magazine