(What’s up with this review?)
This series is one I picked up on a whim – goodness knows I have a hard time resisting interesting-looking new releases. When I started the first book and realized it was the first in a quartet, rather than a stand-alone, I cursed a whole lot; after all, I was trying very hard at the time to prune my stack back down into double digits. Hah.
A Shadow in Summer
I don’t know quite what I was expecting from this book, but it surpassed those nebulous expectations. It was filled with well-thought-out characters who were very human and fallable and easy to relate to. The plot was concise and solid, but not at all predictable. The world was a complete surprise: with heavy Japanese influences, totally original magical ideas... I was duly impressed. Most of all, I didn’t expect the author to be quite so… brutal with his characters, so the ending really got me. Wow.
A Betrayal in Winter
I thought book 1 had gotten Abraham’s levels of ballsy-ness out on the table, but I was wrong. In this book he took even more bold steps – and the associated leaps forward in time. I was expecting a direct sequel, but this one took place further down the road, which gave the series a whole new light. The Long Price Quartet definitely took a more epic slant with this book… I was very impressed. Abraham introduced a whole new deck of interesting characters, and dealt with some very mature themes. He also developed and solidified my handle on the magic-system, which continued to be intriguing.
The Bottom Line: This is very good, interesting, solid stuff. I’ll definitely be finishing off the quartet.