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Maddalena

Space & Sorcery

My reading adventures in Science Fiction, Fantasy and other speculative fiction genres

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Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
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Pierce Brown

A Betrayal in Winter (Long Price Quartet #2)

A Betrayal in Winter - Daniel Abraham

When I finish the first book in a series I don't usually go straight to the following volume, leaving myself some time to… digest the story and the characters. Not this time: after closing A Shadow in Summer I began immediately to read book two, and that might explain the undefined feeling of something missing that had me struggling to go on for the first few chapters.  Luckily for me that sensation passed quickly and once the story started to unfold I was once more totally immersed in Daniel Abraham's world and completely absorbed by the unfolding tale.

 

Such elements that were more lightly touched in the first book, as the cruel custom of sending away the "excess" sons of a ruling house so they don't create further contention with their warring brothers over succession, take a more defined and dramatic shape in the second book where the story develops with the characteristics and rhythms of a Greek tragedy, where the reader (or spectator) knows that it can only end in death and anguish - and that's one of the hooks that grab the reader and never let go until the end.

 

The level of political intrigue and scheming is taken to new levels, at the same time giving a broader and deeper insight into the world's society and its customs, and at the same time it forces the characters - both old and new - toward choices that can be both cruel and unavoidable.  I am amazed at Mr. Abraham's skill in world building and the way he makes the background of the cities and the world at large interact with those characters and create a solid, believable, three-dimensional story animated by people I care about - both in the positive and negative way.

 

With a very few exceptions I tend not to re-read books, but I suspect these will end up in that short list, because I'm certain that revisiting them will prove even more entertaining, and that I will discover more facets that I might have overlooked now.