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Seasons of War (2010)

di Daniel Abraham

Serie: The Long Price Quartet (Omnibus 3-4)

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1605144,487 (3.92)4
The poets and their magical andat have protected the cities of the Khaiem against their rivals in Galt for generations. Otah, Khai of the Winter City of Machi, has tried for years to prepare his people for a future in which the andat can no longer be safely harnessed. But his warnings have been ignored, and now it's too late. A ruthless, charismatic Galtic general believes he has found a way to strip the andat of their power. If he is wrong, Galt will be destroyed. If he is right, the Khaiem will fall. Only one thing is certain: conflict is inevitable, and Otah and his old friend and enemy the disgraced poet, Maati, must fight a desperate battle to protect their cities from slaughter. These two men, bound together by shadow and betrayal, will bring the world to the edge of a cataclysm unlike anything either side had imagined. For if the cost of war is high, the price of peace may be unimaginable . . .… (altro)
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Mostra 5 di 5
I read the first book of this bindup ages ago and then for some reason did not read the second until now.
Everything comes together in these novels. I enjoyed the first 2 but they a re slow. But it does all pay off in the third and fourth. There is sadness and redemption and a satisfying conclusion. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 18, 2022 |
I just love this series. Oh, I quite understand why it isn't for everyone. The worldbuilding is dense and lush and constant, as much in the scrutiny and poetry of description and slow pace as those details included, though those details are thorough and coherent and magnificently used. The plot pivots on choices and small actions, on people being people, and while it's incredibly tense, it's not the swash and buckle of usual epic fantasy. I can see why these books might be too slow and careful and intricate for some readers.

But they're also canny and unflinching and heartbreaking, and I love them. ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
(Re-posted from http://theturnedbrain.blogspot.com)

There was this fantasy series I loved like a mad thing when I was about fourteen or so, but I won’t say which one as I don’t want to spoil anyone. There was one character in particular I was very fond of, a dashing young prince. The trilogy, among other things, followed Prince Dashing on various adventures until he saves the land and his lady love and lives happily every after.

But the author did not stop with just this trilogy, he went on to write many (many, many) more set in the same universe, one of which was set seventy or so years after the original trilogy. This new trilogy opens with a courier announcing to a country town that the Prince from the first trilogy had died. At 80. By falling off his horse. Over ten years later and I still remember the specific details.

When you think about it, dying of natural-ish causes at 80 is pretty much the most anyone can ask for. And yet, I was gutted. It took me a long time to bring myself to return to the new trilogy, and I never was able to enjoy it fully. It was just too sad, seeing the characters I had loved so much become old and weak. In my mind Price Dashing had exsisted in his prime, but now that memory was replaced by 80 year old dead Prince Dashing. I just couldn’t shake the feeling of melancholy.

Which brings me to Daniel Abraham’s Long Price quartet. I've seen a lot of words getting used to describe these books: Underrated, amazing, masterpiece. And I’m not suggesting that those words aren’t apt, because they are, but for me only one descriptor truly applies; melancholy. Because like mystery author of my youth, Danial Abraham also employs the big jump forward. An average of fifteen years passes between each of the Long Price’s four volumes, so the characters we are introduced to as teenagers in volume one are nearing the ends of their lives by the last.

I mean, yes, these books are amazing. The world building is nothing short of stunning, and the prose is just beautiful. More than once I was stopped in my tracks by the sheer elegance of a metaphor or line of description. But it’s just so sad, watching the characters grow old.

Watching how time ravages not only their bodies but also their relationships with each other. Sad, but also pretty damn impressive. I myself have little experience with growing old, but it feels like Abraham nailed it perfectly. Writing from the point of view of a much older character isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it carries more gravitas in the Long Price. The older character watching the younger character making the same mistakes they did carries more weight somehow when you were in that characters head while the made the mistakes. I don't think I really understood the folly of youth v. the wisdom of age before.

It might be easy to think, with all this talk of aging, that the books lack excitement, (which is exactly what I would have thought, if I’d known about the time jumps before hand). But it’s not the case! Set aside the fact that Abraham's skill grows viably with each book, and so to does our bond with the characters strengthen, the plot of each book just gets more and more thrilling. The stakes are upped in each volume, so where the first books deals primarily with the relationships between the characters, by the fourth volume empires are crumbling. The third volume, An Autumn War, was my personal favourite of the bunch and an excellent example of how to build suspense, and how to build it damn well.

Overall, these books are bittersweet. It’s a unique experience to stick with characters well into old age, (at least in this genre), and watching them age is very sad. But then we also see the birth of new characters, and new hope, which balances out that sadness out. Kind of like real life, I guess.

So, is the Long Prince quartet an easy read? Not even a little bit. But you’d be mad to pass over it. ( )
1 vota MeganDawn | Jan 18, 2016 |
This second omnibus collection of Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quarter, The Price of War, is a page turner from beginning to end in a complete contrast to the first omnibus that was characterized by being a slow burner. Otah and Maati again dominate the two novels that tell the two sides of a devastating war and its long disastrous consequences in which both men take different paths to solve, in both novels previous secondary characters return as well as new tell about how high the price of war is.

An Autumn War: Otah governs over the city of Machi continuing is nontraditional life with only one wife and one heir, in addition to hosting not one but two poets, one of which his friend Maati. Even as Otah thinks and plans about a possible problem with the neighboring power, Galt, he doesn't know that events are in motion to end the Khaiem as he knows it. Balasar Gice, the greatest general in Galt, has spent is life wanting to end the threat the andat present not only to his country but the world. After retrieving information from the lifeless dessert that the Old Empire became thanks to the powers of the andat, Gice plans to forever end the threat that the poets and andat pose to the world. These good men face off and the foundations of two great empires are shaken to their core.

The Price of Spring: A Third Empire as arisen after the Galtic War with Otah at its head looking to his old foes to save not only his people but theirs as well, but his former friend the poet Maati looks save his people by returning the andat to the world to heal the wounds he blames the Emperor for creating and neglecting with his scheme. These two old men must navigate an uncertain future through women like that of Eiah Machi, who's loyalty is divided between her father and Uncle Maati, and Vanjit, a survivor of the sacking of Udun. The fate of the world, let alone the Khaiem and Galt, is in the balance as two men realize the price their previous decisions have cost.

I am going to be honest, if there are any flaws in either of these two novels I didn't notice them. From the beginning I was gripped by the tale Abraham continued from Shadow and Betrayal. If you are a fan of fantasy, you must read The Long Price Quartet and I recommend you read this book. ( )
  mattries37315 | Sep 1, 2013 |
Mostra 5 di 5
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This omnibus of "An Autumn War" and "The Price of Spring" has been published both as "Seasons of War" and "The Price of War".
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The poets and their magical andat have protected the cities of the Khaiem against their rivals in Galt for generations. Otah, Khai of the Winter City of Machi, has tried for years to prepare his people for a future in which the andat can no longer be safely harnessed. But his warnings have been ignored, and now it's too late. A ruthless, charismatic Galtic general believes he has found a way to strip the andat of their power. If he is wrong, Galt will be destroyed. If he is right, the Khaiem will fall. Only one thing is certain: conflict is inevitable, and Otah and his old friend and enemy the disgraced poet, Maati, must fight a desperate battle to protect their cities from slaughter. These two men, bound together by shadow and betrayal, will bring the world to the edge of a cataclysm unlike anything either side had imagined. For if the cost of war is high, the price of peace may be unimaginable . . .

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