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The Price of Spring [Format Kindle]

Daniel Abraham

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Fifteen years have passed since the devastating war between the Galt Empire and the cities of the Khaiem in which the Khaiem's poets and their magical power known as "andat" were destroyed, leaving the women of the Khaiem and the men of Galt infertile.

The emperor of the Khaiem tries to form a marriage alliance between his son and the daughter of a Galtic lord, hoping the Khaiem men and Galtic women will produce a new generation to help create a peaceful future.

But Maati, a poet who has been in hiding for years, driven by guilt over his part in the disastrous end of the war, defies tradition and begins training female poets. With Eiah, the emperor's daughter, helping him, he intends to create andat, to restore the world as it was before the war.

Vanjit, a woman haunted by her family's death in the war, creates a new andat. But hope turns to ashes as her creation unleashes a power that cripples all she touches.

As the prospect of peace dims under the lash of Vanjit's creation, Maati and Eiah try to end her reign of terror. But time is running out for both the Galts and the Khaiem.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1239 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 350 pages
  • Editeur : Tor Books; Édition : First Edition (21 juillet 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°59.753 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  55 commentaires
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bone-Deep Characterization, Great World-Building & Plot! 3 août 2009
Par Karen S. Coyle - Publié sur
I just finished the last of the books in Daniel Abraham's "Long Price Quartet" series, and I'm so sincerely impressed and excited about the series, I just wanted to give it a shout out here. The first book started a little slow but gradually pulled me in, and it just kept getting better until this last one; which is absolutely outstanding.

The last reviewer covered some of the plot details; and I don't want to inadvertantly slip in any spoilers, so let me just say this: I love it when sci-fi and fantasy writers go the extra mile with the depth and believability of their characters (sometimes the world-building or the magic system or the spaceship engines are meticulously detailed, and the actual people are cardboard cut-outs, you know what I mean?) and this guy went absolute extra light years! His people are such thoroughly real and unique individuals you feel like you've known them for years, and everything they think and feel and do is exactly what you would think and feel and do in their place.
I didn't realize how much that aspect of good story-telling was missing from some of the things I've read lately until I saw it done so well again here. All those tell-tale little details of characterization and world-building are present here in spades - too many to go into, but you get the idea.

And the guy has such a lyrical writing style! You know that first page of Patrick Rothfuss's book "The Name of the Wind", where all the author is doing is describing for paragraphs the exact nature of the silence around the inn that night, and you could just weep for the beauty of the language? Well, in Abraham's "The Price of Spring", practically the whole BOOK is written that gorgeously, and still the action never lets up.

OK. Enough fan-girl gushing! Thanks for listening; I think I'm done raving now! Just buy this series if you love a really good, really absorbing novel, fantasy genre or not. If I was as good a writer as Abraham, I could explain better why you'll thank me later - but just trust me, you will.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A very nice series 17 novembre 2009
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur
This review covers all four books. The first thing I noticed was the stakes increased from each book to the next. Book one essentially evolved around a plot to remove a single poet from a single city. Book two focuses on a central characters rise to ruling a city. Book 3 involves a fight to save an entire country or collection of cities. Book 4 involves a plot to save 2 nations from complete anihilation. The books are character driven but increase in plot intensity from one book to the next. The plot holes in book one seem to not appear in books 2-4 as the writer's skill increases.

The series is aplty named: The Long Price. The focus is on the price poets pay to control andants (essentially the only magic or fantasy element in these stories). There is a price of power and it is always related to the poet themselves. Essentially they cannot create this power with also creating their own price they must pay. But the price of decisions is carried on as a theme for all characters and all decisions. The decision to love someone and betray a friend has a price carried through all the novels. The decision to love someone and not take other wives has a price. The deicision to abandon being a husband and father has a price. The decision to strive for peace has a cost as does the decision to forgoe peace and seek unilateral victory. Over and over characters make decisions and the novels chronicle the cost of their decisions. In this, the novel is deep, character driven, and realistic.

The other thing I noted is that this is minimally fantasy. In other words, there is very little magic (limited to the andants), no non-human characters, no strange worlds. I dont say this as a critique. The author focus on a real world of politics, intrigue, and mercantilism. Armies cant feed themselves without farmers. Rulers cant have wealth without merchants being successful. The books recognize this and are very realistic in their writing.

The author also avoids fantasy tropes of good and evil characters. In the veins of GRR Martin, Glen Cook, Joe Ambercrombie, ect, ect... the characters here are not good and not bad. They are human and as such motivated to protect and advance themselves. The difference here is that most of these characters fall closer on the scale to good. If Martins characters are grey to black, Abrahams are grey to white. I actually found this refreshing, to see characters closer to the world I live in.

The last point, for a man, Mr Abraham writes women well. They are intuitive, strong, vulnerable, loving, intelligent, beautiful. So many fantasy writers seem to write women into boxes. The women who exist only for sex. The women who are so bitter and trying to fight males, they become strong but hard and callous. Mr Abraham wrote the women as well as the men in my opinion and a huge downside for me was the absence of the two main female characters in book 4.

In all, book 1 was 3.5 stars, books 2 and 3 are 4.0 stars, and book 4 is 4.5 stars for me. The nice thing about buying this series is you know it is done and complete. No waiting for 5 years for the next novel. That alone is worth something.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Bittersweet, and I wouldn't have it any other way 14 août 2009
Par MSB - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The setup of this book is fairly simple: Maati is after one thing, Otah another. They have very clear reasons that are easy to understand and hard to disagree with. Of course, they're heading in opposite directions and they can not both succeed. To stir things up even more, a new and very sympathetic villain is introduced. You understand her reasons and motivations as well, and I at least kept hoping that the character would come around somehow. That was impossible as the character had made far too many bad decisions and on far too large a scale to ever go back, but I hoped all the same.

It makes for a very good read that is predictably unpredictable.

A few other tidbits of info for potential buyers:
- With the exception of the prologue/epilogue, the book is told from the POV of either Maati or Otah.
- The POVs switch off every chapter. One Maati, one Otah, one Maati...
- The book takes place around 15 years after the last one.
- Several characters from earlier books make appearances: Idaan, Balasar, Sinja, Eiah, Cehmai and Danat, off the top of my head. Seedless makes a one-line cameo in a dream (doesn't say anything) that I found amusing. Liat and Kiyan are absent, though.

Just buy the darn thing. I'm a tough reviewer, but I really enjoyed it. It's not perfect, and is decidedly bittersweet, but that's the charm of this series. The characters screw up, what we want doesn't always happen - if it happens at all, and we end up liking it anyway.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Successful Conclusion 30 juillet 2009
Par critical reader - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Volume 4 of the Long Price Quartet effectively brings the series to a conclusion, weaving characters and conflicts that began in earlier books into the climax. Fifteen years after the war described in the third volume, Otho Machi, now emperor, negotiates with the former enemy Galts to rebuild and strengthen both kingdoms through intermarriage and military alliance. Furious that his attempts to move into the future seem to ignore the suffering of the present generation, Machi's daughter Eiah joins with the poet Maati to bind new andat and return to the ways of the past. Maati creates a new poet, this time a young woman, but his disastrous choice once more demonstrates the dangers of the andat and the fatal combination of flawed character and great power.

Like the other volumes, this fourth one has a suspenseful, smoothly moving plot, although most the the twists are more predictable than in the earlier books. The characters continue to be complicated and full of human failings, and there are moving explorations of grief, loss, and aging, as well as writing rich in imagery. I had a few complaints: the afterward is long and anti-climactic, and Maati's failure to see the mistake he is making by giving a disturbed young woman control of an andat seems not just flawed, but stupid. These problems fade into the fascination of the story, however. The Long Price Quartet is an excellent, highly original work of fantasy which I enjoyed and recommend.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best fantasy series in recent years 19 septembre 2009
Par B. Capossere - Publié sur
The Price of Spring is Daniel Abraham's conclusion of his Long Price Quartet (and I commend Abraham for finishing a quartet in only four books). As anyone who has read my review of the first three knows I'm a big fan of the story. The Price of Spring has only confirmed my view that the Long Price Quartet is one of the more original and best-written fantasy epics in recent years. If you haven't read my overview of the first three, you should, as I'm not going to repeat myself here with regard to basics of setting, character, magical system, etc. Also, fair warning, if you haven't read An Autumn War, stop reading here as you'll run into spoilers.
As has been the pattern in the series, the story picks up years after the events of book three, An Autumn War. Otah and Maati reappear as major characters, while other familiar faces show up in relatively minor roles--Balasar Gice, Cehmani, Sinja, Idaan, and others. New characters, both major and minor, are added to the mix, including Otah's daughter Eiah, his son Danat, Danat's betrothed, and several poets-in-training. An Autumn War ended with the destruction of the poets and the magical Andat, but only after the Andat Sterile had made the women of the Khaiem and the men of Galt infertile. Fifteen years later, both nations are already having difficulties and the prognosis for worse is obvious: without children, labor is becoming scarce, farms are starting to go unworked, businesses loses essential workers, the armies and navies are aging and will in a few years' time be unable to defend the borders.
The book opens with Otah attempting to negotiate an agreement with Galt to send willing members of the fertile genders of each sex over to the other country so the two countries can survive Sterile's curse. As part of his negotiating, he agrees to have his son Danat wed to a prominent daughter of Galt, Ana Dasin, though the betrothal goes nowhere as smoothly as Otah had wished.
Meanwhile, Otah's daughter, believing that this agreement demeans all women (viewing them as useful only for their reproductive ability), has left the palaces and joined with Maati, who sees Otah's treaty as a sell-out of his country to the Galt's, who after all had 15 years ago destroyed more than half the Khaiem cities in a bloody invasion. To stop Otah and to reassert Khaiem power over Galt, Maati has gathered several women in an attempt to teach them to be poets and regain the power of the Andat. It quickly becomes apparent that along with Vanjit whose entire family was killed by the Galts, Eiah is his best pupil, making these two the most likely new poets. Much of the book is focused on several races: the race by Maati and Eiah and Vanjit to "bind" a new Andat, the race by Otah and others to find them and stop them before they do so, and the race between the past and the future as the two countries must decide what their relationship to each other will be.
The strengths of The Price of Spring are the same as with the series as a whole: characterization, a relatively original "eastern-style" setting (though setting plays a very limited role in this book in comparison to the prior ones), a unique magic system centered on the Andats, relatively tight writing, strong prose, a good ending.
These books are character-driven more than action driven. You'll find no sweeping battle scenes, no storming the gates, no brawling or swordplay or fireballs a'bursting. The action, such as it is, involves mostly travel, a lot of dialogue (well-done dialogue), and brief acts that have deep and far-ranging effects. The characters are complex and multi-faceted and, as is often the case in real life, we can see their actions in both favorable and unfavorable lights. In other words, nobody does anything here because they're "evil" or they're the "dark lord"--their motivations come out of the everyday and believable: grief, jealousy, love, protectiveness, etc. Even when characters do something we don't like, we can see why they'd do it. For characters we've seen before, we get to see other sides of them or we get to see them ripen over the decades the book covers--changing as people do, sometimes growing wiser, sometimes letting the world outgrow their earlier wisdom. This is more true of Otah than anyone, and the rich, layered portrayal of his entire life as it plays out across the four novels is one of Abraham's finest achievements here. By the time this book ends we feel a true sense of a life, a real life, lived, with all the sorrows and grievous errors and magnificent triumphs any real life contains.
The plot is compelling and tense through much of the novel. I think, though, that my favorite aspect of the plot is how Abraham has us, as fans of fantasy and all that usually involves (magic, grand actions, noble justice, etc) rooting for the end of fantasy--the end of the Andats and the lack of justice. If the "good guys" win, there will be no magic in this world, only the continued technological progress of Galt as represented by their steamwagons etc. It's a somewhat depressing thought for those of us enticed by the promise of difference and magic in these worlds. And Abraham shows us the bittersweet aspect of this--the necessity to move on, the built-in stagnation inherent in the Andat system set side by side with the sorrow of a world gone by, a world that wasn't great but had its strengths, its pleasures, its better aspects that will be lost along with its worse elements. Much of this comes through the interior thought process of Otah, whom we've seen age from a young man to a nostalgic grieving old man burdened by responsibility.
There is much less focus on the Andat here; they are used mostly as a vehicle to examine the characters' desires and flaws, though as always the discussion of their creation and binding--the attempt to make concrete an abstract idea--is fascinating and enjoyably stimulating. The setting also plays a smaller role as most of the book simply travels through the setting rather than is driven by it. The gesture/pose grammar of the Khaiem is more fully realized here since we see it employed between Khaiem and Galts, so its subtleties are more played up.
As with the others, the book is relatively concise. I might have lost 30 pages or so, but there wasn't any area of sustained lag, no real major pacing problems that involved whole sections or chapters. I would have probably cut some travel, drop a paragraph here or there, but that's a minor complaint. The writing is strong throughout and the bittersweet ending, two really since there's an epilog, finishes both the book and the series strongly and logically and honestly, with a truly moving close.
The Price of Spring is an excellent closure to one of the top series of recent years. I look forward to Abraham's next project. Highly recommended.
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