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The Widow's House: Book 4 of the Dagger and the Coin [Format Kindle]

Daniel Abraham

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Everything I look for in a fantasy."―George R.R. Martin on The Dragon's Path

"The Dagger and Coin series had this reviewer hooked from day one, but with The Widow's House, Abraham manages to wiggle the hook and embed it a bit further. The slow burn of the build in this series comes to a boiling point with brilliantly paced action separated by beautiful, quiet description. Abraham's characters win all as he takes readers through every step of their respective character evolutions."―RT Book Reviews on The Widow's House

"Abraham builds on The Dragon's Path to create and sustain a rich, satisfyingly complex epic fantasy."―Publishers Weekly on The King's Blood.

"Prepare to be shocked, startled, and entertained."―Locus on The Dragon's Path

"It's as if Clint Eastwood went to Narnia...A pleasure for Abraham's legion of fans."―Kirkus on The Dragon's Path

"Abraham is fiercely talented, disturbingly human, breathtakingly original and even on his bad days kicks all sorts of literary ass."―Junot Diaz on The Long Price Quartet

"This smart, absorbing, fascinating military fantasy, exciting and genuinely suspenseful, will keep readers on their toes."―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Tyrant's Law

Présentation de l'éditeur


Lord Regent Geder Palliako's war has led his nation and the priests of the spider goddess to victory after victory. No power has withstood him, except for the heart of the one woman he desires. As the violence builds and the cracks in his rule begin to show, he will risk everything to gain her love - or her destruction.

Clara Kalliam, the loyal traitor, is torn between the woman she once was and the woman she has become. With her sons on all sides of the conflict, her house cannot stand, but there is a power in choosing when and how to fall.

And in Porte Oliva, banker Cithrin bel Sarcour and Captain Marcus Wester learn the terrible truth that links this war to the fall of the dragons millennia before, and that to save the world, Cithrin must conquer it.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2898 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 513 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0356504697
  • Editeur : Orbit (5 août 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00KQNSK80
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°52.507 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  98 commentaires
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best epic fantasy series ever! 7 août 2014
Par Doug W. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I loved this book and I love this series. The Dagger and The Coin is one of the best fantasy series I've ever read, and The Widow's House only bolsters that opinion. Let me explain what I love about this book (and the rest of the series). Writers of epic fantasy often have to telegraph what's going to happen in their plots' futures. This is a necessary convention of the genre. Other writers take entire books (or multiple books) to have these plot promises pay off. In The Stormlight Archive books, Sanderson telegraphs what's going to happen, but it doesn't happen for 800 or 900 pages. In The Song of Ice and Fire books, Martin telegraphs what's going to happen, but in some cases it hasn't yet happened in the published books. (And I love both series!)

Abraham doesn't mess around that way. The pace is incredible. It's not so fast that you lose track of what's happening, but it's quick enough so as to make you focus on what's actually happening in the story, not on what might happen or on what you want to happen. After you read these Dagger and Coin books, you realize that Abraham probably has the same frustrations as some of us readers of epic fantasy. His approach to the plot makes his characters shine all the more brilliantly because you get to see how they react in a variety of situations. They don't get bogged down in excessive exposition. Sure, it's easy to see some plot turns that are inevitable, but Abraham gets to these things in a matter of a few chapters. He doesn't treat them as things that need hundreds of pages to get there. As a result, Abraham gets to surprise you with all kinds of other things you might not anticipate.

The Widow's House is not merely a prelude to the last chapter of the series--it's its own powerful entry. You know it's a strong fantasy book when the middle of it is just as strong as any other part of the book. I picked up this book a day before its official release (I got lucky), and I finished it very quickly. I couldn't put it down. I don't want to get into too many plot details, but I particularly loved reading about things that happened in Porte Oliva--a perfect example of both great writing and Abraham not making you wait for things to happen.

If you're reading this review, you've probably read the first three books. You won't be disappointed by this one. If you're reading this review without having read the rest of the series, I can't recommend The Dagger and the Coin highly enough.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 xactly what I’ve come to expect from Abraham—a high-quality read filled with rich characters/sophisticated plotting and language 1 septembre 2014
Par B. Capossere - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have to hand it to Daniel Abraham; the guy takes some risks. In his first series, the absolutely masterful LONG PRICE QUARTET (read it if you haven’t), he had metaphor as the central conceit—a bit subtle and certainly less flashy than what most probably expect in a fantasy series. In his current series, THE DAGGER AND THE COIN, he makes banking one of the core action threads. Yes, I said banking. And yes, I said action. In fact, in the latest book, The Widow’s House, banking is perhaps THE pivot point of the story. I don’t how he does it, but not many authors, perhaps none, can, as he done, have one banker explain to another banker what is basically the creation of a paper monetary system and have the reader thrill at the possibility of what that means to the plot. Yes, I said thrill.

Of course, Abraham doesn’t rely solely on banking. The man’s not an idiot. He knows blurbs have to be written. So he also has a dragon. An embittered yet uber-competent veteran of war. A siege. An evil cult. A Very-Special Sword. War and Ruin. But still, as much as that dragon and Very Special Sword would seem to be the sort of thing you’d want handy when it comes to defending yourself against a villainous world-threatening despot, in Abraham’s world, lines like this might give you better hope:

I would ask that you permit me to write letters of transfer based on the gold I have given you . . . Should I wish to purchase a bolt of cloth or supplies for a brewery, I will write a letter transferring part of your debt to me to the seller . . . So if I were to purchase seven tenthweights of gold worth of barley, I would be able to write a letter transferring seven tenthweights of your debt to the merchant . . . you let it be known that the crown guaranteed the debt.

(OK, maybe it works better in context. But trust me, you want this banker on your side in a war)

I’ll send you on to my reviews of the earlier books to get caught up on plot details. But basically, by the start of The Widow’s House, the country of Antea, led by Regent Geder Palliako and under the inimical influence of the Spider Goddess cult, has conquered much of the neighboring territory. Now, having been spurned at the end of the last book by Cithrin, the woman he loves (or thinks he does—he’s a tad immature and inexperienced, not to mention unbalanced), he turns the war toward the goal of getting her into his hands by attacking the cities she shelters in. Leading his army are the two sons of the traitor he’d earlier executed while their mother continues to plot against him. Meanwhile, having awoken the last living dragon, Captain Marcus and Kit (a former Spider priest not turned against his cult) discover that this war is really the continuation of one begun untold ages ago in the time of dragons.

This series has been consistently excellent since its start, and the same strengths are evident in this newest novel. One is the literary nature of the prose, which carries the reader effortlessly through 500 pages (I happily read it in a single sitting) filled with smooth transitions from one POV to the other, realistic dialogue, a good smattering of wit and humor, and vivid imagery. As well some lyrical, thoughtful moments, as when an actor muses on the loss of a friend:

We’ve lost players before, Marcus. I’ve found that’s part of the richness of the world. And the sorrow. I think the magic of my trade is that a part can be played by many people. The wise man. The lover. The curious voice in the wild. Even the enemy. Part of our work has been to step into those roles, find who we are within them, play them, and then put them aside for another to pick up and remake . . . Tragedy is something we are familiar with. Sudden loss of slow, deserved or the world’s caprice. We will ache and we will mourn and we will also play at the next stop with the parts rearranged . . . The roles remain the same. Unless we change them.

Characterization is, as always, rich and engaging. The POV characters are Geder, Cithrin, Marcus, and Clara (the traitor’s plotting widow) and each is multi-faceted and deeply layered. Geder is the “villain” of the novel, the tyrant of Antea, and there are certainly scenes showing why this is. But it is an unusual sort of villainy for epic fantasy—no Dark Lord desire for world domination, no obsessive desire for vengeance. It’s a smaller bore kind of villainy—petty, immature, oblivious, at times almost child-like in its “evil”. Add in the fact that Geder is in many ways a tool, and is also shown in other roles beyond villain: being a caring, gentle mentor to the young prince he is Regent for, acting in his best friend’s stead to save his friend the ultimate in pain and sorrow, and so forth, and the reader’s response to him becomes much more complicated. For example, after he has used all the power of his status to do what he can for an ailing mother-to-be, including calling in all the royal physicians (“Yea, Geder!!), he’s told by a midwife it might come down to saving the mother or the baby. And here is his response: “When they come out, it will be . . . mother and child both. Both. If there is anything else, I will whip you all to death myself! Do you understand?” She does understand, because this is no idle threat. So much for Yea, Geder!

On the other side of the spectrum (though it isn’t really a spectrum—that’s the point), Abraham isn’t afraid to show Cithrin in a less than pleasant light at times—as when she turns to drinking too much, or becomes passive and apathetic in the face of loss. Clara is simply a fantastic creation as a character—you just don’t see many older female characters playing such active, admirable roles. And I don’t mean just in fantasy—in fiction in general, or in film. She’s the sort of role you imagine a slew of Hollywood actresses over 40 would die (or kill) for. Marcus is also a great role, his familiar taciturn aspect covering up a much more intelligent and complex inner life than most such common fantasy figures. He also offers up most of the welcome (usually dry) humor in the novel, especially in his interaction with his second in command, Yardem. In fact, nearly every time Yardem spoke, I heard it in the same tone as Zoe speaking to Mal in Firefly.

The plot moves along at a good pace, nicely balanced between action and introspection, between forwarding of the story and deepening of the characters. Several twists occur and the story itself becomes more complicated as much by what is revealed about the past as by what happens in the present. Pieces are being moved into place, convergences of characters occur, and it’s clear we’re heading toward the conclusion of the series, even if we still have some hundreds of pages remaining. The Widow’s House is exactly what I’ve come to expect from Abraham—a high-quality read filled with rich characters, sophisticated plotting and language that I zip through in one sitting and then bemoan having to wait so long for the next (of course, I do have Cibola Burn—his new books under the James Corey name to tide me over another day or two). Highly recommended.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the best fantasy series keeps getting better 15 août 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If you've enjoyed this series so far, I guarantee this book will make you super happy. He has a novel way of revamping fantasy tropes (dragons, magic, evil warlords) and turning them into something extremely thought provoking. There are a number of ways where this book really brings things together. First, you'll experience the singular joy of the disparate characters coming together. Next, the title of the series ("The Dagger and the Coin") really starts to make itself understood, especially towards the end of the book with Cithrin. Cithrin's plot (and internal monologues about how best to use the bank's capital) is probably one of the most refreshing elements in this series. It's not just about counting up shields and swords in order to exert power: She's learning to leverage human and financial capital.

Geder continues to be one of the most interesting characters in fantasy: The misunderstood reluctant evil dictator. He commits acts of horrifying proportions (enslaving children) while also great humanity (assisting in childbirth of his friend). Unlike other evil dictators (such as Emperor Palpatine), you feel like you really understand why he's doing these horrible actions. Towards the end of the novel, he whispers something extremely surprising to a newborn baby, something you can't imagine any other "evil" character ever saying.

The introduction of Inys the dragon is an extremely welcome addition to the cast. He is used in entirely different and exciting ways than you'd expect. His introduction is also really fleshing out the backstory for the series and finally clarifying what's going on with the different races of humans. Unlike the TV show "Lost", things are really coming together and story is coming into a cohesive finish.

I can't wait until book 5. It seems like the pieces are all set on the chessboard. I literally have no idea how this story will end, as is continues to tear down fantasy cliches at every turn.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent penultimate additon to the Dagger and the Coin saga 21 septembre 2014
Par Ian K. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The Widow's House is named after the matriarch of the fallen Kalliam clan, Clara. This is a story filled with strong and sometimes brilliant women.

Daniel Abraham does not follow any of the standard themes of sword and sorcery tales. In an earlier book when the heroes find that the great evil they gone through much suffering to slay is nothing more than a stone statue. Inys, the last dragon, who appeared at the end of the previous book, is wracked with grief and the loss of all that has disappeared while he slept the millennia away. Even the villain of the story, the Regent Geder is less of a monster when seen close up.

This is the predecessor to the last book in the series, The Spider's War which will appear sometime in 2015 (Daniel Abraham fans are fortunate that he is a much faster writer than George R. R. Marin). In this book Geder's armies, with their Spider Priests, are still conquering. Even the Spider Priests cannot overcome the limitations of supply lines and exhaustion. In this book we start to see Geder's war machine falter in somewhat the same way that Nazi Germany faltered as it became over extended. This book sets the stage for the final book, which, given Daniel Abraham's history so far probably will not end exactly as I expect.

There is less action in this book than the earlier books, but the events in this story are a critical part of the evolution the saga. In this book we see a bit more of the history of the Dragon Empire. The saga is named the Dagger and the Coin because in this story, as in actual history, finance is critical to the ability to win a war. In the Widow's House there are the first steps toward a financial structure that may eventually defeat Geder.

As with the previous books, I found this book compelling and stayed up later than I should have reading. If you liked the previous books, I think that you'll like this one. Unfortunately, we will all have to wait for the final book, the Spider's War.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Old Fantasy vs. New Fantasy 9 août 2014
Par Mary Holland - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Part four of a very very good series. As with most fantasy series, this is not the place to start. It is worth it to go back to book one (The Dragon's Path) and begin at the beginning.

Abraham uses many classic fantasy tropes: quests, old heroes, evil priests, medieval scenes and settings. We have innkeepers, beggars, whores, a group of players, a dragon, kings, nobility, magic swords, and grinding bloody battles. He uses all these quite well, but adds multiple races bred by the dragons, a spider god that infests blood, and several POV's from some non-traditional characters. His villain, Geder Palliako,is very insecure, thin-skinned, and holds grudges, so when he achieves unlimited power horrible things happen. As one of the other characters says, "He's like a bad loan. Nothing that goes wrong is ever his fault."

The entire series is called The Dagger and the Coin, and the overarching theme is the strength of money over force. This part is excellent; one of the female protagonists is a banker. Pursued across the world by Geder's armies (because she dumped him and he's pouting) she rips the heart out of the old monetary system and creates a new one. By the end of Book four it's Old Fantasy versus New Fantasy.

There are many great parts, engaging characters, and creative (very creative) world-building. But sometimes it drags, there's a great deal of traveling from point to point and back again, and some of the quests seem a bit pointless. One of the main characters, probably the most traditional of them all, spends all four books bemoaning the deaths of his wife and daughter. Heartlessly, I get it. Can we move on?

I had hoped this would be the final volume. Alas, it appears not to be a quartet but a pentalogy. So I'll have to wait another year to discover how it all comes out. Recommended.
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