A Shadow in Summer (The Long Price Quartet, #1)
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A Shadow in Summer

by Daniel Abraham
Release date: March 2006
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

The city-state of Saraykeht dominates the Summer Cities. Its wealth is beyond measure; its port is open to all the merchants of the world, and its ruler, the Khai Saraykeht, commands forces to rival the Gods.  Commerce and trade fill the streets with a hundred languages, and the coffers of the wealthy with jewels and gold. Any desire, however exotic or base, can be satisfied in its soft quarter. Blissfully ignorant of the forces that fuel their prosperity, the people live and work secure in the knowledge that their city is a bastion of progress in a harsh world. It would be a tragedy if it fell...

Saraykeht is poised on the knife-edge of disaster.

At the heart of the city's influence are the poet-sorcerer Heshai and the captive spirit, Seedless, whom he controls. For all his power, Heshai is weak, haunted by memories of shame and humiliation. A man faced with constant reminders of his responsibilities and his failures, he is the linchpin and the most vulnerable point in Saraykeht's greatness.

Far to the west, the armies of Galt have conquered many lands. To take Saraykeht, they must first destroy the trade upon which its prosperity is based. Marchat Wilsin, head of Galt's trading house in the city, is planning a terrible crime against Heshai and Seedless. If he succeeds, Saraykeht will fall.

Amat, House Wilsin's business manager, is a woman who rose from the slums to wield the power that Marchat Wilsin would use to destroy her city. Through accidents of fate and circumstance Amat, her apprentice Liat, and two young men from the farthest reaches of their society stand alone against the dangers that threaten the city.

But in this city of power and intrigue, no one is without secrets. The price each of the city's protectors must pay to save Saraykeht may be greater than they can afford. And the Galts are not the greatest threat they face...

”A Shadow in Summer is a thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist. A poignant human tale of power, heartbreak, and betrayal.” – George R. R. Martin

”Shadow in Summer is one of the most elegant and engaging fantasies I’ve read in years, based on an intriguing, original premise. I eagerly await the remaining volumes in Daniel Abraham's the Long Price Quartet.” – Jacqueline Carey

”Reader, be warned: If you open Daniel Abraham's A Shadow in Summer, he will lead you into a strange, seductive world of beatings and poets and betrayals, intrigues you do not fully understand and wars you cannot stop and places you are not sure you want to go. Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told, this tale of gods held captive will hold you captive, too.” – Connie Willis

”In a world of bloated fantasy clones, Abraham’s voice is fresh and startlingly new; not only is his worldbuilding original, but the characters who inhabit the universe he's created are both strange and fully human.” – S. M. Stirling

”In addition to the creation of an architecturally-perfect fantasy world filled with a fascinating, highly distinctive set of characters, Daniel Abraham has introduced into fantasy one brilliant, stunning new idea, a magic system in which the Word is made Flesh.” – Walter Jon Williams

updated 2017-01-18

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Reviews (1)

Seregil of Rhiminee avatar
Written by
A Shadow in Summer is one of the best new fantasy books I've read during the last couple of years. It was a pleasant surprise, because I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. It isn't perfect, but it's very good. This book is surprisingly original and well written for a debut fantasy book. The fantasy world is interesting and different. Daniel Abraham manages to avoid all the usual fantasy clichés, which is great, because I'm a bit tired of reading "a farmboy becomes a wizard" stories ... (more)
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