Reviews for A Betrayal in Winter, by Daniel Abraham
I finally finished this last night. I hadn't picked up the book in about a week and I had to make myself power read the last 50% of it. The writing is good so no problems there and it's not a question of pacing for me. I'm just finding that I don't really care about these characters. In the first book I felt for poor Heshai and I really liked Amat and was invested in her story. In this book absolutely everyone could've died and I wouldn't have cared. Otah and Maati from the first book are back but everyone else is new. I just didn't care. Hopefully the next book will give me at least one character to care about.
I did like this book a lot, but I found myself getting frustrated with some of the characters and some repetition in plot. This is the second book in Abraham's Long Price quartet and both of the first two books have centered on the most powerful men in the Khaiem falling in love with women who will destroy them. Both books center on the idea of conspiracy. Both were good stories and I hope that in the overall arc of the four books, everything makes sense. But I couldn't give this book more than three stars because I wanted to punch both Cehmai and Maati for being so dense. It took them forever to figure out what was going on. Of course, as a reader, I got to see what was going on in the antagonist's mind, but I think that her plotting was obvious even if I didn't have that benefit. Anyway, a good but at times frustrating read. The quartet is well worth continuing.
I wish there had been more female characters and that Idaan had been different. Gosh, that girl.
Either way, another amazing story. I can just imagine how much Abraham has grown as a writer. Not sure I'll ever read the expanse series but I'm sure I'd be hooked if I ever decided I wanted to invest my time in that behemoth series.
Now that I am in the right mindset for this series, I appreciated this quite a bit more then the first. This was a very heavy political thriller plot, you could say. It paid off because it was so so good. I do feel like the ending left me a little cheated, or I wasn't paying attention very well. I just wanted more from the ending. This fantasy world is still so unique and I want to learn everything there is to learn. I am also really enjoying the fact that each novel so far has a self contained story. Especially since this book has such a drastic time jump I was a little stunned to say the least. But even though these stories can stand alone, they play off of the other book just a tad, so it is still beneficial to read all of them they way your supposed to.
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? No
- Diverse cast of characters? No
- Flaws of characters centre-stage? Yes
I also appreciated the complexity of the main female character, Idaan, and the way her frustrations with how the society and place she was born into constrain her are not considered to be unreasonable, and in fact are often validated by even the other characters' thoughts. I appreciated her perspective in the novel, and her anger, and even her flaws.
Overall, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to, and am curious where the rest of the series will take the story.
Daniel Abraham is a frankly stunningly talented writer, and so far his debut Long Price Quartet is some of the finest long form fantasy I've read. A Betrayal in Winter is a blood-soaked tragedy with compelling characters twisted by the strictures of society and their own nature into outcomes none of them truly desire, set in an original and rich Eastern-tinged setting, with a gestural sublanguage, rigid societal rules, and most intriguing of all, the andat - demigodlike concepts-made-form, bound against their will into flesh to keep the cities of the Khaiem rich and unchallenged by war.
The second book set in the Asiatic universe of Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet. This book is essentially a political thriller set in a fantasy universe. There are no major battles or epic evil lurking about, only court intrigues, backstabbing, conspiracies, and the occasional love story thrown in for good measure.
This book follows Otah and Maati approximately 15 years after the end of [b:A Shadow in Summer|208|A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet, #1)|Daniel Abraham|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1312020105s/208.jpg|1711253]. Otah's father is dying and soon his remaining three sons will begin fighting for his throne. When one son dies unexpectedly, the father suspects Otah is making a power play to gain the throne of Machi. Maati, disgraced from his failure to keep Seedless at the end of the first book, is called to help smoke out Otah and to uncover any conspiracy that could be a threat to the poets.
This is much better. The story in this book moves much more fluidly than in the previous one. I liked the plotting and backstabbing that goes on here, although I do feel like it was resolved a little too easily.
The biggest complaint I do have about the series is the characters themselves. While they are written fine and with clear motivations, I still just don't care about any of them. I don't feel danger, sadness or joy for anything that happens to them. I'm hoping this changes with the time jumps that happen in the next books.
Unlike most series, this book doesn't start right where the previous one left off. Instead, it starts about a decade into the future. And, honestly, the move works perfectly. The world is changed after the events of the previous book, and it will never be the same, and we can see the aftereffects of it still present. The book masterfully goes through the plot and follows the motivations and minds of the POV characters very well. However, at times it can move quite slow. Also, if you like lots of action, you won't find it here.
All around a good read, and I will hopefully get to the next one sooner than I got to this one. 2015 is shaping up to be a year of Daniel Abraham, with two more here and The Spider's War still to be released!