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Bookmarks Issue: 
23-July-Aug-2006
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Book One of the Long Price Quartet

A-AShadowInSummerThe city of Saraykhet has a distinct economic advantage over its coastal rivals. Its poet, Heshai, has control of an andat ("[an idea] given human shape") that removes the seeds from cotton, making the summer city an important center for the processing and weaving of fabrics. But Seedless, as the andat is known, has little regard for his capricious, aging master. The andat’s thin loyalties are exploited by a rival city, which schemes to make use of his other ability—causing spontaneous abortions—and drive Saraykhet into the ground. This first season (Summer) in Abraham’s projected Long Price Quartet is a notably impressive introduction.
Tor. 336 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0765313405

Denver Post 4.5 of 5 Stars
"A Shadow in Summer is rich in well-developed, complicated characters. Although the first of a quartet following the different seasons, it stands on its own as one of the best fantasies in years." Fred Cleaver

Emerald City 4 of 5 Stars
"[A] fantasy world in which the author has thought about the economic uses of magic! There are not too many of those around!" Cheryl Morgan

Fantasybookspot.com 4 of 5 Stars
"Abraham juggles inventive elements that don’t distract from his plot, but expands upon it and creates appreciable tension; Seedless—poetry incarnate—is rendered alien, even when born of and motivated by the most basic of human instincts. In fact, the single thread that transforms the diverse cast into a thematic ensemble is the apparent destination all are trying to reach; albeit by vastly different paths and modes of travel, they all search for what they perceive as freedom." Jay Tomio

Science Fiction Weekly 4 of 5 Stars
"[A Shadow in Summer is] a fine example of high fantasy that, in its presentation of the poet-andat relationship, offers a new and striking take on the age-old question of the power of magic and the responsibilities of the magician. But what is most satisfying about the book is the degree to which it bends the conventions of the genre in interesting ways." F. Brett Cox

Critical Summary

Debut novelist Daniel Abraham bolts out of the gate with an enthusiastic recommendation from SF guru George R. R. Martin. The critics agree with Martin’s appraisal, and reviewers welcome Abraham’s rich characterization, deft plotting, and the particularly ambitious central conceit that ideas can be made flesh—and controlled by poets, no less. Critics nitpick here and there (a communication method that involves posing rather than speaking furrows some eyebrows), but nothing dissuades reviewers from eagerly awaiting the Fall, Winter, and Spring installments. (A Betrayal in Winterwas published in 2007.)