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Bookmarks Issue: 
43-Nov-Dec-2009
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Book Four of the Long Price Quartet

A-The Price of SpringThe Price of Spring is the final entry in Daniel Abraham’s the Long Price Quartet. He also writes urban fantasy under the name M. L. N. Hanover. Previous volumes A Shadow in Summer, 4 of 5 Stars Selection July/Aug 2006; A Betrayal in Winter (2007); and An Autumn War, 4 of 5 Stars Selection Sept/Oct 2008.

The Story: In An Autumn War, the third novel in the Long Price Quartet, the long-simmering conflict between the Khaiem (a group of city-states with access to powerful magic) and the Galt ("barbarians" with a pragmatic bent) finally came to a boil. The outcome of that war led to a magical catastrophe that now threatens to completely destroy both societies. The Price of Spring explores efforts by a new generation to pick up the pieces while the feuds of the series’ original characters refuse to die.
Tor. 352 pages. $27.99. ISBN: 9780765313430

Fantasyliterature.com 4.5 of 5 Stars
"The strengths of The Price of Spring are the same as with the series as a whole: characterization, an original ‘eastern-style’ setting, a unique magic system, tight writing, strong prose, and a good ending. … The Price of Spring is an excellent closure to one of the best fantasy epics of recent years." Bill Capossere

Scifiwire.com 4 of 5 Stars
"For most of the book, an elegiac, entropic ambiance and tone persist. … Abraham succeeds in making us feel the weight of time—some 50 years—covered by the Quartet before he delivers the satisfying final resurrection and capstone." Paul Di Fillippo

Tor.com 4 of 5 Stars
"Abraham’s work is about as unlike Tolkien as you can get within the same genre. I find myself thinking of Shakespeare more often. But in this he has taken from Tolkien’s model: he isn’t afraid to set out his world and show it profoundly broken, changed, becoming something else." Jo Walton

StrangeHorizons.com 3.5 of 5 Stars
"In The Price of Spring Abraham plays to his strengths again, especially his uncanny ability to make unsympathetic characters fascinating, and bad decisions engrossing. … Despite the plot glitches, and sometimes a sense of authorial arrogance, I was sorry to turn the last page of The Long Price [Quartet]." Gwyneth Jones

Critical Summary

Reviewers of science fiction and fantasy novels tend to respect authors who wrap up a series neatly rather than spinning out endless sequels. But they also demand good endings, which may be why expectations for Abraham’s The Price of Spring were so high. The book generally met them; critics were pleased to see that Abraham could settle all the questions raised in the earlier novels without losing any of his innovative edge. Several reviewers felt that The Price of Spring was the best book in the series; Jo Walton (in an independent review on Tor.com, a Web site run by the book’s publisher) wrote that it is "the fastest moving and most exciting of all the volumes."