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Long price 1: A Shadow in Summer por Daniel…
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Long price 1: A Shadow in Summer (edição 2006)

por Daniel Abraham

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,2755711,154 (3.6)77
The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht: either he stops the Galts or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.… (mais)
Membro:Svenvc
Título:Long price 1: A Shadow in Summer
Autores:Daniel Abraham
Informação:Tor Books (2006), Hardcover, 336 pagina's
Colecções:A sua biblioteca, E-books, Para ler
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

A Shadow in Summer por Daniel Abraham

  1. 40
    Under Heaven por Guy Gavriel Kay (lottpoet, souloftherose)
    lottpoet: similar highly formal society facing rebellion
  2. 00
    The Lions of al-Rassan por Guy Gavriel Kay (calmclam)
    calmclam: Kay has a similar sweeping feel and large-but-focused cast. Lions is based on the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Spanish in the 1500s. Similar "end of an era" feel.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The short version: Too slow-paced, not enough happens. Too much moping. The ratio of plot to characterization is waaaaaay too low. Who does the author think he is, Guy Gavriel Kay?

The long version:

This novel has good and bad aspects, but for me, the slow pacing is the bad that outweighs everything else. I had to force myself to finish it. And I am not going to continue with the series. The significant events of the story would sustain a work of fiction half as long. The rest is taken up with dreary “character-building” introspection.

Setting and plot summary:
The setting is a fantasy world that contains andats, basically demons that are half-created, half summoned by magicians. Magicians (called “poets”) create andats by incarnating abstract concepts in human form. However, all andats escape eventually and every time an andat escapes it becomes harder to capture again. A Shadow in Summer takes place late in the history of this process and it is becoming very difficult to create more andats. Only one andat is shown “on screen” in this novel, the incarnation of sterility, called Seedless. Seedless is used by a cotton-trading city, Saraykeht, to remove seeds from cotton to make it easier to process. Of course, Seedless is also a shield against war, since any country that attacked Saraykeht would find that all its women miscarry their babies, all its crops fail to produce viable seeds, etc. Yikes.

Plot: Needless to say, other countries are uneasy with Saraykeht having such a terrifying weapon that could be used offensively as well as defensively. So they try to bring down the poet who controls Seedless, which will also destroy Seedless. This involves a horrific – stomach-turning – crime, which fails to achieve its goal. But it has two effects: (1) Everyone involved in the crime, most of them inadvertently, is plagued by guilt. Thus there is a lot of ashamed moping by various characters, and that is understandable, but moping is simply not a story. (2) It becomes pretty clear that if the country that carried out the plot is revealed, Saraykeht is going to respond genocidally. So people who know what happened agonize over whether they should reveal it. On one hand, it’s the truth, but on the other hand, if it’s revealed, Saraykeht’s retaliation is likely to be a genocide of an innocent population.

This takes us to Amat Kyaan, a businesswoman who inadvertently plays a role in the criminal scheme. When she realizes what she was involved with she starts a quest to uncover the guilty parties. For ...reasons... this eventually results in her assuming ownership of a whorehouse. I don’t know whether to roll my eyes at this veering plot twist or to congratulate Abraham for incorporating something so unexpected.

Good: Every now and then there’s a surprise. Also, the scenes that feature the andat are always interesting, because the thing is so inhuman and malevolent. Though it’s not as simple as “malevolence,” since the thing is, after all, enslaved by humans.

The bad:
The pacing. What there is of it.

An acquaintance between two main characters is fueled entirely by a ridiculously unlikely coincidence. What are the odds that Otah and Maati would meet up in Saraykeht? And what are the odds that they’d fall in love with the same girl?! Come on!

The fact that Amat Kyaan has a story arc that’s irrelevant to anything important is frustrating, and the sign of a bad author. In my opinion. A significant chunk of the novel consists of Amat trying to uncover the bad guys. But before anything can come of this, the poet and the andat he controls die, rendering most of the novel’s story questions irrelevant. Yes, I understand that in real life our plans gang aft agley, but in fiction that should not be the case because it means we’re following a character who doesn’t matter! (Villains’ plans should come to nothing most of the time. But if it’s someone who’s not a villain, then why bother following her for hundreds of pages, only to have her actions affect nothing? We might as well follow any other inhabitant of this fictional world, chosen at random.)

The characterization: there’s way the fuck too much of it. “But wait!” you say. “Characterization is a key part of fiction. How can there be too much of it!?” Well, apples are good. Does it follow that the entire surface area of Planet Earth should be devoted to growing apples? I’ll bet you can think of more than one reason why the answer is obviously No. In this case, we need more events, and less of people’s emotional reactions to the events.

Another thing that annoyed me was the number of times that someone gets angry, only to have his/her anger fade out almost as abruptly as it flares up. This must happen a dozen times in the novel. It gives the impression that Abraham wants the drama of people getting enraged, but doesn’t want it to actually affect the plot, so he has to pull the rug out from his characters’ anger almost immediately, before it causes them to actually do anything. This happening once or twice would be valid and realistic, but it happening all the time is a sign of an author who hasn’t gotten his plotting down. ( )
  Carnophile | Jan 3, 2021 |
Slow to grab my attention but full of good characterizations. The story line as it unfolds gives meaning to the long price that will result from the actions described in this book. ( )
  Saraishelafs | Nov 4, 2020 |
Concepts of a Common Fantasy Novel:

- The Predestined one is killed before the beginning of the story, unbeknownst to everyone. The prophecy as it is known is vague, but the real prophecy is actually very detailed and precise - and completely wrong as it turns out. A hero rises to the occasion, but the legendary weapon informs him that he doesn't fit the description of the Chosen One. The hero argues that the Chosen One hasn't shown up and the world needs saving now, so the legendary weapon accepts. The unchosen hero proceeds to save the world, in defiance of the actual prophecy.

- The Predestined one is alive and well, but not the protagonist. The protagonist is a minion of the dark lord and student of magic. Chosen One repeatedly attacks the dark lord's fortress, but fails time and again. One day, Chosen One tries to attack again but is met with surrender. Protagonist has already killed the dark lord, permanently, in Chosen One's absence. Turns out the minions didn't like the dark lord either.

- Main protagonist is not The Predestined one, yet manages to defeat the evil dark lord without using the magic sword / power up destined for the chosen one as the only way to overthrow him by using some clever countermeasure.

- If you have an evil overlord in the novel, ignore The Predestined one. Give him no special attention. I'd regard prophecy as non-sense. Not only that but after my conquests I'd set up a stable meritocracy where the most skilled and bright rise to the top, the strongest warriors become the trainers of the military, the brightest minds lead the sciences. And by the time the chosen one was born, my conquests would be in full swing and if said chosen one was born in my empire, he/she would have a merit based system to live up to and would probably end up heir to my empire. And if they were born in some other nation, no special treatment, no special units specifically on chosen one duty. In fact I'd just leave them be;

- A dark lord who is told a prophecy that a boy from a certain village would 'rise up, dismantle his government and cast him out of his palace' so he goes to this village finds the three most likely candidates adopts them and turns the village into an experiment for social reform in his empire, as the story goes along the three boys start to take more of an interest in politics and change some of the dark lords long-standing policies, until he retires and names one of them his hair and it's only when he's leaving his fortress for the last time that he realizes that the prophecy was technically fulfilled.

Concepts of “A Shadow in Summer” (my favourite kind of Fantasy):

- A Predestined one who is told of his destiny, and immediately rejects it, and then just buggers off to live his life taking poses along the way to impart meaning. ( )
  antao | Oct 25, 2020 |
I have definitely read much worse fantasy, or fiction, for that matter, and I see that subtlety and thoughtfulness is the name of this tune, but honestly, it was slow and not much happens.

It was, on the other hand, quite readable and the characters were very solid, even memorable as far as they go. The society, the empire, is also quite fleshed out and has a character all of its own. I have no complaints with any of that. Indeed, I think it's quite remarkable.

I don't even have a problem with the premise, both literally through the magic that this old poet has, or stylistically, or plot-based, that this old man and the empire are one and the same. Both are old, as are quite a few of the main characters, and you can see that they're wracked with guilt and a bit of senility. Rightly so, I might say. Using magic to forcibly abort children with or without the woman's consent is unconscionable, as is a society that has no qualms with enslaving, whether with economics, force, or the Poet's magic of conception.

It's rotten, and the death of one is the death of all, and I can't really find it in my heart to feel sad for either.

As a novel, it is a beautiful painting, glacially slow and majestic like like the adjective. I think it *IS* beautiful, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good novel.

If you don't mind good character studies and an exploration of culpability, duty, justice, and love rather than a modern fantasy yarn full of death and daring and heroism, then I think you might really enjoy this novel.

Even now that I've finished it with a sigh and a fairly large undercurrent of regret that it didn't live up to some undefinable promise, I want to like it more than I do. I have great respect for Mr. Abraham already, so it's not like I'm giving up the cause. I'm a fanboy of the Expanse, after all.

I know I'll give the other four of this series a shot, but I might not do it right away. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Well, I guess I have a new series to pick up now! ( )
  prufrockcoat | Dec 3, 2019 |
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Martiniere, StephaneArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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As the stone towers of Machi dominated the cold cities of the north, so the seafront of Saraykeht dominated the summer cities in the south.
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The powerful city-state of Saraykeht is a bastion of peace and culture, a major center of commerce and trade. Its economy depends on the power of the captive spirit Seedless, an andat bound to the poet-sorcerer Heshai for life. Enter the Galts, an empire committed to laying waste to all lands with their ferocious army. Saraykeht has always been too strong for the Galts to attack, but now they see an opportunity. If they can dispose of Heshai, Seedless will perish and the entire city will fall. In the middle is Otah, a simple laborer with a complex past. Recruited to act as a bodyguard for his girlfriend's boss at a secret meeting, he inadvertently learns of the Galtish plot. Otah finds himself as the sole hope of Saraykeht: either he stops the Galts or the whole city and everyone in it perishes forever.

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