BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The action revolves around the politics within and without the Firstblood Kingdom of Antea. The kingdom is burdened by a weak king and the possibility of civil war. Court intrigues and skirmishes abound.
PROS: Good blend of developing characters, setting, and intrigue; great potential for the series.
CONS: “Hero-less” epic could be a turn-off.
BOTTOM LINE: Daniel Abraham is on the right path with great expectations for this series.
Fans of George R.R. Martin or Joe Abercrombie will certainly be interested in Daniel Abraham’s new fantasy series. While not quite as dark or complex as the Martin’s works, Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path definitely fits the same epic fantasy genre mold with its many kingdoms and all-too-human characters carving out their own paths in a land formerly ruled by Dragons. The story itself revolves around the politics within and around the Kingdom of Antea, a kingdom burdened by a weak king and the possibility of civil war. Plenty of court intrigues and skirmishes abound.
Abraham weaves several characters into the story, each with their own flaws and ghosts that haunt them. Character development is quite deft and the author provides believable, fallible, and interesting players on his stage. It’s hard to put one’s finger on the actual hero or heroes of this tale, as each character seems to be their own hero, working out their own epic path under the surface without the normal outward heroic bracings of other fantasy novels. Interesting background characters fill in the cracks and one can envision some of them elevated to their own chapters in future books.
Abraham avoids the overbearing darkness and grittiness that pervades Joe Abercrombie’s recent novels and while The Dragon’s Path may not match the tour-de-force of Martin’s first three Game of Thrones novels, one can expect that this series at least won’t end up becoming such a disaster. The Dragon’s Path is an enjoyable read that holds great expectations for the series.