Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham

The Dragon’s Path

AuthorDaniel Abraham

Trade Paperback
Pages: 592
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: April 7th, 2011
ISBN-10: 0316080683
ISBN-13: 978-0316080682


In June of 2010, I threw a bit of a fit. I’d learned that not only was Tor Books not going to be publishing anymore novels by Daniel Abraham, they weren’t even going to do his fans the service of releasing the final volume of his The Long Price Quartet in paperback. I went on record, then, saying that Tor would regret letting the promising author go, that they were foolish to let such a promising young writer slip through their fingers.

Orbit Books wasted no time in snapping up Abraham and immediately announcing The Dagger and the Coin, a new series completely unrelated to The Long Price Quartet and set within a more familiar frame that was sure to appeal to the casual Fantasy fan that is so important in ensuring Abraham’s continued and inevitable rise through the genre. Tor made a mistake in letting him go and there’s no better proof of that than The Dragon’s Path, the first volume of The Dagger and the Coin.
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Via Battle Hymns, I ran across this cool project from everyone’s favourite New Weird/Cephalopod/Space Opera crossover writer, China Mieville:

Posted on Mieville’s Tumblr, Rejectamentalist Manifesto, the web comic, titled London Intrusion, features many of the same strengths and elements seen in Mieville’s prose fiction: it’s urban, it’s weird and it’s filled with shades of grey (hah!)

China Mieville's web comic: LONDON INTRUSION

At the time this article is being written, Mieville has published eight ‘parts’, each written and illustrated by himself. A many of many talents, no? For a writer known to take readers to strange and unexpected corners of the world (whether ours or a secondary world he’s crafted), it should be fun to see Mieville work in a medium that’s completely unshackled from expectations of sales, publishers and marketing departments. If his ‘mainstream’ prose is weird, I can only imagine what he’s got in store for London Intrusion.

The Dragon's Path by Daniel AbrahamI don’t post many excerpts. It’s not that I don’t have the opportunity, it’s just that they don’t often excite me. When I had the chance to post the prologue to The Dragon’s Path, the first volume in Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin series, all that apathy went running out the door, screaming into the fields behind my house. I was giddy as a school girl.

I hope you enjoy it.

The prologue of The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham begins after the jump:
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Oh my. Celine Kiernan‘s US/UK covers are nice enough in a pedestrian kinda way, but this set of covers from Australia blows them clear out of the water. It’s great to see a publisher take an idea and execute it so surely. Seriously, click on the image above to see them int their hi-res glory. The seamless black and white artwork from Elise Hurst is beautiful, and the touch of colour in the title is just enough. The only thing I don’t completely love are the Roman numerals cluttering up the titles. I haven’t been so enamoured with a set of covers since I first saw the UK covers for Joe Abercrombie’s novels.

Unfortunately, any excitement and motivation to read the series stirred up by the covers is stamped down again by the fact that the protagonist of the series is named ‘Wynter’. So close, Kiernan. So close.

Anthony Huso, author of the THE LAST PAGE and BLACK BOTTLE2010 served up several solid debut novels. From Blake Charlton’s fun, throwback-to-the-90s Spellwright (REVIEW), to N.K. Jemisin’s out-of-left-field The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (REVIEW), it was a good time to be discovering some of the genre’s new, young authors. Topping that heap, though, was Anthony Huso’s The Last Page. I’ll let my review do the talking:

The Last Page‘s influences are clear, but many. Huso weaves aspects of Epic Fantasy (in the form of magic books, invading armies and motley assassins), Steampunk (zeppelins, guns and tanks), Lovecraftian Horror (some truly frightening beasts and angry, universe crumpling gods), Urban Fantasy, heavy doses of Mievilleesque New Weird and even a light dalliance with Military Fantasy. With a quilt-like structure (each square built from one sub-genre), Huso’s story and world could easily have become a convoluted, cannibalistic mess, but, instead, he handles it with the aplomb and skill of a veteran writer. The weird world of Stonehold could stand beside the work of contemporaries like Mieville or Newton and never miss a beat.

It’s was a no-brainer that I’d get in touch with Anthony and pick his mind about his debut novel, poetic prose, language and his work in the videogame industry. He didn’t let me down.

The Interview

Anthony, welcome to A Dribble of Ink! I’ve written a little bio of you above, but why don’t you start things off by telling us something about Anthony Huso that we won’t find in any authorized biography?

   When I sit in a restaurant, I line up my wallet, cell phone and keys in a nice row. The OCD is getting worse, generally, with age but it’s balanced out by the fact that my kids leave popsicle wrappers on the coffee table — which forces me to cope with reality.

The Last Page, at its heart, is a love story between Caliph Howl and Sena Iilool and the struggles of their relationship around the roadblocks put in place by their own personal agendas. At the same time, Sena plays a very adversarial and antagonistic role in Caliph’s life as High King. Was it hard to juggle these two sides o the relationship? Which was more important to the story?

   It wasn’t easy. I think if it had been easy, it wouldn’t have been interesting to write. I like to watch people in public and notice how they interact. Relationships are fascinating. So you’re right, this is a story that revolves around a relationship, though I wouldn’t classify it as a proper romance. As for which side is more important, I think you can’t have the story without both sides, clearly. Now, that said, I found in writing it that whenever there was less of Sena in the text, the book didn’t go as well. I think this is really Sena’s story, even more than Caliph’s.
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