THE KING'S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham

The apostate, called Kitap rol Keshmet among other things, stood in the soft city rain, the taint in his blood pressing at him, goading him, but being ignored. Fear and dread welled up in his throat.

In any of the cities and villages of the Keshet or Borja or Put, the temple would have been the central fact of the community, a point of pride and honor, and the axis about which all life turned. In the vast glory of Camnipol, it was only another of a thousand such structures, awe-​inspiring in its scope, beauty, and grandeur, and rendered unremarkable by its company.

The city was the heart of Imperial Antea as Imperial Antea was the heart of Firstblood power in the world, but Camnipol was older than the kingdom it ruled. Every age had left its mark here, every generation growing on the ruins of the old until the earth below the dark-​cobbled streets was not soil, but the wreckage of what had come before. It was a city of black and gold, of wealth and desperate poverty. Its walls rose around it like a boast of invulnerability, and its noble quarters displayed great mansions and towers and temples casually, as if the grandeur was trivial, normal, and mundane. Had Camnipol been a knight, he would have worn black-​enameled armor and a cloak of fine-​worked wool. Had it been a woman, she would have been too handsome to look away from and too intimidating to speak with. Instead, it was a city, and it was Camnipol.

*Puts fanboy hat on head*

We all know how much I like Daniel Abraham’s novels.Like, say, The Dragon’s Path. You should too. The King’s Blood, the second volume in Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin series is out on May 22nd, 2012 and I’m unreasonably excited. So, here’s an excerpt to encourage similar levels of enthusiasm in you.

You can read the full excerpt from The King’s Blood by Daniel Abraham on the Orbit Books website.

  • Paul (@princejvstin) April 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Too many books…Still haven’t read either Dragon’s Path or Leviathan Wakes.

  • Joel April 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Excited for this one… both this and Leviathan Wakes were great reads last year, and it will (presumably) be fun to have them coming out with subsequent installments at around the same time for the next several years.

  • Arachn April 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Didn’t like The Dragon’s Path as much as I thought I would, but at the end of the day, I still love everything Abraham. Can’t wait.

  • Aidan Moher April 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    What were your concerns with The Dragon’s Path, Arachn?

  • Arachn April 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Well, I forgot a few key details, and English isn’t my first language, but I will try to come up with an intelligible answer nonetheless!

    I loved The First Law’s (relative) simplicity, and thought The Dagger and the Coin suffered from its multiplicity of races & cultures and from its (relative) brevity. I remember reading an interview (or was it an essay?) where Abraham explained that what he thought was the challenging project (The First Law: original fantasy world, original magic system) had turned out to be quite “easy”, all things considered, and that the true challenge was, in fact, to write a “standard” fantasy epic. (This is all from memory, so I’m pretty sure I’m butchering his original point). The problem is, I thought the First Law series felt natural and right, while I never felt truly engaged with The Dragon’s Path – and part of this sentiment comes from the fact that while Abraham is a master of characterization, I feel world-building isn’t really his thing. The (relative, again) brevity of the first volume shows that the universe he created is too big for a character-driven, focused plot. The city-states of the First Law series were a great fit for his style; so far, The Dagger and the Coin read and feel like a giant wearing a dwarf’s outfit. The races are a case in point: I can’t name a single one, and they don’t feel like a true part of the story so far (apart from Marcus’s right hand, whose name elude me).

    That said, the points I’ve made so far could very well be invalidated by the rest of the series, so I’ll keep reading!

  • Blake Charlton April 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Yes! So excited!

  • Terry April 10, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I guess it’s time I checked out some of Abraham’s books.

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