The Dragon’s Path is the first instalment in The Dagger and the Coin epic fantasy series. It’s immensely rich in its own history, with a multitude of races and flawed but wonderful characters. Just my cup of tea!
I was intrigued from the start, with an introduction to an apostate escaping from an ancient temple with a scary truth. We don’t know who he is, but as the book progressed I started to have suspicions, but each time I thought I knew the truth I was cleverly deflected by Daniel Abraham. In most fantasy settings, you often find one or two other races that are ‘typical’ but for this series, Abraham has created twelve and an extremely clever reason behind them (I mentioned the rich history already!)
It’s also a multi-faceted tale about people trying to do the best thing in the worst of circumstances and that means not always doing the right thing. The major cast were brilliant. Marcus, Yardem, Cithrin and Master Kit were all characters that I really warmed to, even if I didn’t always agree with their choices. Geder, I felt for but wanted to shake and Basrahip… well, I don’t think there is a boot big enough to stomp on him! Along with them are quite a few other characters, some you love and some you hate but they all felt extremely well fleshed out and very real. I have to note the friendship and interplay between Marcus and Yardem, the first time they appear, made me laugh out loud and I knew I was hooked. Daniel Abraham has quite the talent for creating his characters.
The plot can be quite complicated but not too hard to follow. Explaining it however is another matter and I’m not even going to try. I shall say instead that it is completely engaging and if you like a good epic fantasy that isn’t going to run to twelve books (I believe there is five in this series) then this will be right up your street.
The pace was good and I never felt it dragged, even when the characters themselves were being put through long journeys. The action scenes were brutal and a couple of times I was open mouthed in shock but at the end of the day, that is not what the book is about. The characters are what make it shine.
A great start to an epic fantasy series and I am eager to dive into the second book – The King’s Blood.