A Shadow In Summer by Daniel Abraham

I’m cheating a little with posting this cover art (I’m a sucker for a good cityscape) because I was sent the omnibus by James Long at Orbit, who thought I might like it. He was wrong – I loved it.

I’m not going to review it (not that I really do reviews that much). You know when you enjoy a book so much, you enjoy the nuances, and you know that none of this can be captured in a write-up? It’s almost pointless. There are so many layers, and none of the reviews I’ve read have seen the same city and characters as I have – which goes to show how much I enjoyed it. This really is a splendid book. A gentle piece where characters grow, rather than an all-out action romp. There are some marvellous complexities and twists, too. We talk a lot about grown-up novels, and sometimes we think sex and violence makes a book grown-up. It doesn’t, and this book proves my point – it’s as mature as fantasy writing can get, and does so without being visceral. This is a sensual, balmy afternoon of a novel: a travelogue, a character study and a textbook example of intricate world-building.

When I grow up, I want to write as well as Daniel Abraham.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

8 replies on “A Shadow In Summer by Daniel Abraham”

Not a terrible mantra to have at all, Aidan!

Mark – I think this would appeal nicely to a non-fantasy reader, actually. It’s certainly not heavy on the fantastic elements, nor some of the more off-putting (for some) trappings.

I agree completely; Abraham’s work is incredible. The Long Price is one of the most nuanced things I’ve read in my life, emotional without being melodramatic, suspenseful without being crass or overdone, tragic without being manipulative. And a whole lot more praising words. Is this your first time reading it? For me, the quarter is one of the few works that actually gets better as it goes on, so you’re in for quite the treat.


I tried reading this book a few years back when it was a tor.com ebook giveaway but it never agreed with me and I put it down quite early on.

I put it down to oriental fantasy not really floating my boat but I don’t think that’s true as there’s plenty of heavily orientated fantasy stories I love.

Maybe I’ll give it another try but at the moment I still want to write like Steven Erikson when I grow up. I put off reading Gardens of the Moon so I can read all 10 books this year.

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