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The Dagger and the Coin - SPOILER THREAD


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#41 Stego

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 04:59 PM

I genuinely want Geder to be the Dark Lord that we all kinda like. It would suck if he turned out to be the hero.

#42 kcf

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

I genuinely want Geder to be the Dark Lord that we all kinda like. It would suck if he turned out to be the hero.


Considering that Abraham has said that for this series he's blatantly ripped off ideas that he likes from elsewhere, I think that it's likely Geder will be an Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader sort. He'll fall to the dark side and eventually do something redeeming, though probably not such that we would call him a hero.

#43 NostalgiaForInfinity

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:34 PM

I have to be honest I found the prospect of Cithrin setting up the Medean bank less than believable and the response of the bank to the fact that she had taken all their wealth and actually preserved it, bizzare.


I sort of agree with you about I think that the banks response was okay. They wanted to focus their operations in a different area(whatever their game is up north) so it made a lot of sense for them to liquidate the branch. That said, they could have been nicer about it.

It's interesting that according to the glossary of races, which is of course a document with a definite viewpoint, we haven't met any of the "Higher Races" yet, have we? And we are told there is a race that but for their dislike of water would sweep the world and probably but an end to all the other races.

I totally think some bias is at play when it comes to the "higher races" the author clearly has a similar view as Dawson but on the opposite side. That said, it will be interesting to learn what actual advantages they have over other people and if the idea of the "higher races" is common. Also I'm calling it now, those snow giant people(the water phobic ones) are going to come into play in a big way, as pointed out earlier in this thread this is going to be an "end of civilization" type series. Its just to perfect to have a rampaging barbarian horde and not use it.

#44 polishgenius

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:42 PM

Just finished it. To my not very great surprise, I really enjoyed it - I worried that the book wouldn't live up to the hype I'd set it, but while it didn't blow my mind the way GotM or aGoT did, it's definitely my favourite book of the year so far and has cemented the series swiftly in the feverish anticipation section of my ongoing series list.

Just a quick thought while I remember, some comparisons to be made to Bakker's work here- a priest from an ancient hidden sect with the power to make people believe and to read their truth and lies, and a series definitely heading the apocalyptic route...

Whereas Abraham's prose writing was the outstanding feature of Long Price for me (don't get me wrong, the rest was great, but that's what really hooked me), the characters in this are what stand out majorly, as seems to be the common thread here... they were very good in Long Price, of course, but given the extra room to breathe, Abraham's really brought home the bacon here.
Especially in the Dagger; Geder, as has been heavily discussed, is one of the most interesting characters of recent years- his initial motivations of frustration and resentment are I'm sure familiar to everyone, which makes his lurches into villainy all the more horrifying. He's basically a four-year-old emotionally, and without a moral filter. Also interesting to find a major character- good or bad- that weak-willed and dim.
Dawson on the other hand is a more complex riddle - a loving family man and loyal friend who's also a bigot and self-righteous in his convictions to the point of alienating even his allies. I greatly enjoyed reading that perspective, especially the insights into the other side being equally fragmented- Maas was a bastard, but Issandrian seems moved by genuine concern and Maas' wife was just undeserving of what happened.

The Coin is perhaps less interesting; Cithrin and Marcus are much more definitely setting up future stuff, and while there are hints at more compelling edges to their characters- Marcus' dark past, and the fact that he almost left Cithrin alone, Cithrin's reckless edge that has as yet not quite resulted in catastrophe, and her uncertainty about love and sex- in this book they're much closer to the fantasy norm. Still they're in no way bad and I definitely enjoyed reading about them. I wonder if we'll get more of Kit now that his enemies are out in the world.

If there's a real weakness for me it's the worldbuilding- I love a rich world to sink into and while what's there is good, it's kind of sketchy.

I do love the idea of the Dragon Roads arching over hills that are no longer there and that, though.

In terms of future speculation; presuming that Coe survives (and I suspect so), there's defo going to be summat between him and Dawson's wife. Too much built up of his feelings for her to not. I can see her being more and more against her husband as things go on- she loves him but clearly doesn't agree with some of his ways.


The subversion of trad-fantasy cliche is nothing unusual these days, but the way this is done stands out; it's more subtle than just killing the non-traditional people or making the main character or other key roles not the nice guys they 'should' be.

Edited by polishgenius, 21 April 2011 - 07:46 PM.


#45 Rex Tyrannus

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:46 PM

Considering that Abraham has said that for this series he's blatantly ripped off ideas that he likes from elsewhere, I think that it's likely Geder will be an Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader sort.


I'd be very surprised if Daniel liked that particular story enough to rip it off.

#46 dangoodman

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:16 PM

I simply think that Geder is a guy without a moral compass that just wants people to respect him. I enjoyed how he used the perspectives of Dagger and Coin as literal atmospheres of different perspectives in the book; of course, Daniel Abraham always has an interesting take on things. Additionally, our mutual friend Ken did an interview/webcastwith Mr. Abraham at the Poisoned Pen worth checking out, where he talks about Dagger & Coin, among other things.

#47 Rex Tyrannus

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:25 PM

I agree with everything else you said. I just know that Daniel isn't a big Lucas fan. /smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#48 WrathOfTinyKittens

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:55 PM

Just finished this today (eager to start on Leviathan). I thought it was pretty well-written and certainly gripping. I also noted the similarities to PoN, at least vis-a-vis the priests.

I was interested in the religion of the world - there doesn't really seem to be much. There's the spider goddess and temple, obviously, there's the abandoned temple in Camnipol, and Marcus's disparaging remarks about Yardem being religious. Other than that, almost nothing, which is strange. Lerer seemed a bit iffy about Geder setting up a new temple but really didn't seem like a big deal.

#49 polishgenius

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:10 PM

Thinking about it, does anyone else reckon that there'll be a time-jump between this book in the next? I doubt as much as the Long Price ones, but the place it ended, I reckon a logical place to pick it up would be after the Prince has been with Geder for a year or so and Cithrin has settled into the new thing a bit.

#50 Little Valkyrie

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 03:41 PM

I was interested in the religion of the world - there doesn't really seem to be much. There's the spider goddess and temple, obviously, there's the abandoned temple in Camnipol, and Marcus's disparaging remarks about Yardem being religious. Other than that, almost nothing, which is strange. Lerer seemed a bit iffy about Geder setting up a new temple but really didn't seem like a big deal.


This was a background question for me as well, because the religion of a fantasy world (when it's a well-thought out world, which I certainly expect from Abraham, who is currently one of my very favorite authors, etc., etc.) tells you a lot about social structure, but as fantasy novels tend to have religions that can actually get things done, it tells you a lot about the metaphysics of that world, too.

Marcus uses 'God' occasionally as a background word, as do Geder and Cithrin both, which seems to indicate some background monotheism. For instance, Cithrin thinks "So perhaps Besel was right. God knew the man seemed sure of himself. But then, he always did." One of Geder's speculative essays (which I loved, in their late medieval/early Renaissance feel) mentions an abstract, speculative God. So maybe some kind of loose deism is common, against which the provable results of the (very scary) spider goddess might be very persuasive.

Edited by Little Valkyrie, 22 April 2011 - 03:43 PM.


#51 polishgenius

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:40 PM

It also comes up that Yardem is religious (which Marcus teases him about), and when Yardem and Kit discuss some philosophy/theology Marcus raises the question of whether he'd once been a priest. Plus the caravan master in the beginning is mentioned as having an irritating propensity for religious preaching when they stop for winter.

So religion definitely exists, it just doesn't seem especially important to any of the PoVs.

#52 SkynJay

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 07:23 PM

I think Yardem could see auras in some way, in connection with his religion. Or was that a different character.

God, its been two weeks, i think i need a reread already.

#53 polishgenius

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 07:31 PM

Yardem can see the 'shape of a soul', iirc.

#54 WrathOfTinyKittens

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 11:05 PM

Thinking about it, does anyone else reckon that there'll be a time-jump between this book in the next? I doubt as much as the Long Price ones, but the place it ended, I reckon a logical place to pick it up would be after the Prince has been with Geder for a year or so and Cithrin has settled into the new thing a bit.


Judging from Marcus's sample chapter of the next book, I'd say yes - it seemed to be a jump of a few months to a few years. Nothing too major.

#55 Nebuchadnezzar

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 04:53 AM

Guess I'm on the opposite side of most here. I thought it was incredibly dull in every aspect (characters/world/magic/style) and really had to push myself to finish.

#56 automne

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 04:44 AM

I've read this thread and was a bit surprised by some of the comments on Geber. I mean he is a mass murderer, how could he not be a bad guy?? And I don't see any redeeming future for him, I think he'll keep on feeling sorry for himself and doing the most despicable things. I can't even imagine the harm he'll do now he's introduced to the court his scary religious friend. Poor Prince Aster is likely to be their first brainwashed victim.

I really liked the characters. Every one of them, with a preference for the apostate turned actor. Cithrin was a bit boring, especially when she developed a taste for alcohol and when she decided what was "women's natural weapon".
What I hope for in the next book:
.Kit will get a significant role.
.Marcus will stop accepting shit from Cithrin.
.Clara will have a hot affair with Vincen Coe. They both deserve it.
.Dawson will have his World views shattered.

#57 Rob B

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:11 PM

I finished the book on Saturday night and posted my review to SFFWorld today. In short, one of the best fantasy novels of the year so far, and one that will likely remain in my top of the year. I can see this getting short listed for the World Fantasy Award

#58 Decius

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 07:06 AM

I've read this thread and was a bit surprised by some of the comments on Geber. I mean he is a mass murderer, how could he not be a bad guy??? And I don't see any redeeming future for him, I think he'll keep on feeling sorry for himself and doing the most despicable things. I can't even imagine the harm he'll do now he's introduced to the court his scary religious friend. Poor Prince Aster is likely to be their first brainwashed victim.


History is full of mass murderers who also did great things and did overall much good (sometimes unintentionally), despite the thousands or hundred of thousands of dead in their wake. It's not always that easy. Napoleon, Atatürk, Alexander the Great, Churchill, all people involved in the US occupation of the Philippines, Ghengis Khan to name a few (not that Geder can be compared to any of them).

Edited by Decius, 27 April 2011 - 07:08 AM.


#59 automne

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:13 AM

History is full of mass murderers who also did great things and did overall much good (sometimes unintentionally), despite the thousands or hundred of thousands of dead in their wake. It's not always that easy.

Yes, history has a tendency to forget the victims when it comes to the deeds of "great men".
With Geber we've seen a mass murderer in the making. We can reflect on how easy it was for him to go from bullied and ridiculed to despicable and evil. All he needed was to happen to be at the right place at the right time. Dawson and his son were stupid enough to underestimate him, whenever they thought they could use him they simply gave him the means to gain more power. Power is dangerous in the hands of a person whose every act is done for spite, revenge and ambition.

#60 john

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:13 PM

It was good but not great. My main reaction is actually disappointment, just because of the amount of hype I've seen around here. Otherwise I'd've been perfectly happy. I think the main problem was the world wasn't rich enough for me although I still thought the writing and characterisation was a cut above the norm.

Geder was interesting but he didn't really grip me like he seemed to a lot of you. I found Dawson more fascinating, we're all secret conservatives to one degree or another. Certainly the "bad" povs were more fun to read about than the two "good" ones.

The thing that intrigued me most was the character of Issandrian. I'm sure he's got to be sincere about working in the interests of Antea and just a victim of circumstances. His faction had to be just as alarmed at Geder's Vanai army camped outside the gates as Dawson was at the circus mercenaries.