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RedEyedGhost

The Dagger and the Coin - SPOILER THREAD

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Not related at all.

Excellent, now I'm off to buy that Dragon's Path/Leviathan combo ebook. sweet deal

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I actually liked this. Not every quest needs to be epic and take its own book.

Oh I totally agree, it's so refreshing to not wade through days and days of what to eat, where to sleep, etc. However, Geder mentioned later that the journey changed him in some respects (mainly physical), and it'd be good to see some of his struggling with the new lifestyle. Basically, he's sort of an enigma in his motivations and changes. In other words, I wish the book were longer because I care so damn much about the characters.

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Finished it earlier today. Liked the book, but I felt that the characterization was kind of weak. :worried:

Fascinated by the back story, though...

Patrick

That's funny, I'm the exact opposite here. The back story was so fragmented so as to be somewhat meaningless at this stage in the series. In my opinion, the book worked best in setting up the characters, even though it took about half the book to really start seeing the complexities of the characterization. That said, the more recent back story of Marcus and Yardem was interesting, if a little cliched.

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I read it and enjoyed it. IMO the characterisation was good, except for the part where Geder freaked out and burned an entire city down. That came completely out of nowhere as far as I am concerned, and I was kind of annoyed about that for a while. However, once Geder went east and started looking for the cult his part of the book really improved and I am looking forward to how Abraham will develop him. I think the story of him turning from bad to worse will be both entertaining and interesting. I also think that both Cithrin and Marcus worked well. The plot was solid but not always very exciting, probably because it is a bit of a setup book.

On the whole, I feel pretty much like I did after reading the first book of the Long Price quartet - I liked it and will buy the sequel, but I'm not totally sold yet (I only became totally sold by book three of the Long Price). However, I have high hopes that the sequels will be much more exciting and enjoyable reads, just like the Long Price quartet.

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I think my first response to Geder's reaction was "WTF are you doing you fucking maniac?", but then I thought about it and honestly it kind of makes sense for him. The escalation was faster than I think is reasonable, but even before that point he displays no sense of right and wrong and no sense of fairness, only anger when he personally is slighted. Any time we see him lamenting the unfairness of anything, it's only when it's unfair to him personally. He has no sense of empathy--he blatantly ignores how horrible things are for everyone else, including the citizens of the occupied city, and instead spends his entire PoV whining about how it's not his fault and it's not fair that they hate him. Before burning the city he doesn't do anything for any reason other than spite or personal gain--in fact, in letting Cithrin go, which is the classic "follow orders or do the right thing" scenario, he manages to do neither for reasons of both spite and personal gain. He went from dereliction of duty and theft and taking bribes to mass murder more quickly than I think is credible, but I think the fact of the escalation was believable, just not the speed.

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So, ignoring all the posts in this thread as I just started reading

The old man played Orcus the Demon King

HA! A D&D reference!

edit:

Jesus christ, Geder has made the quickest transition from fat nerd to genocidal fat nerd I've ever seen.

Alright, finished the book. Pretty good so far. I'll buy the next book too. Backstory doesn't really intrigue me as much as it seems to intrigue other people.

Dragons ruled the world.

Dragons created slave-races from normal humans (the Firstbloods)

Dragons went all civil-war and killed themselves.

There's the priesthood too, some sort of spidercult that existed before the Dragon Empire, and then made a deal with some Dragon during the end of the Dragon Empire. Whatevs. Also, they're totally human-lie detectors.

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Geder reminds of a (comedic) article I read somewhere to the effect that 4CHAN proves that nerds are not inherently better than their tormentors and and given the power will be just as, if not more cruel. I mean, Geder is a classic nerd set in medieval times. He's fat, awkward and even likese the read the oft derided genre of Speculative Fiction Essay. But unlike Samwell Tarly, he's selfish and petty underneath the lovable exterior.

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Overall I really enjoyed it. I got attached to all the characters except Geder (burning down a town is about as big a Kick The Dog moment as I have ever read. Even Dawson at least showed love and caring for his family. The backstory was very interesting and I can't wait for it to be fleshed out. I loved the persona of the priest, comes across as so nice and accommodating, yet you know he is up to some serious bad shit.

I also was blindsided by Geder's transformation when he burned the city. At the time I felt it jarring but thinking back on it I think I might have been blinded by my sympathy for him when his book was burned. I plan on rereading Geder's chapters to see if I just totally missed hints the first time.

One little thing that did annoy me to no end was the "Is this the day that you throw me in a ditch and take over..." interaction between Marcus and his XO. For whatever reason, that line just felt super corny and contrived.

From reading the preview chapter of the next book, it seems that there will be a time jump from the end of this book. Though of course that chapter might not be the first one in the next book I guess. Curious how long the gap will be.

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I think Geder is not necessarily a bad guy, he's just blinded to how his actions end up affecting others around him. You know how, sometimes when you do something, you swear that it was someone different who did it afterwards? Well, I find that Geder is the same; he doesn't want to be bullied and made a humiliation again, so he just thinks from his perspective that "sticking it" to those who humiliated him in the past is the right thing to do. I love in this book how people always think what they are doing is the good thing, the right thing, and then seeing that from a different perspective and realizing how it isn't.

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I think Geder is not necessarily a bad guy, he's just blinded to how his actions end up affecting others around him. You know how, sometimes when you do something, you swear that it was someone different who did it afterwards? Well, I find that Geder is the same; he doesn't want to be bullied and made a humiliation again, so he just thinks from his perspective that "sticking it" to those who humiliated him in the past is the right thing to do.

I think Geder murdered thousands of people because he felt humiliated. I think that makes somebody necessarily a bad guy.

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Well, I loved the book and can't wait to read more! Just now finished :D.

About Geder:

I have some empathy for the guy, but oh he's gone so dark.

I thought the burning of Vanai was Geder's Columbine moment - I think he snapped. As I recall, he was horrified by what he'd done as the city began to burn, and he felt a lot of guilt afterward (nightmares, etc.) Of course, it was an awful and shocking thing for him to do. I loved it.

Geder was intensely angry that his life/future was of no consequence to the lords of the court, and that they could just toss him around like a toy to further their schemes. They were going to wreck his life - had wrecked it, in effect.

When things miraculously worked out for him, he took/is taking advantage to get back at those he feels wronged him.

What a transformation though! And now, Geder seems to have been duped by the spider guy with the cool name which I'm too lazy to look up atm, all the while thinking he, Geder, was being all anthropologisty and simultaneously using the priest as a tool.

Oooooooooooo, Geder, I think you've seriously misunderestimated ;) the power and intentions of the spider goddess!

Great read! Bravo!

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I finished it today, and I loved it! What a great opening to the series, it has so much room to grow, and I can't wait to read more. I was afraid Cithrin was getting a bit too Mary-Sue and then she started drinking, failed in her proposition, and resorted to blackmail - love it. Although, I thought Geder was the real star of the show; I felt sorry for (in the beginning), rooted for him (when he realized letting Cithrin go would hurt Klin), felt sad for him (as he descended into his corruption as Klin's bitch), pitied him (as he was elevated way too high as a pawn in Dawson's game), was repulsed by him (as he followed what he perceived as "The Dragon's Path"), felt hopeful that he could be redeemed as he saved Camnipol (but he was just really pulled along for the ride there too), and I'm very intrigued about where his character will go from here.

Was anybody else rooting for Issandrian to win? Dawson's group, while legitimately trying to protect their king, they are for the continuation slavery and marked class separation. It's hard to know where Maas and Issandrian diverged: Issandrian seemed to be leading the charge for the Farmer's Council, and Maas was just trying to increase his own personal power.

I, too, think the Goddess's priests were ready to be found, and I think with Geder's help they are going to wreak some serious havoc.

- I'm interested in more background information as well. Especially on the fall of the dragons, how they created the races, and of the abilities of the Cunning Men.

I definitely want to know more about what the Cunning Men can do too.

Yeah, we know that they can make themselves believed. That's why Kit always talks in maybes and probablys and "I think"s. I assume that repeated assertion that the Goddess came from before the dragons instead of being made by them is one such "truth", since Geder completely flips on it when Basharip says it, even though his book says otherwise.

I wonder if we'll ever get the truth of that.

I actually liked this. Not every quest needs to be epic and take its own book. Geder was interested in these essays that most nobles scoffed at, and found a group that it seems was ready to be found. and I do think the order was looking to be found, the guide said something to the end of "took him to you like you asked"

:agree:

I can agree with the second part, but not the first at all, I don't think. Being set up to be humiliated by political rivals and then flipping the fuck out and burning down a city of 10,000 is the mark of a pretty actively bad guy. If he'd done nothing at all, the worst that would have happened would've been that he, too, couldn't hold the city, left in disgrace, and went back to his loving father and the activities he actually enjoys. Maybe he felt like circumstances pushed him to it, but if you can deliberately kill 10,000 people on an impulse to save face and get back at some bullies, in my book you're a flat-out awful person, and you'd still be an awful person even if you hadn't gotten that last nudge.

He definitely did the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, but I'm not sure he's an evil person.

I read it and enjoyed it. IMO the characterisation was good, except for the part where Geder freaked out and burned an entire city down. That came completely out of nowhere as far as I am concerned, and I was kind of annoyed about that for a while. However, once Geder went east and started looking for the cult his part of the book really improved and I am looking forward to how Abraham will develop him.

I was shocked that he did it, but it was definitely foreshadowed with the book he was translating a chapter or two before and what he was thinking in the beginning of the chapter of Vanai's razing about exactly why he was placed as the protector of the city (his correct assumption that he was a pawn set up to lose the city, the city being of political chip passed back and forth causing loss of Antean lives over several generations, and unfortunately this fit with the cities that he was reading about). Of course, his belief that he was placed there to follow The Dragon's Path was an leap of insanity brought on by a rock to the head, and what he did should never be forgiven let alone praised (which is another reason I was rooting for Dawson to fall).

This is my crazy, random speculation portion:

One thing I found curious was the Seer that Geder visited with; the Priests were not that far from where those nomadic people live and they definitely have some contact with the outside world, so it's possible that they have had contact with her or others with her abilities The reason I find this interesting is because the specific example that Basrahip of a young child lying to him was a "fortune teller"... it's probably just a coincidence, but it does make me believe her words a bit more.

You will see her thrice, and you will be different people each time. And each time she will give you what you want. You have already seen her once.

It seems obvious that she is speaking about Cithrin, but I have to think that when she figures out who he is that she will do everything in her power to destroy him. And that leads me to believe he will want to die the third time they meet because the weight of what I assume will be his many, many sins will have driven him mad.

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I finished it today, and I loved it! What a great opening to the series, it has so much room to grow, and I can't wait to read more. I was afraid Cithrin was getting a bit too Mary-Sue and then she started drinking, failed in her proposition, and resorted to blackmail - love it. Although, I thought Geder was the real star of the show; I felt sorry for (in the beginning), rooted for him (when he realized letting Cithrin go would hurt Klin), felt sad for him (as he descended into his corruption as Klin's bitch), pitied him (as he was elevated way too high as a pawn in Dawson's game), was repulsed by him (as he followed what he perceived as "The Dragon's Path"), felt hopeful that he could be redeemed as he saved Camnipol (but he was just really pulled along for the ride there too), and I'm very intrigued about where his character will go from here.

Was anybody else rooting for Issandrian to win? Dawson's group, while legitimately trying to protect their king, they are for the continuation slavery and marked class separation. It's hard to know where Maas and Issandrian diverged: Issandrian seemed to be leading the charge for the Farmer's Council, and Maas was just trying to increase his own personal power.

I, too, think the Goddess's priests were ready to be found, and I think with Geder's help they are going to wreak some serious havoc.

I definitely want to know more about what the Cunning Men can do too.

I wonder if we'll ever get the truth of that.

:agree:

He definitely did the wrong thing for the wrong reasons, but I'm not sure he's an evil person.

I was shocked that he did it, but it was definitely foreshadowed with the book he was translating a chapter or two before and what he was thinking in the beginning of the chapter of Vanai's razing about exactly why he was placed as the protector of the city (his correct assumption that he was a pawn set up to lose the city, the city being of political chip passed back and forth causing loss of Antean lives over several generations, and unfortunately this fit with the cities that he was reading about). Of course, his belief that he was placed there to follow The Dragon's Path was an leap of insanity brought on by a rock to the head, and what he did should never be forgiven let alone praised (which is another reason I was rooting for Dawson to fall).

This is my crazy, random speculation portion:

One thing I found curious was the Seer that Geder visited with; the Priests were not that far from where those nomadic people live and they definitely have some contact with the outside world, so it's possible that they have had contact with her or others with her abilities The reason I find this interesting is because the specific example that Basrahip of a young child lying to him was a "fortune teller"... it's probably just a coincidence, but it does make me believe her words a bit more.

It seems obvious that she is speaking about Cithrin, but I have to think that when she figures out who he is that she will do everything in her power to destroy him. And that leads me to believe he will want to die the third time they meet because the weight of what I assume will be his many, many sins will have driven him mad.

I agree that Cithrin is being set up as the foil to Geder and very likely the last time it will be death or failure in what he is trying to do.

I also agree that Geder Palliako is being set up as an unwitting villian. It would be interesting to see the ruthless side of him actually being a force on occaison however, perhaps when he realises what the preists are trying to do he will try to annihilate them?

I was rooting for Issandrian to win, although I think Dawson is a very believable character. Whenever you have a monarchy you have ultra loyalists who are more competent and ruthless than the monarch themselves and you see themselves as keepers of the flame.

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.

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.

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I really liked this book.

There were three parts that I definitely thought were worth bringing up:

- I was impressed with how Marcus and Kit dealt with Opal. It was a scene that felt real and, even though gritty realism tends to abound in fantasy nowadays, that scene -- dumping bodies into the ocean and killing a traitor -- really impacted me.

- Others have mentioned Dawson and their rooting for him to fail. I struggled with his character and most specifically his struggles against Issandrian who seemed to have the argument that was most in line with my modern-day sympathies. I still hoped for Dawson's team, though. Maybe because they were the perspective I was reading the story from.

- Geder burning down Vanai. I was shocked to read that part. It seemed so outside of what Geder was capable of. I guess I didn't know his character all that well. Once he laid it all out for Basrahip, however, you see how petty and vindictive the guy really is. To me, it's a sign of ill intentions that Basrahip agreed to go with Geder for such an ignoble purpose.

It was interesting to read Dawson's conversation with Jorey, about the atrocities he'd committed in war, too. It didn't redeem Geder or justify his actions, but it shed some light on how the city could come to embrace Geder. It was also just really well-written.

I shouldn't have read the preview chapter, though. Now, I don't want to wait for the next book, I just want to read it.

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Geder is certainly the most fascinating new fantasy character I've read in a long time.

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I am real curious which way Geder goes. Pawn in the game? Redeamed hero? Maybe even become the leader of events.

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I was talking with Daniel Abraham last night (some details here) and he had quite a few interesting things to say about the book/series.

-First the title: The Dagger and The Coin. Geder is the dagger and Cithrin the coin. Geder represents the path to war and all that's associated with it, Cithrin represents human interaction that doesn't resort to violence - trade, compromise, discussion, etc.

-The series is basically the story of the end of the world - or at least the civilization as it is known - so things are going to get really bad.

-He views Geder as the sympathetic geek who doesn't fit into the manly culture of his kingdom. But, while sympathetic, he's capable of pretty terrible things and seems to lack a moral compass. As I and others have mentioned, it'll be interesting to watch him throughout the series.

-Marcus will not always be Cithrin's protector

-Dawson's wife will have a larger role

-the magic system is all about certainty. Basically, you have people who know if your lying and can absolutely convince someone of certainty - regardless of it being true or not. Abraham finds that idea terrifying, and I imagine that rather terrifying ramifications will come of it in the books.

-He hopes that all of his fantasy fiction from now on can be set in this world. There are 2 other continents that we haven't seen and several other races. Basically, it's a big world full of stories that he hopes to tell us.

-He loved writing Dawson's character because it at once sympathetic and revolting to us. He based the character on a German from the 1940s - a German who hated the Nazi's - not because of all the reasons we would think, but because he was an absolute monarchist and the Nazi's were a bunch of peasants, and therefore, lesser people. So, we can like the guy because we don't like Nazi's either, but his reasons are revolting. He very much enjoyed writing the staunch monarchist who absolutely opposed all ideas of democratic reform.

-One of the central ideas of this series for Abraham is to write a series that is simple and strait-forward. A series that readers get completely lost in reading. A series that doesn't make the reader sit back and think too hard until after the fact because they are so caught up in the enjoyment of it at the time. This sort of thing is very much in opposition to his natural instincts as a writer which point to complex, subtle writing where he gets to 'show off'. Basically, he is inclined toward intellectual boasting, and is trying very hard to avoid anything of the sort in this series. For him it's a huge challenge and writing well out of his comfort zone to write what is essentially 'accessible' fiction. He realizes that it looks a lot like selling out, but emphasizes that not being the case (though he certainly won't complain if more people read these books because they are more accessible).

And Daniel, since I imagine you'll read this at some point, please correct me if I'm wrong here and putting false words in your mouth.

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Wasnt the term "Dagger and Coin" used toward the end of the book? Something about the two ways to influence events or something? I'm not near my bookshelf, so maybe im just delusional.

Thank you for the recap of events! Good info.

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Wasnt the term "Dagger and Coin" used toward the end of the book? Something about the two ways to influence events or something? I'm not near my bookshelf, so maybe im just delusional.

Thank you for the recap of events! Good info.

I think Cithrin recalls the Magister who raised her (Can't remember his name for the life of me...) saying something like that. Although, given the events of the past couple of years choosing bankers to bear the cross of civilized conduct seems...charitable. ;)

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Although, given the events of the past couple of years choosing bankers to bear the cross of civilized conduct seems...charitable. ;)

I had the same thought. The motivation for profit at all costs doesn't seem so much better than war to me. It'll be interesting to see how it is handled as things move forward.

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