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The great war cannot be stopped.

The tyrant Geder Palliako had led his nation to war, but every victory has called forth another conflict. Now the greater war spreads out before him, and he is bent on bringing peace. No matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Cithrin bel Sarcour, rogue banker of the Medean Bank, has returned to the fold. Her apprenticeship has placed her in the path of war, but the greater dangers are the ones in her past and in her soul.

Widowed and disgraced at the heart of the Empire, Clara Kalliam has become a loyal traitor, defending her nation against itself. And in the shadows of the world, Captain Marcus Wester tracks an ancient secret that will change the war in ways not even he can forsee.

Return to the critically acclaimed epic by master storyteller Daniel Abraham, The Dagger and the Coin.

The Dagger and the Coin
The Dragon's Path
The King's Blood
The Tyrant's Law
The Widow's House
The Spider's War

Writing as James S. A. Corey (with Ty Franck)

The Expanse (soon to be a major SyFy Channel television series)
Leviathan Wakes
Caliban's War
Abaddon's Gate
Cibola Burn
Nemesis Games

497 pages, Paperback

First published May 14, 2013

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About the author

Daniel Abraham

243 books2,749 followers
Daniel James Abraham, pen names M.L.N. Hanover and James S.A. Corey, is an American novelist, comic book writer, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known as the author of The Long Price Quartet and The Dagger and the Coin fantasy series, and with Ty Franck, as the co-author of The Expanse series of science fiction novels, written under the joint pseudonym James S.A. Corey.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 540 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
673 reviews42.7k followers
August 3, 2021
There’s no doubt for me that this was another great read, but I also have to admit that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as The King’s Blood.

“Knowing something another man wanted to know was a kind of power. Maybe the best kind.”

The Tyrant’s Law is the third book in The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham. This means that I’m halfway through the series now. The Tyrant’s Law did feel like it’s inflicted with the middle book of a series syndrome. The story in The Tyrant’s Law continues from where the The King’s Blood ended, and it mostly dealt with the repercussion of that ending. However, unlike The King’s Blood, the main plot in this 500 pages novel progressed relatively small in comparison. That being said, I do have to say that the characterizations and development were spot-on. If you’re a character-driven fantasy reader like I am, I don’t think you’ll regret reading this one.

“There is great nobility in ordinary people. The world disappoints us all, and the ways we change our own stories to survive that disappointment are beautiful and tragic and hilarious. On balance, I find much more to admire about humanity than to despise.”

This installment is all about the characters and their convictions. Marcus’s story revolves around the quest trope, Cithrin’s story reaffirmed why the title of the series is The Dagger and the Coin, Clara’s story mostly dealt with getting back on her feet, and lastly, Geder Palliako is about war, faith, and love. Alright, I really have to talk about Geder a bit here. Honestly speaking, Geder is one of the most intriguing and compelling villains I’ve ever read in fantasy. His capability of genuine kindness and innocence contrasted with his insane ability to feel right with his tyranny seriously made me feel conflicted in a good way. For example, practically everyone in the series treats Geder unfairly, and his genuine desire to have a friend or someone who loves him made me feel sad for his predicament. However, he also did a lot of vile things. In a way, he’s like a lump of clay that can be molded into anything; he could’ve been a real hero, and unfortunately, the harshness of the world may have shaped him into this villain.

“Love is wonderful, but it doesn’t justify anything or make a bad choice wise. Everyone loves. Idiots love. Murderers love. Pick any atrocity you want, and someone will be able to justify it out of something they call love. Anything can wear love like a cloak.”

But that’s enough about Geder for now; I know I’ll be talking about him again in the next two books, especially after what happened at the end of this installment. As I mentioned earlier, Marcus’s story utilized a journey/quest trope, but to me, it felt like his chapters were where the story and world-building progressed the most in comparison. In his chapters, we learned several new things regarding the history and the real big bad boss of their current conflict. And my god, the final chapters of Marcus's story in this book were incredible; it will—without a doubt—made the next two books even better.

Also, there’s only one type of magic in this series so far, and it is the power over truth and lies. With this premise, Abraham was able to heighten the tension of the plot so much. It’s impressive; Abraham showed that the entire world can easily be dominated by those who have power over manipulating truth and lies.

“I think we are living in dark times… As dangerous, I would guess, as any since the fall of the dragons. But the world is unpredictable, and I take a great deal of comfort from that.”

Although slightly inferior compared to its predecessor, I truly believe that The Tyrant’s Law is pushing The Dagger and the Coin into the right direction. The character work was magnificent as always, the prose flowed nicely, and the last 20% of the novel was a page-turner filled with revelations. I am looking forward to reading the penultimate installment in this series soon.

“Money is the physical form of power. And the time is coming for that power to be expended… Coins are only objects until they’re used. Then they become something else. Food for the hungry. Passage for the desperate. It’s the magic that we do. We take a bit of metal and use it to remake the world in the shape we want.”

You can order the book from: Blackwells (Free International shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions | I also have a Booktube channel

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Profile Image for Mayim de Vries.
577 reviews824 followers
February 9, 2019
“How can we win against a mistaken belief?”

If you are looking for a fantasy series to binge read, The Dagger and the Coin is a perfect choice: it is not too long (5 volumes), already finished and has all the classic fantasy hallmarks. I gobbled The Tyrant’s Law within a day and I am hungry for more.

I have said it many times already, but contemporary fantasy, being dominated by cocky adolescents, suffers a shortage of mature protagonists. Now, this does not concern males so much (because the seasoned warrior is a staple trope) but females beyond 30 but not already toothless, wise crones are a rarity. Jemisin, Bujold, and the first instalment to the Longe Price Quartet come to my mind, and then… nothing.

Don’t blame me then that I am hungry for heroines who when forced to take back a country or save the world, would go about it with lesser enthusiasm and bravado but deeper subtlety and wider perspective. This series has one stellar example of unorthodox fantasy protagonist.

“She was already fallen, and so she’d been freed.”

Clara is a marvel and a masterpiece; the two Claras actually. Both of them, because I cannot say that she leads a double life. Rather, there are two lives, one before and one after, and two women trying to reconcile two different worlds in one body. Which one is the true one? Which one should have a free reign? Clara’s POVs were my favourites and I cannot wait what comes next particularly that the title of the fourth volume promises to put her in the eye of the storm.

“Anything can wear love like a cloak…Love is noble…and so we wrap it around all the thing we think perhaps aren’t so noble in hopes no one will see what they really are. Fear. Anger. Shame.”

Cithrin is another character who undergoes a tremendous development in this instalment. You heard me saying that we could not be friends. That still stands but after what transpired in The Tyrant’s Law, I could share a bottle of wine with her (God know, she needs it). From a petulant missy who leaves to chase her dreams without one backward glance but pouts when someone else does a similar thing, she changes into somebody who saves the dreams of other people and doesn’t mind the price. To use the coin for something different than profit should be an anathema for a banker and the paths Cithrin must traverse to reach this point are not less dangerous and wild than those travelled by Marcus and Kit.

These two are great. The banter between Kit and Marcus takes on a comic accent, but their conversations are serious (though far from Erikson’s philosophical pondering) and explore the second main motif of the series: the confusion of certainty and truth. What is a lie, after all? Mother’s statement “I am certain my son could not do this” might be true, because she does believe her son to be incapable of wrongdoing. Might be false, at the same time, in case he clearly is. When we tell somebody “I love you” and there is no feeling behind these words but there are acts instead, does it make the statement a lie? On the other hand, can you imagine living in a world where there is no doubt? What an awful and scary place that would be.

“A crust of misunderstandings. And all of history is made this way.”

In a bid to spare the world this fate, Marcus and Kit put their forces together in a bid against something that turns out not to be real and in the process come across something that was supposed not to exist.

I have complained before that it was hard for me to accept the developments in the previous book because they did not feel credible. Well, the plot has been spilt already and so I have agreed to acknowledge what had already transpired. to the contrary, all that happens on The Tyrant’s Law is smooth, well paced and well-thought trough. Also, logical, once the founding premises are recognised. to put it simply: terrific.

All I can tell you is that the precipice of a cliffhanger at the end of this volume gave me a heart attack and an excuse to start reading the next one immediately.

Also in the series:

1. The Dragon's Path ★★★★☆
2. The King's Blood ★★★☆☆
4. The Widow's House ★★★★☆
5. The Spider War
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
724 reviews1,202 followers
December 17, 2018
I enjoyed this book quite a bit despite the fact that not much happened. Well, that’s not strictly true… there were a lot of moving parts within the characters – internal revelations and forming convictions. There was just less focus on the external mechanisms (until maybe the last 10%). I can’t put my finger on exactly why Abraham’s exploration of character absorbs me so completely, but he has once again managed to capture my attention.

The characters really are the selling points of this series, and almost all of them have these fascinating inner stories and poignant motives for all they do. It’s amazing that even the “villain” inspires a deep compassion from me – these aren’t characters I’ll likely forget soon. Clara is especially interesting for the choices she’s making, and I can tell you she’s 100% my main motive for continuing the series. I just can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next.

Compared to Expanse and Long Price Quartet, I admit I initially found the Dagger and the Coin series a bit slow. It took all the appropriate steps to immerse in character, but something about the external conflicts had me a bit bored. That is…. until the surprise at the end of this book… NOW I’m fully engaged, but it took a while to get here.

Series status: I plan to continue with the final two books as soon as possible. It’s finally starting to show some momentum and I’m eager to hop on for the ride.

Recommendations: this is one of those dry, character-driven fantasies that will appeal to GoT fans for its multiple POV delivery (albeit much less gritty). I personally would endorse Abraham’s Long Price Quartet series first, but these books are still solid entertainment.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

Other books you might like:
A Shadow in Summer (Long Price Quartet, #1) by Daniel Abraham Promise of Blood (Powder Mage, #1) by Brian McClellan The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Staveley The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Joe Abercrombie Lion of Senet (Second Sons, #1) by Jennifer Fallon
Profile Image for James Tivendale.
310 reviews1,326 followers
July 12, 2022
The Tyrant's Law, the 3rd entry in Abraham's The Dagger and the Coin series, is another steady and enjoyable epic fantasy read. It increases the stakes and drama, adding layers to the flourishing world-building whilst not quite being up to the same high standards as The King's Blood. The events of The King's Blood were wrapped up neatly so - in The Tyrant's Law - it seems like new tales are beginning or critical next steps in a character's journey are taking place.

The titular "tyrant" Geder is still, arguably, my favourite character, and when I started this read, I thought that was a rather unflattering word for him. He's a highly complex individual, and as his insecurities and frailties are revealed to us, his reputation, renown, and awe-inspiring skill for thwarting conspiracies grow to the observing characters. The Tyrant title does become more understandable as the narrative progresses, however; due to us seeing his precarious uncertainties - as we're sharing his thoughts - I can't help but sympathise with him. He's overwhelmed, paranoid, and has the blessing of the Spider Goddess all to contemplate. As the novel progresses so does Geder's instability.

Marcus Wester and Master Kit's tale - although taking a backseat in The King's Blood - is driven to the forefront of the focus in The Tyrant's Law, and I had so much time for that! Their adventures and escapades take them across half the world, with a fair amount of memorable and cinematic moments happening to them. Their overall importance and knowledge regarding which side they may be fighting for during this war become more apparent, and I couldn't help chuckling to myself thinking that much of their actions were alike quests from The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Their screentime was often unlike, and a pleasant change in pace from, the more political undertakings of Geder, Clara, and the financial and political happenings of Cithrin's point of view perspectives.

"The world disappoints us all, and the ways we change our own stories to survive that disappointment are beautiful and tragic and hilarious. On balance, I find much more to admire about humanity than to despise."

There are no weak point of view perspectives in The Tyrant's Law. As you can see, I've already written about half a review just discussing two of them. Cithrin is still an amazing character and the reason I said "arguably" when I described Geder as my favourite, as, at some instances, it could be her too. Clara's chapters show a side of the Capital that we weren't privy to in the first two books, reflecting her fall from grace. War and horrid happenings feature throughout this novel but I felt that Clara's chapters had a dark, high-stakes edge, where any page could ooze either violence, degradation, disruption, manipulation, or stark loyalty. Hers is another arc that weaves a complex and multifaceted presentation that just feels pretty special.

"Find competent, trustworthy servants, treat them with respect, and let them do their work. Listen when spoken to. Remember everybody’s name and something about the peculiarities of their lives. Forgive any mistake once, and none twice."

In my previous reviews, I haven't really talked too much about The Dagger and the Coin's world-building. Before this novel, the series' world-building seemed like interesting sprinkles and sparkles of information here and there, either through dialogues, plays, or historical texts, which tended to make it seem a fantasy tale rather than a political intrigue set of books. In The Tyrant's Law, it's as if these sprinkles and sparkles have finally settled, with more solid knowledge about The Dragon's War given, enough information presented about the 13 races of humanity, and as some of the mysteries about The Spider Goddess have become unshrouded. These neat moments and nuances have now been artfully fabricated to be of the utmost importance to the characters we follow in their current happenings.

There is a lot to admire in Abraham's work. As mentioned, I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous novel, but the author has moved the overall story forwards dramatically and multiplied the complexities and the stakes, again. This read was sitting at a steady and well-respected 3/5 stars but the fantastic endings move it up to 3.5/5. The Dagger and the Coin is bulging with potential and many wonderful elements. The series could be about to transcend and become something truly spectacular. I'm hopeful that The Widow's House carries on doing what this series has done so well so far, and directs it to an engaging and breathtaking next level.

“Gifts create a sense of obligation,” she said. “Not debt, exactly, because it can’t be measured. And because it can’t be measured, it can’t be definitively repaid. If instead you’d given me the coin you spent to buy that, I’d know what I owed, and I could give it back and be done. By giving me a gift instead, you build the sense of owing without a path to repayment, and so I’m more likely, for example, to grant you a favor or make some concession that I’d never have agreed to if I’d been given an explicit price.”
Profile Image for Emma.
2,431 reviews827 followers
November 5, 2016
4.5 stars.
I think for the first time, my system of having 4 books on the go at once let me down..that plus a busy week at work, meant that I read the first half of the book a couple of short chapters at a time. This meant I couldn't get into it as fast as I did with the previous volumes and so I presumed this book wasn't as good.
Thankfully I was really wrong. The second half of this book I read almost in one go and it was great. The ending was fabulous and I can't wait to read the next book.
This series is hands down one of my very favourites in the fantasy genre.
Profile Image for Paul.
2,307 reviews20 followers
August 16, 2017
This series has everything I want from a fantasy story. EVERYTHING.

Oh, and the ending to this one? So great I nearly peed a little...
Profile Image for Scott  Hitchcock.
779 reviews224 followers
November 8, 2016
Each of these books has gotten a little bit better. The tension a little tauter. From the beginning the writing, world and characters have been excellent. Now the action is starting to accelerate. Every character given a cliffhanger, a purpose and something to fear. And then there's that one word ending in the final scene which was epic. The first two were 4*'s and this one is close to a 5.
Profile Image for Algernon (Darth Anyan).
1,493 reviews958 followers
July 30, 2013

"Come!" she cried, her voice filling the darkness. "Gather near, my friends, or if you are faint of heart, move on. For our tale is one of grand adventure. Love, war, betrayal, and vengeance shall spill out now upon these boards, and I warn you not all that are good end well. Not all that are evil are punished" Clara felt her throat growing thick, her heart beating faster. The words seemed like a threat. Or worse, a promise. "Come close, my friends, and know that in our tale as in the world, anything may happen."

The world that Daniel Abraham created here is indeed a place where you can expect the unexpected. Abraham started as a disciple of George R R Martin, but he has found his own voice and handles with consummate skill a massive character driven epic. He is not afraid to kill off a major actor now and then and prefers shades of grey instead of black & white morality. There are no knights in shining armour here, and even the most malefic evil overlord still has the option to mend his ways and to follow a different path in a future development.

The nature of the story makes it difficult to discuss the plot without giving away spoilers to readers who have yet to read the first books in the series. Even mentioning who are the POV characters may reveal who is no longer among the living. I will point out that The Dagger and Coin series is NOT built as a colection of self-contained story arcs that can be read as standalones (as is the case with Abraham's Expanse books and partially with his Long Price quartet). New readers are advised to start at the beginning (with The Dragon Path ). The third book relies heavily on the character built-up and on the political machinations from the previous volume. It suffers a little from the 'middle-of-the-series' syndrome as it is interested more in continuing with the character study and the worldbuilding rather than in action intensive scenes or radical plot swings. Battle scenes happen mostly off screen and we follow instead the decision makers (the tyrant in the title) and the consequences of war on the ordinary people. There's also a more traditional subplot about a quest through exotic lands for magic swords and powerful, ancient artefacts.

The core of the epic has two components : the use of violence and the use of money. In this third book we see how the desired goal of security and peace is translated in the mind of a paranoid, insecure and easily manipulated leader into a continuous aggression against neighbouring countries until none of them is left with the military means of challenging the Antean Empire. This has been done before in fantasy epics. It is the second branch that has proved of more interest to me, the one dealing with the role of banks in creating prosperity (first book), in influencing political decisions and regulating social order (the second book) and in providing a safety net in a time of crisis (this third one). It is a given that the more we focus on secondary world realms and imaginary societies, the more we are really trying to deal with current affairs issues. The recent international banking crisis has forced us to reassess the role of the banking industry and the kind of trust that can be applied to a business run only for profit. Daniel Abraham manages to see both the positive aspects of the money circulation and the ethical traps that are waiting just around the corner. On the whole, I can see him as a circumspect optimist, still believing that the system can be made to work and that people have the ability to distinguish between good and evil and make the right choices.

There is great nobility in ordinary people. The world disappoints us all, and the way we change our own stories to survive that disappointment are beautiful and tragic and hilarious. On balance, I find much more to admire about humanity than to despise.

This positive mindset is what distinguished this epic for me from the more pessimist ones who claim that war is the natural state of humanity and that the only possible future for us is a dystopian one.

Having mentioned that the book is slightly slower paced with little action and a lot of intrigue, I will close with a remark about one of the signature moves of the author : very strong endings. The epilogue here is worth the whole journey and not only sheds light on the taxonomy of the twelve humanoid races and brings the magic back into the story but opens up a whole new range of possible futures

Luckily for me, Daniel Abraham is a real fast writer, and I won't have too long to wait for the fourth book.
Profile Image for Rob.
848 reviews535 followers
February 3, 2015
Executive Summary: Probably my favorite book of the series so far. It just keeps getting better.

Audio book: Once again another great performance by Pete Bradbury, making this a great series to do in audio.

Full Review
So in book two of a three book series, it's easy to suffer from "middle book syndrome". So with this being the middle book of five book series, I wondered if that would be the case here. I'm happy to report that it's not. This book is easily my favorite so far.

Once again Mr. Abraham sets the stage early on for where things are going. We also get a nod to more traditional fantasy with the addition of an "epic quest"...of a sort.

The King's Blood was a transition book of sorts and in this book we find the characters in different locations and situations, with different supporting casts making for a very different book.

As in the last book, the character development really shines. In particular I enjoyed the development of Clara Kalliam, who might now be my favorite character, although I enjoy all of his characters. He's also written some great dialogue, especially as the characters are paired up with different people and put into different situations.

Mr. Abraham does a great job of shades of grey. All of the characters do stupid things or frustrated me at one point or another. Characters who are noble and sympathetic one minute are horrible and unlikable the next.

We get a bit more magic and action in this book than the previous two, but for the most part the focus is again on politics and economics. I think this is one of the reasons the character development shines.

I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait until I have some time to jump into the fourth that just came out this month. I once again reiterate my recommendation for the series.
Profile Image for Mihir.
645 reviews296 followers
July 16, 2013

Full review originally over at Fantasy Book Critic (with analysis by Liviu)

ANALYSIS: I would be lying if I didn't mention that this book was heavily anticipated by lots of book bloggers, including me. Daniel Abraham since the start of this series has become more and more of a fantasy writing star. His debut series had established his writing credentials but with the Dagger And The Coin series he has really established himself as an epic fantasy writer. This series is a proper visitation of medieval epic fantasy tropes but with the author's slant.

The story is now firmly in the middle of the planned arc of five books and we open with Kit and Marcus who are taking their journey together to destroy the Spider goddess and all those who would worship her. Kit and Marcus have their hands full as they covertly try to reach where Kit became an apostate. The second thread opens up with Cithrin who is now apprenticed to another Medean bank but far away in and she discovers that she has a lot to learn about banking as well as inter-personal relations. Clara Dawson is slowly becoming what she was accused of previously but slowly decided to save her nation by betraying it. Lastly we have Geder who is learning more about his role, the fate of Antea and the function of spider priests and vagaries of fate vis-a-vis his personal life.

These are the POV characters since the last book barring one-off prologue ones and a rare epilogue-ish one. Daniel Abraham has kept a tight hold of his story and his refusal to exponentially increase the POV list has helped this series tremendously. This narrow focus helps center the story and now that the story is slowly evolving beyond the confines of traditional fantasy. It has become an absolute pleasure to read. Last time around I had mentioned that the story needs to be a bit more epic, well with the prologue and the climax of the story; the author really swings the epic part back into the story. So far we have only heard about what happened in the past but within the pages we get a very solid look at what could have possibly happened. This was my favorite part of the book as the author easily shows what lies ahead and it is mouthwatering to say the least. Characterization has been Daniel Abraham’s signature as world building has been Brandon Sanderson's forte and he continues to allow his characters to evolve naturally without it seeming to be convoluted. Geder, Cithrin and Marcus are the main POV characters however the others share remarkable page time and thus every chapter pushes the story arc significantly and keeps the readers entertained on all levels.

This book clearly takes a look at the journey trope with this being explored by Marcus and Kit. I enjoyed this section of the story the most as Daniel Abraham subverts this trope and then makes the reader confused as we can never guess where their thread is going. For me their thread was the most lucrative plot thread this time around. Also I was looking forward to the meeting between Marcus and Yardem especially after the second book but the event was not much of a showdown. Also this book does another spectacularly is that it brings into play some characters from the first book as well as the legends which were talked/discussed in the first book. So readers that don't recall the previous story, I would suggest that a re-read of the first book might be of vital importance.

I don’t think I had any complaints with this book as it doesn't suffer from the middle volume syndrome and offers a near complete story but of course ending in such a fashion for you to hunger for the penultimate volume immediately. Maybe another drawback could be that readers expecting all out action and mayhem may not find it as for majority of the book, the characters are often scheming or traveling to new places. This perhaps can be something of a deterrent for readers expecting an action-packed story-line.

Overall I'm highly impressed with Daniel Abraham and his storytelling efforts. This series is his version of epic fantasy and is a spectacular one. For folks who have to discover him, kindly do so at the earliest as the Dagger and the Coin quintet is epic fantasy handled by an exquisite writer who is at the top of his writing game. The Tyrant's Law is a very good book and also manages to upend the scales of the over all story arc significantly, making the wait for The Widow's House (4th book) a very hard one. Highly recommended for series fans.
Profile Image for Ross.
35 reviews29 followers
September 3, 2013
Picking up right where “The King’s Blood” left off, The Tyrant’s Law continues the tale of Cithrin, Marcus Wester, Kit, Geder and Clara. This was by far the weakest entry in The Dagger and the Coin series, and I was a little shocked due to the fact that I enjoyed the first two books so much.

Geder steals the show for the third consecutive time with this entry and there is no doubt that he is destined to become the villain of the series. His chapters were my favorite throughout the book and Abraham does a great job with his progression from clumsy ruler to paranoid tyrant. Unfortunately Cithrin, Marcus, and Clara were a little less enjoyable this go around. In the previous entries Cithrin was similar to Arya from George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. She has gone from the likeable tomboy to a person of political power and I thought this transition made her chapters feel sluggish.

Marcus has been a favorite POV next to Geder, but his arc in The Tyrant’s Law felt confused and unnecessary. The story starts to have a bit of a “Dungeons & Dragons” feel to it when Marcus journeys with Master Kit to “fetch a magical sword that can defeat the Spider Goddess”. I was excited to read about this journey as it was set up in book two, but after having seen its completion I can’t help but feel disappointed.

The impression I had reading the first two books of this series were that Daniel Abraham’s writing felt confident. You could tell that the plot had been carefully laid out and nothing felt out of place or unnecessary. The Tyrant’s Law feels like a transition book and not a whole lot of plot progression happens, and that’s why it feels out of place compared to the first two. Truthfully it was a bit of a chore to read at times and I didn’t have the same sense of suspense and worry I had in the previous entries. Thankfully there is a really good cliffhanger at the end of the novel that convinced me to not completely abandon the series. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Abraham needs to introduce another character, someone to spice things up a bit. I’ll check out book 4 when it comes out, but I defiantly won’t be pre-ordering it.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
591 reviews3,541 followers
June 23, 2022
70% of my reading experience is me screaming DIE GEDER DIE

Random opinions I have about this series:

-The spider priests' power to distinguish truth from lies is actually the ability to tell if someone is believes what they are saying is the truth

-Clara is my favorite. She reminds me a little of Sansa Stark: thrown out of her element, but adapts and thrives

-organized religion (which is different from spirituality) is portrayed as a scam

-Geder is a whiny incel ("HoW daRE yOu LaUgH aT Me????") and a good villain and I just hate his slimy guts so much

-Cithrin is pretty cool. She used to annoy me, but she's really grown into the talents she boasts about

-Marcus is ehhhhh. He's a bit cliche: war hero still devastated about his dead family ten years later and now has hope again from adopted daughter. Dude needs therapy
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,260 reviews222 followers
September 20, 2015
I thought the first half of this book was uncharacteristically slow for a series that's moved on with such a steady rhythm, but the second half was a happy return to pace.

Marcus and Kit are marching off to find a weapon capable of killing the Spider Goddess with a plan to visit the temple of the cult to use it. Cithrin begins her apprenticeship in the city of Suddupal which is bang in the middle of Geder's insane warpath. That fits in well, because Cithrin's apprenticeship is clearly not to be in banking, but in being a human being again (or maybe for the first time). Clara begins rising from her lowly position after the death of her husband to become a central, if unknown, force in the fight against Geder. Geder is still nuts, and getting even more so.

Good to see the whole cast engaging more again as well as Matcus and Kit at least passing through the main parts of the story, and Kit's players returning as well. Where it all ends up is brilliant too and I'm really looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Dan.
60 reviews12 followers
July 10, 2017
This book was a little bit slower than the others, and in truth I don't think a whole lot happened until the final 100 pages. Even still, I love the characters and the story here, and I want more! I want to know what's going to happen next.

For a lot of the book, there was a lot of build-up for things that were in the works, but when they happened they happened so fast that it was a bit of a let-down. That, until the final part, where everything culminates into a terrific plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

All in all, the writing style and experience of reading this book was around a 3.5 for me. I rounded up to 4 because of the intrigue and depth of characters. Definitely will be reading the next one, sooner rather than later. Even with this weaker addition to the series, this is still one of my favorites from the past year or two. Definitely worth a read
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
780 reviews130 followers
December 14, 2021
This is a very good book, third in a very good quintology, with very good POV characters across the board, very good writing, all very good.

Was it good?


This is what attempting to review the mid-book in a series brings me to.

It flows wonderfully from the previous volumes. Cithrin arrives in Suddapal to begin her agreed apprenticeship for the Medean bank, and finds herself in a very different kind of branch. War threatens her new temporary home, as regent Palliako Geder continues his petulant war against perceived conspirators. Back in Camnipol, fallen widow Clara begins her street-level campaign to undermine Geder’s devastating rule. Meanwhile, Marcus and Kit travel the map in search of a weapon to defeat the spider goddess before her power consumes all the land.

All of the characters are enjoyable, complex and flawed and a joy to read. Geder stands out for me in subtlety. Yes, he’s a vindictive monster, but only because he has power as a result of being an unwitting puppet of the spider goddess’s head priest Basrahip. He is also a hurt, lonely, unloved little boy and an idiot. He has some surprising moments of sympathy, for all that he should rightfully be hated.

I was thinking of four stars for my rating, but that ending… OMG, what a game changer! It was nothing out of the blue, the shape of it was clearly coming, but as executed, it was magnificent.

This series has an understated perfection to it. It effortlessly provides a flawless experience and exemplifies contemporary fantasy writing, giving the reader a classic experience but with wholly original components.

Profile Image for Liviu.
2,251 reviews630 followers
July 23, 2014
this is really good so far - expands very well the universe

a choice early quote with persons removed though it's easily guessed who is talking with whom; fantasy version of science clashing with religion...

“That can’t be right, can it?” **** said.
***** raised querying eyebrows.
“The three-year fire,” **** explained. “A fire that went on that long would have left a layer of ash all over the world. And there are cities that stood where they are now since before the dragons fell.”
“If it must be, it must be,” **** said. “But the fire years are truth.”
“But there are forests in Northcoast that have trees older than that. Not many, maybe, but I read an essay about how you can tell the age of a tree by the number of rings, and it said the largest of the redwoods in Northcoast—”

excellent stuff and one that definitely begs the next installment The Widow's House of which we get quite a stunning snippet in the extras

universe expansion, quite a few twists and turns - one that I really did not expect and that plays well with the fantasy tropes - and of course the superb characters (all 4 pov's are outstanding in this installment and finally Marcus gets to truly shine) and the literate style of the author and a series to enjoy a lot

this being said I still have a feeling that I should rate this slightly higher (while a top 25 it won't be a top 10 for various reasons and despite being possibly the "best written" as literary qualities go from the epic fantasies I rate higher this year)

there are 2 reasons, one more personal - I tend to prefer either first person/main character followed closely or maybe 2 main characters (with say a less important 3rd) or an expanding cast and this series with the four current pov's seems static from that angle

the other is structural, namely the decision of the author to imbue his world with modern ideology (hey ho everyone prefers diversity until of course the spider priests and their "universal conformity" and racial cleansing agenda we start seeing in this volume) which of course in an ironic (and at a guess I would say unintentional though of course here I could be wrong) way, illustrates precisely the main weakness of "live and let live', namely that when genocidal but charismatic and pseudo-secular baddies come, most people do not see a reason to oppose them if they are not their target (see communism, nazism, etc...); in our modern world there are structural reasons why "live and live" is workable though of course it's way too early to tell for how long (mostly the ability of technology to deliver only when combined with a relatively free society as the ultimate failure of communism showed), but in any pre-industrial world only tradition and faith were bulwarks against such and the series essentially lacks both, with only the doomed Dawson as embodiment of tradition but with a notable lack of serious religions
Profile Image for Mark.
412 reviews65 followers
October 15, 2015
Yet another great installment of THE DAGGER AND THE COIN. I didn't like this one as much as it's predecessors though. The story is getting a little bogged down and muddled in this book.

There have been many comparisons to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. I don't really see it. I couldn't really put my finger on it before but after three books I get it. These books lack the elegance of ASOIF. The world and the characters and these books seem clunky and over done. There are mother fucking thirteen races! Half of them have scales! It's hard to keep them straight even with the glossary in the back. And most of these characters are constantly on the move. Half the time I forget where they're going and why.

That said, this series is still good and worth a read. Though the story is a little clunky it is still good and kept me interested enough throughout the book. On to book four!

Profile Image for Saleh MoonWalker.
1,801 reviews272 followers
December 6, 2017
Onvan : The Tyrant's Law (The Dagger and the Coin, #3) - Nevisande : Daniel Abraham - ISBN : 316080705 - ISBN13 : 9780316080705 - Dar 497 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2013
Profile Image for Thomas.
241 reviews10 followers
April 6, 2021
Daniel Abraham is an author I’ve been wanting to get back to for a while, especially after re-reading A Game of Thrones, which bears a number of similarities to his work. I thoroughly enjoyed book 3 of The Dagger and Coin series and I want to congratulate Mr Abraham on his ability to tie fantasy literature, finance and banking together so well and in such an entertaining manner. Not an easy task.

The Tyrant’s Law picks up almost exactly where The King’s Blood left off. After the execution of Dawson Kalliam, the land is in a state of unrest and war rages while Lord Regent Geder Palliako attempts to squash it. Magistra Cithrin bel Sarcour is set to arrive in Suddapal to continue to learn the art of banking while Captain Marcus Wester and Master Kit journey to the far south, tracking a great secret.

Most of the characters really shone throughout book 3. What happened to Clara was incredibly sad, but her character grew so much throughout The Tyrant’s Law, especially where her children and Vincen were concerned. Cithrin has been instrumental throughout the 3 novels and her decisions really made me respect her this time round, particularly during her last chapter. The highlight of the novel for me though was Marcus. I absolutely loved all of his chapters. They were absolutely packed with adventure and excitement; the dynamic between him and Kit always left me with a smile on my face.

I was very happy with The Tyrant’s Law and am pleased to it award 5 out of 5 stars, my goodness the ending really was something else. I already have my copy of The Widow’s House and am very keen to see what is in store for our heroes and Regent, I expect there to be smoke and fire.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Milo.
767 reviews80 followers
July 9, 2013
The Review Can Also Be Found Here, in its preferred format: http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/07/...

“A Wonderful read. Three Books in, Daniel Abraham’s Epic Fantasy series is just as compelling as his and Ty Frank’s The Expanse. Easily one of the highlights of 2013.” ~The Founding Fields

Another year, another Daniel Abraham fantasy novel, another James SA Corey Novel. In the past three years, all books have managed to make it onto my Best of… lists, and it looks like this year is going to be no different. The Tyrant’s Law is compelling, epic, and a really strong third installment to the series that ranks as one of my favourite. There are several standout moments in this novel – and one of the best things about it is that the characters have really been fleshed out by this point, really memorable and have undergone large chunks of character development. Nobody that you saw in The Dragon’s Path is the same that you see in The Tyrant’s Law, and I really look forward to seeing what Daniel Abraham can throw at his characters in future instalments.

"The great war cannot be stopped.

The tyrant Geder Palliako had led his nation to war, but every victory has called forth another conflict. Now the greater war spreads out before him, and he is bent on bringing peace. No matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Cithrin bel Sarcour, rogue banker of the Medean Bank, has returned to the fold. Her apprenticeship has placed her in the path of war, but the greater dangers are the ones in her past and in her soul.

Widowed and disgraced at the heart of the Empire, Clara Kalliam has become a loyal traitor, defending her nation against itself. And in the shadows of the world, Captain Marcus Wester tracks an ancient secret that will change the war in ways not even he can forsee.

Return to the critically acclaimed epic by master storyteller Daniel Abraham, The Dagger and the Coin."

Like the previous two books, The Tyrant’s Law is told in a style that George RR Martin fans will be familiar with. Each Chapter is focused on the Third Person POV of a Character, but by this point – especially if you’ve been reading The Expanse as well, you’ll be used to Daniel Abraham’s style – and you certainly won’t be flicking through various chapters to get to characters that you find more interesting than the other, for example – Geder’s story is as equally interesting as Cithrin’s, and Marcus’s tale is as awesome as Clara’s. He really draws you in and tells a compelling story, and at the end only manages to leave the reader wanting more.

The novel itself really focuses on the scale and diversity of the story that Abraham is telling – it runs across many genres. Love, action, epic, gritty,cultural analysis – These are some things that could take up a whole novel, yet Abraham manages to wind them all into one, with an unrelenting pace that readers of The Dragon’s Path and The King’s Blood will be used to. This is far from your average fantasy tale of heroes and Chosen Ones, and it certainly steps above the average gritty fantasy novel that looks like somebody was just simply trying to copy A Song of Ice and Fire. Its characters are unique and original, and the setting is wonderfully created. And we don’t have to wait five years for the next book.

The beauty of Daniel Abraham’s novels is that as well as being the third book in an ongoing series, The Tyrant’s Law could be read as a standalone without the reader having to go back and catch up on the first two books, but it’s probably best to start at the beginning, as you can tell that the books are clearly building on one another to create a vast plotline, and the story takes its time with the characters so that whilst you’ll find yourself turning the pages more and more, The Tyrant’s Law won’t be have the lightning-fast pace of other epic fantasies. Abraham spends some time analysing the characters and we continue to get a better connection of the characters in question. There is no ‘evil overlord’ cliché to be found here, and each of the main cast are far from perfect characters, the supposed heroes will not always make the right decisions etc, and this leads to an unpredictable atmosphere that not many fantasy novels have been able to capture.

Whilst the hype surrounding this series’ release may have perhaps died down since the first book, the series doesn’t get worse – in fact, in my opinion, it gets better. I really can’t wait to see where the series goes with future installments, and if the previous three books have been anything to go by, then book four in The Dagger and the Coin will most certainly be on my Best of 2014 list if Abraham keeps to the pattern of releasing a book a year for this series.


THE DAGGER AND THE COIN: The Dragon’s Path, The King’s Blood, The Tyrant’s Law.
Profile Image for John.
1,608 reviews50 followers
May 31, 2013
A certain amount of middle-volumitis here, as characters undertake a couple of loooong physical or maturational journeys that could have been cut down considerable. Still, the main plot moves along at least a little, Geder gets easier to despise, Clara is wresting the role of main female character away from Cithrin, and (though he's not on stage all that much) Yardem Hane is becoming more of a Player than Marcus Wester. Though there's a nice major development at the end, I think this series is showing signs of fatigue....but who knows? Maybe the author will be able to pull something out of his hat to jumpstart the final two volumes.

Money lines: Clara: "Happily, she'd been raised as a woman in the royal court where discretion, subtlety, and the tacit control of information were already something of a blood sport."

Clara and Issandrian: "There was no sense of flirtation, but rather a kind of shared sorrow. For a moment they stood there, old enemies from a conflict that no longer mattered."
Profile Image for Jody .
201 reviews133 followers
May 11, 2016
This book has really got me anticipating the next one. The story kind of dragged out in the middle, but things got rolling the last 100 pages. I have to say if I didn't already have the next book ready to start I would be pretty upset with myself.

As war begins to spread the priests of the spider goddess are sinking their claws deeper into the future of this world. Kit and Marcus are on a journey to find an object that will help them fight against the spreading darkness. Cithrin has become an apprentice of the Medean Bank in the coastal city of Suddapal, but finds herself in a position to help those who are being oppressed by these tyrants and their puppet Geder Palliako. Meanwhile, Clara Kalliam, still in the Antean capital of Camnipol, starts her own private battle to take down the corruption that has taken over the severed throne.

The tension has been building up over the last couple of books, and I was very pleased with how this one ended. The story is really starting to come together well. Will definitely be starting the next book right away.

Profile Image for Pauline Ross.
Author 10 books296 followers
November 2, 2016
This is the third volume of the Dagger and Coin Quintet, the difficult middle book - the one that drags the weight of two books’ worth of previous history, that also has to begin arranging all the pieces for the endgame and still has to make sense by itself. It should be an impossible task, an experience as dense and heavy and glutinous as treacle. Yet it flows like cream, tastes like chocolate and slips down just as easily. Abraham’s prose is a joy to read, elegant and spare, every word in its proper place.

As before, the cast of point of view characters is limited - Clara is finding her feet amongst the nobodies of Camnipol after her noble husband was executed for treason; Cithrin is in another new city learning more about banking; Geder the unstable Regent of Antea is making war again, aided by his spider-goddess priest; and Marcus the former soldier is hiking through the southern jungles with escaped spider-goddess man Kit looking for a magic sword. And as before, the story jumps about from one to another, but the individual plotlines are not independent, so one chapter will show the events of that character is close-up, while also revealing something of events elsewhere, glimpsed from afar in rumour and hearsay. This is done very cleverly, so the overall plot flows beautifully from chapter to chapter.

This is industrial-strength fantasy, so Geder's war is spilling across the whole northern continent, and is seemingly unstoppable. This is the third campaign to feature in the story. The first book centred on the fall of the city of Vanai. In the second, Antea conquered neighbouring Asterilhold. This time, Geder (or rather, his spider-priest adviser) has his sights set on Sarakal. There is inevitably some sense of repetition in all this, but Abraham gives the events a new perspective to keep things fresh. This time, Geder's capabilities are well understood, and there are no illusions about the consequences.

The series is called The Dagger and the Coin, and is presumably intended to contrast the two powerful forces of conquest, by armed force, or by economics. Geder's military ambitions continue to roll onwards, but for the first time there are signs that the financial clout of the bank can have an impact. There are hints about the difficulties of maintaining long supply lines, and getting the staple crops planted and harvested when so many men are tied up in the war. There are hints, too, that the bank can help indirectly with the refugee and resettlement problem, and more directly, in supporting covert acts of rebellion. However, it’s still not obvious how economics will bring a real direct challenge to bear against military might. Perhaps this isn’t Abraham’s intention, but if not, the whole banking plot becomes marginalised.

Abraham has a nice way of subverting the tropes of the genre. Most fantasy is (in the broadest sense) about swords and sorcery, so that all problems are eventually disposed of by one or other of these elements (or occasionally both). The evil villain is bent on global domination for vague reasons, and the hero (or occasionally a heroine) tools up with a magic sword or else learns to use the magic powers they’ve mysteriously been endowed with. Here, the evil villain is sort of bent on global domination, but it’s a role he more or less reversed into accidentally, and all with the very best of intentions. What could be so malign about spreading the spider-goddess’s message of truth across the world? Meanwhile, Marcus and Kit go on a traditional fantasy quest to track down the magic sword which will kill the goddess, but (without giving too much away) that doesn’t go quite as they expected. As for magic, there’s very little around at all. Proponents are called ‘cunning men’ and have minor roles as showmen and healers.

One nice aspect is that we have two interesting female characters taking strong leadership roles in the fight against Geder the war-making Regent. Clara is now released from the stifling conformity of court rules and taking advantage of her freedom to plot and scheme in Camnipol, as well as enjoying a degree of personal freedom. I very much like Clara, her subtlety, her cleverness and her determination. It makes a nice counterpoint to her husband’s more ham-fisted efforts in the previous books. Even though things don’t always go quite as anticipated (what ever does in an Abraham book?), she always makes well-considered decisions.

In contrast, Cithrin... Look, I’m going to have a bit of a rant about Cithrin, so feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph if you want. Cithrin, you stupid, stupid woman. When will you ever learn? Your entire character arc has been defined by short-sightedness and downright bad decision-making. You find yourself stuck in the wrong city with the bank’s wealth? Why not forge a few papers to set yourself up as a pretend bank? After all, it would be too simple just to write to the bank’s head and await instructions, wouldn’t it? And if you find yourself trapped during an uprising with a powerful but totally unstable character who wants sex? Well, why not? This book is quite a good explanation of why not, actually. And then, given a one-time opportunity to get close to the Regent, to influence the events of history and do some good, could you actually, just once in your life, do something sensible? Course not. Gah. Stupid woman. I mean, what exactly does she think Geder is going to do now? Smile sweetly and forget all about her? He already burned one city because he felt slighted.

Geder himself is a fascinating character. Of course he makes dumb decisions as well, but in his case his motives are entirely understandable and believable, and it’s possible to feel very sympathetic towards him, and appalled at the same time. Being the focus of everyone’s amusement is dispiriting and annoying, and being the patsy for other people’s political games would get anyone riled. His response to the Vanai problem, although it was more a fit of petulance than a rational decision, was not an unusual way to deal with a recalcitrant conquest. Even when he’s behaving very badly, it’s easy to see exactly how and why it happened. He’s a social incompetent, who would be very much at home in the modern world, head buried in his iPad or harmlessly slaughtering orcs in World of Warcraft. It’s only in his fantasy setting that he is the tyrant of the title.

Marcus - meh. I like the banter, and the low-key cynicism which sometimes borders on suicidal fatalism, but it’s not an original character trait, and the whole tragic wife and child history is a bit over-used. I like Yardem a lot better, in fact, because although he has baggage (why did he leave the priesthood, exactly?) he doesn’t let it define him. Although that may simply be an artefact of not being a point of view character; because we never get inside Yardem’s head, we never see how tortured his soul is. Or it may just be the ears. Gotta love a character with such speaking ears.

This is not a high-action book. Even though there’s a war going on, and a new religion spreading like a stain from Camnipol, and the whole continent is in turmoil, it still feels like an intimate, close-up portrait of the characters before all else. A whole chapter may feature nothing but Clara walking about Camnipol, Clara taking tea with a friend, Clara going home again, but this gives the characters the space to breathe, to live, to think, to feel. Between paces, Clara can contemplate a great many subjects without it becoming heavy philosophising. Abraham doesn’t ever tell his readers what to think about anything (religion, war, slavery, inherited monarchies), and those who want can simply enjoy the story and the author’s exquisite prose, but the deeper themes are there to be explored by those who wish, usually by the contrast of one approach with another. For example, Kit and Basrahip are both spider-infested; one is using that to control people so that he can take over the world in the spider-goddess’s name, while the other goes to great lengths not to control people at all, and is trying to find a way to end the spider regime altogether. Is it evil to remove lies from the world and impose honesty? Good question.

The ending? Awesome. A great big bowl of awesomeness, with lashings of awesome sauce on top. The first two books I had some settling down reservations about, but this one, none at all. It’s a quieter book than the previous ones, but in my view it’s all the better for that. Perhaps the series is just getting into its stride, or the characters have grown into their roles (even Cithrin, maybe, possibly), or perhaps it’s just that, after a lot of circling round, we’re getting to know something about the dragons at last. Dragons make everything better. So unquestionably five stars. And now the long wait until the next book...
Profile Image for Ben Wright.
324 reviews22 followers
January 19, 2023
This is a 4.5/5 rounded up !
What a stellar sequel to a fantastic political fantasy. This series continues to amaze me with its characters, both the greats and the loathsome ! This had a slow start for me but once it got going i binged it quickly. What a bloody good followup !
Profile Image for Mark.
548 reviews155 followers
May 4, 2013
And so, with book three of the Dagger and the Coin series, we return to the increasingly complex world of Geder Palliako, Cithrin bel Sarcour, Clara Kalliam and Captain Marcus Wester. And as this is the third book, please be warned: if you haven’t read the previous books, here below be spoilers!

At the end of book two (The King’s Blood) things were moving along mightily quick, heading into the Great War. Now, in The Tyrant’s Law, we find things developing further and casting a wider net. This is not a book to start the series with. However, the many readers who have read and enjoyed this series so far will not want to wait to continue.

What we get more of here is a sense of 'the Epic', in that the eleven races of human, previously mentioned but not given too much detail, are fleshed out more. We see more of their nature and actions, as the consequences of what has happened before ripple out wider and begin to both affect them and draw them into the conflict.

Clara Kalliam, formerly Baroness of Osterling Fells, is having to deal with her families disgrace (in The King’s Blood) and her grieving at the death of her husband Dawson Kalliam. Ostracised, she finds herself outside the social circles whilst secretly helping position her sons and her daughter in law. This means that we see all the cultural wranglings of court.

On the military front, Geder Palliako, having removed Dawson in The King’s Blood, is now the Lord Regent of Antea, and fully in charge of dictating the events of the war between Antea and the other nations, but is still relying on the stewardship of Basrahip, the acolyte of the spider goddess whose abilities have led to Geder’s rise to power.

Elsewhere Marcus is in league with Kit, attempting to reach the temple of the spider goddess and fulfil a promise to assassinate the deity there, whilst rueing his apparent betrayal by his colleague Yardem and pining for Cithrin’s company (as too is Geder, just to complicate things further.) Cithrin herself is working for the bank in new territories, again with another mentor. Under the tutelage of Magistra Isadau, she is gaining experience negotiating for the Medean Bank in Suddapal. When Suddapal is taken over by the Antean army, Cithrin and Isadau become involved in a secret mission in helping refugees escape the beleaguered city.

All these narratives are in separate chapters as before, but as the plot thickens they connect and divide throughout. Much of the fun of the book is seeing how these characters separate and follow their own narrative paths, developing as they do before affecting each other again. As before in the series, not everything goes the way we as readers might suspect. Loyalties are rekindled, new characters divide up the fellowship, and further division. And throughout there is still the insidious influence of deities and revelations of dragons.

As we read through book three of the series, I think that we are now starting to see the full intent of Daniel’s story. The books have gradually widened in scope since The Dragon’s Path, where the focus was very much on establishing characters. By The Tyrant’s Law we are better aware of other races and visiting a much wider travelogue of places than we have up to this point. It is in this book, more than any other to date, that I now realise how complex and alien these other racial groups are.

And dragons. Though much foreshadowed in earlier books, it is here that they start to become most important.

So far each book has had a few jaw-droppingly shocking moments - Geder’s increasingly mercurial rages to date, and Dawson’s sudden and violent death in The King’s Blood, for example. There are definitely key moments here in The Tyrant’s Law, though I must admit I didn’t find them quite as shocking as in previous books. What does work though is the unusual way that such events are delivered in a deliberately low key, matter-of-fact manner, whilst their impact and their consequences are quite profound. They are not overwrought, they are not particularly over-emotional, but they do leave a lasting impression.

By the end of the book things have again opened up new revelations that make the reader want to know what happens next. It is a credit to Daniel that the narrative pull of the series has increased as the characters have become more solid, the world become more unusual and the situations more complex. We have a way to go yet in this tale, and yet it still has a hold on the reader.

Rob Bedford, my reviewing colleague at SFFWorld, has said in the past that these books were rapidly becoming his most eagerly-anticipated Fantasy series. Whilst The Tyrant’s Law is a little bit steadier in pace and subtler than what has come before, I can only agree with him.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jacqie.
1,611 reviews74 followers
August 9, 2013
We continue with the viewpoints of Marcus, Cithrin, Clara, and Geder.

Clara is trying to find her feet as a "loyal traitor". There was a lot of interior change on her part, but I frankly found her thread the least interesting of our POV characters. She is trying out baby steps of manipulation and revolution. I was hoping for something a bit more dramatic, but I suppose that drama is not Clara's thing. I wonder if she's an answer to Caitlin in GOT. Caitlin tried to brew a revolution and was bad at it. Time will tell if Clara will be any more competent.

Geder, our Tyrant, continues his frightening oblivious destructive ways. His weak longing for acceptance and affection both made me more sympathetic than I wanted to be and made him a terrifying character. Because he reacts violently to fear and rejection, and because he's entirely unsuited to wielding power. In another role, Geder wouldn't be dangerous, but as Regent, he's as bad as Joffrey in GOT, for entirely different reasons.

Unfortunately for Cithrin, Geder is fixated on her as a love interest. He couldn't have chosen more poorly, for Cithrin is as closed down and calculating as they come. In this book, she begins to learn to access her heart, and she becomes much more interesting and likable because of it. She's a polar opposite of Sansa in GOT. Sansa bought into the whole romance angle and became brutally disillusioned. Cithrin started out with a firm understanding of the difference between sex and love.

Marcus was much more interesting in this book. His wheel of fortune is beginning to carry him upward, at least it appears that way. I'm not sure Marcus has an easy GOT analogue. He's too experienced for Jon Snow, isn't noble like Ned Stark or Jaime. He's really an exploration of hero-protagonist, I suppose. Our author neatly plays with the readers' expectations about magic swords and climactic battles in an amusing way.

At the end of the book, we get a new player in the game. The question to be answered in the next book is if the cure that the characters have been seeking is worse than the disease of the spider priests. I look forward to finding out the answer.
Profile Image for Iain.
123 reviews10 followers
June 26, 2013
Third instalment of the 'Dagger and the Coin' series, and it does not disappoint. High points: Geder, who continues to be an absolutely fascinating monster, a man who you can almost sympathise with, until out of nowhere he makes the most appalling moves as if they were unremarkable. And Clara, who really grows into herself in this book - gaining a kind of freedom unknown to her before losing it all again, in the service of her goals. Really, we get too few characters like either of these in fantasy: but particularly Clara, an intelligent, mature woman who uses the tools life gives her. Wonderful writing.
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