The King's Blood

Orbit: Hachette. (The Dagger and the Coin, Bk. 2). May 2012. c.528p. ISBN 9780316080774. pap. $15.99. FANTASY
Simeon, Emperor of Antea, has died, leaving his throne to his son Aster, who is still a boy, and the regency to Geder Palliako, an accidental war hero who prefers philosophy and books to human contact. When an act of diplomacy goes wrong, war breaks out between the Severed Empire and the land of Asterilhold, and it falls to the Empire's true protectors—individuals who stand outside the circle of power—to save the kingdom. In the meantime, Cithrin bel Sarcour, the voice of the Medean Bank in Porte Oliva, seeks a way to prove she deserves to be more than a figurehead and enlists the aid of guard captain Marcus Wester and a group of traveling players who have assisted her in the past.
VERDICT This sequel to The Dragon's Path manages to advance a complex and byzantine plot while leaving enough loose threads to carry into future installments. Abraham's multidimensional characters represent a fascinating cross section of late medieval/Renaissance society. The author's fans as well as lovers of epic fantasy should enjoy this ongoing series.
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