The Tyrant’s Law by Daniel Abraham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Dagger and the Coin (Book #3 of 5)
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 512 pages (Kindle edition)
Published: 14th May 2013 by Orbit
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)
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