The Tyrant's Law (The Dagger and the Coin)
by Daniel Abraham
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Orbit Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780316080705
Date: 14 May 2013 List Price $17.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The forces of Antea are on the march, on the orders of Lord Geder the Regent. He is trying to find the plotters he believes are trying to destroy Antea. Basrahip is the head of the sect that is empowering Geder's rule. The power to know the truthfulness of the words being spoken provides an easy route to find traitors in the court. But there are things out there that can collapse his house of cards. Others are searching for them, so he sends out his own search parties.
Clara, the widow of a traitor, is a fallen woman. But she intends to rise up from the ashes and save her land from the excesses of Lord Geder. She does this slowly with little help, while trying to protect her family, each of whom is being drawn closer to the circles of power. She finds happiness, but it may not fit into her world.
Cithrin is serving her apprenticeship in Suddapal learning about both banking and family. She sees another side of the bank and its assets as the Antean forces invade. She will have to decide what is truly important, and what can be left outside.
Captain Marcus Wester is traveling with Kit. They are searching for something that can end the power of the Goddess' supporters. They travel to the far South to find what was lost; if they find it, will it work? How do they slay that which cannot be killed? They may need to awaken something more powerful than they can imagine.
This is the third book in the Dagger and Coin Quartet. The action in this novel is setting up for the big finish as all of the characters work into place. The big reveal at the end heralds the coming dramatic events that will change the face of their world forever. As the third book in a series it is not the best starting point. Readers should start with The Dragon's Path and The King's Blood.
Abraham weaves a good tale of intertwined characters. They all come into contact with each other at various points throughout the series. This keeps the action concentrated, which is a failing in many other series where the action is so isolated that it is hard to see how the characters relate to each other and the action of the overall story arc. I find Geder to be the most interesting character. He struggles with his own demons and history. You want to feel sorry for him, but his compounding mistakes are leading to a scary future.
I feel that Abraham's style is similar to Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson. At times I confuse which of them is writing a particular series. They each have a good handle on maintaining continuity and pace while spinning out their tales.