But I can’t help feeling that Abraham’s has erred to much on the side of caution in writing what is a more ‘mainstream’ fantasy (a great evil looming in the distance that threatens to take over the world) and trying to keep it – as so many authors are wont to do these – different. So much so that while he uses the looming threat as a prologue and an epilogue we have 400 odd pages in between to forget about it – rendering that plot point moot, because by the then I no longer cared, nor did it create any suspense for me as to ‘what might happen next?’ The looming threat became window dressing – regardless of the fact that Geder goes looking for a secret weapon lost in the mountains (that we readers can link to the mountains in the prologue) in the last eighty pages of his storyline. I was much more involved in Cithrin’s story – which at the end of the book I have no clue as to how it might fit into a sequel that could possibly focus more on the ‘rising darkness’ – or ‘dark forces’ that are referenced in the blurb.
I went into this book with the idea that it would be more the type of fantasy that grabs me than The Long Price was (and btw – I loved the world of the TLP, its culture and its history – it was the kind of world that, in my mind, popped the way Kelewan did when Feist allowed Wurts to play at the Great Game in the Empire trilogy, but it never got off the ground). And Dragon’s Path was more traditional fantasy (read europeanish setting), but only on the surface. That makes it more accessible than The Long Price and yeah it has dragons, but that was about it.
The thing Abraham’s does really well is characters and economics. In fact it is because of Cithrin and her journey building a bank (interestingly enough it was Amat Kyaan’s story in TLP that interested me the most also) that I will pick up book two – because I want to read what happens next!