The Dagger and the Coin - Book 1
Abraham uses the same narrative device of focusing on one of the major characters per chapter, much like George R.R. Martin does in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. We meet Marcus, the general turned mercenary, Cithrin, the orphan and budding banker, Geder, the bumbling lesser light that goes from being a puppet to something much more worrisome and a few others. And they are lovely characters, I have to say. The strongest part of the book was watching their growth or their unveiling over the chapters.
A couple of my favourite characters of all, were really minor players. Dawson's wife, Clara and their erstwhile bodyguard, Vincen Coe. At one point, they are very much in danger and I feared for them, much more than I thought I would. Master Kit, the leader of the travelling theatre troupe was another favourite with his hinted at mysterious ways and means. I think I know what he's about, thanks to the very final bit of the book, the "entr'acte", but I'm probably a bit off base with that.
There is a bit of an interview with the author added to the book and in it he refers to the House of Niccolo series by Dorothy Dunnett and I have to admit, unlike many people, this is the Dunnett series I have read. (I have the Lymond series on my TBR list and have the first 2.) It's a series about a medieval banking family and oh, can I see the influences in this series. That's a good thing!
So, while this book was a bit of a struggle to wade through, by the time I got to the last say.... 5 chapters of approx 30+, I was invested in these people and really felt that the story was just getting going. Maybe that's what Abraham intended, since Master Kit says in the very last line... <i>"It's begun."</i>
I will definitely be adding the next book of the series to my list.