To my dismay Persepolis Rising starts a full thirty years after the end of the previous book, Babylon's Ashes. I found myself instantly unhappy that the writing duo known as James S. A. Corey had decided it was time for the crew of the Rocinante to be getting old. All of a sudden my favorite characters were spending time complaining about the aches and pains associated with aging instead of kicking ass and taking names. Luckily the authors also put forth an intriguing story line that makes it easy to set aside such concerns. When everything goes to hell, Holden and company prove that despite their age, they aren't done just yet.
Daniel Abraham does not disappoint as he delivers an excellent finish to his epic fantasy series The Dagger and the Coin. The war has raged on for 4 books and it is finally time for it to end, one way or the other. The spider priests have led Antea to the brink of destruction and their ability to manipulate the truth has most everyone in the kingdom blind to that fact. As the armies of Antea's enemies close in seeking retribution, Cithrin devises a desperate plan to save the day but it may be too late to pull it off. This one is full of build up that leads to one final gambit with the future of the kingdom of Antea at stake and Daniel Abraham delivers a clever and satisfying conclusion when it all finally plays out.
Daniel Abraham continues to deliver an engaging story as war rages on for Antea. As readers of the series will have guessed by the title, Clara comes to the forefront in this book and house Callium becomes the focal point. Clara has lost her husband to Lord Regent Geder's wrath, one of her sons to Geder's banishment, and a second son to the spider priesthood. The bottom line is that she has had enough and decides to take action to prevent Geder from ruining what little she has left. Underestimate Clara at your own peril.
Book 3 of The Dagger and the Coin series continues the war against the spider goddess with all the main characters back and advancing their storylines as you would expect. The power of the spider goddess priests to always detect when someone is lying is central to the story and this ability takes on new meaning as one starts to realize that the actual truth can take many forms. This fact muddies the water and many of the characters have to adapt their understanding of what the real struggle is. This book is all about those changing perspectives as the "war" is fought in many different ways.
Daniel Abraham really steps it up in book two of The Dagger and the Coin series and he provides the payoff for all of the foundation work that he did in the first book, The Dragon's Path. All of the main characters return and with their background's now firmly established, their storylines all move forward in significant ways. When their paths finally begin to cross then the story really picks up steam as the kingdom of Antea finds itself the likely victim of an ancient prophecy come to life. The spider goddess is finally making her return to the world and she plans to make Antea her new home.
Daniel Abraham, one of the two authors that write The Expanse series under the name James S. A. Corey, offers up an epic fantasy series featuring a rich, complex world worthy of your attention. Unfortunately, it might not seem that way at first. The opening chapters jump around from character to character and right when you start to get your bearings then a new chapter starts and you find yourself completely lost all over again. This feeling of confusion is compounded by the fact that there are a myriad of different humanoid races and you are exposed to the history of the world along with the present day. This is a lot to absorb all at the same time which makes it easy to lose track of things, especially when you don't know what is important and what is not. Luckily it is all worth the effort in the end because The Dagger and the Coin is an excellent series once you get settled into it.
Our solar system will never be the same. Book 6 of The Expanse picks up right after the end of the last one in the bleak aftermath of the sudden and devastating attack on Earth by the Free Navy. Out of nowhere they laid waste to the bread basket of the solar system and now humanity struggles to pick up the pieces and find a way to survive. The super powers of the solar system who were central to mankind's expansion into space now find themselves mere shadows of their former selves and short on resources. Earth is in disarray after the attacks with billions of starving people and Mars is a hollow shell after being left behind by those that moved through the Ring Gate to colonize other planets with actual atmospheres. To add insult to injury, those same Martian defectors were the source of the military ships acquired by the Free Navy to wreak havoc on Earth so Mars also finds itself in the middle of a political upheaval.
The future, as initially presented by author James S. A. Corey, finds mankind having achieved space travel within our solar system but with no means to reach further out to the stars. Unfortunately, having access to additional planets and resources does little to unite humanity and instead it gives us a new way to discriminate against each other. A tenuous peace barely exists between Earth, Mars and the residents of the outer planets, and it is within this fragile environment that the discovery of an ancient alien proto-molecule lights a spark that threatens to ignite the powder keg. It all feels very plausible and makes for some great story telling.