This second omnibus collection of Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price Quarter, The Price of War, is a page turner from beginning to end in a complete contrast to the first omnibus that was characterized by being a slow burner. Otah and Maati again dominate the two novels that tell the two sides of a devastating war and its long disastrous consequences in which both men take different paths to solve, in both novels previous secondary characters return as well as new tell about how high the price of war is.
An Autumn War: Otah governs over the city of Machi continuing is nontraditional life with only one wife and one heir, in addition to hosting not one but two poets, one of which his friend Maati. Even as Otah thinks and plans about a possible problem with the neighboring power, Galt, he doesn’t know that events are in motion to end the Khaiem as he knows it. Balasar Gice, the greatest general in Galt, has spent is life wanting to end the threat the andat present not only to his country but the world. After retrieving information from the lifeless dessert that the Old Empire became thanks to the powers of the andat, Gice plans to forever end the threat that the poets and andat pose to the world. These good men face off and the foundations of two great empires are shaken to their core.
The Price of Spring: A Third Empire as arisen after the Galtic War with Otah at its head looking to his old foes to save not only his people but theirs as well, but his former friend the poet Maati looks save his people by returning the andat to the world to heal the wounds he blames the Emperor for creating and neglecting with his scheme. These two old men must navigate an uncertain future through women like that of Eiah Machi, who’s loyalty is divided between her father and Uncle Maati, and Vanjit, a survivor of the sacking of Udun. The fate of the world, let alone the Khaiem and Galt, is in the balance as two men realize the price their previous decisions have cost.
I am going to be honest, if there are any flaws in either of these two novels I didn’t notice them. From the beginning I was gripped by the tale Abraham continued from Shadow and Betrayal. If you are a fan of fantasy, you must read The Long Price Quartet and I recommend you read this book.