The King's Blood - Daniel Abraham First off, I absolutely love the fact that there are only five POV characters in this book. I'm really tired of the trend in fantasy to bloat the books with dozens of perspectives that honestly, most people don't care about. Yes, I'm looking at George R.R. Martin. He really should pay closer attention to Daniel Abraham. He knows how to tell a story, a good story, as opposed to a series of horrific and shocking events.

This is the sequel to The Dragon's Path, and it is really not meant to be read on its own. It does not waste time catching me up to speed on the events of the previous book, which I greatly appreciated. Since a little bit of time has gone by, I did notice the first few chapters did briefly reiterate each character's defining personality traits.

Now, I'm going to talk about the actual book, so if you don't want to be SPOILED, stop reading here.

I initially disliked Dawson intensely. He does not experience any real change in outlook, although his wife does a good job mitigating some of his prejudices. Yet, I found what happened with him in the book incredibly tragic. I was sorry to see him die, although it was fully expected, but it still hurt to read. Clara, I generally like. There was only one thing I disliked about her, but overall, I like her and just felt incredibly sad for her.

Geder is an incredibly frightening person. He is incredibly complex and incredibly believable. If he were living today in the modern world, I really think he's exactly the sort of person who would bring a gun to school and kill as many people as possible. He's bookish and awkward, occasionally sympathetic. But he lacks empathy, and seems to see the world as a strategy game. Which means that people's lives have very little value to him. He's the sort of person who is the object of ridicule, and he is vengeful toward every perceived slight against him. I knew someone once who said he fantasized about transforming into his D&D character and frying everyone with lightning who was ever cruel to him. This is Geder. Except it's now within his power to punish anyone who has slighted him. And this makes him terrifying.

Geder is also the sort of person who will become obsessed with a woman who shows him a moment of kindness. I also believe he's the stereotypical "Nice Guy," as in, he isn't nice, but he perceives himself to be, and he believes therefore that this entitles him to a woman's affections and will become extremely hostile and abusive when rejected. I suppose the next book will show if I'm right, with how he deals with Cithrin's avoidance.

I really wouldn't have expected Cithrin to be attracted to him. The circumstances that put her with him, though, were extenuating and I did believe it. And afterward, all I could think was, "Run. Run NOW." But she has good instincts. Afterward, if not before.

Out of the whole story, I found Marcus Wester the least interesting, since it was in this book that he was really trying to find a purpose. By the end of the book, he has finally found one. I admit, though, I am eager to see a reunion between him and Cithrin. Hopefully that will manage to happen.

I can't wait for the next book. And unlike some authors, I trust it won't take 10 years for Mr. Abraham to write it!