This is one of the few series that will cause me to drop absolutely anything I'm reading as soon as I get my hands on the latest installment. The villain in this series manages to be pathetic, frightening, sympathetic, and terrifyingly believable to me. He reminds me of people I've known, if they happened to get their hands on a great deal of power. This is only one of the many compelling things about this series.
The title of the series, The Dagger and the Coin, tells you what theme is being explored here. It's about force, versus money. One of the main protagonists, Cithrin, is a genius banker. That is what is special about her. Every now and then I had to pause in my reading just to reflect on the fact that I'm reading about financial schemes, and actually finding them exciting.
He still keeps a tight cast in this series. Just a handful of characters, and this allows for the story to move a great deal more quickly, and it allows the reader to really get to know those POV characters quite well, and to really care about them. With so many epic fantasy series juggling so many characters, it really does slow the story down, and this book really demonstrates that difference in a major way.
There are many people these days who will not read a series that is not finished. If you were to consider taking a chance on one, this is it. There is one more installment coming for this series. The author has been writing these books at what I consider to be a very reasonable pace.
Even after some startling revelations in the previous three books, this one still has more surprises and more major turns of events. With some series, I can see where they're going, but with this one, I can honestly say that I have no idea how it's going to end, but I can't wait to find out.