The Dragon’s Path, first book in Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger & the Coin series, was a slow burn. Perhaps too slow, the novel took its time, building a foundation of characters and setting for the four books to come, that may have put off would-be readers. It wasn’t until roughly the two-thirds’ point that the plot’s gears started to bite into one another, and the wider picture started to come into focus. Building off this, the second book in the series, The King’s Blood (2012), carries the momentum forward into a novel that is likely more to the liking of readers with a preference for pace and conflict.
The King’s Blood returns to the viewpoints of the same handful of characters. Geder, now regent to the king, continues his arcane studies under the watchful eye of the spider cult, all the while watching over Astor, heir to the kingdom. Ever faithful and honorable, Dawson attempts to clean up the mess of the failed assassination attempt, even as he sees King Simeon’s health failing. And Cithrin, despite her rise in power in the Medean bank, is now subject to a new line of notary authority, a line that is entirely to her disliking, forcing her to find creative ways of getting done the things done that she knows are good for her and the bank.