Review: The King's Blood (The Dagger and the Coin Book 2 of 5)

The King's Blood - Daniel Abraham

I really enjoyed this second book in the series, even more than I enjoyed the first book.  At this point the characters and their stories are well-established, and they continue to get more interesting.  The first book had some pretty dark things in it, but I’d say this book was at least a shade darker.  As before, the chapters switch between different characters to focus on different parts of the story.  Some characters are in the same area of the world and involved in the same events, so we get to see what’s going on from different angles.  In the first book, there were characters whose chapters I found less interesting to read.  In this book, my enjoyment was more even.  I still didn’t necessarily like all the characters, but I did like all their stories.


The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to review the later books in a series with multiple main characters without spoiling the previous books.  Any character I mention in my review would tell somebody reading the first book that the character isn’t going to die in that book.  There are also a lot of comments I want to make about this second book that would completely spoil it, so I’m just going to put the rest of my review in spoiler tags.


Major spoilers (and lots of rambling) for both books 1 and 2 within the spoiler tags:

Geder is really something else, isn’t he?!  In the first book I had the feeling he would end up being the villain of the story -- or one of them, anyway.  In this second book, there were a few times when I thought maybe, just maybe, he would wise up and make better choices.  By the end, I felt pretty certain he would never change.  I do wonder though if he might eventually encounter some old texts that change his perspective on the priests.  If he feels like the priests have been lying to him and playing him for a fool, no doubt he’ll want to hack them to death with his sword too… So I just wonder if, in the end, Geder will end up helping to bring about their defeat.


I’m really enjoying Clara as a point-of-view character.  When she was introduced in the first book, my first impression was that she was a bit naïve and clueless.  I soon realized that impression was a mistake.  She’s much more likable than most of the other characters, and I think she fills the “strong female” role better than Cithrin does.  She was the character that I felt the most sympathetic towards, especially near the end.


Although I didn’t mind losing Dawson as a point-of-view character, I was actually sorry when he was executed.  Maybe I was sorry more for Clara’s sake than for Dawson’s, but I did think he was a little more relatable in this book.  I was still annoyed by his horrible prejudices and his narrow, rigid perspective on the world, but I did admire his loyalty to Simeon and Aster and his willingness to fight for his ideals at any cost.  I think though, for a military commander, he could have handled things more strategically.


I still like Marcus, but I was occasionally annoyed by him in this book due to his obsession over Cithrin.  I definitely approved of Yardem’s actions when Marcus was trying to steal the bank’s money, and his last words as he sent Marcus off about throwing him in a ditch and taking over the company were priceless even if they were expected.  I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t said it.  There were some great and funny conversations between Yardem and Marcus in this book, and I do hope Marcus gets over his anger at Yardem before they meet again.  Yardem is actually becoming an increasingly interesting character to me.  I rather wish he were one of the point-of-view characters.


I was sorry we didn’t see as much of Kit in this book, and happy that Marcus finally decided to help him.  Hopefully that means we’ll see a lot more of him in the next book because he’s definitely the character I most want to learn more about. 


I can’t think of much to say about Cithrin.  She was much less annoying in this book, and her parts were interesting, but there’s nothing she said or did that I’m just bursting to write about.  I was glad she had the sense to get far away from Geder, though.  He’s bad news, that one!

(show spoiler)



I look forward to starting the third book, hopefully this evening.