A Betrayal in Winter is the second book in The Long Price Quartet series by Daniel Abraham; I have to admit, this is a great book and also a wonderful installment for the series.
When I started this book, I was surprised by the huge time-gap in the storyline; it’s not often that I read a series that have its storyline fast forward by fourteen years right from the second book of the series. However, Abraham’s decision to fast forward the storyline this much has become one of the main reason why this book surpassed its predecessor, and at the same time also making the first book crucial for the spectacular characters development.
Most of the characterizations in the first book were great but out of all the characters in it, only Otah and Maati totally intrigued me; I felt quite detached with the rest of the characters. In this book, Otah and Maati became the only characters from the first book that returned as the main perspectives and I couldn’t be more pleased with this direction. Their character’s development was fantastic to read and all the other main POV’s were almost equally compelling; I was never bored reading through any of the perspectives storylines. One character, in particular, is probably one of the most lunatic female character’s I have ever read. However, the biggest praise I can give towards this book is how much better the plot in comparison to the first book.
“Never assume you can survive the future because you've survived the past. Everyone thinks that, and they've all been wrong eventually.”
The plot took place mostly in the city of Machi—Otah’s hometown—and it revolves highly around the Khai Machi’s throne succession. The title of the book already explained it, A Betrayal in Winter is filled with political machinations, manipulations, and somehow, love. All of these happened only because almost all the characters have been infused with Littlefinger’s (from A Song of Ice and Fire) DNA. The plot is poignant and yet destructive, showing just how dangerous love, promises, faith, and ambitions can be. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story in this book; combined with Abraham’s beautiful prose and excellent world-building, this book became highly thrilling and immersive.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or seen. Every man’s a child until he’s a father. It’s the way the world’s made.”
The only minor con I had on this book was that I feel like there should be more emphasis and explanation on the andat. The andat is technically the magic system in this series and in my opinion, there’s a lot of potential for it and it still hasn’t been fully explored yet.
A Betrayal in Winter is a worthy sequel that surpassed its predecessor in every way; this is only possible because of the foundation that the first book has laid for the series. I am now halfway through the series and I can safely say this is one of the most original high fantasy series I’ve ever read. I will binge read this series immediately and find out whether the next two books will be superior or not.