Villains both in history and in good fiction often do not think of themselves as villains. This could not be truer for Geder Palliako, the Lord Regent of Antea until Prince Aster comes of age and can assume the throne. Geder’s cause is backed, and one might even say pushed ahead, by those who worship the Spider Goddess—particularly Basrahip, the minister of the Spider Goddess, who works as Geder’s chief advisor.
In The Widow’s House, the fourth installment of The Dagger and the Coin sequence, author Daniel Abraham continues to deftly explore positions of power, and how perception lends credence to reality. Abraham tells the story through the same points of view as in the previous volume, though these characters have evolved quite a bit since we first met them. Clara Kalliam, widow, mother, plotter against the Lord Regent; Cithrin bel Sarcour, ‘rogue’ banker, former lover and scorner of the Lord Regent; the aforementioned Geder, Lord Regent and emotional basket case; and Captain Marcus Wester, a hardened man of war. Abraham bookends the novel with two additional points of view: a prologue from the POV of the last Dragon Inys, and an epilogue from a soldier’s point of view.