Geder, the upjumped Lord Regent of the militaristic nation of Imperial Antea, wages simultaneous wars with adjacent nations in a misguided bid to return his patron spider goddess to the world. The Tyrant's Law returns readers to the story of Geder, the eponymous "Tyrant", and Lord Regent of the powerful, militaristic nation of Imperial Antea. It is the third book in Daniel Abraham's Dagger and Coin series. In addition to Geder, the Tyrant's Law follows the story of two other main POV characters: Cithrin, the young ward of the Medean Bank and Magistra in training; and Marcus, a mercenary captain drawn away from his company by a dangerous mission to kill a goddess.
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In the first two novels, Geder cemented his position as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world: Imperial Antea. Despite his low birth and lack of leadership skills, he managed this task with the help of a mysterious priesthood led by his personal confidante and trusted adviser, Basrahip. Basrahip, like all priest's of the spider goddess, has the power to tell truth from lies. Geder used this power to expose and execute all of his enemies at court in the capital city of Camnipol, and has now earned himself near unquestioned authority.
The world of the Dagger and Coin is populated by thirteen humanoid races, the most powerful of which is the purely human Firstblood. Imperial Antea is the unquestioned center of Firstblood power in the world. All of the races were created in the distant past by an omnipotent race of Dragons, now presumed extinct.
Basrahip convinces Geder that the insect-like Timzinae race was behind an insidious plot against Antea. He uses his sway over Geder to mount an invasion of the Timzinae nations, one of which is the current home of Cithrin. Since the end of the second book, Cithrin has been assigned to study under Magistra Isadau, the head of the branch bank in the Timzinae City of Suddapal. Geder is secretly in love with Cithrin, but he doesn't know that she is stationed in one of the cities he has just decided to invade.
With the help of Basrahip's priest's, the Antean invasion of the Timzinae cities is successful, even though their resources are now stretched thin. In every city conquered, Geder establishes a new temple to Basrahip's spider goddess. After the Antean army sacks Suddapal, Cithrin writes a letter to Geder asking him to grant her immunity with the occupying Antean army. She uses Geder's infatuation to her advantage, gaining complete latitude to move about Suddapal freely without interference from Antean soldiers. She uses this immunity to help women and children escape the city.
When Geder sends a letter to Cithrin telling her his intentions to come to Suddapal and be with her romantically, Cithrin balks and decides to escape back to Porte Oliva. Geder arrives in Suddapal and realizes Cithrin is gone. His men tell him that she was working to undermine the occupation the whole time, but that they were helpless to stop her because of Geder's orders. Cithrin has made a fool of Geder, and nothing enrages the Lord Regent more than being made a fool of. He gives the entire Antean army one order: "Find Cithrin."
While the invasion story plays out, the mercenary captain Marcus goes on a mission with Master Kit, an apostate from Basrahip's priesthood. They recover a magical poisoned sword and assault the priesthood's home base in a land known as the Keshet. When they try to attack the spider goddess herself, Marcus realizes what Kit thought was the goddess was only an inanimate statue. While the priesthood's magic may be real, their goddess most assuredly isn't. They journey back to Suddapal where Marcus is reunited with Cithrin just before Cithrin escapes to Porte Oliva. Marcus and Kit travel on to Camnipol to further investigate how to destroy Geder's spider cult.
Best part of story, including ending:
It was interesting to leave the setting of Imperial Antea and see more of the Timzinae nations and culture.
Best scene in story:
Marcus draws his poisoned sword to attack the spider goddess and end the conflict once and for all, when he realizes he's attacking a stone statue.
Opinion about the main character:
Geder is still a completely unlikable character. As a reader you root for him to fail. It's very gratifying to see Cithrin toy with his emotions so effectively, and his rage when he discovers her treachery is palpable.