The first book is currently titled The Dragon's Path:
"The dragons are gone, the powerful magics that broke the world diluted to little more than parlour tricks, but the kingdoms of men remain and the great game of thrones goes on. Lords deploy armies and merchant caravans as their weapons, manoeuvring for wealth and power. But a darker power is rising – an unlikely leader with an ancient ally threatens to unleash the madness that destroyed the world once already. Only one man knows the truth and, from the shadows, must champion humanity. The world’s fate stands on the edge of a Dagger, its future on the toss of a Coin."
Already this series sounds far more traditional than Abraham's more original Long Price series, but this is hardly surprising given that the Long Price - despite its brilliance - failed to sell as well as hoped (which is presumably why Tor decided to pass on this new series). Fortunately, Orbit have picked it up, as Abraham has elaborated:
"My agent shopped the new proposal around, and we got a fair amount of interest from other publishers, with the upshot that Orbit (my UK publisher) bought world rights to the new series in what the trade papers are calling "a good deal." One thing I thought was particularly interesting: there's a clause in it that dock's a fair percentage of my advance if I don't turn the books in on time. So just be aware that the guys at Orbit have got all y'all's back."
Abraham's also talked a little about the inspiration for his new series:
"In the way that The Long Price Quartet was a semi-tragic meditation on the epic scale of an individual life, The Dagger and the Coin is a love letter to fantasy adventure intended to keep the reader from getting enough sleep..
I’m very conscious of the influences I’m cultivating going into it – Walter Tevis, Alexandre Dumas, Tolkien, J. Michael Strazinski, Joss Whedon, GRRM, Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, Dorothy Dunnett, Tim Parks – and I’m trying to take the things that I love about each one of them and make a stew out of it. It’s set right at the friction point between the medieval period and the renaissance, so we’ve got knights and kings, but we also have merchant houses and finance. There’s some magic of the understated sort. There’s political intrigue. There’s a girl who was raised as the ward of a Medici-style bank, there’s a high nobleman who’s gotten himself and his family in over his head, there’s an emotionally scarred mercenary captain straight out of Dumas.
The point of it all is to make a book that reads to me now the way that the Belgariad did when I was 16. I’m going to be swimming in everything I think is cool for the next year, and I’m really looking forward to it."
I'm really intrigued to see what Abraham can do with a more familiar setting. The Long Price books were very much rooted in the human experience, and I'm expecting this new series to be no different - except that this time the genre trappings are more pronounced. But I fully expect the characters to drive the story, and having seen how good Abraham is at both characterisation and plotting, I have very high hopes for The Dagger and Coin.
More news when it surfaces, but even at this early stage this is a series to keep an eye on. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and check out the awesome Long Price quartet. It's such a shame that it didn't do as well as hoped, but with this new series Abraham has another chance to attract the audience his talents deserve.