Devices And Desires: The Engineer Trilogy: Book One Paperback – 7 Apr 2005
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Praise for Shadow: 'Utterly compelling' THE ALIEN ONLINE 'This is exactly what the fantasy genre needs ... an assured, intelligent first chapter' SFX. Praise for the Fencer Trilogy: 'From the first page, it has style, humour and pace all its own, and develops rapidly into one of the most entertaining fantasy debuts in recent years ... Refreshing, fun, thoughtful, different, absorbing' SFX 'Action-packed adventure' STARBURST on THE BELLY OF THE BOW
The acclaimed author of The Fencer Trilogy and The Scavenger Trilogy begins a brilliant new series, pushing the boundaries of fantasy fiction with his most powerful novel to date.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
What make Parker's writing different and such an amazingly fun read is the cynical commentry from the characters on how ridiculous life, war and politics are. This make it very easy to identify with all the main character because they realise that life is a joke, a truly rare thing in fantasy.
So prepare to laugh and prepare to think because K J Parker is like noone you've ever read before. And if you think that it's much the same as the first two trilogies, then consider how similar all the rest of fantasy is and you may find that there is still plenty of room for Parker to explore before this library of intelligent farces gets boring!
Instead, the book is crammed with realistic (or at least realistic sounding) details about swordsmanship, hunting, and most of all, manufacturing. Perhaps most interesting of all, there are no clear cut heroes and villains -- instead, there are characters acting according to their natures and interests, which may drive them to desperate (possibly even heroic) acts. The story takes place within three neighboring nations, two relatively small city-state/Duchies who've had on-again, off-again wars over the years, and their technologically advanced mercantile trading partner Mezentia. The latter is run by a giant bureaucracy, and the state runs on principles of efficiency, rationality, and clear standards. When a foreman of one of the ordnance factories transgresses the standards in his private life, this proves to be the butterfly wings flapping that lead to war hundreds of miles away.
This engineer has been sentenced to death but manages against all odds to escape and find himself in a situation where he might just be able to engineer a reunion with his family. Indeed, the plot is very carefully engineered and reads like a complex 3D puzzle that's being slowly solved, chapter by chapter. In some senses it's a very cold and mechanical book, even as the author tries to build up the humanity of the other main protagonists (the leaders of the two Duchies).Read more ›
Whereas I might wish she wouldn't semaphore the different characteristics quite so plainly (the engineer, who can turn everything (and one) into a device; the Duke who can apply the rules of hunting to deal with problems etc etc)I do like her creations so my grumbling is subdued.
The story rattles along and has enough action to make you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. I really felt for some of those poor mercenaries!
I predict like the two previous trilogies it will be "two books stretched out to three" for marketing reasons but will still be a MUST HAVE for the intelligent fantasy reader. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant! but what else would you expect from this author.Published 8 months ago by anthony morris
Intrigue gets you to the end but at times it seems to take too long in getting there. Will probably read the next book after a break. Some interesting vocabulary.Published on 7 Jun. 2014 by Alistair Burns
K J Parker mystery writer of Fantasy books, maybe I am just not in the know but I don't even know which gender he/she is. Read morePublished on 20 Feb. 2014 by decafblack60
Fabulous - witty, clever, well thought through, very 'real'. The cover is a really good reflection of the contents! Elegant and carefully considered. Read morePublished on 13 Jun. 2013 by The Fool
Be warned, this is not George RR Martin. Superficial characters, endless-pointless conversations and page filling stuff that does not drive the story, and (in my eyes) does not add... Read morePublished on 23 Mar. 2013 by London
I found Devices and Desires to be a very refeshing read, having read many fantasy books, I can honestly say this one is like no other. Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2012 by mizusan
It's a great love story with very well drawn characters in a historically believable alternative reality to our own. Read morePublished on 2 July 2010 by Amazon Customer
This book is LONG, and it really lets you know it. 706 pages, but you could probably skip through the pages that list all the different types of nut or bolt (or whatever) the... Read morePublished on 10 May 2010 by simon211175
Part 2 of a trilogy: a well crafted and engrossing story and a brilliant read.Published on 26 April 2010 by J Andrew Clarke