- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (7 April 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841492752
- ISBN-13: 978-1841492759
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 14 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,883,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
But you know what? I don't mind! I love big long fantasy trilogies that I can really get my teeth into, and this is one such. The world of this story is a typical feudal setting with no technology, but there's no magic and no elves, just humans. and a fair bit of machinery.
And that's the key to the plot. when an engineer in one country with a nasty government is sentenced to death for a minor offence, he escapes, and falls in with the defeated army of another country. can he help them to victory? Or does he have something more in mind?
A real hang on a minute moment when you realise there's more to the main character's actions than meets the eye, and a book that had been quite compelling before, thanks to decent prose and appealing characters, becomes totally compelling as a result. I devoured this as quickly as I could, and I'll get the sequels as soon as I can. I want to know what happens next, and I found this a very good and very readable book. great stuff
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic series and fantastic writer. I loved the nuanced characters and world building of this novelPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant! but what else would you expect from this author.Published 19 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
I agree with the comments by London below although its probably worth more than 1 star. I got 34% in before I gave up which is better than usual for fantasy - which I like in... Read morePublished on 27 Nov. 2013 by Mr. S. J. Gore
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