I enjoyed the Engineer Trilogy, but thought it didn't end too well.
As ... said, Vaatzes' plan was way too neat- there is no way I can believe he predicted everything in that ditch in book one.
Thematically I thought the ending was batshit insane, and that Parker is scarily cynical- and while I enjoy cynicism in my reading, here I thought she went way too far.
We're supposed to agree that although Ziani's actions were evil, all actions are essentially equal; as such, since evil was done to Ziani (ie: He was manipulated into committing a crime by a person he loved, almost executed, and manipulated by the head of state) its okay for him to have committed his evil by say, killing hundreds of thousands of people for his own ends. Sorry, not buying that one. Particularly striking was Psellus' comment: Something like, "I wouldn't have done what you did, because I don't have the strength, and I therefore admire you". Some scary stuff. Now, I could be mis-reading Parker: Perhaps these are only intended to be the characters views, and not her own. But I doubt it, considering that nearly everyone reaches similar conclusions to each other, and it seems to me that a lot of authorial voice comes through
K.J. Parker is the pseudonym of Meles Zenawi, Ethopian dictator. So it's not that surprising really.
She's got a new one out, doesn't she? Is it part of previous works or a new setting?
Her new book is called The Company and it's a standalone.
It's about some guys who decide to move to an island with all their posessions after a war or something. Apparently they're all bringing their dark secrets also.
I really liked the Engineer trilogy, so I have high hopes for this one. I also got her Scavenger trilogy, but haven't started it yet.
Nearly half way through it: it is a standalone (at least at the moment.) It's an interesting idea, but I'll say more when I've finished reading it.
And I'll stick to saying it's a 'he.'
Mark / Hobbit
I'm a big fan of Parker and this series lived up to the other two, although I think the Scavenger trilogy still shades it as the best. The one thing that would of benefited the story(well, me anyway)was a map: I really struggled to keep track of the geography of the place. As for the bleak ending, Parker's writing certainly has a very dark streak in it, and after The Belly of the Bow I don't think there is anything that Parker can write that will surprise me.
KJ Parker is absolutely definitely a woman. It would take about 2 mins of googling for you to discover this for yourself.
The problem is, Ironhill, is that not all you read on the Internet is true.
And authors/publishers have been known to use pseudonyms from time to time. From Richard Bachman to James Tiptree Jr, all is not what it sometimes appear to be.
KJ Parker is a pseudonym. The rest is conjecture, of course.
Back to the theme of the the thread: just over half way so far, and as far as I can tell The Company is of a similar style to the Engineer trilogy and a similar pace. As some are expecting, it is dark and there is still that cynical edge to it.
Mark / Hobbit
Last edited by Hobbit; August 23rd, 2008 at 05:10 PM.
Finished The Engineer series, greatly enjoyed it. I don't have to agree with the author or the characters view, It's enough for them to shock me out of complacency and to make me question my morality. Would I have done it? Arrange for tens of thousands to be killed? For love or for revenge? I guess not, but then my story would have ended by chapter three.
I wonder if the author intends to return to Mezentia or the Old World. The ending of the Engineer series id pretty open. Until I find out, I have The Fencer trilogy to read, and the new standalone maybe I'll order later in the year.
And, Server permitting, the review of The Company is now up HERE.
I liked it. Not sure others who were unhappy with the style before will, but it's quite a good place to try a KJ Parker, IMO.
Mark / Hobbit
Blurb on The Company's ARC seen here (scroll dowan:
says K. J. Parker is pseudonym of a successful writer who wanted to try something new. It seems to fit with K. J. Parker = Tom Holt theory.
But wouldn't it be much cooler if KJ Parker was the pseudonym of someone like Salman Rushdie ("The human condition is all very well, but I'd also always wanted to write a kick-ass siege sequence featuring people being set on fire,") or Helen Fielding ("I address the problems of women in the post-feminist age through comedy but also killing people and turning them into bows,")?
How about Jeanette Winterson or Margaret Atwood?
Mark / Hobbit
Hi guys. I was on Pat's Fantasy Hot List and saw a booked called The Company by KJ Parker mentioned. I had never heard of this author so i went to Amazon and found Parker has several series available. The Fencer Series, The Scavenger Series and the Engineer Series. Is Parker any good? These books appear to focus on the military aspect of fantasy, which i love, is this true? Are the three series tied together in any way? Which order should they be read? Thanks guys!