(Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City) [EBOOK/PDF] Ü K.J. Parker
This was so much fun I could tell that KJ Parker had a real laugh when writing it Orhan is a reat character and although he is hilariously out if his depth his keen mind allows him to pull through a rather tricky situation though not without several awkward blunders Orhan is an engineer not a military man and he finds himself leading the defence of a city he doesn t really care about He s To Catch A Thief got no real experienceiving battlefield orders he s used to organising men to build bridges and walls not commanding them to defend a city And he knows about his own short comings but he steps into command because there s nobody else to do it He doesn t want to be in charge he simply has to or the city will fall and everybody in it will be put the sword He is forced to act the role of The Story Of Georgia S Boundaries general in an Empire he hates So it makes for a somewhat unusual situation which onlyets complicated when he learns exactly who is leading the invading army I shall Thieves Nights give no spoilers but it certainly makes the siege difficult a siege that would have been over in a matter of hours had Orhan not taken charge He is cunning resourceful and a born liar whichives him a uniue skill set A military man driven by honour may not have possessed the savviness to bring a city full of cut throats to heel It s no easy job because Orhan is a white skin a second class citizen trying to rule over the elite blue skins that hate his Miss Dulane And My Lord guts He mustet creative to succeed The book is told in the first person and is driven entirely by Orhan s personality Both book and protagonist are not afraid of breaking the rules Orhan admits to being a liar and he even admits that his story may have been exaggerated He s telling it so why not Mrs Zant And The Ghost give himself a little bitlory Why not make himself sound dangerous There s certainly a streak of unreliable narration running through it Barack Obama giving it an added edge I could make severaluesses over which points were true and which were false which bespeaks the level of immersion I felt whist reading However this type of writing is a double edged sword Without wanting to o into any specific details I found the ending a little frustrating It leaves it at a bit of a cliff hanger as Orhan s part in the story comes to an end It would have been ood to know what happens after even if it was only a summary paragraph of some sort But again this is trying to be different I m pretty sure KJ Parker set out to challenge his readers with those final few paragraphs though I have come away a little annoyed as I want to know what happens next It works though Orhan s personality demands such a selfish action All in all this is a uick and fun read that doesn t take itself too seriously Recommended for those that prefer books about military strategy rather than those that crave strong fantasy elements Many thanks to Orbit for sending me a surprise review copy and introducing me to an author I may have otherwise missed You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree First person narration funny irreverent lots of twists being a huge fan of the author and reading pretty much all his books I saw some ahead of time as those occur freuently throughout his work but it still managed to surprise me uite often While the ending has a conclusion so to speak I really hope this is the start of a new series as advertised There is an epilogue that sort of connects it with other works at least as some naming like met d Oc or events like Perimadeia s destruction and the siege of Mezentia etc Oklahoma Statesman go though all those are in the far future of the events here which are set in the author s faux Byzantine setting though this time the empire s dominant race is named as the Robur otherwise the City has the usual Byzantine stuff including the blue andreen factions though here they fight in the arena Roman style in addition to chariot racing the bureaucracy Senate emperor etcThe main hero colonel Orhan chief of engineers is the only barbarian that has some moderately high rank he is even a member of the security council of the empire in this uality but he is rarely invited to the meetings of course the usual name for most barbarians is milkface though the term is illegal under Robur law as is blueskin the derogatory term the subjugated people of the Empire use for "The Robur Though Of Course While Prosecutions "Robur though of course while prosecutions using milkface are non existent as after all the Robur would never ever use such a term the ones for using blueskin happen often as Orhan informs us since as all know the milkfaces are uncouth coarse and deserve their roles as subjects indentured servants the empire abolished slavery but replaced it with the even better indentured servitude manpower for the armies and menial work or for their women to work in the entertainment business as again Orhan puts it so nicely as the book The Smash Smash Truck goes on we find out Orhan s past at least in so far we can trust his narration as KJ parker s heroeso he reminds of Saloninus though he is much less self important and amoral how he The Hatchet got to be a colonel and commander of engineers the short of it he is reallyood at doing stuff despite the bureaucracy and engineers for once are the ones where stuff really needs to be done and much and then stuff happens and as the blurb has it Orhan has to defend the City against an unknown enemy that seems to have annihilated all the Imperial armies destroyed or blockaded the Imperial fleets and isolated the City without any real soldiers inside few war weapons as blades and the like are Adalet A Ao Lu Nun Romanc L galore of course few provisions no ships arriving at the docks and no one in authority present the Senators of course don t count as they know only how to talk enemy that seems bent not on conuest but on total destructionBut big events present big opportunities so Orhan who is somewhat of an idealist at heart may be able to use this to bring on the just society where everyone from the low to the high even including milkfaces and women has a stake though the people of the City still don t like jumped up milkfacesA few choice uotes The Robur pride themselves on theirood manners and besides calling a milkface a milkface is Conduct Prejudicial and can I Know You By Heart get you court martialled For the record nobody s ever faced charges on that score which proves doesn t it that Imperials aren t biased or bigoted in any way On the other hand several dozen auxiliary officers have been tried and cashiered for calling an Imperial a blueskin so you can see just how wicked and deserving of contempt my lot truly are It s just occurred to me that maybe you don t know very much about the Themes It s possible if you re from out of town Maybe all you know is that there are two rivalroups of supporters in the Hippodrome one lot with blue favors one lot with Kara Anlat Yazar V S At O Bener green and they cheer for their side in the sword fighting and the chariot races Which is true It started that way certainly Then about two hundred and fifty years ago the Blues took up a collection for the fighters widows and orphans Naturally the Greens did the same A bit later they extended the fund to look after the dependants of Theme members you pay a few trachy every week into the pot and if you fall on hard times youet a bit of help till you re on your feet again Well an idea that ood was bound
to catch on just as bound to o wrong Before long catch on just as bound to Sonsuzlu A Nokta go wrong Before long Theme treasuries controlled huge assets invested in shipping and manufacturing since commoners can t own land Money brought power which wasn t always used wisely or honestly Then the Greens started organizing the labor at the docks the Blues did the same in haulage and the civil service lowerrades Wasn t long before the The Ethnicity Reader governmentot scared and tried to interfere which Our Bodies Ourselves And The Work Of Writing got us the Victory riots twenty thousand dead in the Hippodrome when the City Prefect sent in Hus auxiliaries Since then the Themes have kept a low profile What they do the funds and all the activities thato with them is strictly illegal but since when did that stop anybody from doing anything Besides if you et sick or break. The powerful new novel from World Fantasy Award winner K J Parker and the start of a sweeping new epic fantasy seriesA siege is approaching and the City has little time left to prepare The people ha.
K.J. Parker ´ 4 reviewGe of the defense of the City the centuries old capital of the Robur Empire just as a mysterious adversary a tactical enius has annihilated all the defensive forces that were supposed to L Trange Chevauch E guard it Without any resources or troops Orhan must invent a new way to defend this walled city from the massed forces of this adversary I m an engineer I told myself People bring me problems and I fix them I m an engineer my answer to any and every problem is aadget a trick a device I don t consider the politics or the ethics If a bridge needs to be built I rig something up with logs and ropes If the system is so hopelessly fucked up that I can t The Cunt And Other Lesser Flowers get pay or supplies for my men I manufacture coins and seals If the City is threatened with a fate it richly deserves I modify and improve catapults improvise armour out of bedlinen manufacture sorry forge both senses of the word new communities fake ones naturally authorized by a fake seal I fix broken people with things with stuff with tricks lies devices I m resourceful and ingenious I don t confront I avoid and one of the things I do my best to avoid is justice and another one is death I don t like it when readers compare any new fantasy book with Game of Thrones but I m willing to make an exception in this case by linking Orhan to Tyrion Lannister Orhan may not be a midget cripple but he is still a pariah in the eyes of the Robur because his skin is the wrong colour He is only accepted and promoted through the ranks because he is truly veryood at what he does but the Robur still see him as a dirty pale faced savage My enemies have always come through for me and I owe them everything My friends on the other hand have caused me nothing but aggravation and pain Just as well I ve had so very few of them Even if this is a first person narrative and Orhan doesn t try to hide the fact that he self serving by white washing his public image readers unfamiliar with the work of K J Parker might be shocked by the complete amorality of his actions Orhan would do anything use everybody and pay any cost in order to achieve results What makes the account truly memorable is not only the cleverness of his devices but mostly Orhan s black humour and sharp sarcasm directed at his Robur overlords You know how the Robur think If they win it s manifest destiny spare the conuered Midnight Snack grind down the proud with war Recognize that Feel free to draw parallels to current events and real world politics I left out most of the discussion in the uote above but the social commentary is often acerbic and bitter as seen through the eyes of the downtrodden I admire Orhan because he doesn t wallow in self pity neither does he use his intellect for petty revenge He is a survivor and a troubleshooter who believes that there s a way out of any predicament as long as you do your research well and you use the available resources as best you can I have strong views about not tempting providence and as a wise man once said the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is luck doesn t work if you push it For readers who are still unfamiliar with the novels of K J Parker this is an excellent entry point one of his most straightforward stories A lively pace an intriguing chessame with real people as pawns in a deadly siege a humorous narration with a typical amoral engineer type of hero will probably hook you for from this author As a bonus this is a standalone story framed within a huge worldbuilding project that encompasses most of the other works written while Holt was still hiding his real identity under a pseudonym When you know all the relevant facts all you have to do then is figure out the solution as a wise man once said the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is luck doesn t work if you push itAnd just like that I m inLess fantasy than parable KJ Parker s clever little book is set in an alternate version of the Holy Roman Empire which frankly is a fine milieu for the story of a siege Told entirely in the first person by a nefarious engineer named Orhan we are treated to a detailed defensive campaign against a bold and mysterious enemy possessed "of overwhelming forces and the finest weaponry in the land This is a fight that cannot be won " overwhelming forces and the finest weaponry in the land This is a fight that cannot be won we proceed
ASSAULT BY ASSAULT THROUGH THE MISERYby assault through the misery holding out for a miracleor a crafty bit of strategic Lob genius our crusty oldoat hopes to develop on the flyThe character work here is marvelous the voice deceptively ambivalent the action euipped with a keen understanding of tactics the narrative rife with pockets of wisdom that delight and surprise So I went to the Old Flower Market If you ve never been to the City take note you can t buy flowers in the Old Flower Market Like so many City neighborhoods it defines itself in terms of what was done there a long time ago but isn t any For the avoidance of doubt flowers are about the only thing you can t buy there Life and death yes no problem A simple bunch of roses noIt was a Tuesdays With Morrie gamble or do I mean an augury I think that s the word where you basicallyive God a choice if you re on my side let this happen if not do what you like If we figured in His plans the fleet would be on the river or in dock at Bel If it was on its way back to town He clearly didn t want us to save the City and we d be free to take whatever shipping we could lay our hands on and sail awayI mention this because that s how the world changes It s either so uick that we never know what hit us or so Midwest Top 10 Garden Guide gradual that we don t notice It s only later when books are written and scholars decide what mattered and what didn t that the red lines are drawn before this point the world was this way after this point everything was different You could be there and not have a clue You could be asleep or looking the other way having a uiet shit or screwing in an alley and an unseen pen draws a line Here the Empire ended Here the Dark Ages beganThis is one of those rare novels with the perfect title If it happens to tickle your fancy Chances are you reoing to like where everything oes from there Orhan was the reatest voice I ve read in many a year Fabulous According to the books there s an extensive literature on the subject there are fifteen ways to defend a walled city You can try one of them and if that doesn t workWhat the books don t tell you is there s a sixteenth way You can use it when you ve Stellar Quilts got nothing no stuff no men and nobody to lead them Apart from that it sot nothing to recommend it whatsoever I ve discovered KJ Parker late in my life through his brilliant novellas I became a believer Brilliant minds impress me and Parker s books shine with wit humor and clever ideas He doesn t delve into magic Instead he focuses on politics finances and logistics of war Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City narrated by Orhan an engineer turned emperor tells the story of the Great Siege The Walled City has poor perspectives what with thousands of enemies around it plus lack of food and water But little things like that won t stop a Colonel of Engineers Orhan colorizes the events and his role in them but I couldn t help but root for him I have a soft spot for cynics especially when they discover they can still act for a higher The Cabaret Voltaire good no matter how stupid and pointless in a longer run Even when they lie and cheat along the way Orhan s actions stem mostly from logic calculation and luck Somehow the fates favor him and allow him to wriggle out of the fix The story doesn t demand a lot of world building but weet ives a sense of the current state of affairs at large Apart from interesting military and personal conflict Orhan presents also a racial and class differences that divide the society even in the face of almost inevitable doom With a steady pacing solid lean writing and variety of twists the novel keeps on surprising the reader but it doesn t prepare him for an abrupt ending What can I say I wanted heck I still want Highly recommended especially for readers enjoying sarcastic witty irreverent and unreliable narrator. Th the wrong color skin He is the City's only hopeBut nobody rich or poor wants to take orders from a jumped up Milkface Saving the City from itself might be difficult than surviving the coming sieg. A leg in this man s town it s the Themes you turn to or starve to death Her father was a trustee of the Greens fund and uite a big man in the movement did a lot of bad things and a lot of ood ones until he neglected to sidestep in the Hippodrome and Quita S Dayscare Center got skewered I d assumed he d creamed off enough to set his daughter up for life but it turned out heambled it away as fast as he embezzled it As far as she knows there was enough left to buy her the Dogs Actually there wasn t and regimental funds had to come to the rescue Well it was that or three thousand regulation shovels and we have p If you re into stuff like this you can read the full reviewHomage to Engineers Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by by KJ Parker My belief is either you understand things or you understand people Nobody can do both Frankly I m happier with things I understand stuff like tensile strength shearing force ductility work hardening stress fatigue I know the same sort of things happen with people but the rules are subtly different And nobody s ever paid for my time to Philadelphia get to know about people In Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K J ParkerRobert Heinlein said that SF was Realistic speculation about possible future events based solidly on adeuate knowledge of the real world past and present and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City is uite a different book and I absolutely loved it In some ways it is like a practical application of Sun Tzu s The Art of War because the telling of the story relies on strategy forethought knowing one s enemy and intelligent application of the techniues of battle rather than anything decidedly heroic or magical Orhan can do with a mile of rope a bucket of nails and some support beams stolen from an old church than most men can do with a whole army He knows this and also knows his story lacks thelorious elements of most heroic adventures so he s telling it himself and no doubt spicing it up a little for us the readers He is a fantastic character with a bone dry sense of humour a heart and soul that force him to make hard decisions however unpleasant the nuance and humility to deal with people of different classes and talk about being perfect for the job I love a reluctant hero as much as the next person but there is also something incredibly satisfying as seeing the exact man for the job et the actual job especially when the circumstances dictate anyone who may try and take over his job because of wealth position etc is not around to do so I m an engineer I told myself People bring me problems and I fix them I m an engineer my answer to any and every problem is a adget a trick a device I don t consider the politics or the ethics If a bridge needs to be built I rig something up with logs and ropes If the system is so hopelessly fucked that I can t The Child The Parent And The State get pay or supplies for my men I manufacture coins and seals If the City is threatened with a fate it richly deserves I modify and improve catapults improvise armour out of bed linen manufacture sorry forge both senses of the word new communities fake ones naturally authorised by a fake seal I fix broken people with things with tricks lies and devices I m resourceful and ingenious I don t confront I avoid and one of the things I do my best to avoid is justice and another one is death I loved the intense focus on the aforementioned elements and the absence of distracting romantic or political subplots It s a tight and exciting story based on logic clever ideas and razor sharp wit and it moves at a tumultuous paceThere is some nice discussion about identity and racism as Ohran referred to as a milk face lives and works among a systemically superior race known as the Robar who have blue faces Though he is a respected engineer with friends and men of both races there are places he cannoto and people he cannot speak to simply because of the colour of his skin At one point after a particularly brilliant counter move that turns the enemy back he is unrecognisably filthy and Market Panic goes to wash himself where he is chastised by a blue for using a blue only fountain His instant and instinctual response to completely accept his lower social rank despite being the only thing stopping the death of every man woman and child in the castle spoke volumes about the sort of dehumanization he had become accustomed to when he had every right to kick thatuy in the balls and wash his own in that damn fountainI for one hope that a few volumes of Orhan s memoirs survived destruction "and will one day be uncovered It s an incredibly interesting viewpoint from "will one day be uncovered It s an incredibly interesting viewpoint from to watch a siege and I d be interested to see how he would do in a less fortified position like being caught in transit as well as possibly being forced to lead an attack I d highly recommend Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City for lovers of fantasy and military stories and to anyone looking for something to mix up their TBR list As a stand alone at roughly 350 pages it asks very little but delivers so damn much and I m Intermediate Financial Management grateful for receiving an ARC from the publishers The worms of the Earth against the lionsThe sweetly realized success of Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City really hinges on its witty depiction of the protagonist Orhan head of the Imperial army engineers with all his myriad inconsistencies and personal faults including an innate cowardice An outsider having faced racial discrimination his whole life he s reluctantly thrust into a position of authority when he d really rather be building bridges and makingadgetsThe story becomes one of Orhan s ingenuity trying to outfox an enemy army whose troops vastly outnumber his own and buy another day for the citizens of his besieged city Which with his engineer s mind he does in some unorthodox and amusing ways despite the Full Metal Panic Volume 1 growing resistance and hatred by the very people he s trying to save The story takes some unexpected twists and turns and soon Orhan is confronting oldhosts and is forced to confront a lifetime of suppressed resentments and decide where his loyalties lay and whether he wants to be a worm or a lion Parker is back at it What an absolute pleasure All the things you love about his writing and then some Unreliable narrator deeply flawed yet enius protagonist dry intelligent humour immersive setting and characters I mean this is a top shelf read Highest possible recommendation 5 This is a stand alone novel too so no pressure
to commit to the series But if you tried this youcommit to the series But if you tried this you be after The Two of Swords and Savages and Sharps and The Folding Knife it is addictive You have been warnedSpecial shout out to those who enjoyed Sarantine Mosaic by Gavriel Kay Try this book now I reckon they pair wonderfully PS Orbit why do you release Parker in these cheap print paperbacks only Massive dissonance between the uality of writing and the uality of print it comes on This my only complaintKJ Parker is fantastic An auto add and auto purchase decision for meIn the meantime enjoying reatly my hardback copy of The Father of Lies and re issued paperback omnibus edition The Two of Swords Volume One The Two of Swords Volume Two The Two of Swords Volume Three The worms declared war on the lions and all the animals in the forest were sure the lions would win But the lions couldn t catch the worms because they dug down "into the round and wouldn t come out and fight But at night when the lions " the round and wouldn t come out and fight But at night when the lions asleep the worms crawled through their ears and ate their brains and killed them every one It s a popular story where I come from though the Robur have never heard of it And when I tell it to my Imperial friends I always ask them first which would you rather be a worm or a lion And they all say lion of course except Artavasdus of all people Why Because he said I m an engineer and worms dig really ood tunnels Orhan the narrator of this here wartime chronicle is an engineer A combination of unfortunate circumstances left him in char. Ve no food and no weapons and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them allTheir only chance rests with a colonel of engineers a despised outsider a enius a master of military and political strategy wi.