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Cut and parry

My random book pickup for the weekend was Colours in the Steel by K. J. Parker. It’s an elegant little book, sort of like Swordspoint without the manners aspect and a dose of Glen Cook to liven things up a bit. Bardas Loredan is a fencer-at-law, which is essentially a formalized duellist, who has to save the city of Perimadeia. There is a more or less unexplained system of magic, which isn’t fully understood even by the practitioners. There are horse-riding fantasy tribes. Not really a lot of novel newness.

But I liked Parker’s dry wit and I liked the way he unabashedly used the novel as a way to talk about the construction of siege equipment, not to mention metallurgy, which are clearly subjects he enjoys. It’s a fun book. It’s the first in a trilogy, so that’s either a plus or a minus depending on how you feel about such things. Me, I’m happy to have two more chunks of comfortable reading ahead of me.

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