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.