lenaatlarge (lenaatlarge) wrote in bookish,

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Devices and Desires by KJ Parker

First things first.  I haven't written a book review for a long, long time, so I'm rather out of practice.  I'm also wondering if anyone else out there has read this or anything else by this author and, if so, what were your thoughts?

The blurb on the back:  When an engineer is sentenced to death for a petty transgression of Guild law, he flees the city, leaving behind his wife and daughter.  Forced into exile, he seeks a terrible vengeance- one that will leave a trail of death and destruction in its wake.  But he will not be able to achieve this by himself.  He must draw up his plans using the blood of others....   This is the extraordinary tale of a man who engineers a war to be reunited with his family.

This is the first in a trilogy.  It's complex, not so much in plot, but definitely in terms of theme.  It also requires some patience- the descriptions can sometimes be long and unrelated to the plot.  There is no magic whatsoever in this world, which makes Devices and Desires very unlike a lot of the other fantasy books out there.  It's a different animal.  Because the story focuses on an engineer, there are a fair amount of technical passages.  I have a decently technical mind, and for me, they were part of the fun, but I could definitely see where they might be tedious and ruin the story.

I enjoyed it.  I'm fascinated by the insights into the way the protagonist thinks- so many things in terms of machines and technology.  I'm also fascinated by the enormous lengths he (and others in the book) go to in order to justify their actions.  I can't decide if I like him or hate him.   

Anybody else out there visited this world?

Tags: genre: fantasy, genre: fiction, review, xxx author last name: i-q

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