The Two of Swords: Part Three

May 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

swords3The Two of Swords: Part Three by K.J. Parker


War! What is it good for? (Absolutely nothing!) Say it again! Well, aside from the jobs and the profits and the politics, that is. For people who are running countries, war is big business.

Continuing the theme of telling the story of war as it affects different people, Parker writes Part Three from the perspective of a spy. Telamon, a priestess who does undercover work for her country, featured in Part Two as a secondary character, and moves into the spotlight with this novella. It starts out briskly and violently (a la Parker, I suppose), as she murders someone to make room on the last ship out of Belosia so she can escape the city before it’s sacked.

From there, she returns home, but just as she settles in to have some time off, another assignment comes up, and she finds herself accompanying Oida, a musician, to another region to deliver a copy of a new symphony. Of course, the trip is to cover up her real mission, but when she nears the end of it, she begins to question what the mission actually was.

Parker’s in form here, and the larger story begins to take shape with Part Three. I still feel like we’re only getting a glimpse of that larger story, like we’re identifying shapes from their shadows, but as we continue circling the war, we get more detail about what’s happening. I like this style of storytelling, so I’m enjoying how Parker is approaching the story. I mean, I’d better, right? As of today, the series is going to be at least twenty-three parts.

I have a long way to go, but I look forward to watching Parker work. It’s also fun to read the current novella and try to guess who’s going to be the featured character for the next one. Plus, it’s a device that keeps you reading; it’s too easy to finish one part and jump right into the next one to see if you’re right.

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