The Two of Swords: Part Four

May 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

swords4The Two of Swords: Part Four by K.J. Parker


We shift from the outskirts of the war directly into it with Part Four of The Two of Swords, where Daxin, the Grand Logothete to the Queen of Blemya, winds up in the military as a favor to the Queen, who is an old friend of Daxin’s. The thing is, what we see of the war is traveling. The army travels from Blemya to the desert, from the desert to an outpost, from the outpost to another city, and so on, all while under the threat of the Mavida, the nomadic tribes that live in the desert. There’s not even much battle that takes place here.

The thing is, stuff still happens, even if there’s not a lot of action in the novella. It focuses on Daxin and his inexperience, despite his role, and reveals much about the state of the war and how pointless it feels. Parker continues with his cynical style, showing what happens when the inept wind up in charge, possibly making a comment on war is usually run by the inept. Regardless, the story has a strange compulsion about it, despite it being so light on action.

Part Four is the best of the series so far, which is a surprise. It could be that enough of the backstory is finally laid down for me to get a better understanding of what’s happening, or it could be that this would be the point in a standard novel where the story begins to take shape. Either way, I’m committed, and I’m eager to see who the next point-of-view character will be.

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