The Two of Swords: Part Five

May 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

swords5The Two of Swords: Part Five by K.J. Parker

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This. This is what I’ve come to expect from Parker. It has good characters, human drama, a lot of detail, and a brisk pace. Yes, yes, there’s also the sardonic style and the irreverence, which we’ve seen in all of the parts up to this one, but Part Five finally got around to showing me that Parker is on form with this series.

Remarkably, this is the shortest of all parts thus far, but there’s a lot packed in here, thanks in part to shifting the point of view to Forza, one of the Belot brothers who are at war with each other. There’s a little bit of battle here, but what really takes the focus of the story is the relationship between Forza and Raico, his wife. Forza is known for being the greatest general who ever lived, but as we see behind the scenes, Raico might even be better than he is. I like that Parker populates his stories with women who are just as — usually more than — capable as his male characters. It’s not that it’s unusual to find that in modern fantasy stories, but I think it’s significant when male writers include them.

One word of caution, though: Before reading this entry in the series, make sure you have Part Six on hand. I get the feeling you’re going to want to read it right away after finishing Part Five.

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