The Two of Swords: Part Nineteen

December 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Reads) (, )

swords19The Two of Swords: Part Nineteen by K.J. Parker

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The way this chapter flows, it feels like it’s the end of The Two of Swords. Things are wrapped up (and, finally, explained) in a way that leaves me satisfied, with major characters reaching the ends of their arcs and machinations seemingly concluded, so this feels like the place to end the story. The thing is, I ordered all of the remaining parts of the book back in April, and those show four chapters to go. Granted, that was April, and who knows what could have happened between then and now?

I think I would have gone into this chapter with a different mindset had I known this was going to be the final chapter. Instead, I went in thinking things would be drawn together in anticipation of the conclusion, so I never felt like that was going to be it. By the time I finished it, though, it was pretty clear this was the end of the story.

It’s been an interesting journey. Throughout the story, it was difficult to determine what was truth and what wasn’t. The layers of subterfuge are many, and so interconnected that it almost takes a spreadsheet to keep up with what’s a double-cross or quadruple-cross. I may have been able to keep up with the characters more had I been reading the story in collected formats, and had I been able to read them back-to-back from start to finish. I was actually surprised I could remember enough details from chapter to chapter to keep up with everything.

Before this book, my exposure to Parker was through his novellas, and those tend to read as stories that lead up to an unseen conclusion, sort of like The Sixth Sense, but with fewer ghosts and more humor. I didn’t expect him to follow that structure here, so I was excited to see how his longer stories would develop, and I wasn’t disappointed. I plan to read the rest of his fiction within the next year or so, and I hope I haven’t messed it up by starting with his most recent works and then going back to the beginning. At the very least, I look forward to seeing him develop the shared universe of these books.

Started: September 26, 2017
Finished: September 26, 2017

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