"Full of invention and ingenuity . . . Great fun." - SFX on Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
This is the history of how the City was saved, by Notker the professional liar, written down because eventually the truth always seeps through.
The City may be under siege, but everyone still has to make a living. Take Notker, the acclaimed playwright, actor, and impresario. Nobody works harder, even when he's not working. Thankfully, it turns out that people enjoy the theater just as much when there are big rocks falling out of the sky.
But Notker is a man of many talents, and all the world is, apparently, a stage. It seems that the empire needs him -- or someone who looks a lot like him -- for a role that will call for the performance of a lifetime. At least it will guarantee fame, fortune, and immortality. If it doesn't kill him first.
In the follow up to the acclaimed Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, K. J. Parker has created one of fantasy's greatest heroes, and he might even get away with it.
For more from K. J. Parker, check out:Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
The Two of SwordsThe Two of Swords: Volume OneThe Two of Swords Volume TwoThe Two of Swords: Volume Three
The Fencer TrilogyColours in the SteelThe Belly of the BowThe Proof House
The Scavenger TrilogyShadowPatternMemory
Engineer TrilogyDevices and DesiresEvil for EvilThe EscapementThe CompanyThe Folding KnifeThe HammerSharps
Parker overlays a military fantasy with a comedy of mistaken identity in this fun, standalone return to the Roman Empire inspired world of Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City. Notker, a jobbing actor and playwright, is known around the City for his uncanny impersonations of notable bigwigs. When venerated war hero Lysimachus is killed by an enemy trebuchet, a trio of influential conspirators coerce Notker into impersonating him to keep public morale up amid an ongoing siege. As it happens, Lysimachus was bedding Notker's old flame and fellow thespian, Hodda, who is also roped into the ruse. As the pair becomes increasingly tangled in a web of lies, the unknowing Senate appoints Lysimachus as Emperor, expecting him to lead the war against ruthless King Ogus and his hordes of warriors. Parker front-loads this entertaining yarn with his best jokes and set pieces, leaving the final act to settle into by-the-numbers battle strategy. Still, with Notker possessing all the charm, wit, and resourcefulness of a Shakespearean fool, readers are ensured a good time and a barrel of laughs to boot.
Another great book by Parker. I always enjoy the characters and this one has a fantastic protagonist/anti-hero/antagonist…all three at the same time.
A forceful follow up
Parker is certainly one of my favourite authors and this book does not disappoint.