K. J. Parker's new novel is the remarkable tale of the siege of a walled city, and the even more remarkable man who had to defend it.
A siege is approaching, and the city has little time to prepare. The people have no food and no weapons, and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them all.
To save the city will take a miracle, but what it has is Orhan. A colonel of engineers, Orhan has far more experience with bridge-building than battles, is a cheat and a liar, and has a serious problem with authority. He is, in other words, perfect for the job.
Sixteen Ways To Defend a Walled City is the story of Orhan, son of Siyyah Doctus Felix Praeclarissimus, and his history of the Great Siege, written down so that the deeds and sufferings of great men may never be forgotten.
Parker (Savages), the more sly and bitter pseudonym of comic fantasist Tom Holt, launches a witty adventure series set in a fictional world with features similar to the Roman Empire. The infectiously optimistic Orhan, colonel-in-chief of the Engineers, is away building a bridge when the unnamed capital city comes under siege. After the soldiers are ambushed and killed and the noblemen flee the city, there's no one left to defend it, so Orhan sneaks his team of carpenters into the city to help. As a former slave and a "milkface," he is the wrong color for a leader, occupying the lowest level of society among the blue-skinned elite Robur. Nevertheless, the local citizens, Robur and milkface alike, rally around the fast-thinking, faster-talking, and resourceful Orhan. The enemy at the gate is 100,000 strong, armed with trebuchets, and led by a tactical genius who's been planning the siege for decades. When Orhan realizes he has a connection to the enemy's leader, he begins to question why he's defending the empire that enslaved him and killed millions of his people. Orhan is a comical, exceptionally lucky, unreliable narrator. Readers will appreciate the infusion of humor and fun-loving characters into this vivid and sometimes grim fantasy world.
Sarcastic and Entertaining
An easy read that flows naturally. Filled with irony, humor, action, and sarcasm. You will find yourself liking the main character, despite what he says or does.