Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Savages, by K. J. Parker

I have spent the past few days enjoying Savages by K. J. Parker, another of the 2016 World Fantasy Award nominees.  It's an excellent read, with some buts...

My previous experience with Parker (aka Tom Holt, disclosed last year) has been through the stories A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong and Let Maps to Others.  These are deliciously well written short stories in every dimension, and you should go read them right now.  Savages has all the style...

The story has multiple protagonists, starting with a man who is stripped of all possessions, has his family slaughtered and is left for dead surviving the experience and starting over.  We also have a brilliant general, a skilled forger, and an aimless son of an arms maker--but you get all that from the jacket.  What's more interesting is the story of a very long-lived empire at the end of its rope but for that general, and how that empire and its enemies (with each main character from some branch) wear each other down.

The book has all the clever writing of the short stories.  The protagonists are all witty and self-aware, they have a fine time steering their fates.  What is missing somewhat is a point.  The stories mentioned above definitely make a point--you come away not only entertained but thinking.  In Savages the cleverness begins to wear a little thin as the book (yet again) begins to resemble Game of Thrones--a telling of a history but not really going anywhere.

For all that it is a good read and I can recommend it.  Not sure that it will hold up as my favorite.  Interesting and fortunate that my library was able to score one of the 1000 copies of the signed edition.  

No comments:

Post a Comment