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Evil for Evil (Engineer Trilogy #2)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,832 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Civitas Vadanis is in trouble. The Mezentines have declared war; and the Mezentines are very focused on their goals when it comes to killing.

Duke Valens, of Civitas Vadanis, has a dilemma. He knows that his city cannot withstand the invading army; yet its walls are his only defence against the Mezentines. Perhaps the only way to save his people is to flee, but that will n
ebook, 704 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Orbit (first published December 7th 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mr. Matt
Evil for Evil continues the story of Ziani Vaatzes, an engineer exiled from his home city for the crime of abomination. He created mechanical devices that varied from the time honored guild specifications. In this volume, Ziani flees to the Vadanis and war follows; however, unlike Orsea, the hapless leader of the Eremians , Duke Valens is made of sterner stuff. He wages a determined - albeit doomed - campaign against the Mezentines.

There are many things to like about this book. There are plots w
May 03, 2011 Besha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I’m really beginning to hate this trilogy. If this post is excessively long, detailed, and tripartite, consider it a pale reflection of the work itself. Here are my main complaints so far:

1. A character is framed and executed for a crime. The decision-maker really doesn’t want to do it and has previously described his reasons for not believing anything the key witness has to say. However, he states his unqualified belief in the story given to him. This made absolutely no sense. I wouldn’t have d
Ross Evans
Oh K.J. Parker… No other author has frustrated me so much! Book 2 of the Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker picks up right after the events in Book 1. After the revelations seen in Devices and Desires I was eager to see what else was in store for the characters. Unfortunately the second novel in this trilogy is a perfect example of the dreaded “middle book syndrome”. Sadly this seems to happen all too often in fantasy literature. The trilogy formula is almost expected in many ways and while I have ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So in the first volume (Devices and Desires), the engineer Ziani Vaatzes ran off from his home city to the Duchy of Eremia after being sentenced to death for being a little too good at his job. His only desire was to return home and make sure his wife and daughter were being looked after. By the end of the first book, the Eremian nation had been pretty much wiped out and Vaatzes (in company with the Duke and the Duke's wife and a few other survivors) had taken refuge in the neighboring Vadani Du ...more
Josh Ingraham
Aug 27, 2012 Josh Ingraham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing in the series from Devices and Desires, the protagonist becomes more and more unlikable, while the story gets better and better. I have never been very fond of fantasy books, and this book is more of an alternate reality than fantasy, but it and its's predecessor are both very good. The character Duredja is fantastic. Creepy, and loathsome, and yet understandable to a point.
Russell Allison
Book #2 in a trilogy. More of the same as first book. One of those types of fantasy novels that you really want to finish because you want to see how it all turns out, but the actual reading is a bid tedious. The author is trying to do more than he really pulls off well in terms of character development, but it stays moderately interesting because its often unpredictable.
Rachael Huempfner
For total discretion, this is my first KJ Parker trilogy and will likely be my last. Don't take that to heart though. I know people do like the writing style. I just find these books are not for me. Anyway......

Take the first book (Devices and Desire by KJ Parker) rinse with dirty water and repeat. Exactly the same as the first, but longer and nothing happens. At least in the first book we have a war. In the second book, we have the artful (and unsuccessful) evading. The metaphors were pages lon
James Swenson
Mar 22, 2016 James Swenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm grading this "Incomplete" until I finish the series.

I took a break in the middle of reading, and spent some time thinking about how I'd want the conflicts resolved. The protagonist is sympathetic, but evil. He's an unopposable force, in his mild-mannered way, but you can't wish him success. Yet his assistant, who is presently the main obstacle visible in his path, is a devil.

I know how stories work, and I should probably expect this series, like many, to climax with the protagonist choosing
The twists and turns and revelations built off the previous book, Devices and Desires, well and made for an even more entertaining read, but by the end I wanted to let Parker know, okay, I get it, people are bastards and love is the root of the greatest evil. Honestly, would it be so wrong if a hint of decency didn't produce horrible results?
The intricacy and mechanism of the plot kept me engaged enough to rush through the 600 plus pages in a weekend, though I'll need to read something with a br
Dec 06, 2014 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to Devices and Desires. This book loses any momentum that Parker was able to drum up in the first book. The plot takes a couple strange turns away from the main storyline, and the introduction of Daurenja just creates a darker, muddier mess the reader has to dig through.
The writing style still fit the setting and characters, but the descriptive detail started to drag. I maintained enough interest in the plot (I always need to know how it ends!) to push through, but it was less enjoyab
Jan 10, 2015 Css1971 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Parker seems to be fascinated by sociopaths and psychopaths which several of the characters are. none are terribly likeable.
Given the structure of the first two books, I'm fairly confident there will be some master manipulator (not the protagonist) with a grand plan, moving pawns on the chess board as the 'surprising' conclusion to the third. I'm not sure it's going to be worth slogging through the third to find out.
May 21, 2012 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried. I really did. I couldn't finish this one. There's more stuff about how people are morons for love, which is too cynical of a worldview for me. Also characters I liked before become incompetent and useless, or utterly evil. And the treatment of women does not improve... at least not for the first 73 percent of the book, which was as far as I got. Sorry, KJ Parker. I'm sure you have your fans. I'm just not one.
Mar 17, 2009 Christa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 50-book-09
This book is dense as hell. I ended up hating most of the characters by the end of it, although action does begin to pick up by the time they hit the desert. However, I'm sick of the love triangle that cannot be and everyone complaining about how they're totally fucked and only human. It's getting a little old.

Hopefully the next one will be better.
Apr 16, 2009 Liviu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just brilliant; one of the best novels I've read recently and the best in the series; an A+++ kind of book with the middle part of the machinations of Ziani, tribulations of the triangle Valens/Veatriz/Orsea, Lucas Pselus and his phantom job, Miel Ducas and his path, as well as the woman who started it all Ariessa and the rest of the surviving heroes

Christian Vreeland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2015 Celia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015-books
The Engineer Trilogy are really not my favourite books of Parker's - I'm used to coming to like his rather awful characters despite myself over the course of reading one of his novels, but everyone in Evil For Evil is just irredeemably dreadful and it makes getting through this long novel with Parker's typical tedious infodumps a bit of a slog.
Jennifer Simonton
Ugh, second book syndrome strikes again. The last third of this book was a struggle to get through. The characters are fading into caricatures and Vaatzes is getting by on luck more than skill and planning. I suppose part of Parker's plan is to turn characters into the machines they rely on so much but this doesn't make for compelling reading. 1300 pages into this trilogy, 400 more to go.
Feb 20, 2013 Jonathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 02, 2014 Casey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much more of the same stuff that was in Devices and Desires, except all the characters became much less likable, to the point that it soured the whole book. The most interesting parts were the parts in Mezentine.
Mar 10, 2012 Debbie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I like the first book well enough, but this one never did grab my interest. I started to develop a dislike for all the characters, and I realized I don't want to spend time with them. Perhaps I will try it again later, because I wanted to like this trilogy.
May 22, 2017 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book's main characters are terrible people who do terrible things that are never their fault. It gets old very quickly.
Apr 07, 2016 Erik rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scififantasy
So, at one point early in this book, there's about 5 pages in which a character reinvents sewing and describes that in great detail.

Okay. Alright. A bit obnoxious, yes. But not hugely egregious right?

I mean, in Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson spent 10+ pages on a character discussing his fetish for stockings and how his wife can only have an orgasm when having sex on antique furniture. And I gave that book 5 stars and have never removed it from my beloved (literal) top-shelf, which only has room
Dec 26, 2015 Randal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who really, really liked book one.
Shelves: fantasy
1) I liked the first book despite its obsession with mechanical details. I thought they provided insight in Vaatzes in particular and Mezentines in general. But in this one there were huge swathes set aside to discuss mining, smelting, machining, carpentry, falconry ... at times it stopped being fiction and became a series of technical manuals.

2) A mainspring of the action was the unrequited love triangle, which Parker chips away this book. It's tremendously disappointing that we never really me
Jul 25, 2012 Zedsdead rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ondrej Urban
Jan 01, 2015 Ondrej Urban rated it it was amazing
How come this series seems not so well known, given how good it is? Four and a half stars for this one and definitely going on with the concluding volume.

A second book of a trilogy, this volume does not really suffer from the middle book syndrome. The action gets going swiftly, in the sense we know from book one - that is, not too fast but never sluggish or dull. Most conflicts are solved by talking, the characters are driven by their own morale and selfishness and noone is really good or evil.
The second book in this series was a little disappointing to me. On the one hand it continued and intensified its exploration of a grand scenario where people have huge scope to do evil while trying to do good, or do greater good through small evils, or don't even consider their evil works to be evil. But on the other, I was really fatigued by the treatment of females. I normally don't focus on "how does the book I'm reading handle women" but while reading this book, I kept on hoping for one of ...more


Scott Blond
Apr 19, 2016 Scott Blond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is a very well executed continuation. There is good logic and flow behind the momentum of the action. As the story grows darker and the characters become more conflicted, the story becomes a bit more difficult for the reader to process. Comparing characters exacerbates this. We have many characters of similar position, ability, or circumstance. The subtle variances of their decisions make them all unique, yet hard to judge. The characters once to easy to emphasize with become shady, th ...more
Tom Loock
I really like K.J. Parker's novels. The more of his novels I read, the more I like them and now that I have finished eight of them, I'm convinced I'll read the other seven (I've have just purchased the Scavenger-trilogy today).
Parker is very difficult to classify. Sold as fantasy, his novels could easily go as mainstream literature, because they lack all those components that distinguish the two: there is no magic, no elves, dwarfs, dragons etc (just human beings), no special items like talisman
Jun 09, 2016 Duncan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the fantasy series. Repeats, to some extent, the events of the first novel, transposed into a different setting, so some of the developments aren't quite as surprising this time, but there are some new twists in the subplots. In particular, the series introduces a new character who brings out the theme of compromising principles to accomplish what may (or may not) be a greater good even more strongly. The central conceit, that all of the events are being manipulated by the central char ...more
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K.J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt. The author's true name was revealed on 21 April 2015.

According to the biographical notes in some of Parker's books, Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics, and now writes and makes things out of wood and metal. It is also claimed that Parker is married to a solicitor and now lives in southern England. According to an autobiographi
More about K.J. Parker...

Other Books in the Series

Engineer Trilogy (3 books)
  • Devices and Desires (Engineer Trilogy, #1)
  • The Escapement (Engineer Trilogy, #3)

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