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Evil for Evil (Engineer Trilogy #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,246 ratings  ·  62 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...more
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Published June 16th 2009 by Orbit (first published December 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,139)
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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...more
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...more
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
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
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.
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...more

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

Deb Koelling
Miel Ducas “thought about love, which was just a sophistication of that duty … .” K. J. Parker's Evil for Evil—part two of a fantasy trilogy—is a long, dark meditation upon two destructive forces: love and duty. The protagonist is coldly single-minded and not at all appealing, but he's interesting. The villain is truly horrifying. Both of them are motivated by "love," and the only two sympathetic characters in the book are, in contrast, free of love's power. The plotting is clever, surprising, a...more
Bogdan Lascu
Citisem vreo doua comentarii cam negative si nu ma asteptam la prea multe de la volumul asta.

Insa, suprinzator, mi s-a parut chiar mai bun ca precedentul.

Pina la un punct am crezut ca o sa urmeze aceeasi reteta din primul, insa lucrurile se schimba radical.

Ziani inginerul tot nu se opreste din urzeala planurilor sale obscure, actiunile sale afectand acum si regatul vecin al Vadanisilor.

Razboiul continua.

Personajele sunt la fel de puternice si carismatice.

Totusi nu am fost convins de usurinta cu...more
Pretty much exactly like the first book, but slightly better. Still super engaging throughout but a little problematic when the details of true mechanism come out (I only found one such detail implausible this time - still enough to be annoying but not as bad as last time). The exposition/revelation at the end was actually somewhat justified by the plot this time. Disappointingly, two of the more interesting characters from book 1 become less likable here; which is counterbalanced by the intrigu...more
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
Definitely worse than the first book in the series. Too many characters in this novel acted at a level of intelligence far below the first book (notably Miel, Valens, and even Ziani). The plot was also a bit of a mess, with lots of tangents and people disappearing at random and reappearing with no one having really cared. That said, it was still solid and worth reading. Parts of the beginning and middle of the book were legitimately hilarious, and I know I will read the third. So in that sense,...more
Chris Maguire
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sean McBride
K.J. Parker really tries to get into the heads of their characters. The problem is all the characters only really have one voice and that's K.J. Parker. Everything is so intricate and convoluted, but at the same time there are gaps in logic (with people who think that there is nothing better than ultimate logic). This could play out as a commentary how no body is perfect, and in fact I believe that is what was meat to be, however it just comes across as poor writing because it, ultimately, is so...more
Wendy Palmer
"it'll be fine as long as the enemy doesn't find out about it" -- there's a certain degree of inevitability about that...

The main female character continues to annoy me and the theme of the destructiveness of love and duty is getting a bit depressing since in the context of this book there's nothing to refute the argument, plus my theory about Ziani's plan was proved correct so I knew what was coming -- but the how of what he's doing remains intriguing and the myriad mysteries back in the city a...more
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.
Deanna Knippling
Someday. Someday I will find out who this writer is. /scaryfangirl

Something it took me a while to notice: all three book start with almost exactly the same paragraph.

Okay, since I realize that these are perhaps not the most popular books around, I should probably write an actual enticement to read them.

People are predictable. They have strengths, weaknesses, breaking points. They are machines.

Engineer Vaatzi, after being banished from his industrial homeland for illegally straying from "specific...more
Slightly unusual fantasy, this. There are no monsters, no magic, no elves, no gods (no religion, in fact). Just humans and good, solid medieval technology. Best way to describe it would be to call it a clockwork book - the characters have roles to play, but the roles are preordained by the master clockmaker (Parker) who knows just where the plot is going. It's rather hard to describe without giving too much away. Suffice to say that the writing is gorgeous and the plot is more than half decent....more
This book doesn't rate at highly as Devices and Desires for one simple reason. About halfway to three quarters of the way through the book, Vaatzes does something that I can no longer reconcile. I will not ruin it by saying anything at all about what this is, but suffice to say that everything he had done, horrible and wonderful, up to this point, I would do myself to get back to the one I love, but then it turns a corner. For those who are considering reading this, I still highly recommend it,...more
So entertaining, and I still have SO many questions! Can't wait to move onto the next one.
Disturbing, yet fun. Ziani Vaatzes is perhaps the nicest "villain" I've ever encountered in fiction. The story unfolds with clockwork timing and efficiency. More important though are the commentaries on love and relationships. She manages to put a fresh spin on the love triangle, with each character aware of the absurdity of their situation yet still committed to the role they play. The sarcastic, dry, witty, world weary tone though grates after 700 pages.
Jacob Dean
Nov 26, 2008 Jacob Dean rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: medieval fantasy fans
This book was a beast to get through but it was well worth it. My only problem was that I couldn't decide who I wanted to come out on top. Ziani Vaatzes is not your typical protagonist but there are plenty of other amazing characters to choose from. I guess this is a testament to K.J. Parker's attention to detail and character development. Who ever you choose to root for, you won't be disappointed. I'm excited to read the final book!
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.
An amazing follow-up to a recent new favorite of mine. Some people say that second books are the weakest, but I found this one so fascinating with the love quadrangle between Veatriz/Orsea/Valens/Miel, Daurenja's developing role as Ziani's assistant/stalker/rival, and Ziani's continued quest to take political and warfare revenge on the Mezentines. The cliffhanger at the end of this one blew my mind.
The introduction of a compelling new character. The mechanism of an intricate plot gets more finely tuned. Things that seemed innocuous turned out to be incredibly important. Not as well-paced as the first one in the series, but certainly more intriguing. Where is all of this going, and can it be wrapped up in only one more book?

K. J. Parker is my new favorite writer.
It's like a game of chess - battle chess. And you like all of the pieces and then get to watch them be destroyed. Parker has a clever way of slipping in a modern turn of the phrase that brings humor to what would otherwise be incredibly grim.

I can't recommend these books enough. I'm anxiously anticipating the next - though not without a hint of dread.
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.
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K.J. Parker is a pseudonym. The author's true name has never been revealed.

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 autobiographical note, Parker wa...more
More about K.J. Parker...
Devices and Desires (Engineer Trilogy, #1) The Folding Knife The Escapement (Engineer Trilogy, #3) Colours in the Steel (Fencer Trilogy, #1) Sharps

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