Nick Smith's Reviews > Colours in the Steel

Colours in the Steel by K.J. Parker
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it was amazing

I can see why some people marked this down for its engineering descriptions, and the author has apologised for them later in interview, but I love them. I love to know how things work and Mr(s?) Parker allows me to really understand medieval siege warfare - both the Physics and the nitty gritty limb-tearing realism.

First off, like all of Parker's books to date, this is not your normal magic and dragon-packed dark lord plot, in Parker's words his (or her) books are history as it should have been.

The characters are superbly complex and realistic, as is the plot of the trilogy. It is written with a wonderful sardonic tone that is very addictive to read.

The novel has two main point of view characters - Fencer and ex-military man Bardas Loredan (who should really be called Bad-Ass, because he is!) who is quite lazy and sometimes uncaring; and Temrai - young and determined son and chief-to-be of the Plains People (a sort of Attila the hun x Genghis Khan type figure).

Bardas (much to his annoyance) is placed in charge of a rich and wonderful city. Temrai, whose people suffered at the hands of the city, sets out to destroy it.

The lives of the characters are revealed through the narrative, with plenty of twists and turns. The whole trilogy is wonderful, with a darkness and sinister realism that at times can leave you with your jaw open. These books really don't go where you expect them to go, and they'll keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. This trilogy remains my favourite of anything I have ever read. I can not sing the author's praise any louder.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 6, 2013 – Shelved

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