K. J. Parker’s Devices and Desires, Early Thoughts

Hi all!

I recently stumbled on a new series by K. J. Parker called The Engineer Trilogy. The back of the first book, Devices and Desires, hooked me to the point that a few weeks later I gave in and ordered it (Barnes & Noble was out of stock at the time).

Devices and Desires Cover

The back of the book has the following text:

When an engineer is sentenced to death for a petty transgression of Guild law, he flees the city, leaving behind his wife and daughter. Forced into exile, he seeks a terrible vengeance– one that will leave a trail of death and destruction in its wake. But he will not be able to achieve this by himself. He must draw up his plans using the blood of others…
This is the extraordinary tale of a man who engineers a war to be reunited with his family.

As an engineer (software engineer, but still an engineer) and a family man, I was struck by this idea of an engineer manipulating a war to get back to his family. The bits I read in the bookstore drove home the idea that this would be a series I’d have to pick up down the line…

So now that I’ve started reading it, I thought I’d post a few of my thoughts as I start cruising into Chapter 6…

I have to say that I was concerned when I started reading Chapter 1. There was no engineer in Chapter 1. Just a bit of a spoiled royal by the name of Valen who wasn’t happy with where he was. So I finished the chapter and put the book down, disappointed.

However, I picked it up again a few days later and read chapter 2, which has to do with the engineer in question — Ziani Vaatzes. And from that point on, I was hooked. Vaatzes sees the world with an engineer’s mind, looking for strengths, weaknesses, and ways to improve upon the design.

But now that the book is truly rolling along, I should be able to ride the wave through to the end of the first book and then pick up the second… 🙂

I love it when a good book falls into place. 🙂

I’ll keep you posted and let you know what I think of the 1st book once I am finished reading it.

Has anyone else read anything from K. J. Parker? He’s not an author I’m familiar with.

–Fitz

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