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The Two of Swords: Part 1 by K. J. Parker
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The Two of Swords: Part 1

by K. J. Parker

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Farmboys. Oh right! Gritty, cynical and centered on war. A single chapter with a single viewpoint is too little to form an opinion, but it seems interesting, I like military stuff, skilled wordlbuilding, clever dialogues and a little gallows humor. The chapter end was probably meant to build suspense, instead it was confusing for a couple of dialogues but ok. I think the first installment should have been a little longer, a couple of chapters at least. ( )
  Alissa- | Jun 5, 2015 |
This novella is the first part of a series of novellas telling a connected story about a war, told from the varying viewpoints of different characters (I'm under the impression that these viewpoints will be like from soldiers (of both sides of the war), town folk, kings, etc.). The other thing that is supposed to be unique about this story is that the author hasn't actually finished it yet. He knows where he wants it to end, but hasn't planned everything out exactly, so things could change as he proceeds with the writing (he says it's like he's actually writing history as he progresses with the story).

Needless to say, I won't be downloading any of the subsequent parts (this is being released solely as eBook editions, with a print version released when the story is completed). I could tell if the opening segments were meant to be funny or not, and the following segments, told from the point of view of a conscripted farmer, Teucer, who is well-known for his archery skills, are nothing more than a travelogue of the hardships that Teucer and the rest of his regiment have to endure, trying to get to the battle.

I felt no connection or concern for the characters, didn't care whether they lived or died, and really don't care what happens next. The writing is decent, but it honestly feels like Parker just sat down one night, wrote this out, and published it. The change in tone from the opening segment to the rest of the story is jarring and doesn't feel like it's even supposed to be connected. Maybe if this read like it had been polished a little more before it was published, I'd feel a little different about it, but as it is, I won't be continuing with the series. ( )
  tapestry100 | May 1, 2015 |
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