Tuesday, March 01, 2016

K.J. Parker: And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

I'm setting out to see how many K.J. Parker novellas I can read in the shortest time possible--or at least it feels that way.  But they're so good! And there are a bunch of new ones coming out! And Netgalley gave me some, and I haven't even STARTED his big ongoing serial yet!

Today's feature is another Netgalley ARC, and this one is exciting because it's about Saloninus, who was the protagonist of Blue and Gold, the first Parker book I read.  This one, The Devil You Know, has set itself a huge challenge: now that we know Saloninus is the greatest trickster in history--now that we've read Blue and Gold, how do you keep tricking us?  Can it be done?

Dear reader, never doubt! Saloninus is an old man, and he's set out to sell his soul. Our narrator is sometimes Saloninus himself and sometimes the agent who brokers the deal, who seems like a good egg, albeit with a bit of an unsavory job.  But he's also a fan of history's greatest trickster--read all his books, knows his deepest, darkest secrets--so he knows that there's probably a trick at work here.  Still, twenty years of youth, health, wealth, and any wish he might have, in return for his immortal soul.  The lawyers have been over it with a fine-toothed comb; the contract is airtight.  What could possibly go wrong?

You'll wonder that, too.  I was wondering.  What is our protagonist up to?  Can Saloninus out-devious the devil?  What are all the cutthroats and artists for? And CAN he turn base metals into gold?

There are things to quibble about here--although there are few characters in general, all the women but one are prostitutes in a rather ugly scenario--I can't help loving this.  Love love love, and always, always want more Parker.

What other novellas, you ask?  What's coming up next?  The Last Witness, followed by the first part of The Two of Swords, of course!  Then we dig deeper into his backlist.  Happy, happy, happy!

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