The follow-up to Devices and Desires continues to push the boundaries of fantasy fiction in a fast-moving mix of politics, action and intelligent world-building.
The engineer Ziani Vaatzes designed and built a war. Thousands died as a consequence of his elaborate plan.
The civil servant Manuo Psellus took the decision that started the war. The very foundations of his world are now threatened.
The ruler Duke Valens brought the war on himself. Now he must decide whether to sacrifice his country to save his people.
They embarked on the war for their own reasons, but as it takes on a life of its own they find they've become components in their own machine. And the machine, it seems, has one purpose: to render evil for evil.
K. J. Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt. He was born in London in 1961. At Oxford he studied bar billiards, ancient Greek agriculture and the care and feeding of small, temperamental Japanese motorcycle engines. These interests led him, perhaps inevitably, to qualify as a solicitor and emigrate to Somerset, where he specialised in death and taxes for seven years before going straight in 1995. He lives in Chard, Somerset, with his wife and daughter.