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K.J. Parker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Corax Trilogy Books

Saevus Corax Deals With the Dead (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saevus Corax Captures the Castle (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saevus Corax Gets Away With Murder (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Fencer Trilogy Books

Colours in the Steel (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Belly of the Bow (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Proof House (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Scavenger Books

Publication Order of Engineer Trilogy Books

Devices and Desires (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Evil for Evil (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Escapement (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Prosper's Demon Books

Publication Order of The Two of Swords Books

The Two of Swords, Volume One (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Two of Swords, Volume Two (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Two of Swords, Volume Three (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Saloninus Books

Blue and Gold (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil You Know (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Siege Books

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Practical Guide to Conquering the World (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Purple and Black (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sun and I (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Academic Exercises (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Let Maps to Others (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Last Witness (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Downfall of the Gods (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mightier than the Sword (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Beautiful Life (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Books for Pleasure and Profit (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Publication Order of Five Stories High Books Books

Gnaw (By: Tade Thompson) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maggots (By: Nina Allan) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Story I Can Manage Under the Circumstances (By: Robert Shearman) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Priest's Hole (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skin Deep (By: Sarah Lotz) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2009(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2011(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year\'s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2014(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Nine(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2015(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2016(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon Collection: Season 1(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies Online Magazine, Year Seven(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Swords: Part 1(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Magic(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

KJ Parker is the pen name for Tom Holt, who for 17 years had been a mysterious author whose identity was hidden to his cult of fantasy fiction readers. Best known for “The Fencer”, “The Scavenger”, and “The Engineer Trilogies”, it is only in early 2015 that Tom Holt the author of parody science fiction novels came out to assert that he was the writer behind the identity of KJ Parker. Prior to his press release admitting to writing as KJ Parker, his biographical notes asserted that KJ was an author that previously worked in numismatics, journalism, and law, and retired to dabble in metal and woodwork. According to his biography, he was raised in rural Vermont, which was a great influence on most of his works. It finishes with the assertion that the author is lives in South England with his wife, a solicitor. After writing a handful of essays, a collection of short stories, a dozen novels and winning two World Fantasy Awards KJ Parker in 2015 put the mystery of his identity to rest. Speaking to his legion of fans, Tom Holt asserted that it was a lot of fun writing in the persona of KJ Parker as well as Tom Holt as it gave him the freedom to put forth very different perspectives in the fantasy fiction genre.

Over the course of a seventeen-year career, Parker has produced a flock of short stories constantly being found in the far-flung corners of the internet and niche anthologies, short serials, a few novellas, four stand-alone novels, and three highly popular trilogies. His novels come with the popular Parker Metaverse that over the years has been one of the most frustrating of aspects for his fans used to structured scientific settings such as Sanderson’s Cosmere. His novels are somewhat connected with similar sounding names of his settings, though the rigorous canonization that is typical in fantasy is often missing. Instead, Parker prefers to develop his books according to the themes and motifs of his sandbox world. At their core, most of his works are not pure fantasy as they incorporate aspects of currency valuation, volcanoes, and blacksmithing written in fantasy format. Regardless, most of his narratives are more of metaphors that breathe fire rather than educate the reader on the intricacies of the workings of military science, economics, or geography. The novels have the most intricate and lethal sword fighting, timeless romance, grandiose sieges, and amazing battles that leave the science and fantasy fiction reader in thrall. Even as some of his narratives are set in secondary worlds with fictional world history and geographies, they do not have the usual fantasy fiction aspects such as magic and paranormal powers. The dominant theme in his works is tragedy, particularly with regard to characters that unwittingly and ultimately engage in self-destructive actions. Other major themes in the works are disruptive innovative technology and politics that are used as means to ascend to power.

The trilogy format followed by KJ Parker conforms yet does not conform to your typical fantasy trajectories. For almost all of his novels, a lead character moves to obtain power; there are wars in which many people die; and there are big landscapes. In most of his novles, the narratives are interlocked into the past, present and future. KJ writes narratives in which his characters are a combination of man and machine, and in which the attainment of economic prosperity and wealth are the gods on whose altar are sacrificed all the principles of humanity. The novels have shared heroism that is atypical of many of the big world fantasies, coupled with an amoral universe where punishment, mercy, and justice are rare commodities. Heroism is substituted with physical universe rules that are distressing in being more arbitrary rather than being collectively decided upon. Parker’s lead characters are recognizable in their worldly pragmatism in what may be considered hard-boiled fantasy voices. The voices are however more practical as they would analyze the world in which they live in and find a hammer and screwdriver to fix it. For instance, in the Engineer trilogy, almost all of the major characters are or sound like engineers who try to solve all the problems in their world through engineering perspectives.

“Devices and Desires” the first novel in KJ Parker’s series of novels is an entertaining science fiction and fantasy novel that may be read by fans of both genres. It has a unique metaverse inspired by medieval tones of conspiracy and politics, though it also incorporates mechanical science fiction aspects. It is a well-written and well-crafted fantasy with beautiful and poetic prose wrought with tight tension and scripting knitting the entire story together. The narrative follows the adventures of an engineer believed to be an abominator now facing the death sentence if found guilty. He flees the Greater Republic to find refuge in another of the neighboring kingdoms. In his new home, he embarks on a quest of vengeance, by helping the residents fashion mechanical weapons that they may use in their offensive against his former home kingdom. However, his quest is not what he would like to make everyone believe, and his real motives are revealed in the explosive end of the book.

“Evil for Evil”, the second of the Engineer Trilogy is a hair-raising novel that belies the often-common notion that trilogies usually have middle book syndrome. The action opens at a swift pace that never lets up to the last page. Even with the fast pace of the novel the characters are well balanced, not being too evil or too good driven by selfishness and their own morale. Politics is more of a central theme in the novel, as the notion of one nation being vastly superior than their opponents introduced in book one takes a backseat. The novel opens to a Civitas Vadanis in trouble as it faces war from the vicious Mezentines. The ruler of Civitas Vadanis is in a dilemma since the city walls are the only defense the city has yet knowing that they are not strong enough to keep off the marauding Mezentine army. Perhaps the people may have to abandon and flee from the city, but leaving their home is not going to be easy. However, there is one glimmer of hope; a Mezentine engineer named Ziani Vaatzes that had been expelled from the kingdom for a series of abominable creations is one of the best city defense planners. But given his ignoble expulsion, he does not care much about the fate of Civitas Vadanis his home town.

Book Series In Order » Authors » K.J. Parker

One Response to “K.J. Parker”

  1. Cao: 1 year ago

    I am a reader form China.When I have seen the books which K.J.Parker writed,I feel my world being overturned.Thank you to let me know Parker more.


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