Devices and Desires (Engineer Trilogy)
K. J. Parker
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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...
In a compelling tale of intrigue and injustice, K. J. Parker's embittered hero takes up arms against his enemies, using the only weapons he has left to him: his ingenuity and his passion -- his devices and desires.
right tool for this job.' A simple matter of timing, then. Ziani felt the warder's knuckles against his scalp, then the pain as his hair was pulled, forcing his cheek against the bucket. He heard the cutter's feet crackle in the straw as he stepped up to his mark, in his mind's eye he saw him take a grip on the halberd shaft and raise his arms. A good engineer has the knack of visualisation, the ability to orchestrate the concerted action of the mechanism's moving parts. At the moment when he
ferociously at the patch of empty air he'd just left behind. The drill he'd learned when he was twelve said that the sidestep is combined with a counterattack in time, either both hands round the throat or a stamping kick to the back of the knee. Miel, however, turned and ran. Head for the palace. The courtyard archway opened into Coopers' Street; uphill, second left was Fourways, leading to Drapers' Lane, leading to Middle Walk. There he met the guards, running flat out; he flattened himself
collection of drawings of various animals and birds, with a rather unreliable commentary under each one, and it had cost as much as eight good horses or a small farm. He'd had it made after he received the third letter; he'd sent his three best clerks over the mountain to the Cure Doce, whose holy men collected books of all kinds; they'd gone from monastery to monastery looking for the sort of thing he wanted; found this one and copied the whole thing in a week, working three shifts round the
same about treachery' She looked at him. 'You mean, about betraying the Republic? Well, of course.' He frowned at her, trying to be intimidating, failing. I'm not concentrating, he realised; there's something wrong, like one of those tiny splinters that get right in under your skin, too small to see but you can feel them. 'The circumstances,' he said slowly, 'of your marriage. Let's go back to that, shall we?' 'If you want.' He made a show of making himself comfortable in his chair. 'When was
'As you say,' he replied, 'we don't have the problem. Please forgive me if the question was offensive.' She shook her head. 'It's pretty hard to offend an Adventurer,' she said. 'You get to learn quite quickly, people are different wherever you go. Wouldn't do if we were all the same.' 'Ziani Vaatzes,' Psellus said. 'Ah yes. Him. Well, I think I've told you everything I know. Seems to me,' she added cheerfully, like all your nightmares have come true. One of your top people has got away and