K. J. Parker
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Hoping for a better life, five war veterans colonize an abandoned island. They take with them everything they could possibly need - food, clothes, tools, weapons, even wives.
But an unanticipated discovery shatters their dream and replaces it with a very different one. The colonists feel sure that their friendship will keep them together. Only then do they begin to realize that they've brought with them rather more than they bargained for.
For one of them, it seems, has been hiding a terrible secret from the rest of the company. And when the truth begins to emerge, it soon becomes clear that the war is far from over.
With masterful storytelling, irresistible wit, and extraordinary insight into human nature, K.J. Parker is widely acknowledged as one of the most original and exciting fantasy writers of modern times. THE COMPANY, K.J. Parker's first stand-alone novel, is a tour de force from an author who is changing the face of the fantasy genre.
a scrap of paper, which he tucked into the toe of his shoe. That night, at some point between the second and third watches, someone climbed the walls of the principal’s garden and shot his wife’s cat. Details of the crime spread quickly. The angle of incidence of the entry wound, for example, suggested that the shot was taken at extreme range, upwards of forty yards; a remarkable piece of marksmanship, given that the only light available was the glow from the parlour window of the lodge. Rather
life.” He laughed. “Good on you,” he said. “There’s an old saying in the service: an army marches on its feet. Never underestimate the crucial importance of good footwear.” For some reason that made her burst out laughing too; and Kunessin was reminded of how he’d felt in a battle when he’d looked round and seen the white helmet plumes of the cavalry in the distance, riding in to force open the crack in the line that he’d made, so he could pull back and rest. Chapter Six When Menin
their lives, she’d done her bit too, killed one of them for her very own. She knew she’d never tell anybody, because they wouldn’t understand; the nearest she’d come to mentioning it was when she asked if anybody on their side spoke a foreign language, or was it just the enemy? (She was glad to set her mind at rest on that point; she’d been quite sure at the time, but it had worried her nevertheless until her father confirmed it.) After that, she visited him once a year, on the anniversary of his
him.” “Well, Thouridos is a bit of a mouthful,” Muri said. “And he doesn’t like being called Thouri.” She frowned. “That’s what I call him.” “That’s different, I guess.” Already he’d teased out a small pile of short fibres; about one per cent of what he’d need to weave one sock. She had a sudden vision of him dressed in a nettle-fibre coat; it’d be baggy and shapeless, probably frayed at the cuffs after a week. She had no doubt whatsoever he’d make one, if there was time. “It’s a strange
into short lengths, and even the good ones needed to be trimmed and fettled with adzes and drawknives. But with the sawpits working day and night as well, they brought their daily output up to twenty-one planks, which was generally reckoned to be enough to give them a fighting chance. On the fifth planking day, Alces joined in. His hands and face were still heavily bandaged, but he declared that if he had to sit still and quiet for one more day he’d become a danger to himself and others. He was