The Two of Swords: Part 6
K. J. Parker
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"Why are we fighting this war? Because evil must be resisted, and sooner or later there comes a time when men of principle have to make a stand. Because war is good for business and it's better to die on our feet than live on our knees. Because they started it. But at this stage in the proceedings," he added, with a slightly lop-sided grin, "mostly from force of habit."
A soldier with a gift for archery. A woman who kills without care. Two brothers, both unbeatable generals, now fighting for opposing armies. No one in the vast and once glorious United Empire remains untouched by the rift between East and West, and the war has been fought for as long as anyone can remember. Some still survive who know how it was started, but no one knows how it will end.
This serial novel from the World Fantasy Award winning K. J. Parker is the story of a war on a grand scale, told through the eyes of its soldiers, politicians, victims and heroes.
This is the sixth installment in the Two of Swords serialization.
torture chamber rather than tell him. But that was crazy. The lodge wasn’t just half a dozen old men in a chapter house; it was huge, vast, the biggest open secret in history. You can’t have an organisation to which ten per cent of the population of the empire belongs, and where only three or four men know what it’s actually for. He caught his breath. He was suddenly aware of all the soft, ambiguous noises of the twilight: animals, birds, the wind slapping the stays of the flag against the
his centre, tearing it apart, while the cavalry were sweeping round to take the Sixteenth and Twenty-Fifth in rear. Senza grinned. Forza definitely wasn’t down there attending to business. “Come on,” he said, “chop-chop.” It took rather longer than he’d have liked for them to reach the other path, the one that went straight down the east face of the Hammerhead. He glanced at it and knew there was no way he’d get down that, so he called over Sergeant Velsa, who he’d known for years. “Listen very
it still ached all the damn time. “Later, maybe. Very kind of you to make time for us. Shouldn’t you be somewhere else, earning money?” “Yes,” Oida said. “But what the hell.” He drained what was left in his cup, looked at the bottle but didn’t move. “To be honest with you, I’m dying of curiosity. There’s this rumour going round.” “Oh yes?” Oida nodded. “They say you’ve killed Forza.” “Do they now.” “Indeed.” Oida was looking straight at him, and Senza realised he’d be a hard man to lie to.
from this side. Far easier.” Senza laughed. “You should see your face,” he said. “Oh come on, even I’m not that crazy. I’m not suggesting we should go there. God, no.” “Ah.” Avelro looked wonderfully relieved. Then he said, “Someone else?” Senza nodded. “Friend of a friend, you might say.” He pointed to one of the folding chairs, and sat in the other one. “Changing the subject entirely, what do you make of Citizen Oida?” Avelro hesitated for a moment. “Wonderful diction,” he said. “I think
Pretty much everything else he told me appears to have been true – well, I’m waiting for confirmation on one point, but that may take a while. But I did catch him out in one lie. You’re not a political officer assigned to spy on him, but he said you were. On the off chance that it was significant, I had you pulled in and brought here. Answer my question and you can go.” She looked down at the manacles. There were red weals where they’d chafed her skin. “Fine,” she said. “I’m not a political