Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I admit I was hook-line-and-sinkered with the title. Anything that logical and/or methodical tied to an epic fantasy title just screams niche-cool.
And I wasn't disappointed. Engineer-turned-hero tales, turning a hopeless situation (a dead army, useless leaders, and a bunch of screwed-over normal people) into something resembling hope is, I admit, all kinds of awesome. Don't we like McGuiver for the same reason?
Well, this isn't a small-scale adventure even if the voice of our dour, slightly sarcastic hero downplays his own achievements in the narration. Indeed, this has all the hallmarks of a grand low-fantasy turnaround. Impossible stakes with very little to work with but a whole city of scared people with nothing left to lose? Got it. It's time for the normals to pull off a miracle.
And they do. I really enjoyed this.
Of course, I read it just in time for Xmas because aren't most family visits kinda like siege warfare? Yep. So, merry Xmas!
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