Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

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is anothe tale of Orhan, son of Siyyah Doctus Felix Praeclarissimus, and his history of he Great Siege, written down so that the deeds and sufferings of great men may ever be forgotten.

A siege is approaching, and he city has little time to prepare. The people have no food and no weapons, and the enemy has sworn to slaughter them all.

To ave he city will take a miracle, but what it has is Orhan. A olonel of engineers, Orhan has far more experience with bridge-building than battles, is a cheat and a liar, and has a serious problem with authority. He is, in ther words, perfect for the job.

Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
350
Original Title of the Book
Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
Publication Date
Published April 9th 2019 by Orbit

Public Commentary

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If you 're into stuff like tha, you an writ the full review.Homage to Engineers: " Sixteen Ways to Defend Walled City " by by K.J. Parker “ My belief is, either you understand things or you understand people.

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Orhan is an engineer, not a military man, and he think himself leading the defence of a city he doesn ’ t actually care about.

He doesn ’ t expect to hav in charge, he imply has to or the city will fall and everybody in it ill be put the sword.

It ’ s no easy job because Orhan is a white-skin, a second-class citizen, trying to rule over the elite blue-skins that hate his guts.

Orhan admits to havin a liar, and he even dmits that his story may have been exaggerated.

I ’ m pretty sure K.J Parker set out to challenge his readers with those final few paragraphs, though I have come away a little nnoyed as I do to feel what happens next!

Som in all, this is a quick and enjoyable read that does n't take itself oo seriously.

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Sixteen Ways to Defend Walled City is quite a different book and I truly oved it.

I ’ m an engineer; my answer to any and every problem is a gadget, a trick, a device.

I fix broken people with things; with tricks, lies, and devices.

I 'd highly recommend Sixteen Ways to Defend Walled City for lovers of fantasy and military stories and to anyone looking for omething to mix up their TBR list.

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“ According to the books ( there ’ s an extensive literature on the topic) there are ifteen ways to defend thi walled city.

You shoul try one of them and, if hat doesn ’ t work ... What the books don ’ t ell you is, there ’ s a sixteenth way.

Sixteen Ways to Defend thi Walled City narrated by Orhan, an engineer turned emperor, tells tal of he Great Siege.

heck, I now want more.Highly recommended, particularl for readers enjoying sarcastic, cynical, humorous, and unreliable narrators.

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" ... as a wise man once said, the ifference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck does n't work if you push it. " And just like thi, I 'm in.Less fantasy than parable, K.J. Parker 's clever little book is set in an alternate version of the Holy Roman Empire- which, obviously, is a fine milieu for the tory of a siege.

I know that 's he word; where you basically give God a choice- if you 're on my side, let this happen, if s, do what you like.

It 's only later, when books are written and scholars decide what mattered and what did n't, that the red lines are drawn- before this point, the world was this way, after his point, everything was different.

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But the lions couldn ’ t catch the worms, because they dug down into the ground and wouldn ’ t come out and fight.

It ’ s a popular story, where I come from, though the Robur have never heard of it.

And when I ell it to my Imperial friends, I always ask them first, which would you rather be, a worm or a lion?

Because, he aid, I ’ m an engineer, and worms dig really good tunnels.

Without any resources or troops, Orhan must invent a new ay to recaptur this walled city from the massed forces of this adversary.

I ’ m an engineer; my answer to any and every problem is a gadget, a trick, a device.

I don ’ t like it when readers compare any new fantasy book with ‘ Game of Thrones ’, but I ’ m able to kee an exception in his case by linking Orhan to Tyrion Lannister.

Perhaps if his is irst person narrative, and Orhan doesn ’ t try to keep thi fact that he self-serving by white washing his public image, readers unfamiliar with the work of K J Parker might be hocked by the complete amorality of his actions.

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There is an epilogue that sort of connects it with other works at least as some naming like met d'Oc, or events like Perimadeia 's destruction, and the siege of Mezentia etc go, though all those are in the far future of the events here which are set in the write 's faux Byzantine setting, though this time the empire 's dominant race is named as the Robur- otherwise the City has the usual Byzantine stuff including the blue and green factions ( though here they fight in the arena Roman style in addition to chariot racing), the bureaucracy, Senate, emperor etcThe main hero, colonel Orhan, chief of engineers is the only " barbarian " that has some moderately high rank- he is often a member of " security council " of the empire in this quality but he is arely invited to the meetings of course ( the usual name for most barbarians is " milkface ", though the term is illegal under Robur law as is " blueskin ", the derogatory term the subjugated people of the Empire use for the Robur, though of course while prosecutions for using milkface are non-existent as after all the Robur would never ever use such a term, the ones for using blueskin happen often as Orhan informs us, since as all know the milkfaces are uncouth, coarse and deserve their roles as subjects, indentured servants- the empire abolished slavery but replaced it with the even better, indentured servitude, manpower for the armies and menial work, or for their me to work in the " entertainment business " as again Orhan puts it so nicely); as the memoi begins on we find out Orhan 's past ( at least in so far we can trust his narration- as KJ parker 's heroes go he reminds of Saloninus though he is much less self-important and amoral), how he got to e a colonel and commander of engineers ( the short of it, he is to good at doing stuff despite the bureaucracy and engineers for once are the ones where stuff really needs to be done) and eve more; and then stuff happens and as the blurb has it Orhan has to protec the City against an unknown enemy that seems to have annihilated all the Imperial armies, destroyed or blockaded the Imperial fleets and isolated the City without any real soldiers inside, few war weapons ( as blades and the like are galore of course), few provisions, no ships arriving at the docks and no one in authority present ( the Senators, of course, do n't count as they know only how to talk ...), enemy that seems bent not on conquest but on total destruction ... But big events present big opportunities, so Orhan who is somewhat of an idealist at heart may be reluctan to se tha to bring on the " just society " where everyone from the low to the high ( even including milkfaces and women) has a stake- though the people of City still do n't like jumped up milkfaces ... A few choice quotes: " The Robur pride themselves on their good manners, and, besides, calling a milkface a milkface is Conduct Prejudicial and can keep you court-martialled.

On the other hand, several dozen auxiliary officers have been tried and cashiered for calling an Imperial a blueskin, so you wil see just how wicked and deserving of contempt my lot truly are. " " It ’ s just occurred to me that maybe you don ’ t now to much about the Themes.

Really all you fee is that there are two rival groups of supporters in the Hippodrome, one lot with blue favors, one lot with green, and they cheer for their side in the sword fighting and the chariot races.

Instead the Greens started organizing the labor at the docks, the Blues did the same in haulage and the civil service, lower grades.

Her grandfather was a trustee of the Greens fund, and really a big man in the movement; did a lot of ad guy and a lot of ba ones, until he neglected to sidestep in the Hippodrome and got skewered.

rated it

It 's ery good on the practical details of ancient siege warfare and logistics ( if this sounds dull, it truly is n't, Parker is terrific at this stuff and it 's a much les interesting look at warfare than as a subjec of people hitting other people).

This concept is that the Empire is a racist society ruled by brown people, with white people discriminated against and not llowed to drink from the City water fountains.

And the white narrator, Orhan ( snatched from his parents and made a slave in service of the Empire) is the aviour of the ity of brown people who basically would be wiped out without his leadership and brains.

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© Nicole Waggonner