I had never read anything by KJ Parker before, but I remember Jo Walton speaking fondly about his prior books in this world, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City and How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It, so I was thrilled to get an eARC from Orbit and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jo Walton described Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City as a “grabby” book - a book that grabs you, that you can grab and not want to put down. This book was definitely grabby, with a fun first person narrator that was not necessarily likable but fun to be in the head of.
As a former classical studies major, I really appreciated most of the author’s callbacks and references to actual history (those that I picked up on, at least - I’m sure I missed a bunch).
A few times, towards the end of the novel, some of the coincidences felt a little too contrived, but this is a minor quibble. The book was super fun from start to finish and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I am going to go check out the earlier books by this author soon!