Friday, November 4, 2011
Fiction Friday: The Company
K.J. Parker writes fantasy without the dwarves, elves, dragons and other fantastical creatures that normally populate such novels. And she does it with style and panache. Parker's prose is a true pleasure to read. It's flows and shines like a stream glinting in the sunlight of an August afternoon in the Deep South. Readers of fantasy are no doubt experienced at reading about great battles and of opposing soldiers in shiny armor wielding blunt and sharp weapons of war. In The Company Parker explores what happens after the wars are over and there's no more fighting to be done. She also demonstrates rather well that while you can take the soldier out of the war, taking the war out of the soldier is an entirely other thing.
After the aforementioned wars, Gen. Teuche Kunessin returns to his home village where he rounds up his military buddies, holding them to a promise made during the war to set up their own colony apart from the government, wars and the rest of society. Kunessin has acquired an island as part of the spoils of war and he intends to set himself, his friends and their wives upon it to do just that.
Naturally, things aren't quite so easy as that. Once the group manages to reach the island, all sorts of complications ensue resulting from the day to day labor involved in establishing a colony, character traits and nature.
If you haven't read any of Parker's other fiction, then The Company (Orbit Books, 2009)is a great place to start. And if you have, then you should definitely add this novel to your bookcase if it isn't already there.