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INTERVIEWS

Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded

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My BlogCatalog BlogRank Wikio - Top Blogs - Literature

MINI REVIEW | Purple and Black by K.J. Parker (Subterranean)

Pseudonymous K.J. Parker has been making a name for themselves over the last few years with well-reviewed Military Fantasy such as The Engineer Trilogy and The Company. When I heard about the Purple and Black novella I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dip my toe into her works. Purple and Black is told through the letters an Emperor of a sprawling land and one of his oldest friends who is also current governor of one of the most remote parts of the country. The letters are printed in black and purple, which is used to good effect by Sub Press's two color design.

The worldbuilding while not fully developed feels like a medieval setting with the back pinning of a religion akin to the Egyptians of old where the ruler is close to being a God. Yet there is a lot of backstabbing history in this government, which pops up again and again as it is the theme of the story. The Emperor with an often funny yet self-defeated tone fell into his role as the rest of his relatives killed each other, which left him the de facto ruler.

The characters while scant come across well for such a short number of pages, but Parker does manage to tell a good yarn with an usual story which is complete to boot. Overall, Purple and Black is a tasty treat and would provide a great break for those of us draw to giant fantasy tomes. I give Purple and Black 7 out of 10 Hats. Fans of political themed Fantasy would be advised to track a copy down as Sub Press is sold out, but it does look like Amazon and a few other retailers still have copies.  [Edit it seems Sub Press does still have the signed limited edition, but not the trade].  I'll probably try Parker's other works in the future as I'm interested in her style outside of this format, but she has shown she can do a little with a lot.

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2 comments:

Kendall said...

"The letters are printed in black and white, which is used to good effect by Sub Press's two color design."

Don't you mean "purple and black" instead of "black and white"?

BTW SubPress's web site lists the limited $40 edition as still available (but I'll get the less expensive trade edition from Amazon ;-).

The Mad Hatter said...

Thank you. That's exactly what I meant.