Devices and Desires – K. J. Parker

And so it is Christmas. As every year and every holiday I feel like I’m not up to the task, so I just wait it to pass, thinking the next will be different and me being ready.

In the meantime I ordered and received another book:

On a forum I was criticized because I opened a thread complaining about a book cover, being told that it’s stupid to buy a book just because of the cover. In fact I never do it. What I do instead is spend a lot of time researching all the editions around the world so that I can pick the one I like the most. The choice to buy the book happens before. Then, when I’m sure I’m buying it, I start to look for the best edition and if I’m not satisfied I even happen to buy different copies of the same book.

In this case I’m rather content. This is the UK edition from Orbit. I have of the same author The Colour in the Steel, still from Orbit, and that edition isn’t so great. It is a cheap mass market book, rather shallow, barely passable cover and an ugly typeset. Instead I was surprised by this book. It’s fatter (700 pages), the cover has a very good style and textured paper, the typeset is elegant, paper quite good. It simply look much more “competent”, and adds to the flavor of reading :)

I have the habit of reading about twenty pages of every book I buy, especially because months and years may pass before I start the ‘serious’ reading. So I read some pages to quench some curiosity and frame the book a bit better. First impression was – Oh god, not fencing again. The book I’m currently reading already deals with fencing and the author walks a fine line balancing the technical details and precise descriptions without boring me. She (author is a she) was always successful but I was worried that I was going to read another trilogy that looked too similar. Instead she wins again. Few pages and it grabbed my attention. The five books that she wrote between the one I’m reading and this one justify the improvement in writing style. Somewhat more balanced and elegant, but still triggering a familiar feel of an author I know (and the reason why I bought another book). Again I found the slight, witty humor and finely crafted, intelligent characterization. Can’t go wrong.

But it will have to wait. I was just too curious and wanted this edition, but the ‘serious’ read will have to wait as I have already four books that I’m reading, much more on the pile, and still the whole trilogy to finish from the same author.

Two more books on the way, drifting further from the genre.

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