|"The quickest way to a mans heart," Valens,
quoted, drawing the rapier from its scabbard, "is proverbially through his stomach,
but if you want to get into his brain, I recommend the eye-socket." Thus starts Evil
for Evil, the second book of K. J. Parkers Engineer Trilogy.
Eremia has fallen and now the Mezentine forces threaten Vadania. Duke Valens is providing
shelter for the Eremian refugees, and once again Ziani Vaatzes is called upon to create an
engineering solution for his protectors. All he still wants is his family. Orsea is as
riddled with doubts as ever, and Valens is trying to preserve his own duchy in the face of
the powerful mercenary armies array against him.
Evil for Evil
follows the same characters as Devices and Desires, but for the
Eremians, life has got hard. Miel Dukas, still under a charge of treason, is slumming it
with the Eremian resistance. Duke Orsea and his wife depend on the charity of Valens.
Orsea feels the war is his fault and is constantly trying to make amends. Valens is
searching for viable allies and, against his better judgment, marries a Cure Hardy
princess. The Cure Hardy are nomads everyone fears. Little is known of them as they live
on the other side of a theoretically impassable desert. Councillor Psellus is slowly
making headway in Necessary Evil, but is constantly drawn back to anomalies in case
against Ziani Vaatzes.
Once more, Parkers world shows delightful twists and turns. We meet the people
who live by recycling material from battles, watch Vadania slowly implode under the
constant warring with Mezentia, and witness the amusing partisan politics of the Perpetual
Republic. We also learn a bit more about the history of Mezentia. He also introduces a new
character, Gace Daurenja, a polymath with both a dark nature and optimistic disposition.
Evil for Evil is an excellent sequel and sets up the finale