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The Hammer by K.J. Parker
Orbit Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781841495149
Date: 20 January 2011 List Price £8.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

I dipped into K. J. Parker's Colours in the Steel back when this pseudonymous author first appeared on the scene in the late 1990s - and I really didn't 'get it', instead finding the writing remote, tinder dry and rather cerebral. As time has gone by, Parker's canon of titles has grown ever longer and the plaudits ever louder. It's patently clear that I need to give this acclaimed author another go. This brand new stand-alone novel, The Hammer looks like a very good candidate with which to do just that. A paperback original published by Orbit this month.

"The colony was founded seventy years ago. The plan was originally to mine silver, but there turned out not to be any. Now an uneasy peace exists on the island, between the colonists and the once-noble met'Oc, a family in exile on a remote stronghold for their role in a vaguely remembered civil war. The met'Oc are tolerated, in spite of occasional cattle stealing raids, since they alone possess the weapons considered necessary protection in the event of the island's savages becoming hostile. Intelligent, resourceful, and determined, Gignomai is the youngest brother in the current generation of met'Oc. He is about to realise exactly what is expected of him; and what it means to defy his family."

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