sixteen ways to defend a walled city

4.5 stars

A clever, witty, thoroughly entertaining fantasy book that doesn’t have magic, wizards, monsters, gods or anything else you associate with fantasy books.

This book was so entertaining, I wanted to re-read it as soon as I finished. This is the first book I’ve read by this author. How have I not read any books by him until now? I definitely plan to rectify that and read his previous books. Now.

The story is told in first person by Orhan, a colonel of engineers. He’s not a warrior. He builds bridges and aqueducts and roads. Orhan is also a cheat, and a liar, and has a serious problem with authority. He’s arrogant and confidant and knows what he’s doing – most of the time. Orhan wants nothing more than to live a peaceful life being left alone and doing as little as possible. So when he realizes a city he cares nothing for is about to be under siege and it has almost no military presence, his stupid sense of duty kicks in and he turns his men around and rushes to help defend it.

Orhan’s history of working with the less savory sides of life aids him in getting the citizens mobilized to protect the city until the military can come to its rescue. The enemy army is huge and imposing. It will take all of Orhan’s wits and skill to protect the city, and he’s up to the task. Maybe.

This book is clever, witty, snarky, and sarcastic. I absolutely love it. Orhan’s disdain for authority and his cunning ability to subvert it are hilarious. Every worker bee that has ever wanted to roll their eyes and make a smart aleck reply to their boss will rejoice in Orhan’s antics. If you’re a fan of Sam Sykes, Jon Hollins or Joe Abercrombie, you will love this book.

I highly recommend this book. Go out and read it now!