The Hammer by K. J. Parker

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A new stand-alone novel from the acclaimed author of The Company and The Folding Knife.
Gignomai is the youngest brother in the current generation of met'Oc, a once-noble family exiled on an island for their role in a vaguely remembered civil war.

On this island, a colony was founded seventy years ago. The plan was originally for the colonists to mine silver, but there turned out not to be any.

Now, an uneasy peace exists on the island, between the colonists and the met'Oc. The met'Oc are tolerated, in spite of occasional cattle stealing raids, since they alone possess the weapons considered necessary protection against the island's savages.

Gignomai is about to discover exactly what it is expected of him, and what it means to defy his family. He is the hammer who will provide the spark that will ignite a brutal and bloody war.

About K. J. Parker

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K.J. Parker is a pseudonym.
Published January 5, 2011 by Orbit. 425 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, War, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Hammer

Publishers Weekly

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Parker offsets the inevitability of the plot, foreordained as a Greek tragedy, by a continual inversion of types, like peasant mobs who need to be shamed into storming the castle and savages who speak more elegantly than Gignomai's father.

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hammer


The book should leave most people wanting to know more about the history alluded to throughout the book and why Gig's culture lost so much knowledge about 600 years before his time.

Feb 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hammer

The Bookbag

Summary: A strong but long look at an unusual world, with psychological power-plays between a scion to a great family and all his newly-inherited frontier world.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hammer


Those readers who’ve been put off by Parker’s over-engineered plots and slightly cold style will find the same here, and the realism of the detail runs out when it comes to the big picture (there’s no way such a large and potentially rich land would be left virtually untouched by so avaricious a ...

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hammer


You can find them here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 part 1, Day 4 part 2, Day 5, Day 6 part 1, Day 6 part 2, Day 7 part 1, Day 7 part 2.

Apr 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hammer


(Scores noted, “OT” = if points were docked for going over time.) I was relieved to see the turns alternated between the teams of four poets, keeping it competitive.

Apr 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hammer


You have to factor in individual biases, take into account direct comparison between the preceding poet, bumper scoring to offset potential time penalties, and, of course, score creep (more likely for comic poems).

Apr 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hammer

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