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The Proof House (The Fencer Trilogy, Volume Three) Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Frequently Bought Together

The Proof House (The Fencer Trilogy, Volume Three) + The Belly of the Bow (Fencer, Book 2) + Colours in the Steel (Fencer, Book 1)
Price for all three: $44.19

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 602 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841490180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841490182
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the most entertaining fantasy debuts in recent years… incredibly vivid, refreshing, fun, thoughtful, absorbing.” -- SFX

From the Publisher

These action–packed tales of magic, intrigue, and revenge introduce a remarkable new voice in fantasy fiction.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on January 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thanks to the efforts of Bardas Loredan - fencer turned bowyer turned sapper - the city of Ap' Escatoy has fallen, allowing the Empire to begin its expansion into the lands held by the plains tribes. Loredan is reassigned to an imperial proof house, testing armour to destruction, until his previous relationship with the leader of the tribes is discovered. Loredan is the only person that Termai, sacker of Perimadeia, fears and the Empire plans to make good use of that fact in its invasion.

The Proof House is the third and concluding volume of K.J. Parker's debut work, The Fencer Trilogy. As with its two predecessors, Colours in the Steel and The Belly of the Bow, it's a novel that wears the clothes of epic fantasy but seems resolutely unimpressed by them. Wars, battles, sword fights, clashes of armies and so forth are all featured, but presented with dripping cynicism and sarcasm by the author, who is far more interested in her(?) characters. The Fencer Trilogy is less about the trappings of the subgenre and more about family relationships, particularly the extremely dysfunctional (to the point of murder) Loredan clan. The novel is driven, as to some extent the previous ones were, by Gorgas Loredan's insistence on repairing the damage he did to his family as a youth, utterly unaware that his crimes are past forgiveness or forgetting.

Elsewhere, Parker continues to base her narrative around the trappings of medieval-style warfare. The first book revolved around swords and the second around bows, with both standing as metaphors for the novels' themes. This continues in the third novel, which is about armour and how it is tested to be 'proof' against the pressures that will be brought to bear against it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "differentness" continues. We are introduced to a new culture while returning to one we've met before. The action is plentiful. The interaction of the characters we've come to know becomes more complex, and the ending is something I never expected. I had a flashback to an old "Star Trek" episode... read the book; you'll know which episode I mean.

One interesting things is that the trilogy clearly need not end here. There are lots of loose ends and rabbit holes for parallel story lines to scamper down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well if you read the first two books then I don't know why you wouldn't read this one. It is better than the second one, there is some suspense, the Loredan's get themselves into some more trouble and then the book ends. I would say that this book was not the greatest but it resolved the story line and you should just read it because you've already come this far, although I will say that the ending left me unsatisfied and a little sad. But like Parker's other works it is expertly written and worded no complaints there, just wish the story ended a little stronger.
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By arild on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book one was great, the second mediocre, and this, the third, is darker than two, funnier than one, and tragically comical. Read the trilogy.
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By Anonymous scholar on December 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very differently written from most fantasy I have read, which was very refreshing. The technical passages can get a bit arduous, but like the Whale anatomy in Moby Dick they are skippable.
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