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How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It Audiobook, by K. J. Parker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: K. J. Parker Narrator: Ray Sawyer Publisher: Orbit Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2020 ISBN: 9781549157868
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"Full of invention and ingenuity . . . Great fun." - SFX on Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

This is the history of how the City was saved, by Notker the professional liar, written down because eventually the truth always seeps through.

The City may be under siege, but everyone still has to make a living. Take Notker, the acclaimed playwright, actor, and impresario. Nobody works harder, even when he's not working. Thankfully, it turns out that people enjoy the theater just as much when there are big rocks falling out of the sky.

But Notker is a man of many talents, and all the world is, apparently, a stage. It seems that the empire needs him -- or someone who looks a lot like him -- for a role that will call for the performance of a lifetime. At least it will guarantee fame, fortune, and immortality. If it doesn't kill him first.

In the follow up to the acclaimed Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, K. J. Parker has created one of fantasy's greatest heroes, and he might even get away with it.

For more from K. J. Parker, check out:

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

The Two of Swords

The Two of Swords: Volume One

The Two of Swords Volume Two

The Two of Swords: Volume Three

The Fencer Trilogy

Colours in the Steel

The Belly of the Bow

The Proof House

The Scavenger Trilogy




Engineer Trilogy

Devices and Desires

Evil for Evil

The Escapement

The Company

The Folding Knife

The Hammer


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Quotes & Awards

  • Parker's acerbic wit and knowledge of human nature are a delight to read as he explores the way conflict is guided, in equal measure, by the brilliance and unerring foolishness of humanity . . . . Thoroughly engaging. RT Books Reviews on The Two of Swords: Volume One
  • Launches a witty adventure series . . . Readers will appreciate the infusion of humor and fun-loving characters into this vivid and sometimes grim fantasy world. Publishers Weekly on Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
  • A richly textured and emotionally complex fantasy...Highly recommended. Library Journal on The Engineer Trilogy (starred review)
  • Readers are ensured a good time and a barrel of laughs to boot. Publishers Weekly
  • This is another splendid offering from K.J. Parker, the (pseudonymous) British fantasist who seems incapable of writing in anything but top form. Locus on Sharps
  • [Sharps] is a ripping good adventure yarn, laced with frequent barbed witticisms and ace sword fighting... Parker's settings and characterizations never miss a beat, and the intricate political interplay of intrigue is suspenseful almost to the last page. Publishers Weekly on Sharps
  • Parker carries the reader on a headlong gallop to the powerful conclusion. Publishers Weekly on The Company (starred review)
  • As with most of Parker's work, there is a mel­ancholy undercurrent that gives the humor weight. As heroes go, Orhan is a reluctant and flawed one . . . . [but] when Orhan works the problem, we can't help but watch. Locus on Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
  • Brilliant. Locus on The Engineer Trilogy
  • Parker's latest epic fantasy proves that all the world is, indeed, a stage, and Parker himself is a master impresario. Readers will enjoy his comedic take on how politics are comprised of equal parts lies, incompetence, and the foolishness of humanity-with just enough flashes of brilliance to save the day. Recommended for fans of Terry Pratchett. Library Journal
  • Full of invention and ingenuity . . . Great fun. SFX on Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City
  • Parker's skillful control of pacing, expert rendering of characters, and subtle sense of humor add depth and believability. Library Journal on Sharps
  • Skillful plotting and rich scene-setting. Guardian on The Company
  • Astonishingly good. RT Book Reviews on Sharps
  • An intriguing tale of magic, manipulation and revenge . . . An action-packed adventure. Starburst on the Fencer trilogy
  • Well-crafted, powerful and downright unmissable SFX on The Company

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About the Author

K. J. Parker is the author of a number of popular fantasy series, including the Engineer, Fencer, and Scavenger trilogies as well as several stand-alone novels, novellas, and numerous short stories. Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics (and yes—we had to look it up, too), and currently lives in the south of England.