The Devil You Know by K J Parker (Tor, 2016) A single-sitting novella in which Parker adds a devilish twist to the Faust legend: the demon representing the Prince of Lies has an appreciation for the arts; the man selling his soul is a great philosopher but an irrepressible liar and cheat.
Downfall of the Gods by K J Parker (Subterranean, 2016) Parker knows a cynical thing or two about human nature, and in this droll fantasy novella exposes the gods as being equally prone to self-destruction. Told from a divine perspective, her quest narrative follows its own succulent logic through several unexpected turns.
The Company by K J Parker (Orbit, 2008) The first of Parker’s standalone novels is a tour de force of invented world fantasy realism, contrasting the unbreakable bond and all-conquering fortitude of an elite military unit with the self-destructive listlessness and looming nemesis of its men when reunited in retirement.
The Folding Knife by K J Parker (Orbit, 2010) Structured as ever around its protagonist’s flaws and a genuine narrative interest in how society functions, The Folding Knife is an exquisite example of Parker’s gritty historical invented-world fantasy, investing in detail and investing readers in the struggle between luck and hubris.
Savages by K J Parker (Subterranean, 2015) A darkly humorous, slow-burning historical fantasy in which magic plays no part and the fate of empires turns on the veracity (or otherwise) of human endeavour. Parker sets a new benchmark for true-to-life invented worlds, without ever becoming bogged down in detail.