Valens is a strong minded and cunning leader who has now put his entire nation in jeopardy because of one foolish choice. His people are forced to evacuate their home and are on the run. Valens battles his guilt and the overpowering forces of mercenaries from Mezentia. He is tormented by his feelings for Veatriz, the wife of Duke Orsea. She is who he has done everything for and it seems that with every choice he pushes her away from him.
Parker does a wonderful job at exposing the inner workings of the characters. The narrative clearly shows the thoughts of each one, their dialogue and actions often contrasting these thoughts. This contrast gives insight into these people. It’s an excellent job of characterization. It fits well with the engineering and manufacturing themes.
The different nations and races feel real and are effectively described; the coldness of the Mezentines, the dependence of the Vadani, the consanguinity of the Cure Hardy.
Evil for Evil is a successful continuation of the series. It does bog down at times with long exposition. The characters get a bit maudlin and sappy, too. But the tension is kept up, the pressure builds. Parker’s not afraid to off an important character or two. That certainly ups the stakes for the characters - and our interest in them.
The Engineer Trilogy is not a familiar fantasy story. There is no king ascending to a lost throne, no wizards, no magical races, none of the usual trappings. It’s a story about humanity, about survival and about love. For that is the reason all the tragedies in this story occur. It’s watching the characters struggle to understand the nature of love that makes this such an intriguing series.