April 26, 2004

Sethra Lavode, by Steven Brust

At last we've reached the final volume of Brust's epic three volume novel, The Viscount of Adrilankha, and it's a doozy: all the swashbuckling, derring-do, and ridiculously long conversations you've come to expect, plus the end of the story complete with a "Where are they now?" section.

I hesitate to say too much about the plot, given that this is the final volume not just of the extended novel but also of the Khaavren series as a whole; I don't want to give anything away. I will, however, make two relatively general comments.

First, to my great joy and delight, Vlad Taltos is mentioned in this one, in the context of Morrolan's endless party at Castle Black. At least, he doesn't really appear as all of the action predates his birth; but Paarfi mentions that the party is still on-going, even at the time of writing, and that throughout its long history many of the notables of whom he has written have frequently been found there...along with, occasionally, other less savory elements. Which is to say, Vlad.

Second, we get an interesting insight into how truthful Paarfi is. In Teckla, a Teckla tells Vlad of an encounter he has with a wrathful Lyorn who can only be our old friend Aerich. In this volume we see the encounter from Aerich's point of view. Needless to say, there are discrepancies....

Anyway, you should go out and buy The Phoenix Guards, the first title in this series, if you haven't read it already.

Posted by Will Duquette at April 26, 2004 07:46 PM

Deb said:

I'm failing, Will. I've tried three times to get into The Phoenix Guards and it's still a no go after page 100 or so. And I loved the other series so...Rats.

Will Duquette said:

Deb,

You're probably taking it too seriously. It's a romp if you look at the right way, and dire if you look at it the wrong way. There are a few things to remember:

1. Sir Paarfi of Roundwood appears to be an obsequious, toad-eating, conceited little hack who thinks he's smarter than the reader.

2. He's clearly being paid by the word.

3. That's why everyone talks in such an absurd manner.

4. But he doesn't really expect to be taken seriously, and the books are full of sly digs at his own expense.

Will

Deb said:

Ok, I'll pull it back out and try again--it took three times for Master and Commander too...which reminds me I have the last half of the series to read. I took a break cuz I was going to fast and not enjoying them fully.