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Athyra (1993)

Athyra (1993)

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3.99 of 5 Votes: 4
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0441033423 (ISBN13: 9780441033423)

About book Athyra (1993)

This was my least favourite of the Vlad Taltos books so far, although it was still decent. That’s really how you can tell how strong this series is, because this is easily the weakest in the first six and it’s still good. Unfortunately, I feel I have to compare it to the other books in the same series (which, for me at least, have ranged between very good to excellent, in terms of overall quality), so this one loses marks.Really, the main thing about this novel that made me appreciate it less than the others is something that usually would make me value it more highly – namely, authorial bravery manifested in the willingness to experiment. The intent was good; change the feeling of this book from all the others by switching from the previously used first-person point of view to a third person perspective which tightly follows a previously unknown character. Where it all falls down is the character that Brust chose to follow is rather ignorant and is, quite frankly, not very interesting. Compounding this is that a large part of the attraction of the dialogue of this series is the sarcastic wit on display during the psionic back-and-forths between Vlad and Loiosh, which is entirely absent here. Also, the action suffers pretty drastically as well. Usually, Brust’s action and especially his fight scenes are some of the absolute best in the business, but in Athyra the main character knows nothing about combat, and so Brust wisely keeps the detail level down, thus making the combat pretty spotty.There was, however, some fairly interesting philosophical conversations which served as major plot drivers here, mostly between Savn, the peasant boy main character, and Vlad. The philosophy discussed, though not political philosophy and nowhere near as deep as some of the philosophy behind the plot of Teckla, was nonetheless well written and also very relevant to the plot of the novel, which is no mean feat. Also very interesting was reading the snippets at the end of each chapter written from the point of view of Rocza the jhereg, Loiosh’s mate. Here we learn that Rocza really has no psionic connection with Vlad, but instead has one with Loiosh, who relays Vlad’s instructions/requests to Rocza, who then may or may not decide to play along. Very interesting stuff.In summation, a good book that was mostly left looking not that great when placed next to the superlative quality of the rest of the series.

The first time I read this book I hated it.Some perspective. I had just moved in with Mike. I hadn't really read anything in a while. He got me into the Vlad books and I read the first...okay, five. (This is number six.) And loved them. Loved Vlad, and especially loved Vlad and Morrolan interactions.Hear that? Part of the big reason I love these books is because they got me into reading again. Which was something I'd lost. It's one of the reasons I can't read strangers' reviews of them. They can't know what these books did for me.So anyway, Mike only had the first five, and my going on about them had him read them again, and we hied off to the bookstore to get what was next. We found this book that is a combination of both Athyra and number seven, Orca.I had loved Vlad telling the story, loved following him around. And then I hit this book, which is third-person (as opposed to first-person, see), from this kid Savn's POV.Remember in a review, a couple of books ago, I said something about thinking, "Oh, it'd be cool to see Vlad from someone else's point-of-view"? Maybe I only said it out loud and not on here. Hmm.Anywya, I had that thought, and then remembered this book, and laughed, because I remembered how disappointed I was in it the first time.The first time.I learned to appreciate it on further readings. There is some pretty cool stuff in here. A few philosophical things I dig, and some informative stuff that was just interesting---like when Savn uses sword sheaths and a water jug to fix a collapsed lung.It's actually a good book.But here's the other thing; if you don't know Vlad, and you don't have perspective on the antagonist (someone from a previous book), this book would be horrible. Because it would be hard to understand why you should care.As it is, I appreciate Savn's POV so much these days because of what happens to him. Getting his POV before that is priceless. Just priceless. And leads into Orca.These books are not always chronological, but Orca does flow out of this one, even if there might be room for a book in between them someday.The point is, when a fangirl gets over being butthurt for not having Vlad tell the story, and gets a wider perspective, she comes to love this book.Eventually.

Do You like book Athyra (1993)?

The first book not written in first person view of Vlad.I liked it because not only did we get someones elses perspective, Savn (although it was in third person view) and sometimes Rokza which I thought was very interesting. It was also very good for the fact that we now get to read how Dragaereans look at Vlad after we've read so much about his view on them.I thought it was very very good, although I have to admit at the same time I missed Vlad's point of view.I also liked that while I could feel Vlad's progress from the person he was before (we are few years after he left Adrilanka) he still hadn't changed completely, so there is still progress happening.

I really enjoyed reading a Vlad novel narrated by someone else. Throughout the climax, I kept wondering when Savn would remember to try to make psionic contact. It's strange to me that this book was not called Teckla, as it seemed to show more about their life then that of the Athyra. I liked the balance between emotion and logic in Savn's character. It was also very interesting to see things from Rocza's perspective. Although I would have expected her to have a closer relationship to Vlad. I also enjoyed the rural outdoors setting as a nice change from Adrilankha.

This is probably my least favorite Vlad Taltos book so far. Many of the things that I really enjoy about this series (Vlad's POV, the city, many of his coworkers and acquaintances) are missing from this book. We get a view of Vlad after his career ends and see some of the difficulties leaving the Jhereg has made in his life, but other than that, there's not much terribly interesting happening here. Still, not an unpleasant read. I'm hoping the next book moves back to an earlier point in Vlad's life.
—Joey O'Donnell

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