Another Turn of Subject

Melissa Fitzgerald meersan at mn.astound.net
Fri Jun 7 07:39:28 PDT 2002

I agree with Mr. Hunter.  I'm new to the Vlad Taltos books, and I haven't
read _Athyra_, but I think _Teckla_ is one of the strongest books in the
series.  (I read, and loved, _The Phoenix Guards_ when it came out, and
that impelled me to get the omnibus versions when they were published.)

One thing that has always bothered me about SF/F assassin books in general
is the lack of character depth.  I'm not going to name any names, but too
often it feels like assassin characters are bland author surrogates,
badasses without remorse.  But unless the character is a primary
sociopath--which Vlad clearly is not--he is going to experience some, um,
emotional repercussions from his career choice.  For me, _Teckla_ is
fascinating because it's the first time Vlad starts to wake up and realize
that what he's doing has the potential to destroy his life, and is
destroying his relationship with Cawti.

Of course, I like the straight up pre-_Teckla_ Vlad adventures, too.  But a
character that doesn't change is a pod person.  And pod people are soulless
and wrong. :)

At 11:46 PM 6/6/02 -0500, Matthew Hunter wrote:
>Why do you dislike TECKLA?  I've always liked it; mainly because it is 
>the first book where Vlad shows himself as more than a wisecracking, badass 
>assassin with a racial inferiority complex.  It's where I point people to
>when starting them on the series, saying something along the lines of "Here 
>is where it starts to get interesting."