Length of the Interregnum (Was Re: Spoilers- PotD and Issola)

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Thu May 15 15:05:20 PDT 2003

On Mon, 12 May 2003 charles_sumner at harvard.edu wrote:

#How long did the interregnum last?  Well, an interregnum is defined as:
#1) The interval of time between the end of a sovereign's reign and the
#accession of a successor.
#2) A period of temporary suspension of the usual functions of government or
#3) A gap in continuity.
#(From: American Heritage Dictionary - http://www.yourdictionary.com/)
#So it could be viewed as lasting until Zerika is formally acknowledged as
#Empress (definition 1), until she managed to get the empire back in working
#order (definition 2 - with no currently known clearly defined date), or
#until she returned with the Orb (definition 3).
#However, even if you consider the interregnum to end the moment Zerika
#emerged with the Orb, that would make it only about 240 years before the
#Jhereg books begin (and even less if you go by definition 1 or 2).  This
#would be roughly the equivalent of 35-40 years in the human frame of reference.
#Based on that, I think that the confusion in the books over the length of
#the Interregnum is perfectly reasonable considering how recent those events
#would be to the currently living Dragaerans and that what "the Interregnum"
#means is probably changes depending on who is asked.

I agree with that. At
I list some of the variants. The one real outlier is Verra's "497 years"
(Phoenix pb, p. 117). My summary:

We know the Interregnum began Five Hundred Years After the events of The
Phoenix Guards, and the Vlad novels are set "about a thousand years"
after The Phoenix Guards, so Vlad's career is about 500 years after the
start of the Interregnum. This is consistent with 240+ years of
Interregnum followed by about 240 years from the end of the Interregnum
to the time of Vlad's career. The 497-year period that Verra mentions so
explicitly seems to be actually the time from the start of the
Interregnum to Vlad's time.

It looks as if Brust the author slipped. Of course, time flows
differently in the Paths of the Dead, where Morrolan meets Baritt before
Baritt has died in Dragaera [], so maybe there's a loophole for Verra
there. And, of course, it would have been impolitic even for Vlad to
correct a goddess's arithmetic when the number was not germane to the
business at hand.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   a Steven Brust Dragaera fan website