Book of Athyra

Thomas FURNITURE ARTIST WyrmOuroboros at comcast.net
Sat May 3 09:48:24 PDT 2003

So I was down at Barnes & Noble last night -- only last night?  Wow.  
So anyhow, I was there, and though I wasn't there specifically looking 
for any new Brust books, (I was, instead, looking to pick up a 
paperback copy of Lois McMaster Bujold's 'Curse of Chalion', a book I 
highly recommend) I did as is my wont and checked for new/old things 
>from Our Fearless Leader.  (You -are- fearless, right, Steve?)  Lo and 
behold, I discovered that the Book of Athyra was out.  Not having 
actually -read- Athyran in, oh, about a year LESS than the total time 
it's been published, I naturally had to pick it up.

Re-reading it (yes, finished already) I believe I can say that though I 
almost burn with curiousity in regards to what Vlad and Loiosh were 
thinking, I did rather enjoy it being told from the viewpoint of Savn.  
I think I've gotten a much more clear image of the world in which Vlad 
resides than any other way -- certainly more than via Paarfi's romances 
(though I've recently read both The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years 
After with considerable relish), and likely more than the subsequent 
telling via changing viewpoints in Orca.

I seem to recall there's been some debate about how Vlad lost the 
little finger on (as I recall) his left hand; in Athyra he describes 
the open-handed parry, in Orca he states that it was a heavy weight.  I 
think, in grand Brustian manner, (if it wasn't a word before, it is 
now!!) that both are the truth.  To Savn, Vlad tells the literal truth, 
that it was done via a mostly-successful open-handed sword parry; to 
Kiera, he tells the metaphorical truth, that it was due to a 'heavy 
weight', i.e. the burden of trying to keep himself alive.  As we've 
been able to tell, Vlad can talk that way to Kiera; Savn, on the other 
hand, is a bit young for Vlad's usual conversational style, and I'm 
pretty certain Vlad recognized that fact.

Hmmm.  Other things.  Can I think of other things to comment on?  Not 
immediately, except that I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered 
originally doing so (additional age can do that to you), and that being 
on this list does indeed enhance my enjoyment of the fiction herein 
discussed.  Vlad walking into a bar with a broad-brimmed hat, a serape, 
and a cheroot indeed...

*walks off whistling 'The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly'...*

Thomas Crain
aka Felix Eisen
aka The Wyrm Ouroboros