Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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In a Nutshell: Books: Iorich - Steven Brust

Man, I've really fallen behind on talking about stuff I've been consuming lately, haven't I? Well, maybe I can at least catch up a bit.

This is the latest in the Vlad Taltos series, both in the series' timespan and in our own, which aren't always the same thing. Which is something that drives me nuts about the series, and probably keeps me from getting into it more than I have. On that note, I've done one readthrough of the previous books of the series, but didn't get around to doing a second re-read before this latest book, so my memory of some things is a bit hazier than it should be.

(And if you haven't read the Taltos books, you might want to at least try them out - they follow an "Easterner" ie human possibly-ex-assassin in a generally non-human world, as he basically makes lots of connections with very powerful people, and thoroughly pisses off other powerful people. Really, what's not to like?)

But anyhow. The book is... good enough. Not my favorite of the Vlad books for whatever reason, maybe because it doesn't feel in some ways like there's a huge lot going on, but more that it's a segue between the Things Happening in the previous book (in the internal chronology) and the next book (in likewise). Maybe partly because of the aforesaid haziness.

Anyhow, this follows Good Ol' Vlad as he gets involved in elfinDragaeran politics mildly, just enough to get one of his friends out of legal troubles. And since he's doing this in The City, he also gets to try to avoid all the people who want him deader than a (insert some vaguely fantastic beast from the Dragaerans' world here).

Speaking of which... I'm actually with desdenova in that I can't figure out what the hell an Iorich is supposed to be, since as she mentioned, the cover shows some furry thing, while the cycle representations inside the book show some reptilian beastie. Blah.

There's not much more to tell non-spoiler wise. He gets involved, he tries to avoid people and see other people and help other people, sometimes some of the same people for multiples of these. And some stuff happens, but nothing world-shaking, although some interpersonal stuff is interesting. But again, not worldshaking.

Oh, and there's various politicking, which is probably another reason I don't like it quite as much - I know some people looove politics in books, and I like enough to make them seem real, but I generally don't enjoy totally diving into them all that much. And it doesn't help that still they don't make complete sense to me, here.

Anyhow, good book, but not my very favoritest from the series.

Not too much really... I'm also with desdenova in finally finding Cawti (who I wanted to type as "Catti-brie" at first, good grief) much less intolerable in this than she has been in most of the books. Dunno if it's because she's changed in the past few years, or if just being away from Vlad is no longer bringing out her worst side, or what.

Young Vlad is...interesting. Precocious, though. But what would you expect, really?

Aliera is more irritating now than I remember her previously... I don't think her personality has changed drastically, just that captivity is bringing out the worst, and maybe I'd just forgotten quite how caustic she can be. Ditto Norathar, but with less excuse.

Really, I would have liked a little more (and better) interaction with some of the cast we've already come to know - maybe some emergence of Lady Teldra, more with Morralan and some less annoying interaction with Aliera. And some Sethra other than basically her being drunk... but at least the lawyer-dude is interesting, and the Vlad/empress dynamic that's developing is intriguing.

And the jhereg (small letter) are hilarious as always, of course.

As for the politics... I'm still trying to figure out why the Empress couldn't look into the Incident from the first and instead had to distract attention with an arrest, and yet when it becomes clear that Aliera isn't going to play along with escaping (which the Empress damn well should have known), there's no problem doing so. The only thing I can think of is that maybe she was more subtle than it at first seems, and knew something like an assassination attempt would crop up to throw a cog in the plan, and she was waiting for Vlad (or someone like him) to get involved and be ready to stalemate the Jhereg (capital letter). But I don't know if that's right or not! Blah.
Tags: books, nutshell
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