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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-12-12 00:05
Subject: #104 Steven Brust : Dragon
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Steven Brust : Dragon

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tor,U.S.; New Ed edition (30 April 2000)
ISBN-10: 0812589165
Category(ies): Fantasy

I took time out from reading The Book of Taltos in order to read this. The Book of Taltos is a compilation of two Vlad Taltos books - this book appears chronologically between them. Since I've not yet finished The Book of Taltos, this review comes first.

Here, Vlad the Assassin ends up in exactly the wrong place for one whose metier is killing by stealth - in the middle of a battle. How he ends up there - well, that's his own pigheadedness. But he's certainly beginning to make seriously good political capital with the Lord of Castle Black, Morrolan. And if he also ends up on the right side of Sethra Lavode, well, that can't be bad either. In the meantime, he learns how to be a soldier, and there is a fine portrayal of grunt-level logistics and the mess that is war if you're light infantry. Structurally, the story runs as twinned time lines - the battle itself, with the feints and alarums surrounding it, and the main story of how Vladimir ended up in that situation.

Another of the entertaining Vlad Taltos stories.
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Sion: brimham rocks
User: sion_a
Date: 2006-12-12 12:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:brimham rocks
"appears chronologically between them" is, while true, something of a simplification with respect to the rest of the series. Specifically, with respect to Yendi, which appears between it. (I've read somewhere skzbrust saying it was a deliberate nose-thumb to people who shelve series according to internal chronology.)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2006-12-12 12:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Brust says, in the introductions, that the novels ought to be readable in just about any order, though he concedes that some novels wouldn't work as the first one to read.

For me, partly because the author is being scrupulous with internal continuity including character development, reading them in strict publication order is a little jarring. Reading them in chronological order is working better.

I very much doubt that Brust would be quite so crass as to deliberately write novels in such a way as to irritate readers. That would seem directly counter to PJF principles, in as much as I know them. But I will admit, I could be wrong. Or you may have put a stronger interpretation on a comment he made than he actually intended.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2006-12-12 12:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
(Part of the problem is that I am reading them all close together - if I had been reading them at publication intervals, it would be different.)
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