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Athyra (Vlad Taltos, #6)
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(Vlad Taltos #6)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  5,432 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Vlad Taltos is very good at killing people. That, combined with two faithful companions and a talent for witchcraft, makes him an assassin par excellence. But lately his heart just hasn't been in his work, so he decides to retire. Unfortunately, old enemies have scores to settle with Vlad. So much for retirement! Advertising in Locus. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 246 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by The Berkley Publishing Group
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Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
We've got a whole new Vlad in a whole new land and a whole new MC.

Yup, we've gone from big boss to a side role as a mentor for a backwater healer's apprentice, and I can't say I dislike it. We've got all the traditional coming of age elements, a murder mystery, undead lords, and mean small-town peeps.

More importantly, we have the mental space and development necessary to turn a young man into a fully-functioning and thoughtful killer who will be henceforth plagued with not just nightmares, but f
Melissa McShane
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
My rating edged up on this re-read, though it's still not quite five stars. For the first time, we see Vlad through someone else's eyes, specifically a Teckla youth named Savn, and revisit the wizard Loraan, with whom Vlad has a History. The reason I liked it better this time around is probably that the revolution in Teckla and Phoenix make the Teckla look weak, and here we see a Teckla community thriving and living their lives without much concern for what the lords do. They're still serfs, and ...more
Although I liked this story well enough, it is my least favourite of the Vlad Taltos books that I’ve read thus far. I think it’s because it’s not narrated by Vlad, but by a young Teckla man who befriends Vlad on one of his self-directed missions. I missed the cheeky, smart-ass remarks that we have come to expect from our Eastern (ex-)assassin friend.

As I say, the story isn’t bad, but it suffers from this change in point-of-view. Brust has made the young man ignorant--he’s smart enough, but he’s
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was almost halfway through this book and deciding that I really did not like it. For one thing, unlike all the previous books in the series, it's not told from Vlad's POV. For another, nothing much seemed to be happening. I couldn't get a fix on why one character had died, and what exactly Vlad meant to do and how. The character whose POV was the main focus was also very young, and the whole thing just seemed unformed, and not that much fun.

Then two things happened. I found a note inside from
Jennifer Wheeler
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting change from the way the story has been told up until now. Previously, the story has been told in first person, by Vlad’s character, while this book is written in third person, focusing on Savn’s point of view. I quite liked the introduction of Savn’s character though, and the subsequent glimpse into the simpler lives being lived outside of the somewhat chaotic city that Vlad (and therefore the reader) is accustomed to. The re-emergence of a previous bad guy that Vlad (and ...more
Jamie Collins
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A somewhat cozy story, told from the point of view of a peasant boy whose eyes are opened to the world outside his village when he encounters Vlad Taltos. (Before now this series has always been told in first-person, from Vlad's POV.)

Vlad has been on the move for a while, trying to avoid Jhereg assassins, but as he pauses in a small farming village he attracts the attention of an old enemy. It's a good thing the Teckla boy he befriended has been studying to be a "physicker", because before long
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars.

Athyra is the sixth book in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series. If you haven’t read the previous books, you should probably skip this review until you’ve read Phoenix so that I don’t spoil its plot for you. I’m listening to Bernard Setaro Clark’s narration of the audio versions (Audible Studios) of VLAD TALTOS. Athyra is 8.5 hours long on audio, though I increased the playback speed, as I always do, so it was shorter than that for me. Bernard Setaro Clark’s narration continues to be exc
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-audio, quest
This book was a giant switch from the first five. I wasn't sold on it for several chapters. Total shift in view point. I'm so glad I stuck with it though because I ended up really enjoying it.

It was quite interesting seeing Vlad from another individuals perspective. Especially from someone like the young peasant kid.

Was a very smart choice by Brust IMO - this total switch up is a great way to keep such a long series fresh.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
It was OK. I was waiting for vlad to come back in full focus and then the book ended. Hopefully the next one will be more exciting, this country setting bored me.
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was my least favourite of the Vlad Taltos books so far, although it was still decent. That’s really how you can tell how strong this series is, because this is easily the weakest in the first six and it’s still good. Unfortunately, I feel I have to compare it to the other books in the same series (which, for me at least, have ranged between very good to excellent, in terms of overall quality), so this one loses marks.

Really, the main thing about this novel that made me appreciate it less th
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first time I read this book I hated it.

Some perspective. I had just moved in with Mike. I hadn't really read anything in a while. He got me into the Vlad books and I read the first...okay, five. (This is number six.) And loved them. Loved Vlad, and especially loved Vlad and Morrolan interactions.

Hear that? Part of the big reason I love these books is because they got me into reading again. Which was something I'd lost. It's one of the reasons I can't read strangers' reviews of them. They can
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vlad Taltos fans
Now, that was a switch. The first five Vlad books were all told in the first person, from Vlad's own perspective. This one turns the series on its head by flipping to a third person account. What's more, it's using the point-of-view of a young Draegaran peasant boy.

We get to see Vlad Taltos as another sees him, as Savn becomes the central character. Vlad has wandered into his village, and strange things start occurring. While others think this strange "Easterner" is to blame, Savn isn't so sure
Maggie K
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
So, the events in Phoenix had tied things up so neatly, that I probably put this sequel off too long...I dont remember a lot!
But it mostly didn't matter, as Vlad is now 'retired' and travelling around. However, his past catches up with him in the form of an undead Draegerean and a Jhereg assassin.
This book also different in that it's told from the perspective of a young Teckla boy who has befriended Vlad. This would normally be odd, but being sort of a 'restart' book anyway, it works.
Dane Bell
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I adjusted my rating up to 5 stars after re-reading for the first time in at least 15 years. It's just such a damn good read. What a beautiful piece of work that such major protagonist development is shown through the eyes of a different character! I wouldn't read this novel of the series first, because a lot of my enjoyment was seeing Vlad's quirks and black-and-gray morality from the outside. Not only that, it's really refreshing to see the world through a Teckla's (i.e., a peasant's) eyes whe ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dragon, adventure
This was very different from the first five in the series. For one thing, it's not told in first person from Vlad's point of view, it's told from the pov of a Teckla youth. For another, this has nothing to do with the city and power plays, or so it seems at first. I liked it, but I hope we get back to Vlad's pov soon. ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-english, fantasy, 2015
Written entirely from an outsider's POV. It wasn't always pleasant to see Vlad through Savn's eyes. Still, what I like about the Vlad Taltos series is, that Vlad's actions have consequences, both for him and for the people around him, like for Savn in this book. I'm curious in what direction the series will be headed next... ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Story was good but not a fan of this change in narration
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A departure in the Vlad Taltos series, in that it is the first book not told in first person from Vlad's perspective. This is appropriate, given that it is the first book after Brust "blew up" his premise: at the the end of the previous book Vlad abandoned his home and career and set off to wander the wilderness with a price on his head.

I like that Brust has created such a complex and detailed world: ruled by seventeen noble houses, each named for an animal, and the members of that house displa
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
More than two years have passed between the events of Phoenix and Vlad's arrival in a farming community far from the city. He's still in hiding from the Jhereg and he's lost a finger somewhere along the way. His arrival is quickly followed by the mysterious death of a local -- a local who years before had helped Vlad sneak into a certain nearby Athyran necromancer's castle. Coincidence? Vlad thinks not. He determines to take out Loraan, once and for all. That is, if the villagers don't take him ...more
Dec 07, 2020 added it
Athyra gives us our first glimpse of Vlad as a fugitive, on the run from the assassins of the Jhereg. The story is mostly told from the point of view of Savn, a peasant who lives on the lands of the Lord of Smallcliff, also known as Loraan, whom we've encountered before when Vlad rescued Aliera's soul and acquired Spellbreaker. Shortly after Vlad causes a stir by appearing in town, where Easterners are seldom seen, a man, Reins, is murdered, and suspicions fall upon the newcomer.

Savn was the fir
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's been several years since I read the previous volume of the Taltos series, so it's safe to say that I didn't much remember exactly what's happened so far beyond the most general terms, but this one was pretty simple and straightforward and did a good job of keeping me entertained while alluding just a bit to previous events.

In contrast to previous volumes, as far as I remember, this one is mostly told from the p.o.v. of a Teckla young man called Savn who's an apprentice doctor instead of fro
Stassi Andreeva
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
The first half of the book was honestly a torture for me. I fell asleep to it, got distracted and overall I barely managed to get trough it. I was even close to considering just skipping the whole book, but I'm glad I didn't. It does get interesting, and I did get to know the main character, so that later I can feel emphatic towards his faith. Would I have enjoyed it better if it was written from Vlad's POV, yeah probably... Do I understand why it wasn't? Yes. I give this book a solid 3 stars. I ...more
Samuel Lubell
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I like how this series frequently reinvents itself. In this book, the first not to be narrated by Vlad, we get a sense of how he appears to outsiders. The viewpoint character is Savn, a peasant boy who is apprenticed to the village healer. Vlad is now a wanderer, in hiding from the Jhereg who run organized crime. And Savn's village is owned by a wizard who Vlad thought he killed (in the first book) and who now wants revenge. This deepens Vlad's characterization even though he is, for once, not t ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this Vlad book nearly as much as previous books. This one isn't from Vlad's point of view and doesn't have any of the same familiar characters in it. This takes quite a few stars away for me. I didn't hate Savn but I would have preferred the book to be in Vlad's voice. None of my favorite characters were here and I missed the interaction between them and Vlad. The tone of the book wasn't it's usual humorous tone and it was less enjoyable because of it. Overall 3 out of 5 stars, ho ...more
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Athyra is the sixth book in Steven Brust's "Vlad Taltos" series. Vlad, now on the run from the Jhereg, makes some new friends, and meets an old enemy. Another high quality installment in the series featuring an almost entirely new cast of characters and a new setting.

It's really tricky to say much about Athyra without dropping a spoiler, and I'm pretty sure anyone who's finished book five already has a good feel for the series. I'll just say that the series continues to improve, and Athyra is my
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's been a while since I read the last book of this series. I'm a little disappointed in this one because the main character is not Vlad it's a farm boy named Savn. Kind of interesting on how Vlad opens Savn's eyes about exploring your world and questioning why things are done as they are. A few too many changes in points of view (we get a bunch from Savn, some from Vlad and even some from one of the jhereg who are linked to Vlad. ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This was an interesting departure from the usual fare, and yet also familiar Vlad Taltos. I really enjoyed seeing Vlad from someone else's point of view, but I think the book dragged a lot in the beginning, and then had a very rushed epilogue. It took me a long time to get through this; there were parts I liked a lot, but other times where I just wasn't excited about reading it. I would be interested to see more from Savn's point of view, I think the pacing was just off on this one. ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Yeah, I have to say that I was not a fan of the shift in perspective in this book. I liked the addition of a new POV, but a lot of the best moments of this series have been Vlad’s internal dialogue or him conversations with Loiosh. There was a definite disconnect, for me, without those things.

Still worth the read, and interesting, but I hope we shift back to Vlad first person for the next book
Paul Veldhouse
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I love this series, but this was my least favorite book. Telling Vlads story from another point of view is, well, boring. The joy of these books is how Vlad sees the world and puts his wry humor into everything. When the Teckla protagonist is ignorant and backward and tells the story... you get a less fun tale. Well written from a new perspective... but boring.
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Steven Karl Zoltán Brust (born November 23, 1955) is an American fantasy and science fiction author of Hungarian descent. He was a member of the writers' group The Scribblies, which included Emma Bull, Pamela Dean, Will Shetterly, Nate Bucklin, Kara Dalkey, and Patricia Wrede, and also belongs to the Pre-Joycean Fellowship.

(Photo by David Dyer-Bennet)

Other books in the series

Vlad Taltos (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Teckla (Vlad Taltos, #3)
  • Taltos (Vlad Taltos, #4)
  • Phoenix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
  • Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Dzur (Vlad Taltos, #10)
  • Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos, #11)

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