Rebecca's Reviews > The Book of Athyra

The Book of Athyra by Steven Brust
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's review
Oct 08, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, non-earth
Read in October, 2008

So, this book is actually two -- Athyra and Orca, republished as one, as both concern the character Savn, a Teckla boy Vlad runs into in Aythra and ends up with a debt to that he tries to repay in Orca. On my re-read, I mainly reread Orca.

Steven Brust and Terry Pratchett have one thing in common -- both can tell a good story about something I never thought would be entertaining. Pratchett has The Truth about Ahnk-Morphork's first newspaper starting up, Going Postal about the Ahnk Morpork's post office versus the clacks (a telegraph-like system), and most recently Making Money, about Moist, the lead character from Going Postal, getting to the bottom of the city's bank.

And, well, Brust has Orca. Vlad, Brust's lead character for the series, a (former) assassin on the run from the House of the Jhereg, his homeland's equivalent of the Mafia. However, most of the book is told by Kiera the Thief, a friend of Vlad's, to Cawti, Vlad's estranged wife. Kiera runs into Vlad when he's trying to save the house of a healer in exchange for healing for Savn. The two of them discover that it's not just the matter of her banker trying to make a quick buck by tricking a couple of renters, but the edge effects of a Serious Economic Crisis that the Empire is trying desperately to control.

(Note, given the climate of the country, this is why I decided to re-read Orca.)

As always for this series, Orca has a dose of mystery, a dose of action, and some good dialog. We also get to see Kiera and Vlad team up, which is awesome. Orca is also infamous in the fandom for causing the most spoiler warnings on the mailing list, thanks to two twists (one in the last chapter and one in the epilogue).

Speaking of, maybe I should re-read Making Money after this...

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Reading Progress

10/09/2008 page 261
58.26% "Conflict is being set up."

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