June 20, 2004

Sethra Lavode by Steven Brust

sethralavode.jpgThird volume in Brust's Viscount of Adrilankha novel. Piro, the viscount of the title is the son of Khavren, the focal character of the earlier books, The Phoenix Guards and Five Hundred Years After. As the action of this volume opens, Piro is living a pleasant life as a highwayman with his lover Ibronka and their friends in a far corner of the empire. Meanwhile back in the city, Zerika, the new empress, is engaged in the process of building a seat for her government. Much of the action centers around Khavren's efforts to locate his son and, if not apologize for the disagreement that began their estrangement, at least to let Piro know that their familial connection is still valued in spite of said disagreement. The other source of action is an ongoing plot by the not-quite-vanquished pretender to the throne, Kāna, and our friends' ongoing efforts to foil that plot.

Those hoping that a book entitled with the name of Sethra Lavode would have some significant revelations about the history of that character must get used to disappointment. She remains an enigmatic figure. Which is fine with this reader since her mystery is a large part of her attraction.

Looking at The Viscount of Adrilankha as a whole now, the book is a fine swashbuckling romance. Like all of Brust's work, it lends itself easily to rapid reading for pleasure, but rewards more careful attention with nuanced explorations of larger themes. Now the long wait until the next Brust book begins.

Posted by jeffy at June 20, 2004 12:22 PM
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