Tiassa by Steven Brust is the latest addition to the Vlad cycle. It was amazing and I loved it.
It is the thirteenth volume in Vlad’s adventures and the 19th (depending on how you count) set in the Dragaeran universe. There are three parts to this book (with interludes). Each part is narrated in a different voice and from a different point of view. The prologue and interlude sections have their own points of view and some really interesting information that I won’t mention here, except to say that they are very much more than just prologues and interludes.
The first section (entitled Tag) is narrated by Vlad in Vlad’s typical voice. It is set before his marriage to Cawti, but during his engagement. In it, Vlad encounters some familiar characters and becomes involved in a complex plot for complex reasons on a certain object–a silver Tiassa. In other words, classic Vlad.
The second section is told in the third person. It again concerns a complex plot and the silver Tiassa. The chief actors in this section are not Vlad, but Cawti and Daro–the Countess of Whitecrest (yes, that one.) It takes place a few years after the first section, while Vlad is on the run.
The third section is written by Paarfi and is again a few years after the second section. It is chiefly from Khaavren’s point of view. Again, the silver Tiassa appears.
The three main sections and the interludes serve to weave together a marvelous tale. Not only do they complement each other, but they add depth to the series and characters as a whole. The Vlad tales and the Khaavren tales are finally firmly drawn together.
This is a remarkable addition to a remarkable tale. The story is compact and wonderfully written.
When I first met Steven Brust at a Minicon 20 or so years ago I was astonished. What primarily astonished me was that he looked exactly like I had pictured Vlad to look and how I had subconsciously pictured Brust. I found this pretty cool since I had gotten used to authors not looking at all as I had pictured them. This was back in the dark old days before it was so easy to call up pictures of just about anyone on the net.