Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Law and Order, Dragaerean Style: Iorich

Steven Brust's Dragaera books do many different things, most of them well. The first few are smart-alecky books about a clever assassin, and before most readers stopped to think about the moral issues in rooting for the assassin, Brust thinks about that and does things with it. He writes all over the timeline as well, with a separate kind of book dealing with history starting hundreds of years ago. Of course, with some of these characters, that's current news.

The new book, Iorich, is a good one. I appreciate how Brust writes Vlad's narrative without ornament, so his characters don't sneer except with their words. If I'm really tired when I read his books (which often happens, as I'm prone to finishing them no matter how late it gets) I'll start hearing everything in a dry, flat tone. When I reread while my brain is working, suddenly I hear the inflections and laugh out loud. I like books that only work with your brain turned on.

I'm not sure how I feel about Vlad's family life; his son is just old enough to have a presence. Also, there are so many books in the background that even though each book is complete in itself, I feel like I should reread them to understand everything. I don't really know what Cawti is about right now, for example. I should probably mention here that I have a mind like a sieve for Brust's work, which is a problem when the book expects you to pay attention. I forget the huge big secret almost every time, which seems impossible to everyone (yes, I mean Kiera's secret identity).

Reading this book is a good reminder of how much fun rereading the series is. I also highly recommend Jo Walton's reviews of all the books on tor.com, since she reread them all so we don't have to. B+, but it might climb higher with rereads.


kmitcham said...

I sometimes think Brust overplays the dialog, but it could just be when I'm awake/in the mood for it that it works right.

Given that I tend to stay up late to finish the books, the tiredness thing may well play into it.

kmitcham said...

Readit. Readit. Readit.

(referencing the title, and implying my greeness)

Beth said...

Either you or Susan should do a guest post, explaining my blog name and domain.

As I was finishing Iorich, there were several times when suddenly Morrolon and Vlad's conversations switched from dull to droll as I replayed things in my mind based on a small clue. The tiredness thing was very clear.

Remind me to give you the book back.