Iorich by Steven Brust

What is it in the way Steven Brust writes that make it such a thrill for me to read his books? I have tried to figure this out. My best theory to date (as I have said before) is that it is how he builds the tales of that Dragaeran world of his. The feeling that it all fits together somehow maybe? It is plausible but totally fantastic, it is not the future and not the past. It is fantasy but not quite.

In any case, I repeat myself from earlier posts on his books. The newest Vlad Taltos book, Iorich , has been out for a while now, and I have been eyeing it intensely on every visit to the bookshop or the library (if eyes could drool then mine would). A Brust book is nothing I just can go and pick up however. It will inevitably devour a time-chunk of my life in which every other action (often including food and sleep) is put off until the last page is turned. It is dangerous; it is not something that can be done while trying to fit into normal society.

I could restrain myself however, because I knew that I had a golden opportunity to read it coming up: a ten-hour flight from Vancouver to London. Perfect. I was reading the first paragraph a fraction of a second after fastening my seatbelt and did not even notice the take off.

I will only briefly tell you what the book actually is about. It is fiction after all, and Iorchi is part of a series; there is just so much I can say without giving things away. In any case Iorich is interesting because it isn't only the latest book in the publication order but also the latest book in the Vlad-timeline as far as I can tell. We find out what happens when he decide to return to Adrilankha once more.

Vlad is still on the run, and does not really feel like returning to the capital of Dragaera. He decides to do so in any case when he hears that his friend Aliera has been imprisoned and accused of treason. Well back it is time for him to figure out what is going on and why? This book ties into some of the politics of the Dragaeran empire and to the legal system. The latter allows Brust to investigate and play on the role of the law in society and of those who work with it.

The form of the book is quite standard for the series: we follow Taltos as he tries to figure out what is going on, and how to do something about it. A nice twist however is that he get to know 'why' quite early in the story, but then has to find a solution.

On the side of the main story we are also updated on the lives of some of the recurring cast of the story, and of course given a few more elusive hints on the bigger picture and how the world works. (I think that is why I am hooked on this series. The small hints that says that Brust knows something I do not, and that there a riddle for me to solve!)

All in all, another nice piece of the Taltos puzzle. As for my flight reading: I interrupted it briefly for dinner but otherwise read the book in one session. Afterwards I was bored by everything around me for the remaining 4-5 hours of flight - nothing on the flight entertainment could match Iorich.