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Publisher's Summary

Vlad Taltos is very good at killing people. That, combined with two faithful companions and a talent for witchcraft, makes him an assassin par excellence. But lately his heart just hasn't been in his work, so he decides to retire. Unfortunately, old enemies have scores to settle with Vlad. So much for retirement!

©1993 Steven Brust (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  • Trevor
  • Charlottetown, PE, Canada
  • 11-30-12

A new point of view, not such a bad thing

Initially, I thought this entry in the series would be subpar without Vlad himself as narrator, but that misconception quickly evaporated. Although having a new point of view is jarring and doesn't get much better through the experience. The story seems a bit clunky because of the new view as well, but it is fun seeing "vagabond Vlad".

Vlad returns after several years of silence in his timeline, he alludes to several adventures he's had in the interim, one involving the disfigurement of his hand. He's a changed man, but just as snide as ever.

We meet Vlad again through the eyes of a young Teckla, Savn. Savn has had little exposure to Easterners and is not quite sure what Vlad is all about, particularly when one of the townsfolk turn up dead shortly after Vlad's arrival.

This all culminates in an interesting character piece. We see where Vlad has ended up after years on the run, and how far he is willing to go to ensure his safety. Even if it means messing up a lord or two.

As always, Bernard Setaro Clark is fantastic with his reading, but he maintains a higher pitch through most of the story to fit with the young Teckla who is telling us the story; it can get a bit grating after a time, especially when said Teckla seems to be fairly clueless about how most of the world works.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • ATLANTA, GA, United States
  • 10-20-12

A different point of view. Get used to it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Athyra is told from the point of view of a Teckla boy just entering manhood. It is interesting to see Vlad from someone else's point of view for a change.

Which character – as performed by Bernard Setaro Clark – was your favorite?

The Jerheg, Rocsa is performed admirably - she doesn't translate into words and Mr. Clark does a good job conveying the reptilian brain at work.

Any additional comments?

I was first put off, then enthralled by the change of perspective. Throughout the series reader's have seen the Dragerans through a human, 'easterner' perspective. The subtle difference between them and humans comes to the fore as we see the main character not as what he is to us but what he is to them.<br/><br/>(Please disregard spelling mistakes as audio books do not lend themselves to writing out fantasy names and races).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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not my favorite

Where does Athyra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Vlad is out of his element in this book, which makes for a nice change of pace but the entire perspective shifts from first person narration and you lose some of the wit and humor that characterizes the other books. The story is pretty slow paced as well. I'm hoping the next one goes back to the good stuff.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Boooring !!!

What would have made Athyra better?

#1 a normal Vlad story: this one is mostly about a young man & his life. Vlad's part may be 30%. #2 an interesting story: it's mostly nothing BLA BLA filler & every day nothing life events. The young man meats Vlad & his life gets somewhat interesting.

What do you think your next listen will be?

The next Vlad book. I hope it's more normal, for the series !!!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

RUSHED, ANGRY & BORED !!! I fast forwarded when ever possible, just to get to the end ASAP, so I could see how it ended.

Any additional comments?

So far this is the only book in the Vlad series, that's real bad: most are ok or good.

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Stephen Brust Does It Again!

Where does Athyra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not one of my very favorites, but still quite excellent,

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vlad Taltos. I never expected to become sympathetic to an assassin, but the character is very finely drawn.

What does Bernard Setaro Clark bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Clark was the perfect choice for this series. I enjoyed his narration for the same reasons I enjoy all audio books, because reading in silence is simply a different (and sometimes a lesser) sensory experience.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

NO SPOILERS!

Any additional comments?

I appreciate this whole series. The prose is surprisingly clean for a book about an assassin. This character would be a challenge to meet in Veritasia. Rated PG-13,

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Very cerebral

As this book deals with Athyra, is very cerebral in it's telling. It's the first time we see Vlad from the point of view of anyone other than Vlad. Saven is an interesting character in that he isn't interesting. What I mean to say is that he is an average peasant living an average life when suddenly he's forced to deal with the extraordinary. None of the previous books had a character like this. Every character we've met so far, including Vlad, is extraordinary in some way. Saven isn't. He is perfectly ordinary and thus the most relatable character in the series.

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The Past Catches Up (Almost)

Enjoyable continuation to the series. I enjoyed hearing the story from Savn's and Rocza's points of view, and found the change refreshing. I look forward to the next book in the series.

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Worst Book of the Series!! 😱

Childishly long dialogue as a storyline with prolonged in-depth vague exploration by the author of the dichotomy between "explorers" and "thinkers" expressed in incredibly slow, clunky dialogue.

"Well, I don't really understand," he said.
"That's OK at your age," Vlad responded. "Which do you think you are?"
"Umm, I'm not sure. Which are you?" He said.
Vlad responded, "I don't think I know yet. Maybe a bit of both."

Aaaaaaawwwwhhhgggg!!!! The first time the book caught my interest was ( I carefully noted) just under halfway through the book.
Unless you're a compulsive complete series reader who says, "Go ahead and waste my time. I've got a lot of it" then skip this book. And I'm afraid the next book continues where this one left off.
That brings up another concern about this author and this series. I am beginning to think that these were longer books chopped up into shorter sections with author written "bridges" done this way for financial reasons.
I don't have time to waste on drivel whether in print, in audible form, on television, or at the movies; unless this author becomes more consistently engaging and thought productive I am going to have look elsewhere. 😱

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Disappointing

I have truly loved this series up until this point...but this book have some major flaws.
Vlad and Loiosh have been reduced to sidecharacters.
And the new main characters are now Rocza and a rather slow village boy.
This would not have been so bad if Rocza could talk or if the boy was either smart, quick or witty....That is however not the case.
If a question is asked in this book there is a 90% chance that the answer will be "nevermind","I don't know" or "...nothing" this gets very frustrating after a while.
The plot ok-ish, but badly paced.

I will probably not listen to it again.


If you are wondering if you can jump this book without losing the story.
Yes, I believe you can.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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the best... the very very best ... I love this

the narrative skill of Bernard is second to none! I love this series and I can't get enough!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful