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Sethra Lavode by Steven Brust
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The conclusion of the trilogy that finally restores the Empire to its former order. Sethra Lavode, one of the mysterious powerful characters (and she's undead, but NOT a vampire) from the Vlad series takes an active hand, and we learn a lot more about her. Though, not really what 'undead' means in this world. Either way, its still a good concluding story. ( )
  Karlstar | Sep 7, 2009 |
Decent, but not the best of Brust: I like Steven Brust, and I think he's arguably one of the best fantasy writers operating today. But _Sethra Lavode_, and the trilogy of which it is a part, are disappointing. The writing style is deliberately obtuse and ornate, and others have already commented on the allusions (both substantive and formalistic) to Alexandre Dumas. That's not the problem with the book.

The problem with the book is that it doesn't have sufficient focus to it. The book is titled "Sethra," but it isn't really about Sethra. Similarly, the preceding book titled "Lord of Castle Black" doesn't really focus on Lord Morrolan either, nor does the "V of A" trilogy focus on the Viscount of Adrilankha. I guess deliberate mis-titles may have been another facet of Brust trying to write in ornate obscurity, but I found it annoying.

Fans of Brust want to know more about Sethra and Morrolan, and most would have been happy for stories that focus more deeply on Khaavren, Pel, Aerich, and Tazendra. But we don't ever really get satisfaction with regard to following any of these characters. Instead, the story skips around among them without really letting us build new feelings for any one character. In sum, the plot works as a plot, but the narrative pretty much cuts the characters short.

If you're fan of Steven Brust, you will want to read this anyway, and even with its flaws, it's still better than most new fantasy novels. And of course, it does tell the story of an exciting historical period in Brust's universe. It is, perhaps, a backhanded compliment to the author to say that this is simply not his best work.

2 vote iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
This is the 3rd book in the Viscount of Adrilankha trilogy, following The Paths of the Dead and The Lord of Castle Black. It's a trilogy the way the Lord of the Rings is a trilogy--it's one story, broken up into 3 volumes, and you really have to read them all to get the full effect.

So in Sethra Lavode, we get the conclusion of the war between Zerika's followers and the Pretender, and the resolution of the problems between Khaavren and his son Piro, who'd run off and become a highwayman, and basically tells us how Morrolan and Sethra Lavode and Sethra the Younger get to the point they're at when we first meet them in the Vlad Taltos series.

I won't rhapsodize about the writing style in this series here except to say that I absolutely love it. The point being that you have to love this style to enjoy the books, otherwise you'd hate it. ( )
  Darla | Nov 22, 2008 |
The conclusion to The Viscount of Adrilankha novel-in-three-books is just as good as the first two parts. Not surprisingly, due to the title, Sethra herself is a point of view character at times. However, so is Khaavren and friends, and his son Piro and friends, who are, most of the time, still road agents. This also concludes Brust's five book homage/satire/pastiche of Dumas' Musketeers series.

Kana, in the war for the empire, has enlisted the aid of two extremely powerful entities to counter the advantages that Zerika and her followers have in the Orb, the Necromancer, and the Warlock.

He then attacks Adrilankha, leaving Sethra trying to combat an invasion with only somewhat confused conventional forces.

This leaves Khaavren and friends, Piro and band, and Morrolan and Blackwand to play vital roles.

Stylistly, this is still the same, dialogue and all, and has an amusing 'after the credits' scene with the gods from the Halls of Judgement.

http://superprose.blogspot.com/2007/01/khaavren-5-sethra-lavode-viscount-of.html ( )
1 vote bluetyson | May 13, 2007 |
This book helps connect the pieces between the two major Dragaeran casts: The Phoenix Guards crew, and Vlad era. Many of the gaps are filled in to make them one, unified story. ( )
  Ishpeck | Mar 18, 2007 |
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On the ground floor of Whitecrest Manor was a wide enclosed terrace, the twin to the open terrace on the other side where the Count and Countess of Whitecrest were accustomed to take their morning klava and watch the ocean.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812534182, Mass Market Paperback)

She's the oldest person in the Dragaeran Empire, a military genius and master of sorcery whose own story stretches back to before the dawn of history. She's Sethra Lavode, the undead Enchantress of Dzur Mountain. Now, after a long absence, she's returned to take an active role in the Empire's affairs—and the affairs of Khaavren, Pel, Tazendra, Aerich, and all their friends and relations.
Since the day Adron's Disaster reduced Dragaera City to a barren sea of amorphia, the Empire has been in ruins. The Emperor is gone, along with the Orb that was both his badge of office and the source of the magical power that in former times was practically a public utility. Trade has collapsed. Brigands rule the roads. Plagues sweep through the population. And an ambitious Dragonlord has moved to rebuild the Empire—in his own name, of course.
Unknown to him, Sethra Lavode has already helped the Phoenix Zerika, true heir to the throne, retrieve the Orb from the Paths of the Dead. Sethra means to see Zerika on the throne. But making it so will entail a climactic battle of sorcery and arms.
Sethra Lavode, Book Three of The Viscount of Adrilankha, is an epic fantasy—told with all the swashbuckling flair for which Steven Brust is known.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:18 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

As an ambitious Dragonlord embarks on a plan to rebuild the ruined Empire in his own name, the Phoenix Zerika retrieves the Imperial Orb from the Paths of the Dead and, with the assistance of Sethra Lavode, launches a climactic battle of sorcery and armsto regain the Empire.… (more)

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