The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Dragon

Dragon cover

Another Vlad novel, and one I’m pretty happy with. I have a lot of sympathy with people who want to read the books in chronological order, so I wrote this one to help them out: it falls before and after Yendi. Heh heh heh. It also provided me with an excuse to read  Clausewitz, which was actually fairly entertaining. The character of Napper is loosely based on the late Bruce Beesman, a guy I played a lot of poker with, and whom I miss.

ornament

Discussion Page

15 Comments

  1. This one is my favorite Vlad book. I like the plot and that we get to see Vlad in a situation that is so far outside his comfort zone, but still quintessentially Vlad. Plus it’s got Morrolan being all Morrolan-y and Sethra being inscrutable.

    And of course, “How about you do the killing and I do the irony,” which may be my favorite Loiosh quote of all time.

  2. Dragon has the distinction of being the only book I’ve ever read cover to cover on the floor of the bookstore. I was working for a floundering startup when this came out and it was either that or give up my ramen and peanuts for the month. It was still a tough decision, as reading it was the best thing that happened in Houston, and it called out plainly what was wrong with the startup’s strategy:

    “Well, if I were the enemy commander and our assault had failed 3 times and I wanted to make a 4th, I don’t think I’d attack with fewer men. But that’s just me.”

  3. Thank you for considering the plight of your poor readers. I had the pleasure of starting this series after the publication of Dragon, so by the time I’d gotten through all the books I was lucky enough to jump right into Issola. By the time Dzur came out, I got half way through it before I realized that my goldfish memory had no idea what was going on. Sobbing the entire time I quietly put the book back on my shelf and resolved not to read anymore of it until I had the entire series in hand. So I prowled bookstores daily around the release dates and through considerable self control, managed to keep my promise to myself. Until Tiassa. There was something about Tiassa. It’s matte cover, perhaps? The different format of the spine? The amazing illustration on the front, taunting me, seducing me from my shelf?! I’m a weak woman. So I read the entire series again and when I closed Tiassa for the final time I quietly turned on my computer, looked for the release date of Hawk, and cried a little inside. There’s nothing for it. I’ll have to re-read every single book when the next one comes out, and the next, and the next. And I’ll love every minute of it. Especially Dragon. It remains one of my favorites.

  4. skzb

    A. Thanks for the kind words.
    2. Damn. My plan had been to write the books so each one stands on its own. Oh, well.
    III. I’m hard at work on Hawk, and, with any luck, I’ll have a draft finished soon. Tor well, I believe, get it out fairly quickly after that.
    d. Meanwhile, The Incrementalists, by me and Skyler White, will be out in September.
    A. Thanks again.

  5. @ Nicky…

    I’ve been rereading every book as new ones come out for sometime now….it’s actually fun, and while I generally prefer to read them in publication order, occasionally I’ll switch it up and attempt to read them in order of the events…of course, that isn’t always possible. *cough cough Dragon cough*

  6. Oh, and skzb…They *do* all stand on their own; I just enjoy them more when I remember all the various little subtleties that one forgets when it’s been a couple of years…..plus sometimes the rereading, especially when I switch up the order, gives me an “aha” moment when I notice something that I managed to miss before…..I get fewer of those now, have read the books, um, a lot, 🙂 but still…

  7. I agree, they do stand alone, but I like to have the full and complete picture of the story nevertheless. The hardest thing about re-reading them all over again and again though is that every time I come to the last one, it’s like saying goodbye to a friend. I have the hardest time actually finishing series that I like for this reason. 🙁

  8. Yes….I get that too….it’s like a good bye again.

  9. I am reading all of these to help get through the Covid19 lockdown. What a welcome distraction!

    My favorite aspect of this book is the successful blending of elements from different timelines, all moving at a good pace to the same denoument.

    Did skzb write the whole thing in order, then break of chunks and stick them here and there?

    I have never been a soldier, but I have known quite a few. Being in the military on Dragaera has many similarities to the experience they have shared.

  10. skzb

    Thanks! Yeah, I wrote it in order. And spent a lot of time talking to soldiers and getting stories, especially barracks stories.

  11. skzb: That’s really interesting that you wrote it in order first. Do you know, offhand as a matter of writing craft, do authors who write blended timelines tend to write them in order or is that one of those it just depends on the author things?

  12. Suitably disorienting to open the first page and find Vlad in the middle of a pitched battle and you are thinking, what the heck? And you never had to use those symbols to show the reader that you were transitioning:

    * * *

    I especially loved to interactions between Vlad and Loiosh in this one. I am very much in favor of all your stuff from your whole career, but it seems that you were especially on fire in the 1990s.

  13. skzb

    Steve: Interesting question; I should ask a few. Maybe I’ll ask on Twitter.
    Kragar: Tsk tsk. We like to believe we keep getting better. 🙂

  14. Well after I read the Baron of Magister Valley, I might change my tune!

Leave a Reply