This, my fifth novel, was where I finally realized (or admitted to myself) that I was writing a series, and I had to ask myself some hard questions about what I was doing. This is reflected in the book. I also had to keep Vlad interesting enough that I wouldn’t get tired reading (and writing) about him. I know there are many people who don’t like it. Tough.

Discussion Page

5 thoughts on “Teckla”

  1. I don’t really dislike Teckla, but my feelings on it are mixed. I think my discomfort with it comes from the narrative doing its job painfully well. The first person perspective and Vlad’s personality with all of its natural flaws makes him instantly both a realistic and likeable character. So reading his very human frustrations with the events unfolding in his life is almost like experiencing his limitations personally.
    I think sometimes readers of fiction come to expect that every story has to have a happy ending. ‘Happy ending’ and ‘good ending’ though, aren’t necessarily synonymous. I’ve read books where the protagonist I’ve come to enjoy has died violently at the end, but it was the inevitable conclusion of the story and left the feeling of “I’m sad it happened, but it was satisfying in the end”.
    I think this is my general feeling about Teckla. It makes me sad when I read it because I like Vlad, and I don’t like to read Bad Things happening to him, but at the same time, the Bad Things make Vlad who he is and the whole reason why I love him and his adventures.

  2. I agree with Nicky that it is pretty difficult emotionally to read this one of all of them. I want Vlad to figure it out, I want Vlad to make things work with Cawti, and yet I feel him on not being able to just *poof* become someone new. Changing for someone never works (I’ve tried) and trying to make someone change for you never works either (tried that too).

    I do think it’s a bit strange that Vlad doesn’t hire several assassins and put a different assassin on each of Herth’s main body guards and then conspire to take out Herth immediately after the body guards are taken out? It seems like the kind of thing that Vlad or Krager would think of, and he certainly has the money after the events in Jhereg.

    Still, I like Teckla, and I kinda feel like it had to happen, in a way, but it probably is my least favorite of the series in terms of sheer enjoy-ability of reading. Still had some laughs though.

  3. Just finished another read-through of Teckla. It was a different experience this time, having discussed politics on these boards and gotten a pretty good feel for skzb’s philosophy. Vlad hates Kelly and thinks Kelly is misguided, but he does have a certain respect for him. When I first read this book 15 years or so ago, I did not realize that skzb’s political outlook was closer to Kelly’s and pretty far away from Vlad’s.

    Also, the Vlad–Cawti stuff is powerful but depressing. This book really captures that dead-inside feeling when a formerly loving relationship starts to change into something unrecognizable. And it is accomplished without a ton of internal dialogue. What they do and what they say or don’t say creates a powerful picture.

  4. Well said! I’ve read Teckla three times now, and it hit me powerfully each time. A masterful work. If I were to name my top three Vladimir books, Teckla would be one of them.

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