The Dream Café

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

Yendi

Yendi cover

Yendi
July, 1984

 

My least favorite book. It was such a relief to get back to Vlad after struggling with To Reign In Hell that I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing—I just wrote a straight-ahead story with nothing much else to it. That’s fine, in my opinion, if it’s a Really Good Story. But Yendi is only an okay story. I’d love to be able write this one over.

Discussion Page

10 Comments

  1. I hate to disagree with you, Good Sir, but Yendi is one of my top three favorite Vlad books. A good story, as you say, with layers of sub-plots so I never knew which ones would be significant in what ways (kinda like my life), outstandingly told. I was even more clueless of how this one would be resolved than I usually am with Vlad.

  2. On the other hand, I’d happily pay for a rewritten Yendi, should you wish to do so.

    It’s perfectly normal to have directors cuts of films so why not extend the idea to books?

    Also, have just discovered that the cruise I board in 9 days time has Texas Hold’em tables, and since it’s the sort of cruise which actually involves cruising, with the total of 2 stops between Mumbai and Piraeus, I shall be between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea when it comes to playing poker.

    It’s probably a bit late to take you up on your kind offer- expressed in my all time favourite author bio- of teaching me, but there must be a market for Steven Brust’s wisdom on the question of how not to get flayed alive at the poker table when playing that newfangled Hold’em thing…

  3. skzb

    Stevie: I know it’s a little late, but: tight, aggressive play gets the money. In limit hold ’em, if you play only the top 10% of hands, play them strong, and just muck everything else, you’ll probably come out ahead. Not the best way to maximize profit, but it should win.

  4. Pingback: Black Gate » Blog Archive » A Rogue’s Early Days: Yendi by Steven Brust

  5. I think all of the Vlad books are in my top 3 Vlad books.

    It is a sentiment with more heart than numerical accuracy, but it is at least sincere.

  6. I agree with Stevie. While Yendi may be straightforward chronologically, it twists and turns wildly, with plenty of fun every step of the way. Yendi, Issola, and Dzur (I want to eat at Valabar’s so badly!) have been re-read so often (along with The Phoenix Guards, which I am reading to my son) that I’ve had to buy new copies as the old ones disintegrated from over-use. I like all sorts of books from classics to mysteries, investment, history, science, etc, but when I’m overloaded and need to throttle back the pace, I go back to the Vlad novels (which have replaced the Effinger Marid trilogy as my go-to for pure fun.)

    BTW, I’m going to risk a minor constructive comment. I’m a bit old school when it comes to colorful language in books. I loved Hawk, but some of the allusions, while understated, were rather crude. I know it’s realistic in the sense of how people talk (including myself), but it’s a lot less fun than the extremely creative observations so common in your writing, and that I enjoy so much.

    In any case, I obsessively scan the internet for signs of your next book, so please, please, keep writing. It’s all scary good!

  7. Dear Steve,

    If you’d ‘love to be able to rewrite this one…’ then I say, “Do what you love, soonest.”

    (If I can’t dream at dreamcafe.com, then where can I?)

  8. I’ve been meaning to ask this for about 20 years but… well… why wasn’t Vlad drawn with a mustache?

  9. skzb

    Couldn’t say. I wasn’t the artist.

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