The book that interrupted my prophecied comic binge was Steven Brust’s Jhegaala . Which, really, is sort of the perfect counter-point to my Butcher binge, because reading this now vividly illustrates the difference between reading a whole bunch of books in a series all in one swift run, and reading them as isolated dribs and drabbles spaced out over years.
Because Jhegaala was a perfectly fine book, and if I’d read it immediately after finishing Dzur (and two days after finishing Issola), I’d doubtless have thought it was all super-awesome and been pissed off only that there wasn’t more to read. But as it is, it felt like an interesting little story-nugget, a nice appetizer, but hardly a full meal.
And that’s not just because it’s a single book written years after the last; it’s also because it’s set in the middle of the series, chronologically, between Phoenix and Athyra. Brust has written other intra-series books before, and I never thought it was any sort of problem at all — in fact, I always liked hearing vaguely about an event and then later getting to read about the actual event. It makes it seem like the world has even more depth than it probably does.
But that’s when I know that I’m going to be able to pick up the next book and keep going with the main storyline. Here, it looks like it’ll probably be years again before we get another Vlad book, and I’m still waiting for the events of Issola to really hit, so after waiting this long and knowing I’ll have to wait longer, this just isn’t satisfying enough.
But if you haven’t started the Vlad series yet, you’ll be able to read the whole thing straight through, and you won’t have any idea what I’m bitching about. I can only recommend that course of action.