Sniffen Packets

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500 Years After, by Steven Brust

This is a much more enjoyable book for me than Phoenix Guards. Perhaps it’s the more somber tone—I was warned that this one was “less fun.” But I suspect it’s the prequel aspect. I’ve read and internalized a bunch of the rest of the Dragaeran universe, and this was where it all began. Sure, Jenoine and 17 cycles of Empire… but Adron’s Disaster is what began the real Imperium, Vlad Taltos’s Imperium.

It’s not real Dumas. It’s a closer fit than Joel Rosenberg’s “Not…” offshoot from the Guardians of the Flame series, but it’s not that close a fit. So I can’t recommend this to those looking for a Dumas fix. You’ll have to make do with the real thing. But for a fan—a dedicated geek with an eye on the series’ continuity—it’s a wonderful addendum to the Jhereg books. It’s nice to have met Adron, and it puts Aliera’s line in Issola in context.

Books read this year: 20