Orca by Steven Brust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a solid Sword and Sorcery read, with just enough action to keep things interesting, but it's mostly about unravelling a ponzi scheme and a land swindle orchestrated by the Orca.
Vlad is just being Vlad, paying his debts. If it turns out that he bites off way more than he can chew, then blame it on his character.
If it actually makes him seem like a meddling busybody of an ex-assassin that's racking up the hate of every single empire in the land, then so be it. It's his nature. Or at least, it's the nature of this landless wanderer who seems to think he must atone for something, even if to my eyes he needn't atone for anything.
I keep reading these not because there's an overarching goal or something he must aim for any longer. His friends miss him and at least one can reach him, not including his dragons, so all in all, it's still all about healing his new friend who lost his mind in the previous book.
Does it still feel like just a meandering path to some unknowable future? Yes.
I don't know how I feel about that, but the character is strong enough, and the actual novel was still interesting, so I don't really see a reason to stop.
But. I still want more. I still remember truly grand things happening and stylistic wonders and brilliant plot. This didn't match my memories, but I can't say it was bad.
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