Athyra is quite different from the other Vlad books because it’s written in a tight third POV and not from Vlad’s first person POV. The main character is a young Teckla boy named Savn who helps Vlad out and gets dragged into a very dangerous situation.

I knew beforehand that the book wasn’t from Vlad’s POV and I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as the previous ones. I was wrong. Savn was easy to like and Brust’s dialogue was as good as ever. In fact, I rather enjoyed learning about the everyday life of the Teckla and about the world outside Adrilankha and the nobility. The only thing that I slightly missed was Loiosh but even him we got to see through the eyes of his mate, Rocza. The change in the narrative style was quite refreshing.

Most of the book is about Savn starting to realize that not everything should be taken at face value. The other strong character in the book is his sister Polyi. I rather enjoyed the brief appearances of the minstrel Sara, too. Hopefully, we’ll see her again at some point but I’m not holding my breath.

Overall, Athyra is a good Vlad book although not quite as good as, say, Issola. Of course, this book didn’t have my favourite character and neither did the previous Vlad book that I read, Dzur. Grumble, grumble.