Spoilers for a lot of the Vlad Taltos series here.
Most of the places that i’ve seen list the chronology of Brust’s Vlad series list it in this way (this one taken from the Dragaera wiki):
- Dragon (Main story)
- Dragon (Interludes)
- Tiassa (Section 1)
- Tiassa (Section 2)
- Tiassa (Section 3)
I’ve just reread Tiassa for the umpteenth time and while i can understand why people place Section 3 of Tiassa (Special Forces) as chronologically last, there’s one strong reason and one weaker reason why i believe it belongs elsewhere in Vlad’s chronology:
Strong: In Iorich, when Cawti and Vlad are asking about lovers, Vlad states that he has had one, “a Dragaeran, oddly enough.” This feels to me a reference to Sara, who through implication only becomes Vlad’s lover at the end of the events of the Tiassa epilogue.
Weak: When Zerika is talking to Khaavren about her desire to see Vlad protected, she talks about his service to the Empire due to the events in Phoenix (Elde Island) but fails to mention anything involving the events of Jhegaala nor of the events of Iorich. It was during Iorich that Zerika was able to discover that it was Vlad that sent her the secret to making paper, and helping Zerika and the Empire out of the mess in Iorich seems like something that she would have also mentioned if she was already going out of her way to talk about his service with the Elde Island incident. It’s also not unlikely that it would have been something that Khaavren or Pel would have mentioned themselves at some point since the whole Iorich incident seems like something that they would have had some part in behind the scenes.
This makes me think that the third section of Tiassa belongs before Iorich. Thus, i place the chronology of the Vlad series in this way (also adding a few other details not mentioned):
- Dragon (main narrated story, but narration occurs at the same time as the interludes and epilogue)
- Tiassa (prologue)
- Dragon (interludes and epilogue)
- Tiassa (section 1 (although this could have happened before the Dragon interludes. i’m pretty undecided about it.))
- Athyra (main story and epilogue)
- Athrya (prologue)
- Iorich (Interlude: Memory)
- Tiassa (Section 2)
- Tiassa (Section 3 and epilogue)
- Iorich (main story)
There’s also this interesting huge backstory gap as it relates to the whole Savn/Vlad/Sara thing. It’s in between the events of Orca and Issola that Vlad returns Savn to his family in a better state than when he left, which is where i place the prologue of Athyra. So at some point, Vlad goes back and picks Savn back up – somehow hearing that the silver tiassa could help Savn get better and enlisting Sara’s aid with the whole endeavor. That feels right since in the Athyra prologue, Savn isn’t talking at all whereas exposure to the silver tiassa starts to bring him back to normal, but i wonder how the whole re-retrieval of Savn and the inclusion of Sara came about. Maybe that will be in another book somewhere, although it doesn’t feel like enough material to flesh out an entire Vlad novel. Maybe Paarfi can get a hold of it and turn it into a three book volume.