There isn’t much to say about the plot of Athyra. Much of the last two books has been about tearing down what’s already been built up around Vlad, and this is much more of the same. Several years later, after a lot of wandering away from Adrilankha, he comes up against an old enemy. However, that’s not as interesting as what’s being done here on a stylistic level and in the metatext; Brust seems to be flexing his authorial muscles, both at the reader and at himself, seeing if he can write a Vlad Taltos novel without any of the touchstones of the earlier books: no first-person viewpoint, no snarky psionic sidekick, no organized crime, no Morrolan and Castle Black, no Cawti, Noish-pa, Dragarean nobles, nobody we’ve ever met but for Vlad and the two jhereg, and if readers can enjoy the story when its told like that.
I’m skipping around in my reading order so I can read the next one, so I guess it worked for me.