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Sethra Lavode

Sethra Lavode Cover

This page is about the book Sethra Lavode. For the character, see Sethra Lavode.

The fifth book of the Khaavren Romances, or the final part of the third, completing the trilogy (in more ways than one). Chronicles the events occurring after the re-appearance of Zerika the Fourth with the Orb from the Paths of the Dead and her initial defeat of the warlord Kâna. Continuing to follow several different major characters, the novel weaves together the various stories that led to the re-establishment of the Dragaeran Empire. Of the three parts of the Viscount of Adrilankha, this portion is the most straightforward in terms of plot, as it primarily deals with the final attempt by Kâna to take the Orb and the Empire.

Plot Outline[]

As the novel begins, Zerika the Fourth has begun to manage her newly formed empire from Whitecrest Manor in Adrilankha. Beset by intrigues and attempting to please all the houses, she manages to upset Khaavren, who promptly resigns his position.

On Elde Island emissaries from Kâna, have convinced the King of Elde, Corthina to invade the reforming empire in the aid of the pretender.

Meanwhile, Piro, now known by the name of the Blue Fox, and his band of bandits, including Kytraan, Ibronka, Röaana, Lar, Belly, and others, have been somewhat happily enjoying their existence, though worried about the future of their trade.

The young Dragonlord Morrolan has decided to have a party to celebrate the completion of his home: Castle Black. His invitations reach far and wide, including Khaavren, Daro, and Aerich, but also Zerika herself, who after some frustration with her dull occupation of running the empire decides to attend as well.

The party reunites the original four heroes (Khaavren, Aerich, Tazendra, and Pel) who at once decide that they need to find and discuss a reconciliation with Piro. With their assistance the matter is done in good time, yet unhappily the discussion between father and son does not result in a totally complete resolution, but the two are somewhat reunited.

Later, Aerich discovers that Tazendra is missing from her land, and begins a quest to find her. Piro's band also has their own quest, to find and return a family heirloom to the late Grassfog's sister, Tsira.

Sethra Lavode is unsettled by news of Kâna's new plan of attack. She informs the empress, arranges a suitable return of Khaavren to his post, and begins to try and formulate a defense of Adrilankha. Khaavren in his turn, stands up for his friend Pel when the latter was falsely accused of impropriety, and as the two remain in the service of Zerika, the plans of Grita and Habil have already begun to fall apart.

This devious plan can be summarized as follows:

  • A military attack by Kâna on the new capitol, including a substantial naval attack from Elde.
  • A pact with the God Tri'nagore, to disrupt the abilities of Lord Brimford, Arra and The Necromancer
  • Eliminating the influence of Khaavren and Pel, foiled by the flight of a pen
  • Eliminating the impact of Tazendra, effective to some degree, and Aerich, also effective
  • Cancelling the effect of the Orb by partially opening a portal to a Jenoine
  • Directly attempting to take the Orb by force

The forces of the reforming empire, as lead by warlord Sethra Lavode, have to overcome these various schemes. One of the primary problems is single-handedly accomplished by Morrolan as he confronts and destroys Tri'nagore. Pel and Khaavren protect the empress from an attack. Sethra Lavode defends the city, and ultimately all the major characters are briefly reunited to see the Jenoine forced away from the gate into the world.

The price for victory is very high. Tazendra is able to destroy Illista, bettering the Jenoine in a sorcerous engagement. She and Aerich are murdered by Grita, as are Kytraan and several other members of Piro's band. Not only that, but countless soldiers in the military battle for the city are also killed.

Piro kills Grita, and The Necromancer and Sethra Lavode expel the Jenoine. Morrolan receives a gift from the Demon Goddess, Khaavren arrests Kâna, and in one of the few truly happy aspects of the ending, Pel is named Prime Minister. Khaavren's story is completed by Zerika's gift to him of his ancestral lands and title, the lack of which had originally propelled him on his first adventure.

The novel and trilogy end at Deathgate Falls.

Major Characters[]

Great Scenes[]

  • Aerich realizes Tazendra is missing
  • In essence, the whole of Book Six, in which the history is brought to a satisfying and elegant conclusion

Favorite Quotes[]

(All copyrights Steven Brust, quotes for review and enjoyment only)


"Well," said Röaana, "how else am I to get Belly's attention? I have been looking at him from beneath my eyelashes for a year, and it is as if I addressed a wall."

"Bah," said Grassfog, shrugging. "Enter his tent some night. I promise you will get his attention."


"Come, I will introduce you to the Sorceress in Green."

"Ah, permit to guess: She is the one wearing green?"

"How did you know?"


"There is a great deal more to do."


... the briefest reflection convinced him that he ought not to lower himself by pursuing a Teckla, and that the indignity of giving the chastisement the servant deserved was greater than that of accepting it; in other words, he decided that such an insult was beneath his dignity to give heed to, and so, without giving the matter another thought, he stepped into Castle Daavya.


"Well, let us see what you are carrying so that we may consider the matter."

The horseman frowned. "You want to see what we are carrying in order to consider how to reduce our burden."

"You perceive, you have only repeated my statement, turning it into the form of a question."

"Well, but it very nearly sounds as if you are proposing to rob us."

"I admit it is something very like."


Zerika re-appoints Khaavren

"Then, having thought over all of the available candidates as fully and carefully as possible, I have come to the decision that you are the most qualified individual for the position of Captain of the Imperial Guard."


Morrolan tells the others what will be done about Tri'nagore

"As to that - I will banish him."


Then, sheathing his sword and unbuttoning his breeches, he made certain, in a way that was as old as Eastern tradition itself, that no man or god could have the least doubt about his feelings towards Tri'nagore.


"Do you know," she observed, "I believe I have bested a Jenoine in single combat." After saying this, she smiled sweetly, dropped to her knees, gave a sort of sigh, and pitched forward on her face.


"I had never before realized the degree to which my conversation would be hindered by an inability to shrug."


The Lord of Castle Black
Khaavren Romances
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