Steve recently posted on his LiveJournal that the next book he's writing is tenatively titled Jhegaala, and that it would take place between Phoenix and Athyra, which may mean that this book is where Vlad goes east to Fenario.
This is based on comments Vlad made in Dzur that his trip east is where he lost his finger, which we know happened during this period. (He still had his finger in Phoenix, but it was missing in Athyra.)
This gives some hope that we may finally get an explanation for exactly how the finger was lost; assuming, of course, that Vlad chooses to recount this experience in this book.
Recent speculation on the mailing list has Jhegaala occurring immediately after Teckla so this may not be explained.
Vlad Goes to Fenario?Edit
If this is the "Vlad goes east" story, (which DD-B confirms it is, though not necessarily after Phoenix) it will also be interesting to see his other experiences in Fenario, especially considering his possible connection to the royal family of Fenario (hinted at in Brokedown Palace) through Cawti (see Speculation:Cawti) . This may include the anecdote related to us previously of a time when Vlad was held prisoner outside the Empire in an incarceration involving "far too much potato soup". (See Issola and also Speculation:Future Books). (Note: Potato soup is served in Brokedown Palace, making this possibility more likely.)
It will also be interesting to see the status of Fenario itself, some 30 years after the events depicted in Brokedown Palace. Is Vilmos still King? Has Mariska returned to the capitol to marry into the royal family? Is Miklos still around? Will Miska, the coachman, make an appearance?
This may also give us an opportunity to learn more about Noish-pa, who is originally from Fenario--or other of Vlad's relatives (if he has any) who may still live in their homeland.
In addition, based on recent trends with Vlad, this is another opportunity (whether or not he goes to Fenario) for some conflict/interaction with Verra, particularly considering hints (threats?) given in Dzur.
This is especially intriguing considering that (according to a comment in Dzur) Verra hints that she may have sent Vlad a dream that inspired the trip to Fenario in the first place.
All in all, one might consider the period of this book as when Vlad was at his most vulnerable, although arguably his hardest period to find.
His family's reputationEdit
According to some confirmed speculation by Elizabeth Dalton and confirmed by early reader David Dyer-Bennett, Vlad's family has "an *interesting* reputation" in his ancestral town.