Pronouncing "Dzur"Edit

The Cycle poem is in trochaic tetrameter, (with catalexis) with the exception of the line:

Dzur stalks and blends with night.

The only way the poem scans is if Dzur is pronounced with TWO syllables, with the first one strongest, as in:

"DEE-zur" stalks and blends with night.

Does anyone think that it's pronounced that way? Or have another way to make that line scan properly? --Steve the Younger 12:19, 27 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I think it's just a sign that the Dzur nature is too impatient to wait to get through the line in the proper meter. <smirk>

--Majikjon 13:01, 27 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I figured you were supposed to purr it. "Dzurrrrrrr stalks and blends with night ..." - Rook 15:09, 27 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Well, I got answers from a few people including SKZB. I like Rook's answer better than mine or Steve Brust's. (He just mentioned on the mailing list that he hates the line, hates the poem, and reads it (when he must) with an extra beat *before* "Dzur", which I think is even lamer than the other suggestions. (I don't think it's possible -- the beat would be "strong" and the word "Dzur" weak. You'd have to put the extra beat *after* Dzur to work.)
There are many reasons I hate that poem and wish I'd never written it; you've just mentioned one. "Dzur" is one syllable. The only way to make that line work is with a beat, or a breath, *before* the beginning of the line, which is ugly. --Steven Brust
Although the "impatient Dzur" answer is funny, it's possible to give that feeling using legitimate meter substitutions, wbut I haven't seen or thought of any yet. --Steve the Younger 12:16, 28 Oct 2005 (UTC)
DDB's Pronunciation Guide gives it as "/tser/", with a matching MP3 and a notation that the word is from the Book of Jhereg pronunciation guide. The page is "© Copyright 2003-2007 Steven Brust", and I'm pretty sure I remember seeing this pronunciation ("tser") before this question was posted (12:19, 27 Oct 2005 (UTC)). There were some other issues with pronunciations on that page, though I can't remember specifics (but see the credit line at the top).
I've always pronounced "dzur" just as it is spelled, /ˈd͜zɜ˞/: starting with /dz/, like the "ts" in "Tsar" but voiced, and rhyming with "fur". And, FWIW, when I say that line of the poem I give "Dzur" two beats, and I stress both it and "stalks" -- like a stalking predator's slow, careful steps.
Hawk looks down   from lof-   ty   flight 
Dzur       stalks and  blends with night
Mark Mandel, proprietor, Cracks and Shards 00:35, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

colors Edit

And... what I came to this talk page to say... somebody anonymous changed the Dzur colors to "Black and Black". WTF? I've reverted it. Mark Mandel, proprietor, Cracks and Shards 00:37, November 14, 2010 (UTC)

Re: Colors

As far as I can tell, the House's official color is just black: Vlad notes of Telnan that "his House was no mystery at all: Only Dzurlords have ears like that, and think that black on black is the ultimate of fashionable color combinations"[1]; and when Khaavren visits Piro's friends Shant and Lewchin, he observes that "in this room were both the master and the mistress of the house, both dressed casually; the one in Dzur black, the other in green and white"[2].

I don't know where Cracks and Shards got the idea of black and white, since there's no attribution; but my guess is that they assumed Tazendra's "bit of white lace at the cuff"[3] (in her description when Khaavren first meets her) was part of the House uniform. However, in light of the two references above (and the fact that every article of clothing Tazendra is wearing is black), I think the cuff lace is more an 'accessory,' like the gold buttons also mentioned in that paragraph, rather than part of the Dzur colors.

Aha! A reference for Tazendra, as well: in Chapter 92 of Sethra Lavode, the imprisoned Tazendra is "dressed in the black of the House of the Dzur”[4]


Well, much though it pains me, I must admit that your point strikes home. (Not literally... that would be far more painful!) I'm not sure where I got the idea. I will check again when I get a Round Tuit.

Unfortunately, this also breaks the "pleasing symmetry": As far as we know, all the other houses are distinguished by exactly two colors, except the Teckla, who have three, and the Yendi, who, as might be expected from their all-around tendency to camouflage, have no identifying colors [TPG 15]. The Phoenix are the noblest House ("air of majesty" [TPG 20]; see also FHYA 285-286) and fewest in number [FHYA 17,Yen 63], and have only one color; while the Teckla, the only non-noble House and the most numerous, have three. -- Mark Mandel, proprietor, Cracks and Shards 01:59, January 23, 2011 (UTC)


  1. Brust, Steven. Dzur. Tor Books, 2007, p. 14.
  2. Brust, Steven. Sethra Lavode. Tor Books, 2004, p. 82.
  3. Brust, Steven. The Phoenix Guards. Tor Books, 1991, p. 8.
  4. Brust, Steven. Sethra Lavode. Tor Books, 2007, p. 257.

EM 05:42, December 4, 2010 (UTC)

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