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The Book of Jhereg

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A welcome addition to any fantasy fan's library, The Book of Jhereg follows the antics of the wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion through their first three adventures: Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. From his rookie assassin days to his selfless feats of heroism, the dauntless Vlad will hold readers spellbound and The Book of Jhereg will take its pl A welcome addition to any fantasy fan's library, The Book of Jhereg follows the antics of the wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion through their first three adventures: Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. From his rookie assassin days to his selfless feats of heroism, the dauntless Vlad will hold readers spellbound and The Book of Jhereg will take its place among the classic compilations in fantasy.


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A welcome addition to any fantasy fan's library, The Book of Jhereg follows the antics of the wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion through their first three adventures: Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. From his rookie assassin days to his selfless feats of heroism, the dauntless Vlad will hold readers spellbound and The Book of Jhereg will take its pl A welcome addition to any fantasy fan's library, The Book of Jhereg follows the antics of the wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion through their first three adventures: Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. From his rookie assassin days to his selfless feats of heroism, the dauntless Vlad will hold readers spellbound and The Book of Jhereg will take its place among the classic compilations in fantasy.

30 review for The Book of Jhereg

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    Jhereg: 4 stars Yendi: 4 stars Teckla: 3.5 stars Amazing books. Amazing journey. Very memorable characters. Love Vlad and this world of dragons and dragon people and their layered politics. I can't wait to get started on the second omnibus. I have a thing about reading series in order, and it was with a lot of reluctance and much hand-wringing that I read this series out of chronological order. I had gotten almost the whole series in these omnibus editions that "organized" the books in publication o Jhereg: 4 stars Yendi: 4 stars Teckla: 3.5 stars Amazing books. Amazing journey. Very memorable characters. Love Vlad and this world of dragons and dragon people and their layered politics. I can't wait to get started on the second omnibus. I have a thing about reading series in order, and it was with a lot of reluctance and much hand-wringing that I read this series out of chronological order. I had gotten almost the whole series in these omnibus editions that "organized" the books in publication order (i.e. definitely not chronological order), and figuring out where to start or jump in took up too much time. So I just started with the first book of the first omnibus (Jhereg) and soon found that the order is not that big a deal for this series, as many people have told me before. The order in which you read doesn't affect your enjoyment that much because each book could be read as a standalone--sort of, "technically." I could explain further now that I've read the first three books, set in three different points of Vlad Taltos' life and career, but that's... gonna get complicated, more complicated. Suffice it to say I really enjoyed all three books, maybe the third one a little less than the previous two, but that's only because it contained too many real life implications that mirrored some of my own and reading about those things are never fun. The writing is great, and I never felt it faltering once. This doesn't mean much unless or until you take in the whole series' timeline and see where each book falls (how years apart they are) and then realize the complexity of writing a series out of order all the while maintaining continuity and coherence AND not letting the overarching story line falter. It's amazing and I'm nothing short of impressed. Cross-posted at https://covers2covers.wordpress.com/2...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    Oh, authors, why can you not just write the stories in the order they occur? Chronological order (according to the author): Taltos, Yendi, Jhereg, Teckla, Phoenix, Athyra, Orca. BUT "Many people whose opinions I respect believe publication order is best": Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla... I've read all the books in this series at least once and never got the order of events straight. I'm starting to suspect that the internal chronology doesn't make sense and Brust is trying to disguise the fact. And the fact Oh, authors, why can you not just write the stories in the order they occur? Chronological order (according to the author): Taltos, Yendi, Jhereg, Teckla, Phoenix, Athyra, Orca. BUT "Many people whose opinions I respect believe publication order is best": Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla... I've read all the books in this series at least once and never got the order of events straight. I'm starting to suspect that the internal chronology doesn't make sense and Brust is trying to disguise the fact. And the fact that the books all have similar made-up-animal titles does not help me keep them straight. *** Having finished my reread on Jhereg, I want to reiterate that the question of order is a fairly important one with this series. Reading in roughly chronological order, as I did the first time through, one encounters the protagonist Vlad as a young man embarking on a criminal career, in part because he is a member of a disadvantaged minority and it is one of the few paths of advancement open to him. He seems likable enough and the readers' sympathies remain largely with him as he becomes as assassin, gains skills and authority, makes powerful friends. Reading in publication order -- not so much with the sympathy. Vlad is basically a crime lord, running a territory for House Jhereg, which is similar to the mafia. He is a jolly enough fellow and has his own code of honor, but he also has no compunction about having a random woman murdered because her boyfriend was overheard gossiping. Pretty much innocent gossip, too, not mafia Jhereg secrets that he should have known were dangerous. His friends also have virtues -- usually loyalty or commitment to keeping their oaths, very medieval -- but they are certainly not the "good guys". Vlad mentions in passing of Morrolan that "he has been known to sacrifice entire villages to her [the Demon Goddess]." Maybe we're not supposed to care. Those faceless little villagers, so what if they die? This is a light read for entertainment, they aren't real people. Maybe our morals and affections are supposed to mimic those of the characters, where only the people they care about matter and other people's lives (or rather, deaths) are inconsequential. On the other hand, maybe we are supposed to be struck by the rupture of rooting for "heroes" who really aren't. But having recently reread Brust's standalone Agyar I know that he can portray this sort of moral ambiguity far better if that is what he wanted to do. On a less abstruse level, reading in publication order seems like it will make a lot of the "later" books which deal with earlier events rather anticlimactic. For instance, when I originally read Yendi without having read Jhereg, I did not know that Vlad was going to end up marrying Cawti, who is introduced in Yendi. But if you read in publication order they are married when it starts, rendering that subplot completely anticlimactic. There is no tension when someone tries to murder Vlad in Yendi because we already know he will be fine. Or maybe this is just not as fun because I'm a grown-up and read more critically.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Schirra

    When the friend who recommended this to me explained that it was based on an extended tabletop roleplaying campaign the author participated in, suddenly everything that pissed me off about this book made perfect sense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    An anthology containing the first three novels of the Vlad Taltos series. A very enjoyable introduction to his world and life. It did its job—I was sandwiched in a middle seat on an airplane, badly needing distraction from the two men I was shoe-horned between for the flight from Houston to Calgary (4 hours, if you’re interested). Dude on my left seemed to resent my very existence, so it was with great pleasure that I imagined my personal assassin, Vlad, doing his thing. The first book (Jhereg) w An anthology containing the first three novels of the Vlad Taltos series. A very enjoyable introduction to his world and life. It did its job—I was sandwiched in a middle seat on an airplane, badly needing distraction from the two men I was shoe-horned between for the flight from Houston to Calgary (4 hours, if you’re interested). Dude on my left seemed to resent my very existence, so it was with great pleasure that I imagined my personal assassin, Vlad, doing his thing. The first book (Jhereg) was spent getting to know the wise-cracking, paranoid assassin and learning the lay of the land, so to speak, on the world he inhabits. Brust includes a lot of detail—a multi-layered, complex social structure, a couple of systems of magic/sorcery, a fairly large cast of characters, plus a few new biological creatures to assimilate (specifically Vlad’s jhereg familiar, a flying lizard). Brust leaves you to glean facts along the way as he flings Vlad into a rather Rococo plot which twists and turns as more facts are uncovered. Brust owes a debt to series like Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat, whose main character is Slippery Jim DiGriz, another charming conman. Book two (Yendi) told the backstory of Vlad’s marriage. I appreciated his wife Cawti, as she had her own kick-butt history and a female business partner with whom she obviously had a real friendship. However, the two women never really get to take centre stage for a scene—their conversations are assumed off the page, which disappointed me somewhat. I had hoped that Yendi would pass the Bechdel test, but no dice. Teckla (Book three) changed the tone of the series entirely. Suddenly, it becomes necessary for Vlad to question the morality of his crime & assassination business and to decide if he is satisfied in a society where he is constantly discriminated against because of his race. These are serious questions which Vlad struggles with, being in a rather privileged position for an Easterner. He could lose it all, but what is it actually worth? Plus he is soon at odds with Cawti—which causes believable distress for our assassin friend. I appreciated the depiction of continued stress and misunderstandings in the relationship, as both parties sort out what they can and cannot live with. With as many complexities as Brust introduced in these two volumes, there are bound to be details that don’t get as much attention as they deserve. For me, I wished that Vlad’s relationship with his familiar, Loiosh, was better developed. The flying lizard-like jhereg had great potential that never really got explored—he was more like a living, smart-cracking weapon than like a true partner to Vlad. I will happily read more books in this series in months to come.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amber Tucker

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Finally, finished Jhereg! Yay. Running alongside Vlad on life-threatening missions was fun, and I'm certain it's going to continue to be fun through the next two in this volume.... UPDATE: Okay, here are my thoughts on the first book I've read in the Vlad Taltos series. First things I'll get over with are what didn't necessarily impress me. This book contains, for lack of a better term, a lot of 'tell-don't-show' style information: "Wow, Vlad/Boss, how did you figure THAT out?" "Genius explanatio Finally, finished Jhereg! Yay. Running alongside Vlad on life-threatening missions was fun, and I'm certain it's going to continue to be fun through the next two in this volume.... UPDATE: Okay, here are my thoughts on the first book I've read in the Vlad Taltos series. First things I'll get over with are what didn't necessarily impress me. This book contains, for lack of a better term, a lot of 'tell-don't-show' style information: "Wow, Vlad/Boss, how did you figure THAT out?" "Genius explanation by Vlad." "Shit, Boss. That's bad, but you're brilliant." I'm not saying Vlad is too perfect as a character, far from it - it's just that his revelations somehow got a tad dry by the end. Don't know exactly how it could have been done differently, and maybe I'm just not used to it because I just haven't read enough crime novels lately. The other thing which I was more disappointed with was the very ending itself, with the return to Vlad's contemplation of whether his past life as a Dragaeran greatly affects who he is now. It's presented (apparently) for the sake of a moralizing conclusion, which was totally misplaced in my eyes: " ' You know, Aliera,' I said, 'I'm still not really sure about this genetic inheritance through the soul. I mean, sure, I felt something for it, but I also lived through what I lived through, and I guess that shaped me more than you'd think. I am what I am, in addition to what I was. Do you understand what I mean?' Aliera didn't answer; she just looked at me, her face unreadable. An uncomfortable silence settled over the room, as we all sat there with our thoughts. Kragar studied the floor, Cawti [who provided her husband with his current 'revelation' about ten chapters ago] caressed my forehead...." Enough about the downsides. I greatly enjoyed the depiction of this universe, which I can't help linking intrinsically with the Star Wars galaxy. (Vlad should build himself a podracer so he can stop teleporting.) The addition of sorcery and witchcraft, however – with a neat distinction between the two – makes it unique, less hokey than 'the force.' The detailed weaponry is also, I must admit, rather intriguing. So is the link that Aliera, Morrolan and Vlad have with their particular weapons, which have really cool names. I mean, I seriously want to carry on a kick-ass fight with a two-foot length of gold chain called Spellbreaker. I'm not kidding. I will wrap this up with my hypothesis that Brust has strictly personal reasons for giving Vlad Taltos a moustache. Namely, Vlad is a bit of a Mary Sue. Just look at some concept art for Vlad: And look at Stephen Brust: Poor Stevie. All he's got is a parakeet. I can't help being amused, but I honestly feel empathy for the guy. Who wouldn't want to be Vlad Taltos? And who has more right to be than the person who created him in the first place? On to Yendi. Stay tuned. UPDATE: After having read Yendi: One thing I have to admire, I can not predict the twists that these books' plots take. I'm not much good at predicting plot twists anyway, but in the case of the Vlad Taltos books I doubt it's just me. I think it proves how well-versed Brust is in the science of intrigue, and how artfully crafted this entire world is. So, Vlad and Cawti met up in this one. That was fun and frisky. Cawti's an excellent character, not least because she is equal or possibly superior to Vlad in every conceivable way. I'm glad that Vlad doesn't fall in love with some wimpy female and awaken his 'soft side' to protect her. That would have weakened the action. In the sidelines, Vlad and Loiosh's bickering continues to be amusing, and after the hundredth "Shut up, Loiosh" it doesn't really even get stale. Not much. It just makes one feel how well they know each other. I still hope we'll hear them having a real psionic heart-to-heart one day, not just their banter between Vlad's other conversations. I will maintain that Sticks is the best character in Yendi. "There's no future in it, Boss."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Cools

    I don't really understand all the positive reviews about this book. The premise of this book is entertaining sure, but it has been done before. And better. Just read the Gentleman Bastards (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) or Prince of Thorns (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...) instead. Same principle, better stories, fleshed out characters.   The writing is a very juvenile and tries too hard to sound "cool". When I was reading this book I constantly heard the following in my head " I don't really understand all the positive reviews about this book. The premise of this book is entertaining sure, but it has been done before. And better. Just read the Gentleman Bastards (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...) or Prince of Thorns (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...) instead. Same principle, better stories, fleshed out characters.   The writing is a very juvenile and tries too hard to sound "cool". When I was reading this book I constantly heard the following in my head "I'm a cool murderer, with cool weapons, in a cool organization and cool allies. I always know something cool and witty to say. Look how cool I am when I kill this guy in a cool fashion. Yeah, I'm always cool.” Yawn.   Only finished this book because I bought it.   One last thing. The main character has a cool (of course) familiar called Loiosh, a little dragonlike creature that can talk through thoughts. Everytime this creature says something. The reaction of the main character is almost always the same. He simply responds with "shut up, Loiosh".   What a dick.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kris Larson

    This contains the first three books in the Vlad Taltos series which chronicles the adventures of a young assassin for hire in one of the most original fantasy worlds I've ever encountered. This is definitely not based on medieval England, or anything I've read about. I used to read them when I was a kid and then spend the afternoon pretending to be an assassin with my own flourishing assassinary business. Now I read them and wish I was a kid so I could play it some more. "'He wants to meet with y This contains the first three books in the Vlad Taltos series which chronicles the adventures of a young assassin for hire in one of the most original fantasy worlds I've ever encountered. This is definitely not based on medieval England, or anything I've read about. I used to read them when I was a kid and then spend the afternoon pretending to be an assassin with my own flourishing assassinary business. Now I read them and wish I was a kid so I could play it some more. "'He wants to meet with you. [...:] He set it up for two hours past noon, tomorrow.' 'After noon?' Kragar looked puzzled. 'That's right. After noon. That means when most people have eaten lunch, but haven't eaten supper yet. You must have come across the concept before.' I ignored his sarcasm. 'You're missing the point,' I said, flipping a shuriken into the wall next to his ear. 'Funny, Vlad -- ' 'Quiet. Now, how do you go about killing an assassin? Especially someone who's careful not to let his movements fall into any pattern?' 'Eh? You set up a meeting with him, just like the Demon is doing.' 'Right. And, of course, you do everything you can to make him suspicious, don't you?' 'Uh, maybe you do. I don't.' 'Damn right you don't!'"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Vladimir Taltos is a bit warped, but you might be too, if you grew up as the son of a self-hating human in Dragaera. It is an empire of sorcery and intrigue... for Dragaerans. For humans, it is mostly a world of drudgery and second or maybe even third-class citizenship. (The members of the House of Teckla, the serf-caste among the Dragaerans, might edge out most humans for second-class citizenship status.) Vlad has managed to come up in the world, though. And he's done it the only way a human ca Vladimir Taltos is a bit warped, but you might be too, if you grew up as the son of a self-hating human in Dragaera. It is an empire of sorcery and intrigue... for Dragaerans. For humans, it is mostly a world of drudgery and second or maybe even third-class citizenship. (The members of the House of Teckla, the serf-caste among the Dragaerans, might edge out most humans for second-class citizenship status.) Vlad has managed to come up in the world, though. And he's done it the only way a human can: through the purchase of a baronetcy in the House of Jhereg. He's also become an assassin. And a witch. And a bit of a sorcerer (completely different, of course). And a problem for some very powerful people... The Book of Jhereg is 471 pages of lightning fast, engaging reading that takes on far more than it seems on the surface. Better still, Brust has already written enough books set in this world to populate a small bookshelf, so this might really be the start of a beautiful relationship. For my full review, visit my blog: http://worldsbetweenpages.blogspot.co...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    A friend of mine handed me this as something to let my mind wander in between scholastic readings of the semester. I was ready to write it off as pulp fantasy, an easy read that meant nothing--and, on a certain level, I was right. But the really plain and somewhat silly quote on the front from Roger Zelazny is also right: "Watch Steven Brust. He surprises you." Since this is a collection of three books, I will review them as such. Jhereg One of the things that drove me nuts about this book is Brust A friend of mine handed me this as something to let my mind wander in between scholastic readings of the semester. I was ready to write it off as pulp fantasy, an easy read that meant nothing--and, on a certain level, I was right. But the really plain and somewhat silly quote on the front from Roger Zelazny is also right: "Watch Steven Brust. He surprises you." Since this is a collection of three books, I will review them as such. Jhereg One of the things that drove me nuts about this book is Brust's love affair with operating in medias res. I never really had a clear idea of who was who or what I was supposed to be rooting for or what this world was, anyway, even though the first-person narration of Vlad Taltos is constantly breaking the fourth wall to offer commentary. I was intrigued by the ways Brust got around some of the problems of working in a world without technology but with magic--the psionic communication that replaces phones, for example, was interesting. I like the recurring detail of how much teleporting sucks, too. And the characters were fun. It was a good read, and I was curious to see where the world went. Yendi Even though I'd read the foreward to this edition that informed me these were in publication rather than chronological order, I was still way caught off guard when I finished one book and hopped into a prequel. Which, again in keeping with in medias res, I didn't really realize was a prequel until the characters starting referring to each other in ways that made me quite sure they didn't know each other all that well yet. So this one was much cooler, for me anyway, in terms of really bringing out the different levels of society within Brust's world. Taltos (pronounced Taltosh, I belatedly learned) is an assassin moving into running a ring of illegal businesses, and he happens to get on the wrong side of another boss. This sparks a war, and watching the incredibly intricate plotting and movements of that war and the effects it has on all of the characters involved really drew me into the story. I liked also that the introduction of a romance element didn't overwhelm the main plot and never really became anything other than an element. The action was first, second, and third, and the romance was just a neat addition. Well done there. Teckla I, like Taltos, am still not quite sure what to do with this one. The overtones of revolution and fighting against oppression are very interesting, seeing that Les Miserables is set to come out later this month, but there are also some really well-written manifestos and opinions hidden among the sometimes belabored relationship element and the general workings of Taltos trying to maneuver around the mess of his wife being involved with fools. I really appreciated some of the ways that Brust comments on the ideas of value for others and the power plays of society, but I wasn't so much a fan of how drawn out he made the fighting between Taltos and Cawti. I guess I just never believed it, I don't know why. I am curious to see where the series goes, and will have to ask my friend for the next collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    The first two novellas were ok. Fantasy assassin with intrigue story line. Not really fleshed out, leaving some strangely large gaps in the story telling, but amusing. The last novella, Teckla, destroyed the entire book. It was some bizarre political commentary. Not a problem in of itself, but I couldn't figure out what he was commenting on. Is it about communism? He is for it or against it? For a book about an assassin, it was strangely devoid of anything remotely interesting. After realizing I The first two novellas were ok. Fantasy assassin with intrigue story line. Not really fleshed out, leaving some strangely large gaps in the story telling, but amusing. The last novella, Teckla, destroyed the entire book. It was some bizarre political commentary. Not a problem in of itself, but I couldn't figure out what he was commenting on. Is it about communism? He is for it or against it? For a book about an assassin, it was strangely devoid of anything remotely interesting. After realizing I was dreading reading it, I gave up in the last 20 pages. There has to be a special kind of awful to give up when the end's in sight.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Woll

    This is a collection of three books. The first book was really good. There was some annoyance that so many things were unexplained, but overall it was a great read. The second book jumps backwards chronologically to try to explain a bunch of stuff in the first book and it works ok. It wasn't as interesting (prequels never are since you already know the outcome). The third had a weird sociopolitical plot that I guess made me think or something, but wasn't that interesting. The fight scenes were be This is a collection of three books. The first book was really good. There was some annoyance that so many things were unexplained, but overall it was a great read. The second book jumps backwards chronologically to try to explain a bunch of stuff in the first book and it works ok. It wasn't as interesting (prequels never are since you already know the outcome). The third had a weird sociopolitical plot that I guess made me think or something, but wasn't that interesting. The fight scenes were better than the other books though. What makes it all work is the first person narrator. He reminds me of Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files (and in fact, I read this book based on a Reddit thread recommendation about "if you like Jim Butcher, then you will probably enjoy..." I'm still peeved that all the major "houses" in the book (and from which each book is titled) are named after animals that are never described. What is a jhereg, or a dzur, or yenka? Why is one house named Dragon and all the rest are made up?? (Now that I think about it, one is a Hawk also, so 2 out of 9 are real?) It's really annoying.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Although I am not sure I think reading the books in published order is necessarily the best way (losing track of who knows whom is a little frustrating), it isn't too bad here, and Jhereg starts off the series quite nicely. I enjoyed the intrigue and the different characterizations quite a bit. The second book already gave me warnings of "problem of the week" syndrome, where Vlad has to tackle some new and difficult challenge and do it before 400 pages is up, but I did like the fleshing out of h Although I am not sure I think reading the books in published order is necessarily the best way (losing track of who knows whom is a little frustrating), it isn't too bad here, and Jhereg starts off the series quite nicely. I enjoyed the intrigue and the different characterizations quite a bit. The second book already gave me warnings of "problem of the week" syndrome, where Vlad has to tackle some new and difficult challenge and do it before 400 pages is up, but I did like the fleshing out of his back story. I also found that I enjoyed some of the more minor characters, particularly the enforcers such as Sticks, more than most of the main characters. Loiosh is an interesting companion, but sometimes I am unsure what he actually brings to the table. The third book in this collection is where the series lost me. I honestly was hoping to finish the book quickly, not because I was so into it, but because the plot line here annoyed me to no end, and I did not like the (as I saw it) overly one-dimensional black/white dualism philosophy that seemed to invade the characters. Clearly there was more to it, but the attempt to explain it was poor, and the ending seemed too simple to really resolve anything. Nonetheless, it has not deterred me from picking up the next book. I stopped reading Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels because the protagonist took on such an air of "why me" that I couldn't take it anymore. He also lives in the "new big threat of the moment" world, which I've seen enough on TV in such shows as Smallville and Buffy. Here's hoping I don't come to the same conclusion with this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    I very much enjoyed this omnibus. You can find my review on just the Jhereg portion here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... The reason that I dropped a star on the overall review of this series is because I got pretty darned irritated with Vlad's wifey. I went from liking and respecting her as a strong, almost frightening character in her own right to being very irritated with the sudden and abrupt change in her personality. Overall, however, the stories contained herein stay true to the ant I very much enjoyed this omnibus. You can find my review on just the Jhereg portion here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... The reason that I dropped a star on the overall review of this series is because I got pretty darned irritated with Vlad's wifey. I went from liking and respecting her as a strong, almost frightening character in her own right to being very irritated with the sudden and abrupt change in her personality. Overall, however, the stories contained herein stay true to the anti-hero mindset and give us a glimpse in the life of your average assassin who is just trying to make a place for himself and stay alive long enough to enjoy it. There have been some reader comments (complaints) about how the story jumps about. How a book later on in the series might take place well before the book that preceded it. This did not bother me at all. As I read this omnibus, the conversational tonality in the writer's words made me feel as though I was listening to a friend describe their antics over dinner. With any good story things hardly ever get divulged in order. Part way through someone is apt to say, "Well don't you remember that time when...? Wasn't that before?" The logistics of how the story is told matters little when compared to the quality of the characters and the skill of the storytelling. These three books in the Vlad Taltos series spin a wonderful story about characters that keep you interested. This is what's important to me as a reader. The rest can be worked around.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Jhereg done. Lots of fun - even though the hero is the local sub-Boss of what passes for the Mob (and an assassin!) I really wanted him to win. Great stuff Yendi done. Surprisingly, Yendi happens before Jhereg, but they still stand alone so it makes no matter. Here, I got a bit lost about how the Houses differ to each other: both in physical appearance and "style" (Dzur - warriors, Yendi - plotters, Dragon - army commanders? Jherg - Mafia!). But still, a good light hearted romp which I enjoyed. Tec Jhereg done. Lots of fun - even though the hero is the local sub-Boss of what passes for the Mob (and an assassin!) I really wanted him to win. Great stuff Yendi done. Surprisingly, Yendi happens before Jhereg, but they still stand alone so it makes no matter. Here, I got a bit lost about how the Houses differ to each other: both in physical appearance and "style" (Dzur - warriors, Yendi - plotters, Dragon - army commanders? Jherg - Mafia!). But still, a good light hearted romp which I enjoyed. Teckla done. The latest setting of the three books, it's also the one I liked the least. The other two are really rip-a-long fast past fun rides. This one has a much different tone - considering the theme, it's understandable. Overall: I enjoyed it. Jhereg was by far my fave and I really like Vlad as a protagonist (he's so full of contridictions and sarcasm, he rocks!). A good easy and quick read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathi

    9/10 These 3 novels (Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla), repackaged as one book, are in the order the author wrote them, but not in the order than Vlad lived them. For a linear thinker like me, that's a challenge. And I can feel the weight of all there is yet to learn about Dragaera. Vlad is a wonderful storyteller and I enjoy his sardonic tone. There is more complexity to these stories than one may think. Jhereg and Teckla were both excellent, Yendi less so but still wonderful because of how Vlad and Cawt 9/10 These 3 novels (Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla), repackaged as one book, are in the order the author wrote them, but not in the order than Vlad lived them. For a linear thinker like me, that's a challenge. And I can feel the weight of all there is yet to learn about Dragaera. Vlad is a wonderful storyteller and I enjoy his sardonic tone. There is more complexity to these stories than one may think. Jhereg and Teckla were both excellent, Yendi less so but still wonderful because of how Vlad and Cawti met and their "courtship".

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Full Review Full Review

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sean Powell

    This is a compilation of the first three books in Brust’s “Taltos” fantasy series, centered on Vlad Taltos, an assassin coming up through the ranks in a unique and fascinating world, where each House is characterised by having certain (alien) animal genes bred into it - other than the downtrodden vanilla humans, called Easterners in the series, of which Vlad is one, competing sorcery and witchcraft, soul eating daggers, reincarnation is established fact and where the resurrection (revivification This is a compilation of the first three books in Brust’s “Taltos” fantasy series, centered on Vlad Taltos, an assassin coming up through the ranks in a unique and fascinating world, where each House is characterised by having certain (alien) animal genes bred into it - other than the downtrodden vanilla humans, called Easterners in the series, of which Vlad is one, competing sorcery and witchcraft, soul eating daggers, reincarnation is established fact and where the resurrection (revivification) of the dead is not uncommon. The books are set in the order they were written, which is not the chronological order of the series. I first read this omnibus a good 20 years ago and picking it up recently to re-read it (after finally unpacking my books post-house move) was like sitting down with an old friend. The first book, Jhereg, has always been my favourite, quickly introducing the world and major characters, sardonic wit and a nicely twisting plot - in short, Vlad gets offered the contract of a lifetime. More money than he’d ever need, but he’s got to find and kill the target within three days. When he finds the target, he’s holed up in the home (actually a floating castle) of Vlad’s colleague from another House and killing him there would provoke an inter-House war. Five stars. The second book, Yendi, has a similar complicated plot to be unravelled, but is set chronologically earlier than Jhereg. Vlad is younger and has just started running his own business “doing work” and ends up targeted by a rival, though not for the reasons that first seem apparent He also meets his wife from the first book when she plants a dagger in his ribs. Four stars. The third book, Teckla, (set after the first book) has always seemed the weakest to me. Maybe because of the social justice themes, maybe because of the marital woes that ensue, maybe because it’s just lighter on plot twists and dramatic action. I enjoyed this one - kind of - just because it’s got the same characters in the same world, but I wouldn’t recommend reading it first as it would have put me off the series - three stars. I’m really tempted to rate this five stars over all, because I enjoyed it that much, but over the course of all three books, four stars is probably more fair.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeni

    I don't know why it took me so long to discover these books. This compilation consists of the first three Vlad Taltos novels - Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla. Chronologically, Yendi comes first, followed by Jhereg and then Teckla . I read them in published order, as I had them all in one volume, but I think if I was reading them one at a time with other books in between it might have been better to read them chronologically. Vlad is an assassin who is a witch and has a dragon as a familiar. Yep, a dra I don't know why it took me so long to discover these books. This compilation consists of the first three Vlad Taltos novels - Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla. Chronologically, Yendi comes first, followed by Jhereg and then Teckla . I read them in published order, as I had them all in one volume, but I think if I was reading them one at a time with other books in between it might have been better to read them chronologically. Vlad is an assassin who is a witch and has a dragon as a familiar. Yep, a dragon. Not a huge dragon though, this one likes to perch on Vlad's shoulders. The prologue in Jhereg tells us how Vlad got his dragon and I was hooked from there. The stories are full of intrigue and danger and there is plenty of action, often orchestrated by Vlad. These are great fantasy adventure books, and I am looking forward to reading more of them.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Duchinsky

    The first three adventures—Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla fit in this Kindle edition. The three novels vary a bit in style which enhances the enjoyment, though the tone of the third book Teckla squirted sideways and almost ruined the trilogy. Books 1 and 2 breezed through cheeky plots narrated by the protagonist, if an assassin reaches the level of working class hero. The author realized the colorful characters and world needed a long term story arc. Taking the world more seriously meant using book t The first three adventures—Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla fit in this Kindle edition. The three novels vary a bit in style which enhances the enjoyment, though the tone of the third book Teckla squirted sideways and almost ruined the trilogy. Books 1 and 2 breezed through cheeky plots narrated by the protagonist, if an assassin reaches the level of working class hero. The author realized the colorful characters and world needed a long term story arc. Taking the world more seriously meant using book three as a foundation plot with multiple characters fleshed out for further development. I look forward to the fourth book building on the third with tone and cheekiness of first and second.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terrell Brown

    Never thought I'd find myself loving a story about an assassin and his daily struggles of running his varies 'businesses, keeping control of his territories while dealing with competition, and at the same time maintaining a health relationship with his wife? All with the help of a wisecracking familiar and friends in high places. The worldbuliding is pretty interesting as well, Lord of the Rings Elves meets Dresden Files like magic? Love it, can't wait to dive deeper into this series. As always Never thought I'd find myself loving a story about an assassin and his daily struggles of running his varies 'businesses, keeping control of his territories while dealing with competition, and at the same time maintaining a health relationship with his wife? All with the help of a wisecracking familiar and friends in high places. The worldbuliding is pretty interesting as well, Lord of the Rings Elves meets Dresden Files like magic? Love it, can't wait to dive deeper into this series. As always soooo many books and not enough free time, Ugh Adulting. T _ T

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    The first of the Vlad Taltos novels, Jhereg, by Steven Brust has been on my “to-read” list for the better part of a decade and a half. Back in August, Audible.com released Jhereg (and just about all the other Vlad Taltos novels, via their increasingly impressive Audible Frontiers label. Jhereg introduces the readers to the assassin Vlad Taltos. Living in amongst a race of tall long-lived sorcerers called Dragaerans, Vlad has risen to a station of respect and power (if of a limited variety) despi The first of the Vlad Taltos novels, Jhereg, by Steven Brust has been on my “to-read” list for the better part of a decade and a half. Back in August, Audible.com released Jhereg (and just about all the other Vlad Taltos novels, via their increasingly impressive Audible Frontiers label. Jhereg introduces the readers to the assassin Vlad Taltos. Living in amongst a race of tall long-lived sorcerers called Dragaerans, Vlad has risen to a station of respect and power (if of a limited variety) despite his human heritage. Aiding Vlad in his endeavors is his Jhereg familiar Loiosh, earned after Vlad embraced the witchcraft of his human ancestors. The novel sees Vlad hired by a legendary figure called The Demon to track down a kill a thief (Mellar) who robbed the Jhereg Council (the clan that Vlad himself belongs to) of a great sum of money; so great a sum that if Mellar gets away the council will essentially be crippled. It should be noted for prospective readers that Jhereg, while the first novel to feature Vlad, is not the first within the series’ own internal chronology. Published in 1983 Jhereg was followed in 1984 by a prequel (Yendi, which itself received a sequel in 1998) and didn’t get a sequel until 1987 (Teckla). Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla are all available in print as The Book of Jhereg or individually in audio from Audible.com. I’m the type of idiot reader that always wants to know what will happen next so discovering this after having listened to Jhereg is kind of annoying since I’m also a bit of a completionist. There are further chronological oddities in the series’ publication and I’m not sure there is any right way to read the series. Brust himself tossed a monkey wrench in such discussions when he released both Dragon and Tiassa both of which have sections taking place in different times. My gut says go with publishing order. Jhereg stems from the sword and sorcery tradition particularly in its approach to character. This isn’t a novel about epic quests but about the struggle of an individual character to achieve a specific goal with the primary narrative driving the how of those actions. Brust shows an adept hand at world building without ever becoming too distracted by the particulars of the setting. Most of the historical and cultural details gleaned about the world have direct implications to the current plot with only minor deviations with the seeming intent to set up further plot points in later novels. When it comes to world building Brust’s attention is focused in a subtle examination of the society of the Dragaerans, the inter-relationships between the various clans (aided by the chapter headings), and the place of humans in the struggles of those clans. While this definitely gives readers a good handle on the history of Jhereg’s world it also plays an essential role in how the plot unfolds and marks a rather clever means to get readers interested in the history of the Dragaeran Empire. Vlad’s role as both an assassin and crime boss (he is in charge of a section of the city) gives Jhereg a subtle noir bent that adds a nice twist on the proceedings. When I was younger I doubt I would have been so quick to point out the delicate and subtle elements of other genres that seem to make it into fantasy and science fiction. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized the some of the most glorious and entertaining novels I’ve read are the result of author who decided to combine seemingly contrary elements from multiple genres. While there will always be a soft spot in my heart for “traditional fantasy” there is an indefinable special something about a fantasy of science fiction novel that doesn’t adhere to the strict and limited tropes of a single genre. Brust ably proves in Jhereg that one can combine a crime thriller and fantasy novel (with a touch of politics) into an engaging and entertaining read. Brust’s willingness to play with chronology is apparent in the series’ publication history and you get a touch of that same willingness right at the start of Jhereg. While the novel does give a bit of a backstory to Vlad it only focuses on the those elements that are most integral to the plot of novel (this only becomes obvious towards Jhereg’s conclusion). It is a clever means to introduce us to Vlad’s past while at the same time not encumbering us with too much unnecessary information. While I ended up with a basic understanding of the society in which Vlad lives and works within I ended up with an excellent understanding of Vlad’s character; as the primary lens through which the reader views the world (the novel is primarily in first person) have a crystal clear understanding of who Vlad is leads to a greater connection to his surroundings as well. Jhereg is a fantastic fantasy novel and a classic of the genre. While it doesn’t operate on the same grand scale of the doorstopper fantasies we all know and love it Jhereg provides an introduction to multifaceted character living, and having adventures in, a world that feels complete and whole. Where Jhereg tells a satisfying and complete story the details of Vlad’s life and the greater mysteries of his and the world’s past definitely left me clamoring for more. I definitely returning for more of Vlad Taltos in the future. If you’re a fantasy fan and haven’t given these novels a shot there isn’t a better time than now.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This is a collection of the first three Vlad Taltos novels, and I read the first third of this so long ago I'm not going to go into it here, because I don't recall much of what I read. I picked up this collection, because I had seen reviews comparing Taltos to a a fantasy James Bond. While I've moved Casio Royale up my TBR list I would say Taltos compares more to Harry Dresden than Bond (at least the movie version of Bond that I familiar with). Part of the reason is the first person narrative, an This is a collection of the first three Vlad Taltos novels, and I read the first third of this so long ago I'm not going to go into it here, because I don't recall much of what I read. I picked up this collection, because I had seen reviews comparing Taltos to a a fantasy James Bond. While I've moved Casio Royale up my TBR list I would say Taltos compares more to Harry Dresden than Bond (at least the movie version of Bond that I familiar with). Part of the reason is the first person narrative, and the second is that Taltos is solving a mystery somewhere during the course of the story. Taltos is a member of house Jhereg, and an assassin. By the time we get to the second book, Yendi, Taltos is running a small criminal operation in one part of town. Did I forget to mention that the Jhereg are essentially the Mafia. They do it all, gambling, hookers, assassination (which is how Taltos began his career). Yendi begins with a turf war that turns out to be a cover for deeper political games within the Empire. Through his work Taltos has made friends with some of the upper echelon in at least on Dragon House which is where the events lead us all to. Oh yeah, he marries one of the assassins sent to kill him. The final third is Teckla, and here is where Brust interjects some of his personal political beliefs and life into affairs. Taltos' business affairs are doing very well, especially for an Easterner (Easterners are regular humans who are looked down upon in the Empire). But, trouble is brewing at home as Cawti (his spouse) has joined Eastern revolutionaries who want equal rights and better treatment for Easterners. The politics don't get overly heavy, at least for me. Brust raises issues that are worth listening to from both sides. Where Brust excelled here is depicting Taltos' disintegrating marriage (which also happened to Brust in real life). Things are so bad that Taltos, usually an intelligent man forgets some of the basics of his own trade, an apparent death wish, and Taltos does begin to believe that his own death might be the solution to the problems he is facing. Brust is better than Butcher at characterization at this stage (Butcher did improve from the start of the Dreseden books), and the last two thirds of the collection hooked me in far enough to start hunting used books stores for more Taltos books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    I did not expect this to be this good. I mean, Brust came highly recommended. Robin Hobb talked him up on her blog, and China Mieville mentioned favourably a story he co-wrote with Emma Bull(leftists sticking together). Still, I didn't expect what I got out of this book. I loved the fantasy take on the crime noir novel. I don't think I've ever read it done like this before, and it won me over immediately. It was pretty gritty, yet still very D&D, with all sorts of sentient magic swords, revivific I did not expect this to be this good. I mean, Brust came highly recommended. Robin Hobb talked him up on her blog, and China Mieville mentioned favourably a story he co-wrote with Emma Bull(leftists sticking together). Still, I didn't expect what I got out of this book. I loved the fantasy take on the crime noir novel. I don't think I've ever read it done like this before, and it won me over immediately. It was pretty gritty, yet still very D&D, with all sorts of sentient magic swords, revivifications, teleportations and other magic spells. The combat was also very well written, which is another thing that wins me over. It's pretty clear from how he writes of Vlad's rapier style that Brust has spent some time with his hand on the pommel of a sword. Also, Vlad and other characters miss their shots, lose their weapons, get overmatched, and generally behave as real people do in real fights, which I don't see enough of in fantasy. The politics and ethics present in the third tale, Teckla, were also a very pleasant surprise, and kept the character of Vlad Taltos from becoming flat. His moral struggle with being an assassin was something I didn't expect, and Brust handled it with great insight and skill. Also, the fights between Vlad and his wife Cawti were very well portrayed, almost uncomfortable to read about. The whole peasant revolt and moral tale about individualism vs. social justice definitely show Brust's Trotskyist leanings, and yet he's not heavy-handed in his treatment of the politics in the story. It's not a blatant poltical vehicle, but the politics are there if you look for them, and that's how I think it should be done. My one complaint about this book would be the rather clumsy humour, and yet it's not consistantly clumsy. You can tell that Jhereg was the first novel published in the series, because Brust's application of humour becomes more and more skillful with each book. I will definitely continue reading this series, and indeed, all this man's work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Malcolm Logscribe

    I liked it! I will read the rest of this series. I loved the characterization (if not the characters) and the dialogue. I loved the silliness and the murderiness. I love love loved the cleverness, the puzzle-solving and people-reading. I didn't love the change of tone in Teckla, which was also a great book but which - if the first two books are Dexter, with their "whee, murder!" vibe, then Teckla is Breaking Bad, and suddenly being made to realize how much I hate the main character and how horrib I liked it! I will read the rest of this series. I loved the characterization (if not the characters) and the dialogue. I loved the silliness and the murderiness. I love love loved the cleverness, the puzzle-solving and people-reading. I didn't love the change of tone in Teckla, which was also a great book but which - if the first two books are Dexter, with their "whee, murder!" vibe, then Teckla is Breaking Bad, and suddenly being made to realize how much I hate the main character and how horrible and harmful the whole situation is... I liked Teckla as much as the others by itself, and maybe rereadings will convince me the three belong together. (view spoiler)[I loved Cawti, as the happy spouse and the new love and the person with a working sense of ethics (guess whose side I'm on in Teckla). I did like the order of things - I'm not sure the courtship between Vlad and Cawti would have worked if I hadn't already seen them as a successful couple. I loved seeing a happy couple who deal with drama that has nothing to do with their relationship and doesn't threaten it at all, and I was sad when things went wrong there, but oh well - both characters felt true in both instances. (hide spoiler)] EDIT: OK, I've reread, and Jhereg is even better than I remembered. The book is clever and Vlad is clever and it unfolds perfectly. A joy. Yendi is slightly less good, but still very enjoyable. I didn't reread Teckla, though, because "Vlad kills people" is somehow more comfortable to be than "Vlad is mean to poor people". Maybe I would have liked it better this time, but I just remember disliking Vlad so much the book was no fun. Oh, and the first time around I cooed and melted at how comfortable and casually supportive Vlad and Cawti were as a couple in Jhereg, but rereading, all the cute supportive things (deliberately making a bland dinner so as not to distract, helping with witchcraft, etc) were done by Cawti for Vlad. I don't think we see Vlad behave that way toward Cawti at all. Oh well. I guess I retract one of my complaints about Teckla.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Vlad Taltos is a low-level mob boss who also occasionally free-lances as an assassin. He's also an Easterner (read: human) in a city run by Dragaerans (read: elves, but not Legolas-type elves), who happen to despise Easterners. While Vlad claims to hate Dragaerans, his actions don't often show that, as he's a member of a Dragaeran house and even has a few Dragaeran friends and employees. And he's not too sympathetic with his own race, either, although he is married to an Easterner and fellow (ex Vlad Taltos is a low-level mob boss who also occasionally free-lances as an assassin. He's also an Easterner (read: human) in a city run by Dragaerans (read: elves, but not Legolas-type elves), who happen to despise Easterners. While Vlad claims to hate Dragaerans, his actions don't often show that, as he's a member of a Dragaeran house and even has a few Dragaeran friends and employees. And he's not too sympathetic with his own race, either, although he is married to an Easterner and fellow (ex?-)assassin. That lends a different perspective to the assassin protagonist than you usually get. Well then. He tells he his story in first person (yay!) and is quite sarcastic about it. He's also surrounded by a host of other sarcastic characters, including a cat-sized dragon-like familiar named Loiosh. This omnibus has three of the original novels in it (Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla) and follows publication order but not chronological order. I didn't mind this, as I figure that publication order is usually the best way to go about reading series. The first two novels were action-driven tales of capers, but Teckla was more introspective and focused on Vlad's inner struggles. I'm not surprised that I liked that one best. Overall I enjoyed the novels and will read more, but I think I'm a little Vlad-Taltosed out for now. The supporting characters felt very two dimensional (with the exception of Cawti) with little but sarcasm or mob politics behind them. I also would have preferred to have a larger, overarching plot that connected the books, but I do realize the author intended them to be somewhat stand-alone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Oh my gosh. This book was so refreshing! Why, you ask? 1. Vlad is already married. No romance crap blocking out the action and intrigue! 2. Vlad is HAPPILY married! OMG he doesn't flirt with everything with boobs and a face! He clearly loves his wife. 3. Lots of strong female characters doing things to help move the plot/action forward. They are necessary to resolve the conflict. They do this without flirting with or being flirted with by Vlad. 4. No super long backstory descriptions. We're given re Oh my gosh. This book was so refreshing! Why, you ask? 1. Vlad is already married. No romance crap blocking out the action and intrigue! 2. Vlad is HAPPILY married! OMG he doesn't flirt with everything with boobs and a face! He clearly loves his wife. 3. Lots of strong female characters doing things to help move the plot/action forward. They are necessary to resolve the conflict. They do this without flirting with or being flirted with by Vlad. 4. No super long backstory descriptions. We're given relevant details when we need them. Otherwise we're completely immersed in the world from the get-go and we have to learn as we go. It was a different and enjoyable experience. So there's definitely a lot I enjoyed about this book. I like the way magic works and the way society and the different "races" and "factions" are interesting. I'm definitely going to eventually look at other books in this series so I can learn more about both these things. Plus the author gets bonus points for leaving out the new-romance aspect a lot of books get and just giving me action and intrigue, while still leaving in just enough romance to show how much Vlad loves his wife, and how much she loves him back, without it being all dripping with sap. :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    This book is a compilation of the first 3 books of the Vlad Taltos saga: Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla. I...was let down, and not by the plot, but the storytelling. Vlad is an enjoyable character, for the most part, and pretty clever, but a lot of the scenes feel kind of forced and the comedy kinda slapstick. Characters and events are cool and exciting because "just trust me and keep reading," but that only works so well after 600 pages. There's no substance or background given a lot of the time, whic This book is a compilation of the first 3 books of the Vlad Taltos saga: Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla. I...was let down, and not by the plot, but the storytelling. Vlad is an enjoyable character, for the most part, and pretty clever, but a lot of the scenes feel kind of forced and the comedy kinda slapstick. Characters and events are cool and exciting because "just trust me and keep reading," but that only works so well after 600 pages. There's no substance or background given a lot of the time, which gets pretty annoying. Also, timeline seems to be an issue for this series, as each of these books (but especially Teckla) points to the prequels, but only in passing reference. If you choose to read the books in order, you have to come at the story with the understanding that you've missed some fundamental character-building somewhere along the way, because Brust is not going to spoon-feed you or rehash his other work. Sorry, but if it takes you 800 pages to explain to me why your characters should be considered cool and interesting and worth investing time into, I think I'll just quit and move on.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This omnibus edition comprises the first three novels of the Dragaeran series by Steven Brust. All three stories center around the character of Vlad Taltos, a human assassin. The setting is dominated by the empire of the Dragaerans, a long-lived humanoid race. The Dragaerans themselves are divided into 17 houses. The novels are presented in the order in which Brust released them. As a result, many of the characters in the story are already well-known to the protagonist. The first novel, Jhereg, f This omnibus edition comprises the first three novels of the Dragaeran series by Steven Brust. All three stories center around the character of Vlad Taltos, a human assassin. The setting is dominated by the empire of the Dragaerans, a long-lived humanoid race. The Dragaerans themselves are divided into 17 houses. The novels are presented in the order in which Brust released them. As a result, many of the characters in the story are already well-known to the protagonist. The first novel, Jhereg, follows Taltos as he attempts to carry out an "impossible" assassination contract. The plotting is intricate, and it reads like a detective novel. It is very engaging. In the second novel, Yendi, Taltos again uncovers and resolves a plot that has drawn him into a war with another Jhereg. Also in this novel, he meets his wife Cawti when she assassinates him. This novel takes place before Jehereg, as Cawti and Taltos are married in that story. The third novel, Teckla, sees Taltos beginning to grow into a more mature, thoughtful person. Recommended for older teens due to sex and violence.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tal S

    "THere are many ways for a young man with quick wits and a quick sword to advance in the world. Vlad Taltos chose the route of the assassin. To his other qualifications he added two things. The first was a smattering of witchcraft - badly though of on Dragaera, but only a fool refuses a weapon.... The second was his constant companion, a young jhereg, its leathery wings and poisonous teeth always at Vlad's command, its alien mind psionically linked with his." a fast easy page-turner, my only regr "THere are many ways for a young man with quick wits and a quick sword to advance in the world. Vlad Taltos chose the route of the assassin. To his other qualifications he added two things. The first was a smattering of witchcraft - badly though of on Dragaera, but only a fool refuses a weapon.... The second was his constant companion, a young jhereg, its leathery wings and poisonous teeth always at Vlad's command, its alien mind psionically linked with his." a fast easy page-turner, my only regret was that the three books making up this volume were arranged in publication order not chronologically. i liked and sympathised with the characters (strong female characters with ambition and integrity and fully-fleshed-out-3D! psionic beasties with a sarcastic sense of humour! a protagonist who uses his head rather that mindless butchery!) and the plot moved along at a cracking pace - but containing a mostly-fleshed out world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Margulis

    This trilogy was a lot of fun to read. Vlad Taltos is an interesting protagonist--he gets nauseous every time he teleports, he lacks confidence, he surprises himself by his abilities. I like how in each novel he comes up with a convoluted plan and keeps the reader--and other characters--in suspense about it. Each ending doesn't disappoint, with Vlad coming up with solutions to impossible problems in ways just clever enough to be possible. He also gets himself killed several times. The world of t This trilogy was a lot of fun to read. Vlad Taltos is an interesting protagonist--he gets nauseous every time he teleports, he lacks confidence, he surprises himself by his abilities. I like how in each novel he comes up with a convoluted plan and keeps the reader--and other characters--in suspense about it. Each ending doesn't disappoint, with Vlad coming up with solutions to impossible problems in ways just clever enough to be possible. He also gets himself killed several times. The world of the Empire, with its sorcery, magic, Castle Black, racism, and organized crime, is one you don't want to miss. My only critique of this book is that reading it felt like eating candy. Delicious, sure, but not particularly edifying. Do I read the next volume or go back to the classics like Vanity Fair? I won't be a better person for reading more of Steven Brust's books but I will certainly enjoy them. We'll see...

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