Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Book of Jhereg - Steven Brust

Am omnibus edition containing the first three Vlad Taltos books.

The first book of Brust's most excellent Vlad Taltos series. Vlad is making his way in the world as an assassin and low level crimelord in the House of the Jhereg.

What is unique about him (apart from being an assassin and crimelord) is that he is a human, not one of the long lived Dragaerans, and he practices witchcraft, not sorcery. His familiar is a highly intelligent flying lizard named Loiosh. He can talk to him because of the bargain he made with Loiosh's mother to care for him if he became his familiar.

This is the beginning of a cycle, and ever so slowly at first Vlad gets drawn into events and happenings involving the powers structures of the Dragaeran empire.

5 out of 5

Yendi delves into the backstory of Vlad Taltos, as he details how he came to be a player in the House of Jhereg, and bits and pieces about how he grew up and his life.

He gets involved with a conflict with another Jhereg, Laris, and even worse than that Vlad and his associates discover that there is a plot by Sethra the Younger and the Sorceress in Green to put a Dragon Emperor on the throne, thus elevanting their own position.

Vlad also falls had for Cawti, a human female thief with a dragonlord partner.

Luckily, Sethra Lavode and Morrolan, with Vlad, Cawti and Norathar's help have the power to overcome.

5 out of 5

Vlad's marriage is becoming strained, and Cawti has fallen in with a revolutionary group, who, basically, want a better deal for the working classes. This leaves her husband in political opposition to his wife, and struggling with what to do.

Cawti has put herself in danger from both the Jhereg and others because of her new connections, and Vlad has to decide what to do, which side he is on, and who to act against. A very different tone than the first two books, perhaps dealing with Brust's own personal state.

3.5 out of 5

5 out of 5

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