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review 2017-10-26 08:23
Vallista by Steven Brust
Vallista: A Novel of Vlad Taltos - Steven Brust

From the blurb: 

Vlad Taltos is an Easterner an underprivileged human in an Empire of tall, powerful, long-lived Dragaerans. He made a career for himself in House Jhereg, the Dragaeran clan in charge of the Empire's organized crime. But the day came when the Jhereg wanted Vlad dead, and he's been on the run ever since. He has plenty of friends among the Dragaeran highborn, including an undead wizard and a god or two. But as long as the Jhereg have a price on his head, Vlad's life is messy.

Meanwhile, for years, Vlad's path has been repeatedly crossed by Devera, a small Dragaeran girl of indeterminate powers who turns up at the oddest moments in his life.

Now Devera has appeared again to lead Vlad into a mysterious, seemingly empty manor overlooking the Great Sea. Inside this structure are corridors that double back on themselves, rooms that look out over other worlds, and just maybe answers to some of Vlad's long-asked questions about his world and his place in it. If only Devera can be persuaded to stop disappearing in the middle of his conversations with her.

This is something of a closed house murder mystery that Vlad has to solve.  It's entertaining but not as good as previous installments of the series.  I miss the inclusion of Vlad's usual cast of unusual friends and acquaintances.

 

NOTE:  While this novel is a complete story, new readers will miss out on references to previous books in the series.

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review 2017-09-11 21:54
Phoenix / Steven Brust
Phoenix - Steven Brust

Verra, Vlad's patron goddess, hires him to assassinate a king whose country lies outside the Dragaeran Empire, resulting in increased tension between the two places. Meanwhile, the peasant Teckla and the human Easterners persevere in their fight for civil rights. As Vlad's wife Cawti is a firm partisan of the movement, and Vlad is not, their marriage continues to suffer, causing Vlad to make some decisions that will change his life forever.

 

The fifth book of the Vlad Taltos series, and I feel like Brust has prepared the way to get back on track again. Vlad is our friendly, neighbourhood assassin and generally amusing, snarky guy, but he has been involved in Dragaeren politics for several books, with he & his wife Cawti on opposite sides of the divide. It’s difficult to write humour for a character who is engaged in a struggling relationship, and humour is the main attraction of this series, in my opinion.

And now for something completely different—at book’s end, we see a new Vlad emerging. Has he really put his assassinating ways behind him? Or will he find that it’s a difficult profession to retire from? Are he & his wife going to have to go their separate ways? How much longer will he have his beloved grandfather to lean on?

I’m glad Brust didn’t write another prequel to avoid the issues. I’m looking forward to the next book to see where the tale goes from here.

Book 263 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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text 2017-03-19 08:16
3 Favorite Authors, 3 Witty Tweets

 

 

 

 

 

We look nothing alike. Nothing. And Emily is safely dead. Dead, I say. Why would you even imply that she is still alive & our clone-leader? https://t.co/aIBlYrRYfl

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) March 3, 2017

 

 

Quote of the Day: "Political slogans serve oftener to
disguise interests than to call them by name." Trotsky

— Steven Brust (@StevenBrust) February 24, 2017
 

Indescribable is an adjective. Adjectives describe things.

— Mark Lawrence (@Mark__Lawrence) February 1, 2017
 
Click here for other posts in the series.
 

 

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text 2017-02-03 07:32
3 Favorite Authors, 3 Witty Tweets
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
Prince of Thorns - Mark Lawrence
Jhereg - Steven Brust

 

 

 

 

Indescribable is an adjective. Adjectives describe things.

— Mark Lawrence (@Mark__Lawrence)
ML is the author of the Broken Empire Trilogy, which is amazeballs!

 

You say tomato, I point you to studies of variation of pronunciation on a geographical, historical, and class basis. #IAmNerd

— Steven Brust (@StevenBrust)
SB is writing the Vlad Taltos novels that are still being written (Thank god!). Be amazed by the beautiful cover of the latest book in the series!

 

It's important to have a code phrase to let people know if you've been kidnapped or are communicating under duress. Mine is, "Mmmm, kale!"

— Brent Weeks (@BrentWeeks)
BW wrote the Night Angel trilogy. The protagonist of the series is on my list of favorite assassins.
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photo 2017-02-03 07:01

 

 
 
Tor has revealed the cover for the 15th Vlad Taltos novel. The series is written by Steven Brust. Check out Tor's post to see the complete picture and a book blurb to see of it is something that you'd like to try!
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