Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Book of Jhereg

The Book of Jhereg: Contains the Complete Text of Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla (Vlad Taltos)

Steven Brust

Date: 01 August, 1999   —   $10.88   —   Book

product page


Fiction, Fantasy
This book is a compendium of Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla, the first three published books featuring Vlad Taltos.

So now I must wonder how I managed to miss Brust all of these years. I've seen these books described as "swashbuckling", though that is a description that better fits the author himself (featured on the ninth page of the final segment of the World's End graphic novel [Sandman].) I would rather liken them to mystery novels, even though they are not presented as such; Taltos has all the abilities of a good detective, as well as a mean hand with a dagger (or several.)

Vlad lives as a sort of second-class citizen, a standard human (more or less) in a city of Dragaera, tall semi-elvish types with long lifespans and powerful sorcery. His father bought a title with the Jhereg, the one branch of the Dragaeran race that will accept anybody. However, a lifetime of taunts and beatings led him to develop his career as a sort of mob boss and assassin— the second job not always permanent, as people can often be revivified after death. That way, he gets to beat up and kill Dragaerans and get paid for it as well.

However, since all he knows are Dragaeran (most "Easterners" live in a slum, and Vlad's not interested in slums), he actually has a few friends who are Dragaeran, which would seem strange were it not for the fact that it's fairly evident that Vlad has not really thought things through. In both Jhereg and Teckla (Yendi is set a bit earlier chronologically) he is forced to face some of his preconceptions; though he shies away from doing so, it is obvious that it's only a matter of time before he must.

All three books are very fast-paced and take place in a short period of time; I would highly recommend purchasing the omnibus so that you can continue on once you've got a taste for the tale of Vlad.

*P.S. Damn you, Borders, for not having the sequels available when I needed my fix.

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