Tag Archives: Vlad Taltos

Steven Brust: Dragon & Issola

I realize I’m only writing about books lately but I promise I do have some perfume reviews coming up in the near future. 🙂

 

Now, I wonder why it took me so long to find my way back to the world of Vlad Taltos. Well, it’s not his world but as the story is told from his perspective, I’m calling it his.

The funny thing about this series is, you read one book but since they aren’t coming out chronologically brust dragontalking about Vlad’s life (we move back and forth some), you read one of the novels as a self-standing book wondering why? what was the point of this story? only to learn that two books down the road.

That was my experience so far. With these two, you do not get to learn what they mean in the grand scheme of things but you do get to ask the questions. 🙂 And they just pile up one on top of each other.

I shouldn’t admit to this, but it only got clear to me with Dragon that as each book represents one line of the Dragearan society, the story of that book depicts the characteristics of that line.  I’m pretty sure every reader of Vlad T. books had realized that long before now.

So, in Dragon we get a very convincing description of what war feels like in one’s mind. We also get to read about daily activities, but I found the stream of thought in fighting more interesting.

As for Issola, that line of Drageareans is known for their courtliness and surprise and we get to see Vlad actually displaying some of both. 🙂 We (the readers) get surprised as well I should add.

 

I’m already looking forward to reading on (I just have this little problem of not being able to find the next book – I know I have it, I just don’t know where it is).

It actually reminds me a bit of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series. Or as I read the Taltos books first, it’s vice versa. Only without the swearing. 😉

Steven Brust: Taltos

I’m slowly going through Vlad Taltos books (I wish I had more time so it would go faster) and I’m having so much fun. 🙂

I love the way Mr. Brust writes and the fact that Vlad is such a real character in my mind. It doesn’t happen often that a character gets real for me in such a manner that I no longer consider him a character in the books I read, but as a person whose new adventure I am about to embark upon. There is a big difference between the two in my mind.

I’m reading books the way they were written, so I’m going back and forth in Vlad’s life. The story in Taltos is how Vlad met Sethra and Morrolan, who we already know from the first book that they are now all friends.

Well, they weren’t friends in the beginning and I love how it all started.
I particularly enjoyed reading this book because it is written in such an ingenious manner that you need to pay attention when you switch from the story of what is happening to Vlad at the moment, to a complementary story also told by Vlad of how he started with this whole assasination business. Not to mention the fact that each chapter starts with the explanation of what the final enchantment looks like and that continues through the chapters until the end.
And the most intriguing part is, I kept thinking when are we going to switch to present Vlad time (where he has adventures with his wife) so the whole book felt like it was a story being told by Vlad even though the main story is written as present adventure.

Hopefully, I didn’t complicate this too much. 🙂 It’s just that I love the way the books are written and all the little hints dropped everywhere and the fact you need to deduce some parts as they are never explicitly revealed.

I still feel that the books should be read in the way they were written and not chronologically.

Steven Brust: Teckla

I have high respect for male authors who manage to portray the inner workings of a male mind (and heart) at the same time making it sound honest and true to a female reader.
As a woman, I really have no idea what goes on in guys’ minds but reading Vlad Taltos’ books certainly makes me get a good glimpse.

It is so strange reading about an assassin (out of necessity but an excellent one) who also is something like a mob boss but who also suffers through relationship problems and tries to deal with them. That is what i got out of this book, the complications that led to it and keep the problems alive are from my perspective only the backdrop of that story.

At one point near the end, I started thinking that I might have misunderstood the whole character of Vlad Taltos but then my fear turned out to be unwarranted. 🙂
The best part of each and every book – even though Vlad struggles each time through a difficult situation where he can easily get killed and then he successfully tackles it, there is always a surprising additional bonus to come out of them. Both for Vlad and the reader. 🙂

Pic by: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/

Steven Brust: Jhereg

It’s nice to be reminded every once in a while why I actually love reading fantasy. The adventures of Vlad Taltos came highly recommended by a colleague and rightly so.

One of the misgivings I have when deciding on a new fantasy series (and they almost always come as such) is that each book is longish (to say the least) and once you commit, you need to end the series otherwise you forget most of what you read by the time you decide to start again. Not to say that some authors take their time constructing the world and it takes some serious patience to get through that.

So, imagine my surprise on reading this book and getting instantly immersed in a new world that gets more painted through the discussions of characters than by long descriptions. Each page brings another thread in the tapestry of this new world and it doesn’t feel at any point that you are missing information regarding this new world where you’re off on a book adventure, but everything sort of falls into place. And even the questions that remain regarding the world Mr. Brust created are not important ones, just those that will add several more threads.

Another good thing is that you get a basic introduction into the world of Vlad Taltos and then we’re off on an adventure with him. I already started reading the second book that chronologically happens before the story of Jhereg but in truth, you need to read Jhereg first because that is where the beginnings of Vlad’s story start.  The second book fills a bit of the story from his beginning as an assasin and how he came to be what he was in the first book (but more on that once I finish book two).

What I really enjoyed in the story is the fact there is a lot intrigue, fun conversations, a relatively lax view of murder (but a really intriguing solution why that is so) and the introduction into this world of sorcery and witchcraft (not the same), humans and Dragaerans, assasins, familiars, etc.
This adventure ends with this book and you aren’t forced into reading several other 400 and more paged books in order to get to the bottom of the story and a clear ending. Yet, upon finishing it, you will want to embark on the next Vlad adventure because they are both fun and uncoerced.

Pic by: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk

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