Title: Issola (Vlad Taltos, bk 9)
Author: Steven Brust
Length: ~250 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Lady Teldra, the doorkeeper for the Lord Morrolan, finds Vlad and brings him back to Adrilankha because Morrolan and Aliera have gone missing. In finding them, Vlad goes up against the Jenoine -- a primal creature of the world. To get them released, Vlad only has to assassinate a god...
Banter Points: Ah Vlad Taltos. He's so much fun. Issola is a great return in the series from Vlad's exile out of the city to bring back the secondary characters everyone likes (Sethra Lavode, anyone?) This one follows in Brust's 17 chapter motif, this time dealing with manners in polite society.
Bummer Points: There's a lot of world-building philosophy in this one that cuts away from the swashbuckling and wise-cracking Vlad we all love. Word Nerd admits that she got pretty lost with the creation myths in this story.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This is one of those that sort of weigh the middle of this series down, but it's foundational for what happens next. NOT a good place to start if you are just getting your first taste of Vlad.