Title: Iorich (Vlad Taltos #12)
Author: Steven Brust
Length: ~300 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Vlad, still on the run from the Jhereg, hears that Aliera is being held prisoner on charges of practicing elder sorcery. While everyone knows that she's been doing that for a long time, it appears that her arrest is a smoke-screen to take attention off problems elsewhere in the realm. But Vlad isn't willing to let his friend be sacrificed, so he takes on the justice system... and discovers more treasonous plots in the process.
Banter Points: Word Nerd really likes Vlad (after 12 books, the majority of which she's read twice) and this one was fairly good entry into the mix. Vlad's back in the city which Word Nerd prefers to the books where he's not. The city is his element and it's a fun read to see that become an uncomfortable place for him. Brust also hinted at some great things for future books, and since he's shown himself to be a master of this circular, non-chronological story-telling, it's good news for the future of the series.
Bummer Points: Sort of like Athyra (book number... well, farther back in the series), Iorich has a lot of philosophy woven into it, thoughts about justice and retribution and when justice and laws don't really have anything to do with each other. The plot got lost a little bit in all the philosophy.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This series is now to the point where it really requires some commitment to jump in because you really do need to start at the beginning. (Maybe not Robert Jordan or George R.R. Martin-length commitment, but nonetheless...) Die-hard fantasy readers, if Vlad's not on your radar, you need to read them. If a wise-cracking assassin isn't really your cup of tea, well, there are a dozen other books you'll like better than the 12 Vlad books.