30 June 2011
Book Banter -- Tiassa
Author: Steven Brust
Length: 319 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Assassin Vlad Taltos returns in the latest volume from Brust, as does Khaavren, the hero of the Khaavren romances in a story about uncovering conspiracies and covering up things that would be embarrassing to the Empire. Central to the whole thing is a figurine of a silver tiassa that will either help bring Vlad back into society or could keep him as an outcast forever.
Banter Points: This was an interesting novel, spanning three different times in Vlad's life. I have to admit, I liked the first part of the book the best, when he was back in his days with the Jhereg Organization, thieving and doing work (code for assassinations) and feeling much more light-hearted and less philosophical. It's also interesting how Brust completely shifts voice in the book as Vlad in section 1 and Khaavren in section 3 could not sound more difficult. Brust also brought back a secondary character from one of the other earlier books (Ensign Timmer from the book where he joins the army... sheesh, why can't I remember which one that was?)
Bummer Points: I haven't read the Khaavren Romances, so I felt a little bit lost as to who this character was and what I was supposed to think about him. As with many of the later Vlad novels, I feel like I missed something that was really important and I need to read the book a second time. I also sort of feel like I got it, about the scheme that Vlad really put in motion years before it fully played out.
Word Nerd Recommendation: I would still highly recommend the whole series, but with the caveat that the books get stranger as the series goes on.