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Issola (Vlad Taltos)

Issola (Vlad Taltos) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Brust
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description


No mere plot summary can describe accurately the fun and adventure that naturally seem to follow Vlad Taltos."-"Voya""As always, Brust invests Vlad with the panache of a Dumas musketeer and the colloquial voice of one of Zelazny's amber heroes."-"Publishers Weekly"

Product Description

Okay, so maybe I've been living in the woods too long, where you can't even get a decent cup of klava first thing in the morning. So who should turn up but Lady Teldra, the courtly servant of my old friend the Dragonlord Morrolan?
Teldra wants my help, because Morrolan and Aliera have disappeared, and according to Sethra Lavode, it looks like they may be in the hands of the Jenoine. Do I want to mess with them? The guys who made this place? And I thought I had problems before...
Oh well, what's a little cosmic battle with beings who control time and space? It's better than hunkering down in the woods without even so much as a drinkable cup of klava.
In Issola, Stephen Brust delivers another swashbuckling fantasy adventure for Vlad Taltos.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 344 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (15 Dec 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WPGG2K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #124,362 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vlad Taltos story number nine 31 Jan 2007
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In which Vlad gets caught up in a battle between Gods ...

This highly entertaining comic fantasy novel is number nine by publication order, or tenth in chronological sequence, in the story of Vladimir Taltos. It is set shortly after "Orca (Jhereg S.)" and is immediately followed by "DZUR (Vlad Taltos)."

If you have not previously read any of Steven Brust's "Vlad Taltos" novels or "Khaavren" romances, they are all set in a world of magic, where there are several intelligent species, including two types of men and women. Humans like ourselves are usually referred to as "Easterners," the other type of men and women call themselves humans but are usually referred to in the books as "Dragaerans" or occasionally as Elves. Dragaerans are much taller than humans, live 2,000 to 3,000 years or so, and then after death are eligible for reincarnation provided they have not annoyed a God too much or had their soul destroyed by a "Morganti" weapon or a "Great Weapon."

Morganti weapons are used between mortals when they are really angry with someone because they don't just kill you, but normally destroy your soul. "Great Weapons," are particularly deadly Morganti weapons which can even kill Gods. Tradition said that there are, or will be, exactly seventeen Great Weapons.

In one of the earlier books, a powerful magician makes an ambiguous remark to Vlad, suggesting that he both is and isn't carrying a Great Weapon. Baffled, Vlad asks if a particular item is a Great Weapon and gets the reply "Not Yet." In "Issola" we find out what this cryptic remark meant.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In true keeping with the series 17 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Issola has everything that I've come to love in the Taltos books: magic, fighting, intrigue, and Vlad's dry humor and whit. It continues where Orca left off, the continuation of Vlad's life sans Jhereg. The story is well told and we get to see Vlad join some old favorite characters. Momentous events occur in this latest installment, answering some questions whle leaving you with some new ones, as a good story should. Fans of Steven Brust should really enjoy this story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book in the series. 6 Nov 2009
Another great book in the series. It answers some questions, yet generates even more. Definitely a good thing. By reintroducing characters it is interesting to see how Vlad has been changed by recent events. The new characters that are introduced are fascinating and we learn more about some of the recurring ones as well. Brust once again falls into the trap of concentrating a lot of complex exposition into small amounts of space, one section I had to read 3 times and still not really grasp all the details.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Superb Dragaeran Tale 27 Jun 2001
By Marc Ruby™ - Published on
Every time I give up hope and decide that Stephen Brust has decided to stick to making music and drop out of the writing business he produces another delightful tale. "Issola," next in the Vlad Taltos series, is classic Brust, funny, imaginative and captivating. It is easy to run out of superlatives with this series, which is consistently good fantasy. This latest effort is certainly one of his finest.
After a very bad run in with House Jhereg (his adopted clan) Vlad Taltos decides his best policy is to stay out of Adrilankha, maybe forever. While camping out in the woods with Loiosh his wisecracking familiar he receives a visit from Lady Teldra, one of Lord Morrolan's attendants. Vlad is more than a bit surprised since no one knows where he is, and he is supposed to be invisible. Teldra reassures him, and tells him that he is needed to help find Lord Morrolan and Aliera, close friends of Vlad. Off they go to Sethra Lavode's home (she's the world's oldest vampire) on Dzur Mountain.
Vlad and Teldra manage to track down Morrolan and Aliera, only to be captured themselves. The villains of the piece are the Jenoine, an ancient race who have no love for anyone else, god or mortal. Vlad and Teldra discover that the Jenoine plan to tap a huge source of Amorphia to get rid of the more irritating parts of the scenery, like Vlad, Loiosh, Teldra, and, possible, even a good chunk of the universe. A complicated chess game starts with Vlad feeling very much like a pawn as gods, demons, Dragaerans, the Jenoine, and a few more impossibilities wrestle for the fate of his world.
Vlad's frustration mounts as he deals with folk and superfolk who are legendary and who have little interest in having to explain everything to a mere Easterner. Vlad's continuous patter of sharp comments and sarcastic remarks, provide much entertainment to the reader (and to Loiosh), but they hide a deep anxiety about the outcome. He finds himself with a vital role in a struggle but one that is not clearly defined. The drama plays out with surprises for all involved, especially Vlad, who finds that he has a new role in the workings of the Dragaerans.
Brust, who always creates intriguing characters, outdoes himself in "Issola." He provides the reader with additional insights into Morrolan, Aliera, Sethra Lavode, the Necromancer, and Verra the Demon Goddess. Teldra, previously just a bit player, is a work of art. Nor can one fault the narrative, which has Brust's usual clarity and flow. Needless to say the new reader might be better off with an earlier volume in the series, but Brust spends just enough time on history to provide the reader with enough to go on. Naturally, the faithful will be delighted. As will anyone else who is looking for what will probably be considered one of the year's best fantasies.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The series is starting to pick up again... 6 July 2001
By Adam Griffith - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought that the first few books of this series were truly excellent, must read types of books. The series then sort of tapered off a bit, and I think Athyra, although a still a good book, was a bit of a low point. This book is a triumph, and show that Brust has not lost his feel for this setting.
Fans of Brust should buy this book without hesitation. However, I've never really found rave reviews to be that helpful, so here's what I thought was wrong with the book.
1) It was a bit too much of Vlad standing around while his super-powerful friends did things. I found myself wishing that he was a bit more involved.
2) This is of course just a personal preference, but I'm starting to think that it's time for Vlad to resolve his conflict with the Jhereg and move on. He's clearly in transition from assassin to something else, but several books have come and gone without his coming any closer to a resolution.
But these are relatively minor things. It was really a great book, and I look forward to more like it in the future.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Issola rocks 1 Aug 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on
After eagerly anticipating Issola since I first heard it mentioned in the trades, I think I can now confidently state that Brust has firmly taken his place beside Zelazny in terms of scope and depth -- perhaps surpassed him;in terms of pure characterization, Issola takes Vlad Taltos places where Corwin of Amber never trod.
We have seen Vlad develop an adult moral conscience throughout the series, exploring the psychological nuances of such a punishing profession. In this snippet of the greater Dragearan Cycle, Vlad comes face to face with his faith in Verra, his loyalty to his friends, and the idea that the Dragearans he despises are genetic kin to Easterners. The development of the character of Teldra (a torchbearer from his earlier books) into three or more dimensions brings additional complexity to Issola. Her ultimate disposition and her influence on Vlad help answer questions of both plot and character. While the sarcastic wordplay with his faithful lizard companion come a lyron hair to over the top, Brust never allows a cheap gag to interfere with the basic humanity of the Vlad/Loish relationship.
Kudos for the continuing attention to detail -- the klava discussions were priceless. Kudos also for the possibility of Sethra resurrecting the Lavodes (Vlad Lavode?). The scenes with Verra were excellently done and the metaphysical rammifications of a goddess who is also a person were exceptional. And an especial thanks that Brust did not jump into the Vlad-hunting Jhereg assasins, the Cawti relationship, or a premature cross-over with the Phoenix Guards series. This book left me with a good, just-Brusted feeling without worrying about where Vlad will go next. There is still plenty of story out there.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great combination of humor and action 17 Sep 2001
By booksforabuck - Published on
Vlad Taltos can't see why this is his problem. If two of the most powerful magicians in the world get kidnapped and they can't find their way out of the problem, what could he possibly do? The powers that be don't agree, however, and Vlad, along with the beautiful Lady Teldra (protocol expert) are off to find who can mess with people even the gods fear.
Who is messing is the Jenoine, a strange group of entities that may be more powerful than the gods themselves (at least the Jenoine seem to think so), but who act in ways that can't always be explained or understood. Vlad is soon up to his eyeballs in dealing with the Jenoine, trying to decide whether to take their assignment in assassinating his patron god (he is an assassin, after all), and generally saving the universe.
What makes ISSOLA superior to the usual save the world from evil is Vlad. His tongue-in-cheek observations of the world (helped by a running dialogue with his pet familiar--great device) show useful insights into his world, our world, and are a lot of fun as well.
The Jenoine are an interesting group of characters who seem to live in a Platonic world (where each thing is the one ideal thing of that type). Their actions are not entirely explicable by human reasonings, yet they seem to have their own reasons.
ISSOLA is a truly enjoyable read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best 15 Sep 2001
By "jcjarss" - Published on
Issola picks up in the present time, unlike Dragon which takes place near the beginning of the series. Vlad is still on the run from the Jhereg as he has been happening in the last couple novels (Athyra and Orca). It all starts out normal and then he gets a bombshell from Teldra, who has somehow tracked him down. Morrolan and Aliera have vanished without a single trace. It picks up from there into a really weird story. This one is in Vlad's person again, finally and is one of the most far-fetched out of the series. It's more like Taltos than any other. It includes the Jenoine as well as the Lords of Judgement, or gods, from Taltos. If you liked Athyra or Orca, this isn't what you'd expect. There's no wandering or Vlad trying to find himself in this one. You got more comedy in this one like in Yendi, but one of this its few flaws is that it answers too little of what people have been wondering about and adds a whole bunch of new things that make you go "What the?" All in all, this book gives you a helping of all the good stuff in the series. If you like Vlad, you'll like this.
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