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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars

on 2 January 2004
I bought this book through recommendations here on Amazon UK and thus was unsure of exactly what to expect. I was more than pleased with the result. This 'book' is really three seperate narratives by Vlad Taltos, an up-and-coming crimelord and occassional assassin. The style the stories are written in is in some ways not too dissimlar to detective novels, in that there is a mystery to be solved which clues and much problem solving by the lead characters. However, rather than dry clue-gathering the characters are funny, sarcastic, introspective and overall very well realised.
The first book, 'Jhereg', was my favourite. You get to meet all the main characters in Vlad's life, including his hunourous familiar/companion Loiosh, a small wyvern-like creature, the quite-possibly-mad Dragonlords and the infamous Keira the Thief. The plot is fast-paced and full of surprises.
The second book, 'Yendi', takes you back to a point in Vlad's time before 'Jhereg', and uses the plot (someone's out to kill Vlad, among other things) to further enrich the characters histories.
The third book, 'Teckla', changes tack somewhat as we find a more contemplative Vlad tackling changes to his personal life. The plot in 'Teckla' takes a back seat to soul searching and reflection - and Brust handles this with great skill and care.
If you like the humourous/sarcastic aspects of this book, I recommend Martin Scott's Thraxas series. For characterisation & humour I agree with a previous reviewer in recommending Laurell K Hamilton's 'Anita Blake' series.
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on 8 June 2000
A collection of three of the first four books Brust wrote (Taltos is unfortunately missing), this a delightful, entertaining trilogy of stories inventive both in terms of its world and its use of magic. Written with a wry sense of humor that should appeal to fans of Fritz Leiber and Terry Pratchett, this is the ongoing saga of Vlad Taltos, an assassin working the often tawdry streets of Andrilankha, the city and the character in many ways resembling both the Grey Mouser and Lankhmar of Leiber's realm, but with enough distinctive differences to distinguish it from the former author's work. Though Brust at times belabors certain episodes and issues, he nonetheless presents a world and cast of characters that rarely tires, straying beyond the usual sword and sorcery fare. Highly recommended.
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on 20 August 1999
Loaded with sarcastic wit and action! Vlad is an assassin in this universe's version of the Mafia, the House of Jhereg. He is likeable rogue who always lands on his feet. One of the best developed characters I've seen. Read this book; you will not regret it!! (And if you like the characterization, give Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series a try)
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on 3 September 2014
I found this book a fun, easy read. The character of Vlad is not particularly heroic, he is an assassin and crime boss with his own little section of the city to run. I particularly liked his dragon familiar, small enough to sit on his shoulder, and the telepathic link they had with Loiosh pointing out all the flaws in Vlad's plans or other little snide remarks. Vlad is an entertaining character and you can't help but like him! The first two stories in this omnibus are a good introduction but the third one does let it down a little. All in all, a fun, entertaining read for those wanting something a little lighter than the usual epic fantasy!
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on 9 May 2013
This is a fabulous book and so are the next ones that are all labelled as the house names (Taltos, Tiassa, Dzur, Orca, Athyra Jhegaala, for instance). There are lots of them. The characters are enthralling and the action light and huge fun. HOWEVER, trying to read his later books such as The Paths of the Dead is IMPOSSIBLE. His style is so full of self-conscious interjections and smart-alec conversation that I will never know what happens to two of his most promising characters that I have come to care about. They are Sethra and Morollan and I have really tried and tried but I just can not bear to suffer through the books. What a tragic loss.
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on 19 March 2016
Disappointing. Based on other reviews, I was looking forward to a rollicking fantasy with some humour and adventure. What I got was an interminable sequence of incidents that take place in a world where the author just seems to make up the rules as he goes along. The result is frustrating and tedious. I won't be reading any more of these. The only reason it didn't get one star is that the author's English prose is at least workmanlike if uninspired.
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on 7 June 2009
This is an easy read, and everyone I have lent it to has wanted to buy more of the Vald books.
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on 21 October 2009
I'm usually fairly forgiving of books if they keeps me entertained. It takes a lot for me to quit a book. This is a collection of three books--Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. Vlad Taltos, an Easterner (human) lives in a land of Dragaerians (elves) and is an assassin for the Jhereg house. He gets into various shenanigans but all works out just fine in the end. He has a little jhereg (fingerling dragon) familiar, and practices witchcraft. Basically, the book reads like a Dungeons and Dragons or similar role-playing game.

I am perplexed as to how this author is so popular. The stories (I only managed to read the first two) were formulaic, the characters were cardboard cutouts, and the narration was especially irksome. It tried to go for a Marlowesque feel, but it fell short. There is little to no description, very little figurative language, and essentially Brust's prose hits his readers over the head. I will not bother reading anything else by him. I was going to struggle through the third book, which is supposedly a little better than the first two, but I decided life was too short and there are too many good books out there I'd rather read.
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