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The Book of Jhereg

On the recommendation of quite a few people including Limyaael, I ordered Jhereg, the first omnibus edition of Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series. It was a good read; I can't say it made me go "whoa!" just yet but the three novels in the volume, Jhereg, Yendi and Teckla are original, well-thought-out and very entertaining. All my favorite moments were in the third book, which had little tidbits like this (in a sequence where the hero, Vlad Taltos, consults an oracle):

When he'd looked at me long enough to be impressive, her said, "If you try to expand your business, a mighty organization will fall."
Well, la-dee-da. I leaned over the table and slapped him.
Why didn't the ancient Greeks think of that?

One thing I also liked about Teckla was the way in which Brust presented a suave, debonair, able and ruggedly individualistic protagonist who is nevertheless wrong about the ethics of his actions, and deluded about his own motivations for doing so, and pitted him against collectivist, indeed essentially communist, opponents who, while not exactly right, are less wrong than our hero. This makes Brust the anti-Heinlein, and being the anti-Heinlein is a big plus in my books. I didn't think it was executed perfectly, mind. It was OK, but what impressed me was that Brust did it at all.
In short, two good books, one very good one, with clear signs that the author is still growing, improving, and spreading his wings. I want to read on (for comparison: the first two Discworld books didn't do much for me at all, but I continued reading them because the third was rather good. I was richly rewarded for that decision although Pratchett's influence can be a bit of an albatross for the fantasy writer at times).


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 9, 2005 6:00 AM.

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