4.16 (5,184 ratings by Goodreads)
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As a human and an Easterner, Vlad Taltos has survived in the decadent city of Drilankha by practicing the trade he knows best - killing people for a living. His skill as an assassin, and the timely intervention of his telepathic winged-lizard companion, Loiosh, have won him a relatively safe post in House Jhereg, running the rackets for a section of the great city. But when a powerful Dragonlord commands him to track down an enchanted weapon of great power - before it has even been stolen - Vlad finds himself inexorably drawn to the last place he wants to be, a total war on an apocalyptic scale between two sorcerous enemies, where he must play crucial role without a clue as to what is expected of him. Only his cunning wit and well-earned distrust of all things magical stand between Vlad and a most unpleasant demise.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 104.14 x 170.18 x 22.86mm | 226.8g
  • St Martin's Press
  • Tor Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0812589165
  • 9780812589160
  • 303,804

Review quote

"As always, Brust invests Vlad with the panache of a Dumas musketeer and the colloquial voice of one of Zelazny's Amber heroes. This is a rousing adventure with enough humor, action, and sneaky plot twists to please newcomers as well as longtime series fans." --Publishers Weekly on Dragon"A splendid caper that welcomes newcomers--while existing fans will pounce." --Kirkus Reviews"No mere plot summary can describe accurately the fun and adventure that naturally seem to follow Vlad Taltos." --VOYA on the Vlad Taltos series"Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure." --Roger Zelazny on Steven Brust"Steven Brust might just be America's best fantasy writer!" --Tad Williams on Steven Brustshow more

About Steven Brust

Steven Brust is the bestselling author of Issola, Dragon, The Phoenix Guards, Five Hundred Years After, The Paths of the Dead, The Lord of Castle Black, Sethra Lavode, and To Reign in Hell, among many others. A native of Minneapolis, he currently lives in Las Vegas.show more

Review Text

First hardcover appearance for Brust's established paperback fantasy series featuring the assassin Vlad Taltos, although several of his other yams are set in the same fantasy world (Five Hundred Years After, 1994, etc.). Assassin Vlad works for House Jhereg, where he runs rackets and brothels and walks to the office every morning; his companion and familiar is Loiosh, a small dragon-like jhereg with whom he shares a telepathic bond. Vlad is an Easterner, one of a few clans of humans in a world dominated by all-but-immortal "elfs"; he commands some magic, but his chief advantage is his ability to become invisible. One of his business associates is the Dragonlord Morrolan of Castle Black; Vlad must be teleported there since the castle hangs high in the air. It seems that a certain sword of great magical power has gone missing from Morrolan's treasury; the chief suspect is another Dragonlord, Count Fornia, who, becoming aware of Vlad's involvement, immediately threatens him. Vlad takes this personally and goes along with Morrolan's intricate plot to recover the sword and teach Fornia a lesson by invading his territory - especially when Vlad learns that Morrolan has hired Sethra Lavode, the freest general alive. So Vlad finds himself serving in Morrolan's army as a foot soldier (despite his assassin's skills, he has little idea of practical soldiering) with no clear idea of what's really going on (Morrolan is deliberately closemouthed), while awaiting an opportunity to revenge himself upon Fornia, or grab the sword, or do something useful without getting himself killed in the process. Structured on several interlocking levels so as to keep the reader both fascinated and off-balance, full of wit and wisecracks, with a self-deprecating hero who manages to come out on top: a splendid caper that welcomes newcomers, while existing fans will pounce. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

5,184 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 39% (2,007)
4 41% (2,129)
3 18% (935)
2 2% (102)
1 0% (11)
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