I read, I write; I listen
The book of Jhereg is something of a detective story in the midst of a fantasy world of dragons, elves, and of course humans. It follows the antics of wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion, called a jhereg, in the Dragaeran city of Adrilankha. Vlad Taltos is human; he is also a mobster and assassin and is the narrator of the book; for those familiar with the Dresden Files, he loosely reminds me of Harry.
Jhereg is book one of a series in which the writer, Steven Brust creates a very credible fantasy world. Originally published in 1983, I was curious to hear how it would sound in audio format and was pleased; I thought the narrator, Bernard Setaro Clark, gave a good performance bringing the characters to life. I would recommend this series for those who like this type of genre.
If you know up front that the Richard,Kahlan, and the usual cast are not the main characters in "The PIllars of Creation" then the story is not dissapointing. They serve as the background story for most of the book until the last several chapters. This book centers around 2 other offspring of Darken Rahl, Jennsen and Oba. Rather then distracting from the series, these new characters expand and inrich the story. It starts off a liitle slow but worth listening to the end.
Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s historical novels of high adventure Steven Brust takes us into the past history of the world he created, called Dragaera, through the Khaavren series. “The Khaavren series is presented as historical novels written by a fictional character named Paarfi of Roundwood. Paarfi is a Dragaeran presiding in the same time frame as Vlad Taltos. In fact “Tiassa,” the thirteenth book in the Taltos series can be thought of as the sixth book in the Khaavren series. The time frame between the two series is hundreds of years apart but characters can appear in both series since Dragaerans live thousands of years.
“The Phoenix Guards” is book one of the Khaavren Romance series which follows Khaavren of Castlerock; a young Dragaeran from the House of the Tiassa. He and his friends join the Phoenix Guards and set off on a high adventure.
These series of books should be of special interest to those who follow the Taltos series as it gives more background story to some of the more prominent characters of that series. In “The Phoenix Guards” I was especially interested in learning more about Adron e'Kieron, a prominent Dragonlord and father of Aliera e’Kieron, one of the main characters in the Taltos books.
In “The Phoenix Guards,” Steven Brust truly captures the spirit of “The Three Musketeers” written by Alexandre Dumas. Brust ’use of old fashion, intricate, and highly verbose writing is overtly based on Dumas’s style as Steven Brust references in his author’s notes. I found the style of writing a little odd at first, but then really entertaining, if not poetic, once I got used to it.
“The Phoenix Guards” is a strong enough story that can be read-listened to as a stand-alone book; but I believe is much more enjoyable if all of the Taltos series is read first.
Kevin Stillwell, the narrator gives an outstanding performance.