In which Vlad Taltos confronts the Left Hand of the Jhereg…and discovers the game has more players than he thought...
Vlad Taltos, short-statured, short-lived human in an Empire of tall, long-lived Dragaerans, has always had to keep his wits about him. Long ago, he made a place for himself as a captain of the Jhereg, the noble house that runs the rackets in the great imperial city of Adrilankha. But love, revolution, betrayal, and revenge ensued, and for years now Vlad has been a man on the run, struggling to stay a step ahead of the Jhereg who would kill him without hesitation.
Now Vlad's back in Adrilankha. The rackets he used to run are now under the control of the mysterious "Left Hand of the Jhereg" - a secretive cabal of women who report to no man. His ex-wife needs his help. His old enemies aren't sure whether they want to kill him, or talk to him and then kill him. A goddess may be playing tricks with his memory. And the Great Weapon he's carrying seems to have plans of its own….
Picking up directly where Issola left off, Dzur gives us Vlad Taltos at his best - swashbuckling storytelling with a wry and gritty edge.
©2006 Steven Brust (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Kat at FanLit
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
In Dzur, the tenth book in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series, Vlad is finally back in the city of Adrilankha. I suspect that most fans will be thrilled to return to that decadent cosmopolitan city; it’s just so much more interesting than watching Vlad roam around the countryside. Fittingly, each of the chapters in Dzur is named for one of the items Vlad is served at his favorite restaurant during a gourmet meal that runs parallel to the main plot of Dzur. (Vlad, an assassin by trade, is quite the foodie and, while he dines, he often points out the analogies between preparing a gourmet dinner and preparing to make a hit.)
So, he’s back in Adrilankha eating with a new Dzurlord in his favorite restaurant and telling us what happened just after the events of the last book, Issola (which you’ll want to read first, I think). Vlad now owns a great weapon and is learning more about what they are and how they work. He’s back in the city because he finds out that his wife Cawti, who he’s been separated from for years, is having trouble with the “Left Hand of the Jhereg,” an group of women who Vlad calls the “Bitch Patrol.” They are adversely influencing Vlad’s old organization — the one he’s been running from all these years. Now, to protect Cawti, he’s willing to take his chances and shows up to straighten things out. Of course, he’ll need a little help from a couple of new friends and all his old friends, including some he hasn’t seen in quite a long time.
It’s great to see Vlad back in his element — swaggering down the streets of Adrilankha and dining in his favorite establishment. Unfortunately, a lot of the plot of Dzur is actually watching Vlad swagger down the streets of Adrilankha and dine in his favorite establishment, which turns out to be not all that interesting after a while. The plot moves awfully slowly and sometimes seems disjointed, especially when Vlad starts talking about how he thinks the goddess Vera has been messing with his memories.
But, still, it’s always fun to listen to Vlad and Loiosh talk — they’re genuinely funny — and there are a couple of promising new characters added to the mix and there’s another big life change for Vlad. Dzur isn’t one of the better books in the VLAD TALTOS series, but it will still probably satisfy Brust’s fans. As always, Bernard Setaro Clark is brilliant with the narration of the audio version which is eight hours long and produced by Audible Studios.
Back to basics.
Earlier books in the series. The book immediately before this one strayed too far away from what attracted me to the series in the first place.
I know that character voices are open to interpretation, but these just seemed ALL wrong to me. Loiosh sounded like Peter Lorre, which didn't do it for me. And ALL the Dragaerans sounded stoned.
The very very end. You'll know when you get there.
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