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Jhereg Mass Market Paperback – March 25, 1987

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (March 25, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441385540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441385546
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Brust is the author of numerous fantasy novels, including Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla, and Orca. He lives in Minneapolis.

More About the Author

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and raised in a family of Hungarian labor organizers, Steven Brust worked as a musician and a computer programmer before coming to prominence as a writer in 1983 with Jhereg, the first of his novels about Vlad Taltos, a human professional assassin in a world dominated by long-lived, magically-empowered human-like "Dragaerans." Over the next several years, several more "Taltos" novels followed, interspersed with other work, including To Reign in Hell, a fantasy re-working of Milton's war in Heaven; The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, a contemporary fantasy based on Hungarian folktales; and a science fiction novel, Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille. The most recent "Taltos" novels are Dragon and Issola. In 1991, with The Phoenix Guards, Brust began another series, set a thousand years earlier than the Taltos books; its sequels are Five Hundred Years After and the three volumes of "The Viscount of Adrilankha": The Paths of the Dead, The Lord of Castle Black, and Sethra Lavode.While writing, Brust has continued to work as a musician, playing drums for the legendary band Cats Laughing and recording an album of his own work, A Rose for Iconoclastes. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where he pursues an ongoing interest in stochastics.

Customer Reviews

I am a huge fan of fantasy novels and this is one of my favorite series.
Well, I knew nothing of this character before this book, and after reading it I find that I very much wish to find out more.
This book is the first book in the series, but it is the fourth chronologically.
Vladimir Taltos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Silverio on January 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first of Brust's Vlad Taltos books. Vlad is a human assassin in a world of giant long-lived elves. He uses his wit and skill to escape unscathed from a silly series of scrapes. Brust lures you into rooting for and liking a man who makes his living killing people. It's a fun take on the genre. This book brushes against some serious topics, such as racism and the effects of childhood brutality on the adult the child becomes, but it stays mostly in frivolous territory.
The series that follows this book fills in Vlad's past and describes many events alluded to by this book. It gradually becomes more serious in tone and finally confronts the racism and Vlad's profession directly. Some readers will find the later books more satisfying because they're so much meatier.
I found the series worth reading as setup for two other Brust books set much earlier in the same universe: The Phoenix Guards and Five Hundred Years After. Now these are real delights, and the Vlad Taltos books are your required introduction for them.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jhereg is the first book in the "Vladimir Taltos" series, and introduces the character and his world. It is a highly entertaining comic fantasy.

The first part of the book includes a brief account of Vlad's boyhood, and the story of how he acquires the live Jhereg egg which hatches into his familiar and constant companion Loiosh. That's Loiosh on the front cover of this book hatching from his egg, he's a small intelligent flying reptile something like a miniature dragon, and he also appears on the cover of the great majority of the other books of the series. He has a telepathic link to Vlad, and one of the hallmarks of the series is the constant mental exchange of banter and insults between Vlad and Loiosh.

All the Vlad Taltos stories jump around in time a lot, and and after the introduction "Jhereg" jumps ahead approximately seven years to the main action of the book, leapfrogging three of the subsequently written books and making this first book in the series also the fourth in chronological sequence.

The "Vlad Taltos" novels, and the same author's or "Khaavren" romances (see below), are all set in a world of magic, where there are several intelligent species, including two types of men and women. Humans like ourselves, and Vlad, are usually referred to as "Easterners," the other type of men and women call themselves humans but are usually referred to in the books as "Dragaerans" or occasionally as Elves.

Dragaerans are taller than humans, live 2,000 years or so, and then after death are eligible for reincarnation provided they have not annoyed a God too much or had their soul destroyed by a "Morganti" weapon or a "Great Weapon.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir Taltos on May 21, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am writing to review the book Jhereg, by Steven Brust. I was pulled into the book by my dad�s referral, and one of the things I first noticed is that the book is FUNNY! There is always a sarcastic undertone, even throughout the book. The hero (or anti-hero) of the book is an assassin named Vladimir Taltos. One of the high points for some people is that there isn�t too much romance in this novel, mainly just action. Taltos lives in a world where there are very tall, long-lived elves called Dragereans as the �dominant race�. Taltos is an �Easterner� or a human.
One thing that Brust succeeds in doing is that you actually want Taltos to succeed in completing his jobs! You may not side with an assassin in your everyday life, but Jhereg is something that will make you feel for the �bad guy�! This book is the first book in the series, but it is the fourth chronologically. The novel makes you ask who, what, and where� all of the good questions to have in a fantasy novel. Once you pick up the book, you can�t put it down! A few other things that I like abut this book: a good storyline, characters you can relate to, and humor.
In case you were wondering, a Jhereg is a small, flying reptile with leathery wings and poisonous teeth. Taltos made a pact with the beast�s mother, saying that �I offer your egg long life and fresh, red meat without struggle, and I offer my friendship. I ask for aid in my endeavors. I ask for it�s wisdom, and I ask for its friendship.�
If you are a fan of fantasy in general, or are just looking for something refreshingly different, I�d recommend Jhereg. However, if you dislike humor, a good story line or any of the things described in the above article, don�t pick this book up. Otherwise, enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is book One in the adventures of Vlad Taltos, an unlikely of heroes. The book begins with: "There is a similarity, if I may be permitted an excursion into the tenuous metaphor, between the feel of a chilly breeze and the feel of a knife's blade, as either is laid across the back of your neck. I can call up memories of both, if I work at it. The chilly breeze is invariably going to be the more pleasant memory."

The world in this series started much like ours. But long long ago the Jenoine, powerful aliens, came to this planet. They split the population in two; the Easterners were much like us, lived to 50 or 60 years and used witchcraft. Then there were the Dragaera Empire, with people much taller and much longer-lived. Yet we find out that these people were altered by the Jenoine mixing their genetic material with those of the animals native to the planet: seventeen animals to be specific. These people broke into houses named after the animals. And each house takes a turn in ruling the empire.

Vlad, our lonely easterner, is living in the Dragaera Empire. But he has become muscle for the mob, the house Jhereg. Now he is getting paid to beat up and eventually kill those who always picked on him and put him down.

The book is humorous, witty and fun, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman or Roger Zelazny. Vlad zings one-liners at us that will make you laugh and smile and cheer for the underdog: "Success leads to stagnation; stagnation leads to failure." Or "No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style."

If you want some light, fun, humorous reading, this is the series for you.

(First published in Imprint 2005-11-11 as `Aliens and Inspiration')
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