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Taltos Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1988


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (March 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441182003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441182008
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,450 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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
63%
4 star
29%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
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See all 24 customer reviews
This book was hard to put down.
"jcjarss"
If it sounds like something you could really get into, too, than definitely pick this book up, and introduce yourself to this series.
"qachyk"
Players of Looking Glass Studios' game _Thief: The Dark Project_ should enjoy this sequence; it would make a good mission in the game.
Michele L. Worley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First chronologically speaking, that is. You will find that the Taltos series has much more dramatic impact when read in the proper order, as opposed to the publication order. Trust me on this one. In the volume in question, Vlad accepts a commission from the Dragon Heir to the Throne, Lord Morrolan e'Drien, to steal a staff containing a soul. Along the way, Vlad happens to run into the most powerful wizard living and goes to the land of the dead. Does this sound like typical fantasy fare? 'Cuz it's not. Brust's Dragaera is a carefully and convincingly realized world, with a cultural feel much closer to our 17th century than the muddled medievalism of most of what you've read. Magic is taken in stride, since it is a part of daily life, and this mercifully frees the characters up from talking about it as though they had wandered in from a B-movie. The characters are endowed with the doubts, foibles, and sheer petty-mindedness of actual people, and they never behave in the two-dimensional, moralizing way one finds so often in the heroes and villains of this genre. In short, this is thinking man's fantasy. And it's a lot of fun, too, especially for fans of wit and the one-liner. You'd be a fool to miss it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Esther on March 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was amazed to discover that Taltos was only published in 1988 - I had it down as a thoroughly modern fantasy, from start to finish. I loved this book. The dual plot's great, the characters are bursting with - well - character, the conversation is almost too real and the witchcraft, sorcery and religion are refreshingly original.
This novel centres on the recollections of a hired assassin and witch with more authority on both counts than is frankly comforting. I read the closing chapters of Taltos in a coffee bar and I'm sure I was followed home.
Brust also ties in themes of racism, calculated violence and the nature/nurture debate, and provides a disarmingly cynical view of the afterlife.
What distinguishes Taltos from the run-of-the-mill urban fantasy is its unrelenting first person truthfulness, its anti-hero stance and its level of psychic awareness. Brust deals with extreme themes as if they were yesterday's dishes, but he does it with style, tons of humour and unnerving realism. If you love urban fantasy, you'll kill for Taltos.
This book appears to be the third in a series. You may wish to try Jhereg first.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "jfp617" on January 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my favorite Vlad Taltos books. Full of the cynical wit you'd expect from Vlad, this adventure gives you more than you bargained for. "Taltos" reveals how Vlad meets up with Morrolan, Sethra, and later Aleria. Very exciting, I couldn't put it down.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "qachyk" on July 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The thing is, I got sick of fantasy because I got sick of Tall Beautiful Elves and Short Grumpy Dwarves and Nasty Old Ogres and Absolute Good and Evil. Get rid of it all, keep the magic, rub the entire story with ashes to get that nice grey look, and add a whole lot of very funny lines, and you get something I can really get into.
If it sounds like something you could really get into, too, than definitely pick this book up, and introduce yourself to this series.
Oh, one thing? I was lying a bit about the Elves. But only a bit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Bowman on April 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While Yendi examines Vlad's life shortly following the time when he had begun to establish himself as a serious player in the Jehreg mini-Empire, Taltos reaches even further back, weaving three separate plots - the beginning of his come to power, his expedition with Morrolan, and one mysterious spellweaving heading each chapter - into the fullest picture yet of his early life.

Beginning innoculously with a delivery theft by one of Vlad's henchmen, the story quickly involves Dzur Mountain - and its infamous undead inhabitant Sethra Lavode - along with Morrolan in Castle Black. It shortly becomes apparent this was a setup to get him to Sethra's quarters, to ask him to steal a very important crystal from a high wizard. Insane as it sounds, he has little choice, and when things go wrong at the last second, only a serendipitous find and Morrolan's quick entrance save him. But the ordeal is far from over, when an even more important ordeal awaits Vlad: A perilous journey with Morrolan into the Paths of the Dead to wake the soul trapped in the staff he took.

This is undoubtedly Burst's most mature work in the series to this point, giving up some of the manic energy and cockiness of the first in exchange for a much deeper look into the lives and souls of his heroes. Vlad never loses his snide sarcasm, but he does start to tone it down and put more thought into his dealings with powerful Dragaerans. Most of all, he finally begins to grudginly respect a few. The transition is both bumpy and natural, never plainly stated but obvious again his otherwise cavalier attitudes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "jcjarss" on August 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is very enjoyable and would appeal to even a person who has never read a Vlad Taltos book. This book has incorporated plenty of action in the first thirty some ought pages and a a good lot of mysteriousness. It has the same good stuff that made all the Vlad books excellent, so you get the idea of what it's like. This book was hard to put down. I think you'll feel the same way when you read it. Beleive me.
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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.

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