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Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos Novels) Hardcover – July 8, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
Book 11 of 13 in the Vlad Taltos Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this immediate sequel to Phoenix (1990), Brust’s series hero Vlad Taltos, fleeing the Jhereg, decides to look up kinfolk in a papermaking town in Fenario. Before he can do more than ask about them, however, they’re murdered. Professional assassin Vlad is not going to stand for that, but, no longer part of an organization, he must do his own detecting in a strange land whose customs he doesn’t know. Brust skillfully uses the minor characters to throw light on Vlad, making this a Vlad novel especially commendable to those contracting a first acquaintance. --Frieda Murray

Review

"Dzur gives us Vlad Taltos at his best." —Cinescope

"Fresh, snappy, and terribly likeable…Dzur shows you what heroic fantasy can be." —Cory Doctorow

“Steven Brust may well be America’s best fantasy writer.” —Tad Williams

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Vlad Taltos Novels (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765301474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765301475
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few SPOILERS, and three and a half stars.

Steven Brust sure takes forever to write a book, yet the man is worth the wait. He's one of my favorite authors, and I'm always like a pig in odious slop whenever he's writing about Vlad Taltos. JHEGAALA is the eleventh novel in the Taltos series, featuring that wise-cracking assassin and lowly Easterner living in the world of Dragaerans.

Some background stuff: Note that in the world of Dragaera, seven-foot-tall elves (called Dragaerans) are the ruling species, with the Easterners (or humans) predominantly treated as second class citizens. Vlad Taltos had eked out a living as an assassin for the House of the Jhereg and had, for a while, become a minor crime lord. Life was good, and he'd even gotten married. But then certain of his actions (and a peasants' revolt) drew the ire of the Jhereg House and he'd been forced to skedaddle, with assassins fierce on his heels. Several books (Athyra, Orca, Issola (Vlad), Dzur (Vlad)) have chronicled his adventures during his fugitive years. As things stand presently, Vlad is still on the run and seemingly without direction. So I do wish Brust would get on with current events...

...Because JHEGAALA doesn't catch us up to what Vlad's been up to recently.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read Jhegaala a few weeks ago, and having had time to think about it, I feel that I would recommend it only to people already fans of the series. It seeks to be like Orca, in that it is concerned with solving a mystery rather than executing a plan (or person). It has the slower pace of that novel, as opposed to some in the series that are more action-packed. But I don't think that the resolution of Jhegaala was anywhere near as satisfying. While it's tough to avoid spoilers, I thought that the sequence of events in the resolution was highly unlikely, in terms of an opponent of Vlad's suddenly becoming helpful.

I am glad I read and purchased it; I'm a fan of the series! I very much like that Brust experiments with different narrative and plot styles. It also helps fill the gaps in Vlad's life story.

Finally, I did enjoy it on its own merits, but if this had been my first exposure to the Jhereg series I doubt I'd go looking for the rest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The way Brust hops around his Vlad Taltos series chronologically, it can be difficult to figure out when an individual novel has been set. Jhegaala is no exception. While there is a pattern to Brust's literary madness, it isn't something you should have to think about as you're reading. Since I hadn't re-read the series recently, I found myself wondering exactly when this novel took place midway through the book. What used to be cool and clever has become somewhat problematic.

The rest of the book, however, is a good, solid read. It isn't as fun or exciting as the first few books in the series, nor is it quite as introspective or revealing as books like Taltos or Five Hundred Years after. But it is enjoyable. I do wish Brust would set up a larger story, though ... Jhegaala is essentially a murder mystery, and not a tremendously compelling one. I felt all the way through the novel that I wanted Vlad to get somewhere and he never really did.
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Format: Hardcover
While somewhat entertaining, this books is rather unremarkable. There is no revelations really, nothing to flesh out Vlad's history or to make us excited for future novels. Which is surprising considering it takes place back in the East, and Vlad's relatives are a plot element. I kept waiting for some revelation as to why certain "events" pertaining to them would actually become interesting, but that never happened. Even the antagonists were never explained, they were just "there", you never felt any fear, or hate, or anything really for them (well except confusion).

Hell I don't even think Vlad drew his blade except to smack someone with his hilt while interrogating. I would of really liked to have read about Vlad squaring off against another Easterner, Vlad always gets off so easy when fighting Draegerans with their Hack-Block-Hack style of fighting.

All in all the story is OK. The dialogue is fun, and feels much closer to the Vlad in the Pre-Teckla books, which makes sense considering chronologically this books would take place between Teckla and Athyra (I think).

But considering how long it takes Brust to put these things out, I would hope that each one would at least contain "something" noteworthy, something that makes the story standout. This book could easily be skipped and you would be perfectly fine and miss nothing in regards to Vlad's overall back story, which to me is a let-down.

Again, it was OK, but I doubt I will read it again, and I have read most of the Vlad books multiple times.
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