Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taltos by Steven Brust

 This installment of Vlad's story takes us back in time a bit, to the point in his personal story when he first makes the acquaintance of Morrolan, Sethra Lavode, and Aliera; though she's a rather special case, and the point of the main plot line in this story. In fact, this story unfolds like a trifold wallet; there's the main plot line, in which Vlad is entangled in the affairs of Morrolan and the House of the Dragon, first stealing a staff which contains Aliera's soul from an Athyra wizard who refuses to part with it, and then journeying the Paths of the Dead in order to plead with the Lords of Judgement for Aliera's return, to become the Dragon heir to the throne, there's a secondary plot line in which Vlad is slowly creating an incredibly complex and potent ritual of witchcraft to bring an object of his desiring to the lands of the dead, and a third series of vignettes which show us how Vlad went from being the son of an Easterner with a purchased title in the Jhereg to an assassin, boss within the Jhereg, and somehow the friend of some very powerful people.

One mystery that remains, touched upon in the vignettes, is why, exactly, Kiera the Thief befriends Vlad in the first place. I suspect that she's somehow more deeply involved with Sethra and her plots than is readily apparent, and may be more spy than thief, after all. I'll have to keep an eye on this in newer installments. If I had to place this chronologically in the series, it would immediately preced Jhereg. More good snarky fun with Vlad and his friends.

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