Jhereg

Jhereg[EPUB] ✼ Jhereg Author Steven Brust – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Vlad Taltos on sarkastiline ja paranoiline palgamõrtsukas kes elab Dragaera nimelises maailmas mida asustavad peamiselt pika elueaga võlurid kes on üsna osavad ka surnute elustamisel Tema kaaslasek Vlad Taltos on sarkastiline ja paranoiline palgamõrtsukas kes elab Dragaera nimelises maailmas mida asustavad peamiselt pika elueaga võlurid kes on üsna osavad ka surnute elustamisel Tema kaaslaseks ja sõbraks on väike lohesarnane humoorikas ja intelligentne loom keda kutsutakse Jheregiks Üks kõige võimsamatest Dragaera maffiabossidest palkab Vladi eriti raskele tööle mille täitmisel aga selgub et bossile jääb ette üks Vladi parimaid sõpru ja tagatipuks ka Vlad iseMõningaid Vlad Taltose tarkuseteri mis peaksid peegeldama palgamõrvari elu võlusid ja valusid “Häid kombeid ei asenda miski – peale kiirete reflekside” “Ükskõik kui osav võlur ka on nuga abaluude vahel kahjustab tõsiselt tema stiili” “Tõelisi kangelastegusid tuleb hoolikalt kavandada – ja järjekindlalt vältida” “Vihase draakoniga räägi alati viisakalt“ “Pole sellist asja nagu küllaldane ettevalmistus” “Sa astu ettevaatlikult kui lähened omaenda lõksudele”. Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths I read this novel when it was initially published in the mid 80s It was a favorite of mine at the time and I have always recalled it fondly However after completing a re read it has become painfully obvious that the enjoyment I received from this book must have been one of those teenage fads because it has disappeared right along with my desire to keep solving a Rubik’s CubeThe tour guide in Jhereg is Vlad Taltos The world he guides us through is a standard one from 80s fantasy Here a huge Empire controls most of the world inhabited and ruled by the Dragaerans who are basically LoTR like elves Indeed the few humans in this world often refer to the Dragaerans as “elves though to “confuse” the reader a bit the author has the Dragaerans refer to themselves as “human” Other than this one uirk there is nothing to set it apart from other fantasy worlds from this period of the 80sVlad is one of the human minority of the Dragaeran Empire labeled by his “elvish” overlords as an Easterner and born into the lowest class of society However thanks to a social climbing father Vlad is actually a citizen of the Empire and a noble of one of the lesser Dragaeran houses There are 17 Great Houses in Dragaeran; each named after an animal of the world Of course the house Vlad is a noble of just happens to be one huge criminal organization which greatly resembles the modern day Mafia Our protagonist’s role in this elvish “mafia” is as a minor crime lord supervising certain criminal interests of the “house” and as an accomplished assassin To throw in a little “fantastical” the author also makes him a minor sorcerer The novel itself starts out with Brust focusing on Vlad’s childhood especially the story of how he acuires a live Jhereg egg which later hatches out into his “familiar” Loiosh The golden reptile on the front cover of the paperback edition is Loiosh The two of them share a telepathic “link;” their constant bantering being the main comedic point of the book though it does grow tiresome after a while After this boyhood tale Brust time warps ahead approximately seven years to the main action of the novel This fast forward effectively leapfrogging three of the subseuently books in the series making this the fourth in chronological seuence I believe Here another “mob” boss hires Vlad to kill one of the Jhereg's higher ups who has disappeared with some money that doesn’t belong to him The job has to be done uickly before word of this theft can get out and make the Jhereg look “weak” Since Vlad is a skilled assassin the job doesn’t seem like a big deal until he discovers that his target has taken refuge in Castle Black as a guest of Morrolan the Dragon lord Morrolan is a heavy weight Dragon with bad mojo magic Word is that this Dragon lord is such a tickler for honor that once he has taken someone into his home as a welcomed guest that they are under his protection no matter what Plus Vlad has a professional relationship with Morrolan a strange friendship even which complicates everythingSo now the easy job has gotten complicated and Vlad spends many pages planning the perfect assassination scheme Ultimately the plan boils down to this convoluted scheme to get the target out of Morrolan's house without using magic and without actually killing him inside the actual castle It is much complicated and cumbersome than that; I’m just trying to make it easier to understand here Naturally things fall apart people have to improvise the incident turns into a full blown political situation between the Jhereg and the Dragon houses and then things get cleared up at the endPROS There are several nice things about this book which many reads will no doubt enjoy 1 It is fast paced mainly because it is very short and is written in a flowing style that keeps the pace moving never bogging down in descriptions or tiresome wordiness 2 It is also very modern in tone The magic and other “fantasy” elements here are very straight forward accepted by everyone in the story as part of every day life and never really discussed Indeed Jhereg is so modern in tone that it can just as readily be enjoyed as a contemporary mafia story rather than a fantasy; if the “fantasy” elements bore you all one must do is just imagine it is all taking place in New York City as opposed to another world 3 Jhereg is a fantasy detective or mafia story during a time when Tolkien clones were all the rage So at least in the early 80s it was different Not so much now but still good variety I suppose 4 The interaction between the men and women of the book is very business like with a post feminism flavor No sexual discrimination here Hell no sex here Lol Nope no sexist remarks about females in general or anything like that; everyone appears eual without any distinction between male or female CONS 1 While this book is a fantasy it has only a thin veneer of it Sure there is a bit of magic thrown around here or there but if not for the strange names and “sorcery” it is a contemporary story about a mafia hitmanI read somewhere I believe it was Ursula K Le Guin’s book on writing that in order for a novel to be a “fantasy” she felt it should have such a “fantastical” feel that a reader knew this could not take place down the street Le Guin even gave an example of this using an excerpt from a popular 80s fantasy novel She uoted an entire passage from said “fantasy” changed the kings to senators holy priests to representatives and illustrated how this “fantasy” work read like a story about Washington DC I’m going to try to do the same but I’m no Le Guin so bear with me We ate the meal in silence enjoying each other’s company feeling no need to talk As we were finishing Cathy said “So you get work while I stay home and wither away from boredom” “You don’t look withered to me” I said checking “And I don’t remember your asking me for help with that little matter last month” “Hmmmmph” she said “I didn’t need any help with that but this looks like something big I recognized the target I hope you are getting a reasonable price for him” I told her what I was getting for him She raised her eyebrows “Nice Who wants him?” I looked around the restaurant which was almost deserted I didn’t like taking chances but Cathy deserved an answer “The whole bloody Gambino family wants him or will if and when they find out” “What did he do?” She asked “He didn’t start talking did he?” I shuddered “No not that thank the Virgin Mary He ran off with nine million dollars in family operating funds” I changed only 5 words in that passage Now instead of Vlad Taltos the human assassin in an elvish empire we have Vlad the local hitman trying to take down a mob boss who has taken off with the family’s cash And this is only one example and can basically be done throughout the whole book Naturally some spots take than 5 words to transform the story but you see the pointThis sort of thing doesn’t bother some people If that is you so be it But if I wanted to read a novel about the mafia I’d rather do so without the strange names and sorcery thrown in Like I said however it is a personal choice2 Jhereg is written in first person narrative by the author Nothing wrong with that in and of itself Mark Lawrence pulled this off brilliantly in Prince of Thorns but it does not seem to work here after a while uickly Vlad’s constant descriptions of his actions like “I had my back to the door” or “I approached slowly sizing him up reaching for my daggers even though my palms were slick with sweat” began to read like a shopping list It did not sound natural and it really limited what I actually saw in the fight scenes making me feel disconnected with everything else that was going on Nope instead of actually reading about Aliera doing something awesome I have to wait for someone to describe it to Vlad Also I felt that the first person narrative made the scene transitions awkward throughout the book and slowed down the general pacing of the storyPerhaps these complaints are merely personal preference but as I alluded to I've read other books that pulled off first person narrative without making me complain Maybe it is just me but it seems that Brust doesn't do as good of a job with it as other authors at least in this book3 No romance of any kind I mean even though Vlad and Cawti are married they act like business acuaintances Sure they talk about work or make dinner for one another but other than that sort of “friendly” type of relationship nothing is going on here Now I know that might not bother some of you but I mean relationships sex and all that sort of thing is part of normal human existence The fact that it was totally ignored for the whole mafia hitman thing really struck me as odd Yet again maybe it’s a personal preference But I thought I’d mention it for those of you who like to see some romance or some hot sex because you are not going to see either in Jhereg And before anyone mentions it I know this was written in the 80s but my God Tolkien wrote smoldering sexual tension in LoTR than Brust does here4 Lastly if you are one of those people that loves reading about some grand new world and its magic or history What we now label world building Jhereg is going to disappoint you the world building is at the bare minimum Brust only includes the details necessary to remind you this is not happening in New York City and Vlad is not really a hitman but an assassin in another world Sure we have weapons that destroy souls and talk about ancient Dragaeran Houses or the Orb but they are fleeting can easily be omitted without impacting the “hitman” plot and leaves one intrigued but unsatisfied with hisher knowledge about the “world” Vlad exists inTo sum up Jhereg is a decent book It is entertaining and uickly read which is why I gave it a 2 star rating When I was a teenager I loved the book and would have rated it 35 or 4 stars Unfortunately some things do not age “well” and this book is one of those things in my opinion It just pales in comparison to the type of fantasy novels we have all grown accustom to these days But if you are needing to waste a couple of hours and don’t want to read another “detective” novel pick this one up It might make you YAWN in its simplicity but it probably will keep you awake long enough to finish it Ehr Mah Gerd Vlad Taltos Oh what’s that? Is that a badass name for a badass main character? Why yes yes it is Look at that name Look at it It fits him perfectly Clear Concise Ominous You know your MC is a badass when he’s in the middle of an internal monologue and subtly lets slip that he’s been view spoiler killed and resurrected hide spoiler The recent release of Iorich sent me down the path of re reading the Taltos series While Iorich was enjoyable and engrossing memories sent me back to the inaugural Vlad Sophisticated writing interesting characters and one seriously convoluted plot It's interesting because this is the fourth book in the timeline of the series and Vlad's history but actually the first published echoes of Lucas I'd recommend reading Jhereg first as it's told in a largely linear fashion with only a few flashbacks and as such is a decent introduction to the world's political and social structure As the series continues Brust starts playing in interesting ways with narrative so it helps to already have a solid grip on the basics Characters are done well with broad brushstrokes We get some of Vlad's early years and we are given the background on his initial connection with Loiosh His friendships with Dragons Morrolan and Aliera and his lieutenant Krager are well established in this book with nice repartee and camaraderie Loiosh is a smart sidekick but not overly humanized The plot is entirely plausible within the world setting and although Vlad's antagonist has spent decades planning his revenge his rationale is somewhat understandable and brings a sense of sympathy even as Vlad works to save the situation Immediate Reaction This was a blast A little fantasy noir fun for anyone who likes bad men behaving with honour Vlad Taltos is an anti hero extraordinaire and all the minor characters and relationships he's surrounded with are eually cool Later This is only the second book I've read by Steven Brust and the first I've read that he wrote alone I read his collaboration with Emma Bull Freedom and Necessity a couple of months ago and loved their book so much I knew I had to hunt down their other works and give them a go What Jhereg delivered was totally unexpectedF and N was a beautiful literary work that obviously suffers in its readership by being written by a pair of Sci FiFantasy authors And I expected of the same with Jhereg But there is little literary in the first of the Vlad Taltos books but that doesn't make it any less readable In fact it might actually make it much of an addiction inducing habit Jhereg is a bit like a fantasy detective story or a fantasy noir as I called it earlier with assassincrime bossinformation collector Vlad Taltos taking the role of obligatory hardbitte detective from the works of Dashiel Hammett or Mickey Spillane And it's as good as the former and better than the latter Vlad is surrounded by an original and exotic fantasy world killer allies his pseudo cousin Aliera is a personal favourite a smart ass familiar named Loiosh a seamy underworld nasty enemies including one who calls himself Demon witchcraft and sorcery which are nothing alike genetic engineering for the slightest touch of Sci Fi and the most mundane of domestic lives Even better he is one of the most likable antiheroes in all of FantasyI understand from some of my goodreads friends that the depth of this series as it goes on and it goes on for a long time is impressive I've already started Yendi so it's a good bet that I am going to experience this depth first hand Having read F and N I believe that depth is possible Now I just need to track down War for the Oaks so I can experience how the other half of F and N writes when out of collaboration I’m not typically fond of stories relying heavily on “rogue” class characters such as thieves or assassins These tales tend to be urban ie confined to cities and towns I myself prefer a holistic approach to fantasy worlds in storytelling because I tend to visualize a lot However this book drew me in nicely The world is actually presented by the author with a remarkable amount of confidence given the lack of exposition history Information is provided piecemeal and in a matter of fact fashion Some of these tidbits are truly tantalizing and piued my interest greatly What is the enclouding? Is the empire really than 1000 centuries old? Who is The Necromancer? What is the Imperial Orb and the Greater Sea of Chaos? Who were the Jenoine? And the Serioli? Etc etc Some of these uestions are eventually and fortunately answered as the book progresses but some aren’t As such while the world has a very established feel some aspects are left to the imagination There is no substitute for good manners except fast reflexesThe novel deals with one Vlad Taltos an assassin of note who accepts a contract that isn’t uite what it seems That by the way is one hell of an understatement Did he bite off than he could chew? Intrigue ensues as the protagonist sets off to negotiate the uagmire of Dragaerian Empire and Noble House politics before he can get down to the task at handVlad Taltos is an interesting character though He may not be all he appears to be and he has a Jhereg familiar which is basically a venomous pet dragon of diminutive size He also surrounds himself with some gnarly if somewhat unpredictable folk This is important in the larger scheme of things since Vlad Taltos is a human and humans are at the bottom of the food chain I found myself filled with awe at the magnificence of his plan It was tremendousAt the time Jhereg was published it was the first book in the Vlad Taltos series it has subseuently been ousted chronologically speaking and as such there are no previous events that laid the groundwork for the world depicted here and yet it feels like a setting fully fleshed I particularly enjoyed the clear distinction between sorcery and witchcraft which is arguably comparable to the differences between divine magic and arcane magic and the study of genetics as it pertains to the narrativeIt’s also important to note the impact of time on the story at large The Dragaerans are very very long lived and the author cleverly exploits this to affect the intrigue as it should Events that appear fairly innocuous on the face of it are unraveled to reveal complexities and intricacies initially unimagined and spanning several human lifetimes Which brings me to one perceived shortcoming of the story while some plot events are dazzling others are fairly simplistic and well fall flat I suppose I could put this down to first novel syndrome? True heroics must be carefully planned and strenuously avoidedI am a sucker for floating castles demonic weapons sorcery teleporting assassins and little dragons I went into this not wanting metaphor or analogy Sometimes I crave the ridiculous and the fantastical This book scratched that itch and read pretty uick as well Double whammy “And of course we had the Necromancer standing by just in case there were problems Satisfyingly good The kind of good that makes you anxious to get to the next book The kind of good that makes you glad there are over ten books in the series The kind of good that makes me not care about book orders Maybe it's a good thing these books are written out of order? is a thing I never thought I'd say But I have a good feeling about Steven Brust and I trust he'll deliver It's been awhile since high fantasy has been this good for me and it's been even longer since I liked a POV main character in high fantasy enough to know that I'll like whatever trials and tribulations he's put through And I like Vlad Taltos Thus far he's already shown himself to be a multifaceted character full of nuance and I can only imagine he'll get complex with each bookPlus there are dragons everywhereFull review to come when I get through the series Trying to figure out the order of this series is giving me a serious case of involuntary twitching So far from what I've gleaned on various forums and reviews the publication order is completely different from the chronological order twitchingBut the order in which you read these books does not matter At all Because they were purposely written out of order bangs head on deskWhyI have a thing for publication order Publication order goes like thisJheregYendiTecklaTaltosPhoenixAthyraOrcaDragonIssolaDzurJhegaalaIorichTiassaHawkBut chronological order goes like thisTaltosDragonYendiJheregTecklaPhoenixJhegaalaAthyraOrcaIssolaDzurIorichTiassaHawkThe only book I have is Jhereg so I'm gonna start thereCross posted at While there was nothing absolutely mind blowing about the plot or the fantasy the one thing that really stood out in this book was the fantastic writingIt was absolutely some of the easiest reading I've had for an obviously detailed and fleshed out world full of lots of magic interesting races very long lived people and dragons It flew by so uickly and easily I was rather surprised at how much info dump never came across as info dump I learned so much about the world naturally that I was giddy after the readingIs it because I've grown very used to the tropes involved over so many years of enjoying fantasy? Possibly But then that's another reason I need to give this book props From the mid eighties it still comes off as hugely superior in execution characterization big ideas and joy This is SUPERIOR fantasyI've read my fair share of SUPERIOR fantasy of course but this one feels so effortlessAssassins? Check Dragons? Check Near immortals everywhere you look? Check Tons and tons of magic? AbsolutelyI'm pretty sure I'm going to fly through all Brust's novels in no time whatsoever They're pretty damn fantastic and smart 50 stars The Vlad Taltos series is one thst I strongly recommend to anyone who likes good fantasy I would classify it as noir fantasy with a good sense of humor Great world building great characters and well written tight plots that do not drag and are never boring As good as all that is it is the main character of Vlad Taltos assassin witch and rogue and his jhereg familiar that make the series so special Highly recommended 25 ⭐️ rounded up to 3 and that’s only because I feel bad giving it just two stars when there isn’t actually anything wrong with the novel I just didn’t find anything about it remotely interesting from characters to plot to writing style I’m sure others will Oh well This is the third in my list of books that inspired me to start writing fantasy and in many ways is the most influential The hero of the series Vlad Taltos is an assassin which is you know not an especially nice thing to be The thing is deep down Vlad really wants to be a nice guy He just needs to kill a few shitbags first Now it's true that the list of people Vlad needs to kill includes pretty much the entire Dragaeran Empire but he's willing to leave a few off the list if they change their ways Oh and Vlad's sidekick a wise talking miniature dragon who calls him 'Boss' all the time Seriously who wouldn't want to read that?Brust blends heroic fantasy with a film noir almost Raymond Chandler esue voice In fact Jhereg was the book that taught me you could write fantasy without having your characters talk in fake British accents and spouting thee's and thou's every sentence It's a short book by today's standards and one that will fly by Fortunately there's a dozen to keep you busy once you're done