By the time I was fifty yards away I was able to see that they'd made a proper job of it. There was a brick chimney, and smoking rubble; that's it. There was a medium-sized barn nearby, and a few smaller outbuildings that hadn't been touched, but the house itself was cinders and ash. I don't think there was a piece of wood left as big as my fist.
This is book eleven in a series, and reading further on this page without having read the previous books might spoil some of your fun.
In an attempt to avoid the Jhereg, whom he recently seriously pissed off, Vlad decides to go east. And after a talk to his grandfather, he decides to track down his mother's familiy while he is there.
But people are already suspicious and less than hospitable, and when he mentions his mother's family name, they turn even less helpful. Things are very different from back home, though it seems Dragaera is not the only place where Vlad is able to get himself in trouble.
This book takes place shortly after Phoenix, when Vlad is leaving Dragaera to hide from the Jhereg. Chronologically, it comes before Athyra.
One of the things I like about the Vlad Taltos series, is the details. For instance: It is mentioned in some book, it might have been Jhereg, but it might have been one of the other books too; that there is no sun visible in Adrilankha, or in the Empire; that it is always overcast.
It is mentioned early in the series (in publishing order, at least), and I sort of forgot about it, until Jhegaala. Where Vlad travels to the East, and of course then there is sunlight as well.
Another thing I like, is that Vlad is not exactly the hero type. If you have read a couple of Vlad Taltos-books already, you probably know what I mean. If you have not, you should not be reading this. You should be reading, well, the previous books first.
Also, Vlad is not a nice person. He can be mean, petty and arrogant. Still, he has a sense of honour, if he had not, he would have left after just a couple of days.
Now, most of the plots in the Vlad Taltos-series are fairly complex. That is a good thing. In a way, it is like a mystery novel; you are fed most of the information you need, though some of it might have come in earlier books.
This plot is no different. I really like the intricate, complex plots of Brust's. They are fun, and Vlad usually gets a chance to show off and explain everything somewhere along the line.
I am sometimes wondering how much Brust has planned from the beginning. He tends to hint to past events that we have not read about in his books, and then later, there will be a book about it. Like this one; there are references to it in, for instance, Athyra, Issola, and the other books that were published before Jhegaala, but comes after it chronologically.
On a sidenote: I just found out that Brust uses Emacs. Good, he seemed like a sensible person, now I know he is. And for those of you who think I am trying to start (another) religious war, I am not. It is just that Emacs is better than Vi/Vim. It is not really your fault, you just do not know any better. And if you did not understand this paragraph, do not worry about it. It is a tech thing.
Anyway, this is a very good Vlad Taltos-book, and I very much enjoyed it.
About the author Steven Brust
Book 1: Jhereg
Book 2: Yendi
Book 3: Teckla
Book 4: Taltos
Book 5: Phoenix
Book 6: Athyra
Book 7: Orca
Book 8: Dragon
Book 9: Issola
Book 10: Dzur
Book 11: Jhegaala
Book 12: Iorich
Book 13: Tiassa
Book 14: Hawk
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