Book Review: Iorich

by Stephen Brust.

Stuff is starting to fall into place.  If you’re a Stephen Brust fan, you should read this book.

And maybe that’s all I need to say.

For anybody who doesn’t know who Stephen Brust is or what he writes, he writes high fantasy that might be SF, if you look at it in a different light.  The main character in the Vlad books, Vlad Taltos, is a human assassin working for the “official” criminal organization on his planet, killing millenia-old Elves (Dragaerans) and runnning his own territory.  Vlad’s a smartass; he’s very clever.  Things proceed to get a lot deeper than criminal intrigue, though.

Why should you read Stephen Brust?  For the same reason you should treat yourself to a meal made my a master chef in disguise, working at a diner, making food that is almost, but not quite familiar.

A note – the books vary in tone and don’t follow a straightforward timeline; one book might be set years before or after another.

(There’s another series of high fantasy books based on Alexandre Dumas’s Three Musketeers books; they start about 1000 years before the main books, but follow a Dragaeran character who continues through to the main series.)

Anyway, I figured out my reading project for this year – I’m going to read the Vlad books in publication order and try to figure out where this is all going.


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  1. Jo Walton at had a recent read-through of the full series (incorporating the Parfi stories, too). It was interesting taking in the whole tableau.

    I didn’t get as much of sense of “things falling into place” as you did, though there were a number of hints of things to come, as well as some demonstrated growth in Vlad. It was an enjoyable book, and I certainly look forward to the next volume.

  2. Artillery_MKV

    I LOVE the Vlad Taltos series. The dialog is so snappy, and the setting is exactly how I would expect a hard boiled detective/ crime lord with a heart of gold to play out in a fantasy setting.

    I don’t think this is the most exciting of the Taltos books, but it felt like Vlad was finally becoming comfortable with who he is. And, other than the Draegarean Musketeers series, possibly the best portrayal of Draegareans as fully realized characters. Early in the series the non-humans are very wooden, and they’re really coming into focus now.

    This is a series that I consume the instant I find a new book, abstaining from sleep to ingest it as quickly as possible. Then I collapse into sleep and read it again more slowly.

    I think it may be the cooking that helps make it so ‘real.’

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