Iorich: Vlad Taltos
Tor, 2011 (2010)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
as the twelfth in Steven Brust's engaging Dragaeran fantasy series starring smart alec Easterner (human) antihero Vlad Taltos, who operates in a realm where his kind form a despised minority. Non-human Dragaerans are organized into competing Houses, each with its own rules and characteristics.
lad, a legendary assassin, is partnered by jhereg Loiosh (a small, poisonous, and totally loyal reptile with a peculiar sense of humor) and the latter's mate Rocza. In
, Vlad fled east in search of his maternal roots, House Jhereg assassins in hot pursuit.
opens, Vlad learns that Aliera has been arrested for practicing elder sorcery - with the possibility of a death sentence. Though she has powerful friends - formidable Dragonlord Morrolan, Sethra the Necromancer, Dragon Heir Norathar and the Empress Zerika herself - no-one is acting on Aliera's behalf. In fact, it was the Empress who had her close friend arrested - it seems linked to the slaughter of peasants in the remote village of Tirma.
hough the imperial city of Adrilankha is not a safe place for Vlad, his jhereg watch for danger. He meets with the very proud Aliera (who refuses all help), the Empress, Morrolan, and Sethra, and begins to get a sense of what has led to this impasse. He also hires a lawyer, Perisil, for Aliera and manipulates her into accepting his services. And he visits his wife Cawti and his growing son, Vlad Norathar.
lad sniffs out a nasty plot, involving both the Right and Left Hands of the Jhereg, to manipulate Imperial politics. As always he saves the day - and his friend - but manages to get himself into trouble. Luckily he has a good advocate at hand in Perisil. I look forward to more of Vlad's adventures - and I'm in luck as
(number thirteen) was just released.
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