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Tiassa: Vlad Taltos    by Steven Brust order for
by Steven Brust
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I'm a long-time fan of Steven Brust's unique Dragaera series and recently finished Iorich. So I opened Tiassa with anticipation. I found it somewhat different from the usual Vlad Taltos outing. It follows a small statue of a silver tiassa ('you could see candlelight through the wings', with tiny sapphires for eyes) through space, time and the realms of the gods, showing its appearances in various adventures.

This book is really directed at Brust's long-time readers, as it brings together characters from different series streams - the main one in which Jhereg Vlad Taltos leads; as well as episodes starring Khaavren (who first appeared in The Phoenix Guards, reminiscent of Dumas' The Three Musketeers). The latter's brave and honorable wife Daro, their son Piro, and their good friend Pel also play key roles in Tiassa. Different narrators include Vlad himself; the goddess Devera (before and after she is born); Khaavren; Daro; Cawti; Jhereg Dathaani; and Princess Norathar.

Vlad engineers a sophisticated sting to help Khaavren's son Piro; Daro and Cawti, aided by Norathar, foil an elaborate Jhereg plot to assassinate Vlad (without his knowledge); Khaavren and his Special Tasks Group help Vlad with other attempts against his life, this time involving a talented musician, Lady Saruchka. The small silver tiassa pops in and out of all these adventures as it 'unites the conscious mind with the unconscious. Sometimes, and in some ways, and under some conditions.'

Though this was not my favorite Dragaeran fantasy, I always enjoy spending time with Vlad and/or Khaavren (it was a bonus to have them together) and recommend Tiassa to all series fans as an engaging read.

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