Select one of the keywords
The Book of Dragon    by Steven Brust order for
Book of Dragon
by Steven Brust
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Book of Dragon includes two novels in Brust's long-running (and deservedly popular) Dragaeran series - Dragon (the longer piece) and Issola. Vlad Taltos is a smart alec antihero, an unscrupulous (though thoroughly engaging) assassin who used his wits to survive and climb up through the ranks of House Jhereg. Vlad is also an Easterner, one of the despised human minority in this strange world.

In Dragon, believe it or not, Vlad has joined the army! As he struggles to survive a series of both sorcerous and mundane engagements as an ordinary soldier, we learn through flashbacks what brought him into this perilous position, and how he emerges from it again, with a lot of help from his comrades-in-arms and from his jhereg Loiosh, a small, poisonous reptilian companion with a peculiar sense of humor. On war, Vlad muses, 'I'm used to cold, but battle is hot; I'm used to precision, but war is chaos; I'm used to trying to kill, but this kind of fighting involved trying to stay alive.' Along the way, he gains an understanding of Dragons that he never had before.

As Issola opens, Vlad is informed of the disappearance of his Dragon friends Morrolan and Aliera by Morrolan's High Priestess, Lady Teldra. Helped by the undead Sethra Lavode, they make their way to the strange place where Aliera and Morrolan have been imprisoned by the all-powerful Jenoine. After Vlad consults his Demon Goddess Verra and applies Easterner witchcraft to extract them, he becomes deeply embroiled in a 'cataclysmic battle between the gods and the Jenoine', loses a friend, and acquires the weapon Godslayer.

I always enjoy spending time with Vlad Taltos and Loiosh, and strongly recommend this series to any fantasy reader. If it's new to you, then start reading the omnibus editions beginning with The Book of Jhereg.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews