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Friday, 11 November 2005

Jhereg by Steven Brust

Jhereg
Steven Brust
Ace Fantasy


This is book One in the adventures of Vlad Taltos, an unlikely of heroes. The book begins with: “There is a similarity, if I may be permitted an excursion into the tenuous metaphor, between the feel of a chilly breeze and the feel of a knife’s blade, as either is laid across the back of your neck. I can call up memories of both, if I work at it. The chilly breeze is invariably going to be the more pleasant memory.”

The world in this series started much like ours. But long long ago the Jenoine, powerful aliens, came to this planet. They split the population in two; the Easterners were much like us, lived to 50 or 60 years and used witchcraft. Then there were the Dragaera Empire, with people much taller and much longer-lived. Yet we find out that these people were altered by the Jenoine mixing their genetic material with those of the animals native to the planet: seventeen animals to be specific. These people broke into houses named after the animals. And each house takes a turn in ruling the empire.

Vlad, our lonely easterner, is living in the Dragaera Empire. But he has become muscle for the mob, the house Jhereg. Now he is getting paid to beat up and eventually kill those who always picked on him and put him down.

The book is humorous, witty and fun, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman or Roger Zelazny. Vlad zings one-liners at us that will make you laugh and smile and cheer for the underdog: “Success leads to stagnation; stagnation leads to failure.” Or “No matter how subtle the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style.”

If you want some light, fun, humorous reading, this is the series for you.

(First published in Imprint 2005-11-11 as ‘Aliens and Inspiration’)




Books by Steven Brust:
Vlad Taltos Publishing Order:
Jhereg (1983)
Yendi (1984)
Teckla (1987)
Taltos (1988)
Phoenix (1990)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Dragon (1998)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Jhegaala (2008)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
...

Vlad Taltos: Chronological Order:
Taltos (1988)
Dragon, main chapters (1998)
Yendi (1984)
Dragon, interludes (1998)
Tiassa, section 1 (2011)
Jhereg (1983)
Teckla (1987)
Phoenix (1990)
Jhegaala (2008)
Athyra (1993)
Orca (1996)
Issola (2001)
Dzur (2006)
Tiassa, section 2 (2011)
Iorich (2010)
Tiassa, section 3 (2011)
Hawk (2014)
Vallista (2017)
...

The Khaavren Romances:
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Five Hundred Years After (1994)
The Viscount of Adrilankha, published in three volumes:
The Paths of the Dead (2002)
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Sethra Lavode (2004)

Other Books:
Brokedown Palace (1986)
To Reign in Hell (1984)
Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille (1990)
Agyar (1993)

Co Written:
The Gypsy (1992) with Megan Lindholm
Freedom & Necessity (1997) with Emma Bull

Incrementalist (with Skyler White):

Incrementalist Short Stories
Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust
Strongest Conjuration - Skyler White

Short Stories:
An Act of Contrition - Liavek (1985)
An Act of Trust - Liavek: The Players of Luck (1986)
A Dream of Passion - in the convention chapbook for Ad Astra (1986)
An Act of Mercy - Liavek: Wizard's Row (1987, with Megan Lindholm)
An Act of Love - Liavek: Spells of Binding (1988, with Gregory Frost and Megan Lindholm)
Csucskári - Excerpt from The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: First Annual Collection (1988)
A Hot Night at Cheeky's - Liavek: Festival Week (1990)
Looking Forward: Excerpt from Athyra in Amazing Stories, March (1993)
Attention Shoppers - Xanadu (1993)
Abduction from the Harem - in Timewalker Issue 14 (October 1996)
Drift - Space Opera (1996)
Valóság and Élet - in Sandman: Book of Dreams (1996)
Calling Pittsburgh - in Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (1998)
When the Bow Breaks - The Essential Bordertown (1998)
The Man From Shemhaza - in Thieves' World: Enemies of Fortune (2004), reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005)
Klava with Honey - Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #4 (2005)
Chapter One - in Eeriecon Convention Chapbook #6 (2007)
The Desecrator - on tor.com (2011)
Fireworks in the Rain - on tor.com (2013)

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