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Phönix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
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Phönix (Vlad Taltos #5)

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4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  5,284 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
"Ich war ernsthaft sauer, und irgenwas würde ich verdammt schnell nochmal unternehmen , Unsinn hin oder her. Ich setzte Bannbrecher in Bewegung und faßte mein Schwert fester. Die Zähne knirschten. Ich sandte ein Gebet an Verra, die Dämonengöttin, und bereitete mich darauf vor, meinen Angreifern gegenüberzutreten. Dann passierte etwas Ungewöhnliches. Mein Gebet wurde erhört ...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published 2004 by Klett-Cotta (first published October 1st 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brad
Jun 16, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Vlad Taltos novel, it doesn't follow the same tricks as the previous novels, which bodes well. The main issue, assassination, starts and finishes almost immediately, but the ripple effect tears the rest of his life apart.

I can't say that I'm very surprised that his marriage has fallen apart, because that was the main terror of the last novel, as was the revolution, which has now finally blown up the great city.

Poor Vlad. Not only is his vaunted practicality falling to shit, he's actually be
...more
Contrarius
May 03, 2012 Contrarius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What fine, fine books these are. Insert satisfied "ahhhhhhhh" here. I can't imagine why I never finished the series when I was reading these back in the 80's.

These books seem to have aged very well. I really see nothing that would mark them as "older" fantasy, or that would prevent anyone who enjoys "modern" fantasy from having a heckuva lot of fun with them. Brust tortures Vlad just as much as any author of "dark fantasy" does today, he's is just as morally gray (at least to start with) as any
...more
Daphne
Feb 26, 2016 Daphne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audio, quest, uno2016
There is something incredibly satisfying about this series. It's witty and orginal. I've fully bought into the world that Brust has built.
Jamie Collins
Oct 12, 2011 Jamie Collins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Not as much fun as the last book, because we're back to anguish over the pending revolution and trying to rescue Vlad's wife, who doesn't want to be rescued. Not fun to watch a marriage break up. It's poignant, but again, not much fun to watch somebody come to the realization that they might be a bad person.

There's some good stuff here, though, plenty of action and adventure. I enjoyed the drummer. I enjoyed Vlad meeting the Empress. I'm not sure where Brust is taking the character next, since t
...more
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Phoenix, the fifth novel in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series, is a turning point in Vlad’s story. By the end of this book, his life will have changed drastically. The story begins as Vlad is stuck in a situation that he might not be able to get out of alive. In desperation, he calls on Verra, his patron goddess, for help. She saves him (or so it appears), and in return she demands that he sail to the island kingdom of Greenaere and assassinate
...more
Tasula
Dec 24, 2010 Tasula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love all the Vlad Taltos series that I've read. In this book, Vlad tries to help his estranged wife Cawti, who was arrested for inciting rebellion of the downtrodden Easterners and Teckla in South Andrilankha. He is also given a job he can't refuse, to assassinate a king, which gets him into real trouble. (Vlad is an assassin and crime boss.) The ruling species (Dragaerans, otherwise known as elves) run the Empire, and Vlad is an Easterner (otherwise known as a human), but he has two familiars ...more
Rich
This wasn't my favorite of the series, mostly because Vlad spent too much time being troubled by his wife and other humans instead of putting pointy things in the dragaerans, but less than favorite Brust is still better than most people's best. I've only a few more to read before I've caught up--including my least favorite, Athyra and my favorite, Issola. Maybe I'll skip Athyra--boring. Or, maybe it will be better the second time around?
Maggie K
probably a bit more than a 3.0, due to the fact that the mehness I am feeling is because the main character is in a 'meh' place in his own life. A transition novel, and I am very curious about the 'new' Vlad!
Aelvana
Vlad Taltos is an assassin, and used to taking jobs without knowing all the details---but he's certainly wondering why his own goddess needs to hire him for a hit. And she isn't aiming small, either. But a job's a job, even if this one is bound to have consequences well beyond the usual.

Although Vlad does figure out much of the reasons why by the end, I still felt this one was a bit weaker than some of the other ones I've read. The Demon Goddess is either lying (which didn't seem likely) or app
...more
Joel Flank
Jan 19, 2017 Joel Flank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a goddess makes you an offer to assassinate someone, it's pretty hard to say no. So, despite the fact that Vlad Taltos is mostly out of the assassination game, and this job is in a foreign kingdom he knows nothing about, and the target is the king, Vlad doesn't have many options aside from taking the contract. At first, despite all of the complications, things seem to go well. Once Vlad is captured though, he has little recourse, but to await his fate.

Fortunately, it's good having powerful
...more
Chris
Feb 07, 2017 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complex plot and compelling main character. Fantasy aspects adhere to strict rules, and plot is not resolved through deus-ex-magic, but rather through main character and friends' efforts. Enjoy that the main character sees himself as the protagonist, but questions the ethics of his actions; though he is very likeable, it is definitely up for debate whether he is the good guy or the bad guy, in this or other books in the series. But I guess in a complex world, he's both.
Becky
Feb 05, 2017 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
How to review this one? New revelations, new heartbreak, new direction to the series is coming.
Hallie
Dec 27, 2016 Hallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I decided, back in February, that I really wanted to complete the Vlad series, which I'd read a bit erratically, and had forgotten enough that I knew I couldn't just pick up from the last read. With most of my books still in boxes in the 'box room' (that *hilarious* joke might not work for North Americans?) and nothing pressing to listen to with my Audible credit, I decided to go for the audio. I read the summaries on Wiki for the first three and started here, which worked fine. I can always go ...more
Bryan
Oct 22, 2014 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very satisfying book in the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust. This one picks up pretty soon after the end of Teckla and a large portion of the happenings of this book involve the social and political events introduced in that one; namely, the leftist peasant revolt brewing amongst the Teckla (the agrarian worker class of Dragaeran society) and the Easterners (humans). These events, however, don't dominate the plot of the novel but instead form a backdrop against which the plot occurs. ...more
Rebecca
Aug 15, 2012 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found the book very mechanical and boring and probably wouldn't have finished it if it weren't so short. People do stuff, but we hardly get to know the motivation behind their actions, and there's no characterisation to speak of. I couldn't bring myself to care about anything. The author seems to be aware of this, since he's lampshading it in the end, letting the narrator say that he wished they'd found a narrator who was able to better get emotions across. That was the only time the book made ...more
Jen
Jul 25, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well now, that changes everything! And this book left me with a book hang-over, so I am actually chafing at the bit to read the next book in this series.

But let me back up: When we last left our fateful hero, Vlad, in Taltos, he was traveling down the path of dissolution of his marriage to Cawti. This book, being an odd book, I speculated would mean a glimpse into Vlad's past. However, it picks up right where we left off.

Through some statements made on the internet - take their trustworthiness w
...more
C is for **censored**
The star rating given reflects my opinion within ‘the official goodreads rating system’. (Notice the two important words... OPINION and RATING)

1 star: Didn’t Like it
2 stars: It’s Okay
3 stars: Liked it
4 stars: Really Liked it
5 stars: It Was Amazing

I don’t really give a rat-fuck that there are some who think I ‘owe’ an explanation for my opinion. Nope, nada, and not sorry about it.

Sometimes I may add notes to explain what my opinions are based on, and sometimes I don’t. I do this for me, on my boo
...more
Brian Niski
Jun 24, 2012 Brian Niski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
During an attempt on his life, Vlad prays to his goddess Verra for aid and receives it. As payment, Verra requests Vlad kill the King of Greenaere, an island kingdom where magic does not work. Vlad agrees. A drummer in the forest named Aibynn tends his wounds. Guards arrest both of them. Aliera and Cawti free Vlad using elder sorcery. Back in Adrilankha, Vlad is still stuck between the Jhereg and his wife's revolutionists. Greenaere declares war on the Empire. Cawti is arrested. Vlad pursues Bor ...more
Chris
Oct 13, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think in some ways, this book has been the best of the series. There is real upheaval in the protagonist's life - perhaps too much - and significant change is coming. I'm not sure what it says that I was far more emotionally invested in the death of a minor character than I was in the death of a relationship. Perhaps because one was coming for a while now and the other was sudden and unexpected. This book was really about Vlad, perhaps to an extent not seen since book 1, and the plot only serv ...more
Fantasy Literature
Phoenix, the fifth novel in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series, is a turning point in Vlad’s story. By the end of this book, his life will have changed drastically. The story begins as Vlad is stuck in a situation that he might not be able to get out of alive. In desperation, he calls on Verra, his patron goddess, for help. She saves him (or so it appears), and in return she demands that he sail to the island kingdom of Greenaere and assassinate its king. Vlad can’t refuse, and so he goes. This s ...more
Miramira Endevall
Sep 10, 2014 Miramira Endevall rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This author is unique in that his 'omniscient' narrator (Vlad) freely admits when he doesn't remember something, and so you really get a sense that the story is a true one. I'll admit that it *does* get very frustrating sometimes, though.

This book is also an excellent example of how *not* to try and salvage a relationship. ('Love is as string as death; jealousy as cruel as the grave... If a man were to give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.' - Solomon) I find Vl
...more
Matt Simmons
Dec 19, 2012 Matt Simmons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best Taltos book yet. Brust continues to take all the standard fantasy conventions, blow them up, and then put them back together in an ironic noir blender to wonderful results. All the over-wrought plot you've come to love, alongside action and snark through the roof--the things that make these books so fun. But Brust also goes back to the quite touching, psychological fleshing out of Vlad he did in Teckla, and it really does a lot to make this fascinating character even more deep, empathet ...more
Chy
Jan 16, 2009 Chy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I should mention---have felt I should mention for some time, here---that I don't read other reviews for this series, unless they're from someone I know. It's because, for this series, I don't really care what most people think. I'm not trying to be an ass; I'm trying to say something about the books, themselves. I get something out of them that feels all mine, intensely personal, and I feel like Brust left everything open just for me to do that. And that says...something.

Okay, 4.5, I
...more
Betty
I don't know what it was about this story, but it was definitely something to do with the "voice", or lack thereof, and how it just seemed not right for the place setting of the story.

Could have something to do with a criticism I received on my own writing to the effect that dialog was clunky due to the fact that my characters speak in a vaguely Elizabethan style from time to time. It makes sense for them, considering who they are and where they are. They should NOT be speaking like people from
...more
Nazir Ahmed
Nov 20, 2015 Nazir Ahmed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series has an interesting chronology. Book 2 happens before events in book 1. Book 3 happens after events in Book 1. Book 4 happens after Book 2 and this one, the Book 5 is in continuation of Book 3. The chronology seems to progress forward in odd numbers and reverse in even numbers. I am not sure if this was deliberate. There are close to 13 books in the series and it would be interesting to see if this unique chronology continues. I thought this book would detail out the story of the empr ...more
Tom Whalley
Aug 20, 2013 Tom Whalley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best Vlad Taltos book yet. It opens with Vlad being hired by a goddess to assassinate a king, and Brust knows when to avoid following a tired trend. The assassination's over by page 20, and to avoid spoilers, the rest of the book is spent saying "fuck you" to Vlad's regular life. Brust could have easily finished the book by resetting the slate, sitcom-style, to let him continue to write similar pulp fiction books over and over again. Instead, he wrote himself out of easy and into something new a ...more
Roger N.
Jun 19, 2012 Roger N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't remember this one at all. I had a rough outline of the first couple of Vlad Taltos books in my head -- not every beat, but a good idea of what was going on. This one read as if it was completely new to me, and when I think about it, the only real thing I can remember from any of the later books is a framing device and not the actual story of the novel at all. (Also, since I can't seem to Google an answer without getting into major spoiler territory for the four or five novels I haven't ...more
Kati
Aug 16, 2015 Kati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One star down for Cawti being in this. I seriously hate that woman's guts and the way Vlad behaves like a pathetic puppy around her. As far as Brust's female characters go, I would much rather learn more about Kiera, Aliera, Sethra Lavode, the Empress or even Verra herself.

But Cawti aside, I loved the book dearly, mostly because Vlad finally, FINALLY admitted to himself that he loved his Dragaeran friends, Morrolan and co., and that he couldn't very well keep insisting that he hated Dragaerans
...more
meeners
Mar 26, 2008 meeners rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, borrowed, taltos
i quite liked the way brust takes us through vlad's change of heart, without any preaching or smugness. the way brust structures the plot is also interesting, and owes a lot, i think, to dashiell hammett; a lot of potentially rich (but also periphery) areas are ushered away in favor of the driving force of the book (here, the entirety of experience as seen through vlad's perspective).

the resolution with greenaere was a bit too pat for me, and i still have a lot of unanswered questions regarding
...more
Frank
Jan 22, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Phoenix is the fifth book in Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series and centers around Vlad receiving an assassination job from his patron goddess, and the consequences that follow after Vlad commits the act.

I enjoyed the novel and the familiar humor, characters, and fast-paced action that have been present throughout the series. I also enjoyed that Brust was willing to move the series along, with Vlad's renunciation of his position and role in the House of Jhereg and departure from his wife and the
...more
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Dragaera: Phoenix 1 4 Oct 12, 2012 01:33AM  
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27704
Steven Karl Zoltán Brust (born November 23, 1955) is an American fantasy and science fiction author of Hungarian descent. He was a member of the writers' group The Scribblies, which included Emma Bull, Pamela Dean, Will Shetterly, Nate Bucklin, Kara Dalkey, and Patricia Wrede, and also belongs to the Pre-Joycean Fellowship.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/steven...

(Photo by David Dyer-Bennet)
More about Steven Brust...

Other Books in the Series

Vlad Taltos (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Teckla (Vlad Taltos, #3)
  • Taltos (Vlad Taltos, #4)
  • Athyra (Vlad Taltos, #6)
  • Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Dzur (Vlad Taltos, #10)
  • Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos, #11)

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