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The Book of Taltos (Vlad Taltos, #4-5)
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The Book of Taltos (Vlad Taltos #4-5 omnibus)

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  1,618 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In a world where other races live centuries, human Easterner Vlad narrates. Loiosh, fatally venomous jhereg dragonet, distracts and attacks from assassin's shoulder.
4 Taltos - Thief Kiera teaches, gives him vial of goddess blood. Philanderer wastes assassin wages on girls. Morrolan and vampire Sethra trick him to fetch their ancestor Aliera from gods in the Halls of the D
Paperback, 389 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Penguin Putnam Berkley Ace Trade (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,197)
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An Odd1
Feb 15, 2014 An Odd1 rated it did not like it
"I sometimes wonder if my entire adult life has been spent in an effort to avoid dirty dishes. One could, I suppose, have worse goals" p 7. Smiles are reasons to read, not really criminal not-hero. "Ummm" p 21 blunders, "I never have understood" why grandad insists no blood sacrifice to gods p 41 bring him down to earth, more believable. On both quests he is unwilling, forced.

Confusing on many levels. Vlad is "human", Easterner, Jhereg, therefore shunned. If Dragaerans are from House of Dragon,
Jan 02, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it
Reviewing PHOENIX first, then the compilation.

This is my least favorite in the series thus far, although I can't quite put my finger on why. Part of it is that so much time was spent away from the Empire, I think. Another part is that, unfortunately, a character whom I liked in earlier books became one I really can't stand. Also, a couple of minor characters whom I liked bought the farm, apparently permanently. That depressed me.

I will say that Vlad showed a lot of growth in his character. The l
Nov 17, 2012 Kathi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
What a wonderful and complex character Vlad Taltos is!

In this collection are the books Taltos and Phoenix and in their pages are the stories of Vlad's trip through the Paths of the Dead,mthe origins of his friendships with Morrolan, Aliera, and Sethra and the events leading to a great change in his life. The wry humor, the slightly sardonic tone--both fit the narrator's voice perfectly, yet we still feel his confusion and anguish, even his fear at times.

Burst weaves tales that are compellin
Malcolm Logscribe
Dec 05, 2014 Malcolm Logscribe rated it it was amazing
It was an excellent choice to combine the earliest story by internal chronology with what was, when it was written, the latest. The earlier books, showing how Vlad's been forced to become hard, juxtaposed with the later ones, where he's forced to deal with what he does, really, really works. On a shallower note, flipping from fun-murder to no-wait-this-is-actually-murder makes for an enjoyable read. Fun and then catharsis.

Taltos is a romp. It touches on ethics a bit - Vlad's not a block of stone
Jennifer Margulis
Jan 09, 2014 Jennifer Margulis rated it it was ok
This collection contains two novels. The first takes place chronologically before the others in the series. It's a good book if you like fantasy: fast-paced, eerie, creative. If you were only reading one novel by Steven Brust, Taltos (this first book) would be a good choice. It's not very long, more of a novella. But the second novel in this collection, Phoenix, is really poorly executed. The character's main longing - to get his wife Cawti out of jail - is completely uninteresting to the reader ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Taltos - It's been several months since I read the first three in this series. So it's possibly I'm just forgetting things. But this world is really complicated. I can't keep the race and in my head. Also, are all these people humanoid? I just found myself really confused with it. It didn't help that there are three basic stories being told simultaneously. Never mind that this book takes place before most (if not all, I can't remember) of the previous 3. There's the ritual a ...more
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Το Taltos είναι η τέταρτη σε σειρά έκδοσης νουβέλα της σειράς Vlad the Assassin, του Steven Brust. Είναι η νουβέλα στην οποία μαθαίνουμε πώς ο Βλαντ έφτασε να γίνει επαγγελματίας δολοφόνος κι επίσης πώς γνώρισε το Μόρολλαν, την Αλίερα και τη Σέθρα Λάβοντε, τους Dragaerans που θεωρεί φίλους του.

Το Phoenix, πέμπτο σε σειρά έκδοσης είναι ένα παράξενο βιβλίο, που ενώ νομίζεις (εγώ τουλάχιστον) ότι μπορείς να προβλέψεις τι θα γίνει μετά, τελικά... δε μπορείς. Για την ακρίβεια πλάνταξα στο κλάμα κι ή
Jun 14, 2015 April rated it really liked it
Very fun standard fantasy series. In this one Vlad Taltos tries to save his wife from prison, causes a war, participates in a rebellion, and causes the House of Jehrig to put out a contract on him. In other words, it is business as usual for this Easterner assassin and petty underlord who is funny, loyal, and more (or less) kind. The action never stops, the minor characters are great fun, and the main character is very sympathetic and funny. The world with its various cycles is interesting too. ...more
Dec 24, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
Two books, two reviews.

Taltos: So I complained a little after reading the three parts of The Book of Jhereg that Brust was far too fond of jumping in without backstory. I stand corrected. This ENTIRE BOOK was backstory, which was kind of overkill, I think. There are two main storylines that Brust hops between, sometimes closely enough that it took me a minute to figure out that we were hopping. One is how Vlad became an assassin, and the other is his trip to the Paths of the Dead. I grew into li
Aug 04, 2012 Jibran rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I am going to be honest here, I had my doubts about this series. I simply didn't think it could have gotten better. I was so very wrong....

Review for Taltos

Characters 4/5-The only week point, I feel as if all the introductions weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked them to be. Vlad's development, however, out shined them all, which I find absolutely nothing wrong with :D

Plot 5/5 - This was interesting and enchanting. Not so much fighting, but hey, a novel can't always be about
Stephanie Jobe
Mar 26, 2014 Stephanie Jobe rated it it was amazing
Taltos : Vlad is still new to being a boss when one of his men betrays him, or so he thinks. Suddenly he is with some of the most powerful Dragaerans in the Empire. They want his help and they aren't shy about it. The strange thing is they don't want someone killed, they want something stolen and Vlad is the man for the job because he is an Easterner. It doesn't stop there because this volume also includes Vlad's infamous journey into the Paths of the Dead. It was interesting to see his interact ...more
Luke Mccullough
Sep 22, 2010 Luke Mccullough rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy/caper romp.

This volume includes the 4 and 5 novels in the series, which follow Vlad Taltos. The series reminds me of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat series, in that it places a heist/caper story (usually with a bit of political intrigue) in a non-modern setting, Science Fiction for the Stainless Steel Rat and Fantasy for Vlad.

Though, unlike the Stainless Steel Rat books, Vlad is much more tied to a specific place, the City of Adrilankha, and has a more static
Jun 21, 2012 Phil rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This omnibus collects the fourth and fifth volumes in Steven Brust's Dragaera series, Taltos and Phoenix. I read the first three books collected as The Book of Jhereg about five years ago, and while I remembered a bit about the world Brust presents, those stories had completely faded from my memory. I expect the same will happen with these two installments as well. The world of Dragaera is interesting and appealing, but other aspects of the books aren't quite as strong.

Although published fourth,
Aug 17, 2009 Jeanene rated it really liked it
I don't know why I thought there was another story left to read in this volume. I must have finished reading the last one late at night when I was too tired to notice that it was the end of the whole book, not just the current story. In my head there were supposed to be three, not two in here, I guess.

Anyhow, I let it lay around while I read some other stuff then picked it up again to read the "last book" in it and then I was stuck out of the house with time to kill and a book that was already r
Jun 07, 2010 Ajeya rated it really liked it
I have to thank TV Tropes for introducing me to yet another wonderful and sadly obscure book. I went into this not really knowing what to expect, and that's probably the best way to go into a Vlad Taltos book. It's probably the only series I know of that you can read in any order (I'm not counting mystery series, which are more like a group of books with a few similar characters). So chronologically, I read Vlad's first adventure, and what seems to be one of his last. It was funny, intelligent, ...more
Apr 23, 2015 Wm rated it really liked it
If you think of the first 5 books as a mini-arc, then Phoenix is a great way to finish the arc. Not great for Vlad, obviously, but the ground covered in the first 5 books is immense and fascinating and every book is an additional, interesting (and kinda heartbreaking) layer.
Enjoyable, quick read.
Two books in the Vlad Taltos series, one from the earlier in his career, the other from further along.
It brings you to further understanding where this sorcerer/assassin/mobster/schemer comes from.
There's good world building and a light touch.
Dec 07, 2007 Wayne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that reads Fantasy
Actually I would recommend this book to anyone. I fear though that most would be turned off by it's genre. Not only do I like the story, I adore the way the book is put together.
Steven Burst has three different time lines playing out through the entire book. At first it is a little difficult to put ones mind around but as the story continues the time line begin to come together in merge at the end of the book. I have never seen any book put together like this before or since I first read the st
Aug 07, 2007 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like funny fantasy-mystery
Shelves: fantasy
I believe this is chronologically the first book of the series, but it's been long enough that I can't remember. All I do know anymore is that the earliest were by far the best. Our hero, a friendly assassin with few moral qualms over his line of work, is best when he is just that. These early books are witty, and the characters are hilarious, partially because they are comfortable with who they are. Once the doubts creep in, the books go south. I am all for character development, and even 180 d ...more
Sep 26, 2014 Greg rated it really liked it
Parts 4 and 5 of the Vlad Taltos story. 4 was my favorite part so far. The beginning of friendships that develop in other stories plus more comedy than the rest of the series that I've read up to this point.
Oct 02, 2007 Nathan rated it it was amazing
Its been a while, but i remember this book with fond memories. Vladimir Taltos is simply one of the greatest characters ever devised in my honest opinion. he is realistic, intelligent, and has flaws hes not afraid to show to the reader. I also like how even though he is a skilled assassin, he admits to not being a master of all weaponry, his difficulty with throwing knives, and how his eastern style of swordplay is an advantage mainly due to its scarcity in the Empire.

Its good to see a unique s
Jared I.
Jan 01, 2016 Jared I. rated it it was amazing
A couple more great entries into one of my new favorite series. As in, it is new to being one of my favorites. It has been around for awhile. But I digress...

Combining the earliest chronological story with one taking place after the events of previous books. I was not sure how well I was going to enjoy the jumping around as the series went on, but I do not mind. I think of it as old Vlad relating his adventures as they come to him, not as they happened.

I feel like I could see improvement in the
Sep 04, 2007 Deb rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Vlad Taltos is the main character of these stories, which jump around to various points in his sordid life as a hired assasin, mob boss, and errand boy for his patron Goddess. Vlad and his familiar--a leathery winged jherig--somehow manage to bluff and wise-crack their way through every dangerous situation the author throws at them. [return]I only mildly enjoyed this adventure, which seemed to jump around a lot. Vlad is a man's man, and his blunt ways were not to my taste, but those who enjoy gr ...more
How have I made it this far without reading all of these? Brust's Vlad books are a treasure.
Jul 12, 2016 Salimbol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Taltos: 3 1/2 stars (read 2016/7/10)
Phoenix: 4 stars (read 2016/7/12)
Apr 06, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
As usual with Brust's writing, I found the characters to be enjoyable and witty and the storyline to be intriquing. But, also as usual, I found the structure of the story to stand in the way of its development (he does his usual grasshopper method of leaping from moment to moment, and then revisiting each again and again) and little actual depth. This stories are meant to be fluff, I know, but Brust is a good enough writer that I constantly want him to truly apply himself and come up with someth ...more
Sep 13, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-very-good
I'm definitely hooked on this series. The sense of humor is fantastic, and the plots are very twisty. The characters change much more than I usually expect. I also want to reread the series eventually in chronological order (currently reading by publication order), because so many details are cross-referenced and I want to experience the whole story in order.
Adam Cooperman
Feb 28, 2016 Adam Cooperman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've read the three books preceding this trade in publication order, you have before you the earliest and latest chronologically which I think is a real treat. Brust's Tarantino-like non-linearity can sometimes be confusing but I think it helps develop his characters in a way telling the stories in order wouldn't be able to.
(review in progress ...)
Heather Clawson
Aug 20, 2008 Heather Clawson rated it it was ok
WARNING: This book is a compilation of three of the books but either Steven Burst is chronologically challenged or he is a sadistic ass. The events in the three books do not follow each other chronologically and that made it a tough and frustrating read. Which was a shame because the premise and the concepts were fairly decent.
Jan 23, 2012 Cynthiaj rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
These two stories really show Vlad at his best and worst. I really enjoyed the story behind Vlad helping Morrolan bring Aliera back from the Paths of the Dead, and the convolutions of the plot in Phoenix kept things moving. I don't really get Cawti and her movement, but otherwise two good stories.
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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.

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

Other Books in the Series

Vlad Taltos (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Teckla (Vlad Taltos, #3)
  • Taltos (Vlad Taltos, #4)
  • Phoenix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
  • Athyra (Vlad Taltos, #6)
  • Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Dzur (Vlad Taltos, #10)

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