Mervi's Reviews > Yendi

Yendi by Steven Brust
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Jan 14, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, humo
Read in May, 2008

The second in the writing order and the third book in the internal chronological order in the Vlad Taltos series.

Yendi is a very short book and mostly filled by a convoluted plot which isn’t exposed until at the very end. Vlad spends most of his time trying to stay alive from assassination attempts and trying to make sense from everything.

Vlad finds that Laris, one of the other crime bosses, is trying to muscle into his area. Vlad isn’t going to just give in so he tries to prepare for a conflict. However, Laris has apparently studied Vlad and his area, and so Laris manages to deal quickly a crippling blow to Vlad’s organization. However, Vlad manages to find a creative way to get more money: he has a short talk with Morrolan. Even though as a Dragon Morrolan can’t officially finance a Jhereg warfare, Vlad does get a sizable purse with him. Later, Kiera the Thief gives Vlad a flawless diamond.

When he doesn’t have to really worry about money Vlad, secures his positions and digs in expecting a long war. However, he and Laris start to use such overt measures that the Empress herself can’t help but to get involved and soon the Phoenix guards are all over that part of the city of Adrilankha. The Jhereg quiet down for a while. Vlad survives an assassination attempt and then has to face the Sword and Dagger of Jhereg, the only two female assassins in the city. And he is killed. However, Aliera e’Kieron brings him back to life and back to dealing with Laris who might not be power behind all of Vlad’s troubles.

Yendi is another of the Dragaeran noble houses. Their reputation is that they are devious and love to plot just for the sake of plotting. And so in the spirit of the House, the plot is also devious and full of twists.

All of Brust’s characters are delightful in some way. Morrolan and Aliera are stubborn, quick to take offence, and bicker like an old married couple (or some siblings) all the time. Vlad is quick-witted and ironic. His aide Kragar is more somber but has a sense of humor of his own, which admittedly was shown more in Dragon than Yendi. Sethra is Sethra. None of them are truly sane but who really is.

In fact, alongside these wonderful characters Cawti seems a bit dull. I also found it very convenient that even though Jhereg don’t have (or don’t allow?) female assassins Cawti is one. Riiiight. It’s not really distracting when I read the books but when I try to describe them it does seem a bit too cute. Of course, readers would have likely hated “a civilian” damsel in a distress character as Vlad’s wife (I know I would have and that would have changed the tone of the books a lot) so some sort of fighter or thief was the only logical choice
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