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(Vlad Taltos #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  13,815 ratings  ·  547 reviews
Vlad Taltos ist ein Hexer, freiberuflicher Attentäter, lebt als Ostländer (also Mensch) unter Dragaeranern und nennt einen reptilischen Vertrauten mit beissendem Humor sein Eigen. Und er ist in Schwierigkeiten, denn er muss einen Krieg verhindern, in dem sich seine besten Freunde und daneben auch die großen Familien von Dragaera gegenseitig auslöschen würden...

The first to
Broschiert, 307 pages
Published 2005 by Klett-Cotta (first published April 1st 1983)
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Dan'l Order of publication. Later books, even when he is careful, sometimes build on what has already been revealed, and several momentous plot points will …moreOrder of publication. Later books, even when he is careful, sometimes build on what has already been revealed, and several momentous plot points will be lessened if read out of publication order. I won't say what or which books - that gives too much away.(less)
Dan'l Order of publication is best. The reason being, as much as Steve might foreshadow, really, the later books inevitably build upon what is established i…moreOrder of publication is best. The reason being, as much as Steve might foreshadow, really, the later books inevitably build upon what is established in the early books. You are getting the events out of chronological order, but in the order that Steve (or, within the larger frame story, Vlad) chose to tell them. Also, some developments later in the series will lack the impact they should have, without knowing the relevant characters from earlier books.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Start your review of Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

I read this novel when it was initially published in the mid-80s. It was a favorite of mine at the time, and I have always recalled it fondly. However, after completing a re-read, it has become painfully obvious that the enjoyment I received from this book must have been one of those teenage fads because . . . it has disappeared right along with my desire to keep solving a Rubik’s Cube.

The tour guide in Jhereg is Vlad Taltos. The world he guides us through is
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Navessa by: Anne
Ehr. Mah. Gerd.

Vlad Taltos. Oh what’s that? Is that a badass name for a badass main character? Why yes, yes it is. Look at that name. Look at it. It fits him perfectly. Clear. Concise. Ominous .

You know your MC is a badass when he’s in the middle of an internal monologue and subtly lets slip that he’s been (view spoiler) before and then just keeps on talking like it’s no big deal. I was all “La-la-la, this story is neato!” but then "Wait. Wut?” I h
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
The recent release of Iorich sent me down the path of re-reading the Taltos series. While Iorich was enjoyable and engrossing, memories sent me back to the inaugural Vlad. Sophisticated writing, interesting characters and one seriously convoluted plot. It's interesting, because this is the fourth book in the timeline of the series and Vlad's history, but actually the first published (echoes of Lucas). I'd recommend reading Jhereg first, as it's told in a largely linear fashion with only a few fl ...more
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amber
Recommended to Brad by: Sherri Murphy-Jacobs & D.
Immediate Reaction: This was a blast. A little fantasy-noir fun for anyone who likes bad men behaving with honour. Vlad Taltos is an anti-hero extraordinaire, and all the minor characters and relationships he's surrounded with are equally cool.

Later: This is only the second book I've read by Steven Brust, and the first I've read that he wrote alone. I read his collaboration with Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity a couple of months ago, and loved their book so much I knew I had to hunt down their
Dirk Grobbelaar
I’m not typically fond of stories relying heavily on “rogue” class characters, such as thieves or assassins. These tales tend to be urban, i.e. confined to cities and towns. I, myself, prefer a more holistic approach to fantasy worlds in storytelling, because I tend to visualize a lot.

However, this book drew me in nicely. The world is actually presented by the author with a remarkable amount of confidence, given the lack of exposition / history. Information is provided piecemeal and in a matter
Satisfyingly good. The kind of good that makes you anxious to get to the next book. The kind of good that makes you glad there are over ten books in the series. The kind of good that makes me not care about book orders. Maybe it's a good thing these books are written out of order?--is a thing I never thought I'd say. But I have a good feeling about Steven Brust and I trust he'll deliver.

It's been awhile since high fantasy has been this good for me, and it's been even longer since I liked a POV
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While there was nothing absolutely mind-blowing about the plot or the fantasy, the one thing that really stood out in this book was the fantastic writing.

It was absolutely some of the easiest reading I've had for an obviously detailed and fleshed out world full of lots of magic, interesting races, very long lived people, and dragons. It flew by so quickly and easily, I was rather surprised at how much info-dump never came across as info-dump. I learned so much about the world, naturally, that I
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: First read June 28 1989
5.0 stars. The Vlad Taltos series is one thst I strongly recommend to anyone who likes good fantasy. I would classify it as "noir" fantasy with a good sense of humor. Great world-building, great characters and well-written, tight plots that do not drag and are never boring. As good as all that is, it is the main character of Vlad Taltos (assassin, witch and rogue) and his "jhereg" familiar that make the series so special. Highly recommended.
Dawn C
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-audible
2.5 ⭐️ rounded up to 3, and that’s only because I feel bad giving it just two stars, when there isn’t actually anything wrong with the novel. I just didn’t find anything about it remotely interesting, from characters to plot to writing style. I’m sure others will. Oh well.
Sebastien Castell
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is the third in my list of books that inspired me to start writing fantasy and in many ways is the most influential. The hero of the series, Vlad Taltos, is an assassin, which is, you know, not an especially nice thing to be. The thing is, deep down Vlad really wants to be a nice guy. He just needs to kill a few shitbags first. Now it's true that the list of people Vlad needs to kill includes pretty much the entire Dragaeran Empire, but he's willing to leave a few off the list if they chang ...more
Reread Feb2012, review added.

I originally gave this 4 stars, although I've read it numerous times & really enjoyed it. I just never thought it had any redeeming features beyond sheer enjoyment. Now that I've read most of the rest of the series, I see on a re-read that the craftsmanship of this story demands another star.

This is not the first book in the chronology of the series, but it is the first published. Why should you read it first? Because the author couldn't have picked a better way to
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a delightful beginning to a series that I am sure to be addicted to very soon. In fact, I've already jumped into the second volume.

But on this. Jhereg is a first person narrative of an assassin and a particular job he undertook. A huge amount of money offered showed that if something seemed too good to be true, it probably was.

Mischief and mayhem ensue. What I thought of as a combination of a crime caper and an epic fantasy turned out to be a quickly paced and often humorous adventure.
Melissa McShane
Re-read 9/18/17, as audiobook. The year I was thirteen, I read and re-read obsessively the same, perhaps, thirty books. Keep in mind I had almost nothing but free time and I read three to four books a day. That is a lot of times to re-read anything. I've since learned that this is not an uncommon phenomenon among children and young teens, and it does not indicate any problems with their overall reading habit. For me, it was a matter of falling into comfortable grooves, revisiting powerful experi ...more
I refuse to look at what I said about this book the last time I read it for fear of influencing what I have to say this time around, but I will certainly do so once I have posted my thoughts.

My thoughts: total bafflement that my second time through Jhereg was like the first time through. The only two things I remembered about the story were Vlad Taltos, our first-person narrating criminal mastermind/assassin and his Lockheed-like dragon, Loiosh. Other than that I didn't remember a thing. It was
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

Jhereg was nothing like I thought it would be… it was better! I was expecting a typical “boy gets a dragons and goes out on an epic adventure” book (I guess I need to stop judging by the cover alone). What I ended up with was a cheeky, magical, modern-day assassin mystery that blew my socks off.

Highly interesting characters and plot-lines, it was an extremely fast-paced novel that keeps you page-turning to the very end. And when I say fast-pac
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, e-books
4 Stars

This was a really good beginning to the first book in the Vlad Taltos series. This was my first time reading a Steven Brust novel even though he has been in my queue for as long as I can remember. This is a novel that was first published nearly 30 years ago. It is written in a fashion that keeps it fresh and relative to todays fantasy scene.

The combination of magic(sorcery)and witchcraft is very unique. The book gives some creative back story that explains the difference between the two s
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This is a very well written book with nice action and magic. A sort of cheeky modern story in a fantasy world.
It's just not my particular cup of tea!
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Full review to come on my channel. I will say this is a really promising start to what I think will be a great fantasy series.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Guess this is what you'd call an oldie but a goodie. I can't believe I hadn't heard of Steven Brust until a few weeks ago, but he was recommended to me by a gaming friend of mine, and then another good friend jumped into the Twitter conversation to second the recommendation. So, that's two shoutouts from a couple of people whose opinions I highly value, and that's when I knew I had to get my hands on this book, posthaste!

Jhereg is the beginning of a whole bunch of books set in Brust's Dragaera w
Kat  Hooper
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 s stars
Originally posted (with links) at FanLit.

Audio readers, rejoice! Finally, Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS novels have been produced in audio by Audible Frontiers. For years I’ve been planning to read this long series and have only been waiting for this moment.

The VLAD TALTOS novels follow Vlad Taltos, a well-known and highly successful human assassin living on the planet Dragaera. The native species, the Dragaerans, are a tall long-lived race created
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
An old school type fantasy that I enjoyed, but it didn't convince me that I need to read any more of the series.
Reread. To the best of my recollection I never reread this before now. I would have first read it in back in the 80s when it came out. I have no doubt 80s me loved it and would have given it five stars. For many years I counted Brust as one of my favorite authors, but the only books of his I reread were To Reign In Hell and The Phoenix Guards.

Somehow I drifted away from this series after five or six books, (I have six on my shelf), but I doubt very much that was a conscious decision.

2019 me is s
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've had this (and I believe 2 of the novels that follow it) on my shelves waiting to be read for years. I think I picked them up after I read Phoenix Guard...but, whatever prompted me to buy them they, like Dracula when he's staked but still a whole skeleton in his coffin, they were there... condemned to endless waiting. Happily this one was selected as the subject of a group read here on Goodreads, and I had a reason (excuse ?)to move it ahead of the huge pile of library books that are always ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When I got this book, it sat on my shelf for quite a while. I knew nothing about the book, and just by the title and description, it sounded kinda lame. I finally picked it up, because it's a short one and I had just finished a massive book and needed something a little lighter.

So with that preamble, I can't tell you how surprised I was at how good this one is! It's fun as hell to read, and the characters are really great. Everything about this book is splendid.

It almost reads like a detective
Jack Lanigan
Jul 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
I often make jokes in these reviews that I enjoy "nothing" books. Books where nothing happens. Slow paced books, introspective books, books with a slow build. Reading Jhereg, I have come to learn that things to happen in those books. Interesting things, things that move the story forward.

Jhereg is a book where nothing happens, and is incredibly dull about the whole thing.

Damn near every scene in this book features the main character slowly, and bored soundingly narrating (it was an audio version
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Jhereg is the tale of Vlad Taltos, an assassin who is a foreigner to his area, but has moved himself up in the organization of the Jhereg. Along with his companions, and his familiar Loiosh, a poisonous flying creature that he communicates with telepathically. Vlad is a sorcerer as well, capable of using his discouraged foreign magics to his power. He is approached by a daemon, who informs him of a board member of the controlling caste that took off with their entire fortune, and offers him an a ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Steven Brust's first entry in his Vlad Taltos is an entertaining fantasy tale of assassination.

I was first made aware of this series when I read What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton. I didn't actually read the chapters on this series but her introduction to them was enough to pique my interest.

Brust almost introduces too much into the world in this first book. There's a long history that is teased in this novel but seems to have far reaching effects. There are 17 Great Houses of the empi
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audio, quest
Picked this one up on a whim - turned out totally into it from start to finish.

Witch that is a mafia don? Check
Adorable and snarky little dragon familiar? Check
Very intricate world building that you don't even notice because it's done so well? Check
Old school fantasy fluff? Check

Would have been totally satisfied if this one a standalone. Very happy that it isn't. :)
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ages ago, I read Jo Walton’s reviews of the Vlad Taltos books and resolved to read them immediately. I did pick up this first book, but after that failed to carry on, even though the first book is good and Jo’s reviews fascinating. There’s a lot going on in this world, and I really want to read more of the books to get a better grasp on it. In the meantime, Vlad Taltos himself is snarky, moderately capable, and definitely capable of getting himself into trouble. A winning combination – even with ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brust does such a good job making these slim novels engaging and multifaceted. Fun capers, interesting character development and relationships, foreshadowing, meditations on free will and morality. Jhereg, while not the best in the series, is a very good book; there's a reason why this is the fourth or fifth time I've read it.
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: January 2019: Jhereg 4 83 Jan 28, 2019 12:51PM  
Goodreads Developers: Search with English only results 2 247 Oct 27, 2014 10:35AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong language edition listed 2 50 May 13, 2013 07:08AM  
Who Wants To Be A...: Jhereg 10 11 Mar 23, 2013 08:07PM  
Dragaera: Jhereg 5 9 Dec 03, 2012 01:45AM  
where to buy an ebook version? 3 235 Mar 31, 2012 03:58AM  
Beyond Reality: JHEREG: finished reading (*SPOILERS*) 47 58 Feb 24, 2012 09:12AM  

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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)

Other books in the series

Vlad Taltos (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • 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)
  • Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos, #11)

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