Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)” as Want to Read:
Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Vlad Taltos #7)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  5,441 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Granted, walking around with two jhereg on your shoulders is not the best disguise for an ex-assassin wanted all over the Empire. But a young boy saved his life and then needs help, Vlad Taltos pays his debt--even if it means uncovering a financial scandal big enough to bring down the House of the Orca and the entire Empire.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Ace
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,441 ratings  ·  98 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-shelf, fantasy
This is a solid Sword and Sorcery read, with just enough action to keep things interesting, but it's mostly about unravelling a ponzi scheme and a land swindle orchestrated by the Orca.

Vlad is just being Vlad, paying his debts. If it turns out that he bites off way more than he can chew, then blame it on his character.

If it actually makes him seem like a meddling busybody of an ex-assassin that's racking up the hate of every single empire in the land, then so be it. It's his nature. Or at least,
Melissa McShane
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've read this more than a few times, and I never remember the details of the plot beyond 1) it's a mystery and 2) Vlad's trying to find a cure for Savn. I think the extraordinary revelations of the ending blow the rest of it out of my memory. This time, reading it as an audiobook, I enjoyed the fact that they got a female narrator to read Kiera's sections. It added a lot to the story, though I still think this is one of the weaker ones (and have already forgotten much of it AGAIN).

The narrative
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: SEC Agents
Recommended to Rich by: I did
Brust continued here to try new ways of continuing his series. The twist here was that instead of actually going about the act of being a criminal, Vlad was in the roll of the hard boiled PI solving the crime. Just like in many other crime novel, he was dealing with: a mysterious death (of course), official corruption, seedy criminals and the cops. In addition to that, where the last book was in the POV of a young Teckla, this one split the POV duties between Vlad and his good friend Kiera the T ...more
Jennifer Wheeler
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The banking crisis hits Vlad's Empire. Complications ensue.

I can't really decide how much I like this one. Three stars or four, three stars or four.....hmmmmm.

Steven Brust does something different with each and every book, which I find quite interesting. Sometimes he tells the tale in a straightforward first person POV, sometimes third person, sometimes with shifting third person POVs, sometimes shifting first person POVs, sometimes jumping back and forward through time, sometimes with intersper
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-audio, quest
This was a GREAT addition to the series. I loved the way the story was told. Alternating between both MC's was an interesting choice. It's very cool getting yet another perspective towards Vlad. I adore this series. ...more
Keary Birch
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Sadly not one of the best Vlad Taltos books. A vaguely incoherent tale about a banking crisis in a fantasy-land. Long on exposition and short on action or indeed story. A bit of a twist but you need to be a follower of the series to even care in the slightest.

Fun dialogue and the writing is as good as Mr. Brust normally does, so still a 3.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vlad-taltos
Enjoyed this one much more than the previous couple. It's a fun story that feels like the first few Vlad stories, and the reveals at the end!! Wow. So good. ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
A lot of talking but from an interesting perspective. Fun twist at the end. On to the next.
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook

Orca is the seventh book in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series. It’d be best to stop here if you haven’t read the previous books. We don’t want to spoil anything, do we?

Okay, so you should recall that Vlad Taltos, everyone’s favorite Jhereg assassin, is wanted by his organization because he betrayed them in order to save his wife from the executioner’s ax (or whatever implement the executioners in Dragaera use). Vlad has given up his territory and is on the run. In the last book, Athyra, he me
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, dragon
New revelations, more confusion, no idea what's going on, let alone what's happening next. In other words... fun! ...more
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-sff
This book follows on the heels of Athyra and is a pretty competent forensic accounting conspiracy mystery. Yes, that's right. We spend the whole book following the money, which is an interesting digression for Vlad. This kind of story is a hard one to pull off, and I thought he did a good job. It also has some of the most compelling bits of character development for Vlad as he tries to do right by farmer boy whose life he invaded in Athyra. ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Not as good as the previous ones. Not sure what I didn't like about it. But I know what I did like. That ending ...more
If you liked the earlier books than maybe you will like this more than Athyra. Because this book is sort of like the earlier books plot wise. There is a mystery and Vlad has to solve it.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are so many good things about the Vlad Taltos series that, in total, the whole series should get 5 stars. But I find I have problems with individual books in the series, problems that would probably be solved by a careful and continuous reread, I admit. Maybe one day... *sigh*

One of the things I love about this series (and that I've mentioned in previous reviews) is that Steven Brust does not rely on a formula. Though Vlad is his main character and the early books are told in a tight first
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Still on the run from the Jhereg, Vlad seeks help for Savn. It's been a year since the events of Athyra and Savn has been mostly catatonic since he saved Vlad's life by using a Morganti weapon to kill his own lord. On the outskirts of Northport, a Tsalmoth hedge wizard (whose name Vlad can't pronounce) agrees to help, no questions asked, but asks that Vlad help her in return. She's being evicted from the home she shared with her husband and she wants to stay.

Who actually holds the deed to the la
Dec 06, 2020 added it
Orca takes place about a year after the events of Athyra. Vlad has been wandering around, avoiding the Jhereg, and trying to find someone to help poor Savn recover from the effects of his battle with Loraan. Vlad ends up in Northside, seeking the aid of a sorceress who has had some success with people who have had magical brain injuries. She's a rather gruff old woman who is being evicted from her lifetime home, and Vlad makes a bargain with her to help her stay on her land if she will cure Savn ...more
Joel Flank
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Vlad Taltos, former assassin has adapted to his life on the run from his former associates in the thieves guild, but still has his sense of honor. Since he owes the boy who saved his life, and that boy needs an expert mind mage to heal the trauma done to him, Vlad arranges someone to help. There's one small problem, they're about to be evicted. Thus Vlad sets off to handle the relatively small issue of getting her the deed to her cottage.

As in many things in life, particularly Vlad's, things ar
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was much much better than the last one, even if most of the story was from Kiera the Thief's point of view. At least she is a character that I care about and wanted to know more.(view spoiler) We still get to see some of the story from Vlad's point of view, b ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Between this book and the last, someone told me that Brust is a "staunch Trotskyist" and suddenly everything makes so much more sense. I was wondering what kept drawing me back to this arguably fairly generic middle fantasy series. Yup, it's the underlying class struggle. I really enjoyed that the primary plot point was about helping someone keep their home--somehow that was more compelling to me than a lot of the assassination plots.

I also loved getting to see Vlad from someone else's perspecti
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
This is one of my favourites, and I've no idea of the extent to which I'm influenced by having loved the narrator who did Kiera's sections. Having Kiera with about half of the POV is another narrative first, and it worked here very well for me, as did the framing of her narrative. Although I was made quite sad by the spoiler at the end - well, one of them. (view spoiler) ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brust's Vlad Taltos novels start as a bit of a romp, playing D&D-esque fantasy tropes on their head in a sort of send up of Ray Chandler-esque noir detective thrillers. I enjoyed them, even appreciated the intricacy with which some of Brust's plots were elaborated.

But Orca is the book that made me sit up and realize that Brust had rare depth, as he set about maintaining his fantasy noir conceit while simultaneously venturing into hard-hitting social commentary by issuing an effective broadside
Samuel Lubell
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Orca picks up where the previous Athyra left off. Vlad is seeking a cure for the boy who saved his life. He finds an old medicine woman who can help, but in return she wants Vlad's help in preventing her home from being repossessed by people who claim to be from the bank. Vlad investigates, with the help of Kiera the thief, and uncovers a huge financial conspiracy while still trying to stay on the run from his former organization who now want to kill him as a traitor.

Brust continues to experime
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the 7th Book in Brust’s Vlad Taltos series and I do not recommend starting here. In the previous book Savn saved Vlad from an undead wizard but had his mind damaged in the process. Vlad finds a witch who can help, but she needs help in return as the bank has foreclosed on her cottage. Vlad gets his friend Kiera the thief to dig into it and they discover a web of corruption and bankruptcy that goes to the top of the Empire.

A solid instalment of the series that highlights yet another aspec
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Orca is the book that took the Vlad Taltos series right to the top of my favorites list. The mystery Kiera and Vlad solve is so deliciously complex and satisfying. Steven Brust really put on his Athyra hat when he wrote Orca. Kiera is finally a main character, and she does not disappoint. Such a bombshell at the end! It was obvious Brust was building up to something in this area, but I did NOT see that one coming.

Highly recommended to anyone who has finished Athyra. Brust's writing has improved
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
This POV character is:

Much more boring
Much less funny
Not sufficiently different from Vlad

Instead of the normal action-packed assassination or magic based plot, this book has a Ponzi scheme at its center. The solution involves funny costumes and digging through receipts. Large portions of the book are taken up by the characters summing up (repeatedly) the scheme. This book is as interesting as that sounds.
William Tracy
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was happy that this book got a bit back on the main arc of the series after the last couple went off into the weeds. Vlad's investigative skills have always been one of the aspects that keeps me reading in these books. The setup took a bit to get going here, but when it did, I very much enjoyed it, especially from multiple POVs. Plus, there's a very interesting thread running through that (I'm assuming) ties into later books. Looking forward to the next ones! ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite of the series, I think too long gets spent on pieces of the explanation of what happened to set up the beginning of the situation. POV switches a lot here, which is interesting, though I find the 1st person (various characters) more interesting than the 3rd. As always, the plot is interesting, and well worth the read.
Stassi Andreeva
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I miss the old Vlad, but this book is one step closer to getting him back. The end was brilliant! There were some unnecessary details, but overall it kept me interested.

PS: I can't wait to go back to Vlad's POV.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dragaera: Orca 1 5 Oct 12, 2012 01:34AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder by Other Means (The Dispatcher, #2)
  • Battle Ground (The Dresden Files, #17)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse Omnibus
  • The Voicemail of Magnus Bane (The Bane Chronicles, #11)
  • The Horror of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga, #7)
  • History of Bourbon
  • Paladin's Grace (The Saint of Steel, #1)
  • Henrietta & Eleanor: A Retelling of Jekyll and Hyde
  • Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (The Siege, #1)
  • The Years of Rice and Salt
  • The Matrix: The Shooting Script
  • War Lord (The Last Kingdom, #13)
  • Thursdays with the Crown (Castle Glower, #3)
  • The Reluctant Coroner (Fenway Stevenson Mysteries Book 1)
  • To Wake the Giant: A Novel of Pearl Harbor
  • The Twisted Ones
  • Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory (The Murderbot Diaries, #4.5)
  • Uncrowned (Cradle, #7)
See similar books…
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)
  • Jhereg (Vlad Taltos, #1)
  • Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
  • Teckla (Vlad Taltos, #3)
  • Taltos (Vlad Taltos, #4)
  • Phoenix (Vlad Taltos, #5)
  • Athyra (Vlad Taltos, #6)
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Dzur (Vlad Taltos, #10)
  • Jhegaala (Vlad Taltos, #11)

News & Interviews

Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
124 likes · 43 comments