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Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
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(Vlad Taltos #7)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  5,174 ratings  ·  84 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
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,174 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2016-shelf
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
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.
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.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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, bu ...more
So now I'm at the mid-point - Book 7 of the 15 published to this point. This one was another change-up in style from the previous books, alternating first person accounts between 2 characters. For this, the audiobook wisely brought in another narrator to handle the female character's viewpoint. Weirdly, this narrator (Angele Masters) did a fine job in the regular chapters; handling different voices without issue. However, the Interludes were all a conversation between 2 female characters, with m ...more
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
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.
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.
Devon H.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aaaand we’re happily back in Adrilankha. I don’t find this book particularly memorable (except for one massive revelation), but it’s a fun mystery and I’ve always really enjoyed Kiera the Thief. I don’t mind at all alternating chapters between Vlad and Kiera, and it works with the story.
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.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really enjoyed this story, although I'm still not sure I understand the convoluted mystery. But that's ok. The twist at the end gave me a nice "oh!" moment. Didn't see it coming because I was so enjoying learning about an ancillary character in Vlad's world.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
7 books in, and it’s still just a fun series.
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Pretty good economic crime thriller set in Vlad Taltos universe.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, crime, gone
Kind of a light crime novel in a fantasy setting. Missing some of the shine of the earlier books.
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
@ 3.3% // Right at the beginning we are once again reminded of Savn. I suppose the old past-present pattern is gone for sure.

@ 4.6% // A ha. Our narrator just revealed that it has only been about three years since book #5.

@ 10.1% // Coffee and klava mentioned in the same paragraph? My obsession with coffee-like fictional drinks starting with "kl" has just taken an unexpected turn.

@ 31.3% // Wherein Vladimir (view spoiler)
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Dragaera: Orca 1 5 Oct 12, 2012 01:34AM  

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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)
  • 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)