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(Vlad Taltos #14)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  2,771 ratings  ·  240 reviews

Years ago, Vlad Taltos came to make his way as a human amidst the impossibly tall, fantastically long-lived natives of the Dragaeran Empire. He joined the Jhereg, the Dragaeran House (of which there are seventeen) that handles the Empire's vices: gambling, rackets, organized crime. He became a professional assassin. He was good at it.

But that was then, before Vlad and the

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Tor Books
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Tamara You need to read all 13 before reading Hawk. If I were you I would return it to the store, then maybe go to the library and borrow the first book Jher…moreYou need to read all 13 before reading Hawk. If I were you I would return it to the store, then maybe go to the library and borrow the first book Jhereg. You could see if you could get the book. "The Book Of Jhereg" as that one contains the first three books in the series. (less)

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  2,771 ratings  ·  240 reviews

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May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fants of Taltos, assassins

from the ol' blog at


Flying lizard that communicates psychically?

Ridiculously complicated revenge/redemption plot?
–check and mate

It’s hard to review book fourteen in a series, partially because, well, I don’t. Read series that long, that is. Usually it is only mysteries that manage to extend that long, by virtue of the lead solving a new case each time. But it is an interesting question–how do you extend a character life over a multit

This is the Vlad I know and love, right down to the horrendously complicated plot, the refusal to explain to us what is going to happen until it happens, and now, an actual return to business as usual.

What? He's found a way to return to his home town, make things good with the Jhereg, that long-lived race that does everything better than everyone else? I mean, sure, Vlad has been assassinating them for most of his life and even though they made him a Lord even though they despise puny
Ian Mathers
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rt
One of the oddities of ranking things is that, while I'd give the Draegaren books five stars as a series, I'd feel kind of silly giving every single book in that series the same mark. But Hawk is, I think, the book in the series that some of us have been waiting for (waiting with pleasure, but still, waiting) for years, and Brust does not disappoint. Even though there's still a good number of books left to go, it feels like we're moving into some kind of endgame now, and the scheme at the center ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fine read, but like much of the last decade or so, Brust's output feels more like a novella than a novel, and a set piece at that. There's no emotional story any more, and all the "I'll put the pieces into place and then blind you with a brilliant outcome" has gotten on my nerves. There is one point where the most irritating feature of the last bunch of novels might have been resolved and then turns out not to be and I'm just over that.

So yeah, I liked it because Brust could publish
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
By this point, you should know what you're getting from a Taltos book. And yes, it meets all the expectations. I was particularly happy to see Vlad coming up with solutions to his long-term problem of being on the run all the time and having more Kragar than we've seen in a while was a delight.

My only disappointment was that it was over too soon. I'm a little torn by the ending, but mostly in a "can't wait to get the next book" kind of way—and I suspect that would have been the case regardless..
Kat  Hooper
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
"My heart gave a thump. It had been doing that a lot lately. I wished it would stop. I mean stop giving random thumps, not, you know, stop." ~Vlad Taltos

Note: This review contains spoilers for previous novels in the series.

Hawk is Steven Brust’s fourteenth (and latest) novel about Vlad Taltos, a charming assassin living in Dragaera. Over the past 31 years, fans of this series have been through a lot with Vlad and Loiosh, Vlad’s flying reptilian familiar.

We first met Vlad when he was at the top o
Steven R. McEvoy
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Quick review. Wow! After 14 books and Vlad is still getting better! Stayed up way to late but read it in one sitting, literally could not put it down. Vlad is back and making more waves than ever!

Full review. There were some wonderful elements in this story, specifically Vlad being forced to take a few days to mend and during that time he recalls a few different conversations which separately would not mean much to almost anyone. But as we know Vlad is not anyone. He thinks he has found a way to
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was probably the best in the series so far. All the in-jokes, relationships, frustration, and calling in favors building up.
Leah Moore Woods
Love! Wisecracking Vlad at his best. My favorite book since Issola, this is the old Vlad, tough and smart, but with new insight on life death and morality. I guess being on the run for 8 years gives a guy some time to philosophize. A few scenes with the old crowd, enough back referencing jokes to make the fangirl in me squeal. Tukko/Chaz issue finally addressed!
originally posted at:

When I first looked up Hawk I saw that it was already the 14th book in the Vlad Taltos series so I was actually a bit hesitant to pick it up since this is my first Vlad Taltos book, but when I read the press release it stated that this would be a nice start to begin reading the series, so taking this into account I started reading and I have to be honest and say that this was a great start in the series as you got to learn some bits a
Jamie Collins
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 stars. This would have been a nice short story, but padded out to 300 pages, only fondness for the character and enjoyment of Brust’s prose keeps this from being tedious.

Vlad has a plan for a trick, which, if he can pull it off, will stop the House of the Jhereg from trying to kill him. There is some urgency because lately the assassins seem to be better funded than usual, leading to a couple of close calls. I particularly liked the opening fight scene where, to save his life, Vlad is requir
Melissa McShane
Loved it but didn't LOVE it, and that's Brust's fault for setting the bar so high; I tend to compare books in this series to each other, so basically four stars here is closer to six stars for any other book. Or something. Really loved the way he resolves one long-standing conflict only to set up another one, especially since I've always liked the idea of the Left Hand of the Jhereg. I'm also a fan of Vlad moving closer to the possibility of making a new life for himself that includes his son (a ...more
That should probably be a 5, because I loved *everything* about this... except for the ending. Vlad is finally using his fabulously sneaky wits to come up with a plan that might, might, that has at least a 0.001% chance of getting him out of trouble with the Jhereg, and it's brilliant. Extraordinarily difficult to set up, of course, and nobody can stop everyone in the Jhereg (not to mention the Left Hand) trying to kill him while he does so, but it's so Vlad. And he needs to be back in Adrilanka ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, favorites

Hawk was from start to finish, classic Vlad! You don't quite know what's going on and you're holding on to find out what/why/when/how/whaaaaaat of it all. Great humor, snippets of past events to color the present and seeing Vlad taking a stand. He's rather fierce when he decides on what he's going to do. Love it!
Can this actually be a return to old form? Many of the previous books were one step forward, one step back or at least a little sideways and then came the glimmer of hope in the shape of Tiassa and then finally this, Hawk.

To cut to the chase, Vlad's problems with the Jhereg are still not over but he is not running anymore, and he is fighting back. The book is relatively short and could also have been a novella but this is so refreshing.

One thing I like about the Taltos books is that there are
Tim Hicks
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This good book might have made an even better novella, because there isn't a huge plot and occasionally I felt as if I was in a section of padding.

But it's still a Vlad Taltos book, and great fun.

Now lookit, those of us who want to take these books seriously when we review them, can you really, really say a book means to be serious when the plot crisis depends on (view spoiler)? Surely Brust had one drink too many one night, and foolishly told his fri
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been following Brust's Vlad Taltos books for nearly 20 years, it seems. The series started off as light reading - the tale of a wisecracking assassin and his smartass pet flying lizard. But later books became increasingly less "fun" and more serious themes started creeping in, along with stylistic experiments in storytelling. I liked the deeper, more serious tales, but it was the wisecracking that made me like the series to begin with, and there was less of it of late.
This latest installmen
It turns out that the only thing more frustrating than a plot coupon story is one in which the reader isn't told why the protagonist needs the items he's collecting. There are some clever twists, of course, but not much emotion. Brust mentions people and past events that are meant to evoke longing or nostalgia in readers familiar with Vlad's ongoing problems, but doesn't invest this installment with much new depth. ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad the Vlad Taltos has decided to quit running and return to solving all life's "little problems" with a well-placed stiletto and a smart-ass quip.

This is the "Vlad" book I've been waiting for. All your favorites characters get to make an appearance in their finest form, the plot is full of twists and turns and clever asides, and the ending is bitter-sweet. These are the elements I love in Steven Brust's work.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: annual-rereads
A great read, as always. Brust's work is an addiction I gladly suffer from, and this outing was just the hit I needed. ...more
Sara Palmer
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4/5 for plot: Typical, convoluted plot/solution but this time the hints started in the first quarter of the book so it was quite some time of errand running and risks before the grand finale. It was a bit boring, now that’s he’s got so many friends in high places to fetch him this and that, like they aren’t precious items. Although, I suppose that it’s reflective of any high level adventurer, in D&D terms. Kinda nice to revisit almost of the big characters from previous books, if briefly.

4/5 wr
Unseen Library
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Hawk from Pan Macmillan Australia.

Rating of 4.5.

I did a short review of this book in the Canberra Weekly:

Originally reviewed back in March 2017, I have re-published this review on my blog as part of my Throwback Thursday series.

Click the link below to see my review of the sequel to this book, Vallista:

For other interesting reviews, visit my blog at:
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertainment
If you know what this story is about, you know why this book is so good.
Yes, sorry. Couldn't say a thing without spoiling.
If you're new to the series, and for some reason care about my opinion of it, read the thirteen other reviews I've written so far. They should give you a decent picture.


Dane Bell
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Rube Goldberg plot! Lots of fun, and has a certain pleasant nostalgia without being cloying. This makes me wonder whether future books will be set before or after this one in the chronology. (I hope afterward.)
Jennifer Wheeler
Again, the meeting between Vlad and the Demon at the end was a little bit anticlimactic for my taste, in spite of the flurry of activity towards the end. I am impressed, however, with how Vlad fully planned for being betrayed, and was able to work it to his advantage. Slightly disappointed that he didn’t account for the Left Hand ladies of the Jehreg still having a vendetta against him, but since I had just about forgotten about it myself, I suppose it’s forgivable. Plus, he does have a bit of a ...more
Kater Cheek
I've read so many of these things that I couldn't even tell you. How long has he been doing this series? When it started out, Vlad Taltos was a gritty street thug/assassin, just trying to get by in the dirty city of Adrilahnka (or however you spell that). I loved especially that the stories were all jumbled in time, addressed to a third person, like a man writing his memoirs. In this book, there's a little of that "addressing the third person" voice, but by this book, he's not as frightened anym ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, dragon
I really enjoyed the return to the feel of the first couple of books in the series. Having Vlad home again and up to his old/new tricks was a ton of fun. Now I'm bummed because, for the first time, I have to wait for the next book! ...more
Chris Bauer
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, Steven Brust does it once more in the latest book featuring Vlad Taltos, the intrepid assassin, rogue and ne'er-do well, one of my favorite characters in fiction.

This is a long running series and there are more optimal books to start one's journey through the Dragaeran Empire. But for readers familiar with the mythos, this is one of the best books in the series, in my opinion.

I won't spend time describing the background of the series. That is an adventure best savored from first hand
Julie  Capell
Sometimes you want your favorite authors to write another book that is just like the book that originally made you fall in love with their writing in the first place. I get that this is boring for the writer, but when a book goes down as easily as the smoothest martini, it’s an absolute pleasure for the reader. And so I savored every sentence of this rollicking romp with one of my favorite fantasy characters ever, Vlad Taltos, as written by the enormously talented Steven Brust. This book had it ...more
Richard Jones
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Vlad Just Keeps Getting Better

Most novel series have a finite lifespan. Either the author keeps the main character in essentially the same environment or same situation and the series becomes repetitive and stagnant, or the author makes so many changes the series doesn't retain the same wonder, adventure and charm of the first books.

I fell in love with reading about Vladimir Taltos and his world with the first book. I thrilled as Vladimir rose in his criminal organization, but began to notice c
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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)
  • Orca (Vlad Taltos, #7)
  • Dragon (Vlad Taltos, #8)
  • Issola (Vlad Taltos, #9)
  • Dzur (Vlad Taltos, #10)

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