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Yendi (Vlad Taltos, #2)
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(Vlad Taltos #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  8,501 ratings  ·  230 reviews
Vlad Taltos tells the story of his early days in the House Jhereg, how he found himself in a Jhereg war, and how he fell in love with the wonderful woman, Cawti, who killed him.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 15th 1987 by Ace (first published 1984)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  8,501 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Sebastien Castell
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I first read Jhereg by Steven Brust when I was a kid and fell in love with the voice and style of the books. Yendi is the second book in that series, though chronologically takes place before Jhereg. For those obsessed with reading in chronological order, technically the first book of the series would be Taltos, which I think was published fourth. If it all sounds like Brust was basically just making stuff up as he went along, following whatever story interested him at the time with little regar ...more
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Imagine The Godfather, but told from the perspective of a young snarky Vito Corleone who's all alone and setting out on his own. He's fighting to make a name for himself as an assassin and mob boss in the Dragarean underworld. He's got a small network of semi-legitimate businesses and a corner of the city to himself. He's trying to establish his territory while fighting off stronger, wealthier, more experienced neighbors who are moving in on his turf. He's fighting on multiple fronts, all the wh ...more
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
If I had to sum up the Vlad Taltos series in one word, it would be: unconventional. The writing voice is all over the place, flitting between past and present, from in-the-moment to addressing the reader directly. It’s as if Steven Brust took one look at the rules of writing and said, “eff those, I’m going to write however I please.” In my opinion, that’s playing with fire, but some of the most poignant writers take those risks all the time (I’m a firm believer that you must know them well first ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Damn. I'd written this nice little meta-review about being a geek, and then some errant keystrokes backed me out of the review I was writing and everything disappeared. I don't have it in me to rewrite at the moment, so here are some quick thoughts.

•Vlad Taltos' little gangster turf war is the best part of Yendi, and I hope that we get a little more of that as the series goes on, although I sense that he may be getting closer and closer to going legit-ish, or at least becoming all political.

Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Yendi is a very fun mystery/thriller set in Steven Brust's "Vlad Taltos" lore.

The book starts out on a completely different tone as Jhereg. So much different, that in the first few pages I wondered if I was even reading about the same protagonist. Fortunately, there is a very good reason for this change in tone, and it really sets Yendi apart from books I normally read. Brust continued his focus on story and characters, and gave us a fantastic mystery/thriller. As I have said many time, I love
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I freely admit that I don't know whether this second book was written before or after the first's publication date, but it certainly falls five years before the main action of the previous novel.

Why does this matter? I don't mind having that tantalizing clue of having died years ago in the first novel being expanded into it's own interesting tale, but something has been itching under my skin as I read Yendi.

It didn't feel as polished as the previous novel. I kept picking up on clues that felt li
fantasy fiction is everything
3.5 stars.
4.5 to 5.0 stars. The Jhereg series is one of those series that I love to come back too whenever I am in the mood for a good, fun read. This is the second installment and I think it was as good as the first one. I love the world that Brust has created and the main character (Vlad Taltos) is great. I highly recommend this series to everyone who has not tried it yet.
I'm rereading my Taltos books these days, and my reread of Yendi didn't do it any kindness. It was an okay way to spend a few sleepless nights, but I very nearly set it down. I suppose I kept going out of nostalgia, but it made me sad.

Now I knew, I know, going into these books that they are readable and fun, but they are also fairly light weight. Yendi is too light weight, however. Sure we get to see the coming together of Cawti and Vlad, but it didn't come anywhere near satisfying me this time
Melissa McShane
The thing I had forgotten about Yendi, in this most recent read via audio book, is how fundamentally straightforward it is. Vlad, still new to controlling his territory, is challenged by someone who wants to destroy him--that's the basic story. It isn't until you get most of the way in that the depth of the plotting is revealed, and it becomes clear that only a Yendi, master of subtlety and complex machinations, could be behind it.

I loved this book when I was young primarily for the romance betw
Maggie K
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Yendi is the 2nd installment in the Vlad Taltos series, and is actually a prequel to the first book. It establishes some background; how Vlad met Cawti (she tried to kill him) and how he built up his Jhereg territory. There is also the obligatory political problem, which in this case was extremely convoluted.

I do enjoy these books...they are fast paced, and have action. They aren't too long or convoluted.They are a great relaxing read.
For some reason, it took me a little bit to realize we had g
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Didn't grab me like the first book did. I still like Brust's style quite a bit, he's building up an interesting world and some extremely fun characters. But I have to admit I was lost reading this one. I don't think I can even explain what a Yendi is, and I just read a book entitled "Yendi." The plot seemed to be mostly a sequence of confusing skirmishes plus a love story that kinda didn't make sense. Maybe it'll clear up whenever I get around to book 3. ...more
Jennifer Wheeler
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m still rather underwhelmed by this series so far. There’s entirely too much intrigue & dialogue, not enough action. Since I’m reading the first 3 books in omnibus form, the next book is what will determine whether I continue with the series after that, or abandon it and give away all of the books.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I've certainly become a fan of Brust's Taltos series through the first two books - Jhereg and Yendi. They are fun & light reads. The plot seems straightforward and the characters are a bit one-dimensional but it all just comes off as fun, rather than boring or lazy.

This is a prequel to the first book in the series. I'm usually weary of prequels since there can be a loss of some of the suspense in a novel when you know part of its future. But its not a big deal here because, for the most part, i
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In the Empire, the Yendi are known for their Byzantine plotting, and the plotting here is certainly Byzantine.

When viewed with a little distance, it's remarkable how well Burst makes us care about things that we don't really see at all. We know Easterners, but at no point visit the lands they're from, or even spend much time with ones who are not fully assimilated into Dragaeran society. Our viewpoint character is a human, with a normal human lifespan. As such, we're almost completely uninvolve
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I couldn't decide on 3 or 4 stars for this book. Definitely not as good as the first in the series.

I knew going into it that it was set chronologically before the first book, but I still didn't like it. I found the start of Vlad's idiosyncrasies a little disappointing. Specifically the changing of weapons every so often seemed to be a random idea rather than a reasoned decision or even the result of Vlad's paranoia.

The book also depicts Cawti's entrance into Vlad's live and their subsequent ro
[Name Redacted]
Oddly, the second book in the series is set before the first, which becomes a tradition for Brust's "Vlad Taltos" novels. Every other book, starting with the first, is set in the "present", while the rest are all set in the past... So the order should be: 4, 8, 2, 8, 13, 1, 3...

Also, Brust's writing is rather like Sanderson's in that there is very little description to it. You never really know what anyone or anything looks, feels, smells, tastes, etc. like; the action is bare bones, and even th
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vlad-taltos
Overall, I enjoyed this much more than Book 1 (Jhereg). The world continues to be fleshed out beautifully, plus, as this is a prequel, we get to see an earlier (see: sassier) version of Vlad, which is fantastic. It's also fun to see him interact with characters like Morrolan and Aliera before they really trusted each other as much as they do in the present time.

The only thing that held this book back was the nature of the introduction of Cawti and her relationship with Vlad. I LOVED Cawti in boo
Oct 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: genre-sff
Ouch. The second Vlad book, which is actually a prequel to the first one, kind of falls on the floor and goes *klunk*.

The first 100 pages are really exciting. We're thrown into a territory war between Vlad, now a small-time underworld boss, and his rival. But there's a mystery afoot that involves his powerful noble friends and the woman who will someday be his wife, and here's where it breaks down. After Brust builds up all this tension with the escalation of the mob war, he digresses into scen
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, fantasy, in-czech
I love all the intrigue in Brust's books. There's always some twist, something you just don't expect that makes the whole plot click in place and it's awesome. Though it makes me a bit sad that Vlad still doesn't trust his Dragaeran friends - Morrolan, Aliera, Kiera, Sethra, Kragar... - even after they saved his life so many times, even though he was told how scared they were for him. I think that Vlad's hate of the Dragaerans in general sometimes clouds his judgment. Also, I never really saw th ...more
Jamie Collins
Sep 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I didn't like this (very short) second book as well as Jhereg. I enjoyed watching Vlad establish and defend his territory - he's a nice sort of underworld boss - but I wasn't terribly interested in the greater political plot explored in the second half of the book.

The scheming and action scenes are well-written and believable. The romantic scenes, not so much. I was not impressed by the instant attraction between Vlad and the woman who tried to kill him.

Still, there was enough good stuff here fo
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, borrowed, taltos
these books are weird. just when my frustration with certain fantasy cliches - especially the "all races = one race = white" equation - threatens to reach its boiling point, brust will bust out with a completely unexpected, completely awesome twist or comment or insight. i hope he starts building more on these unexpected turns in later books... ...more
John Virgadamo
Feb 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: johns-freetime
Again the adventurs of vlad taltos are wonderful, at least for me, due to to the way the books are narraited. they are told from the main characters point of view and I like the way he thinks.
Michael Pryor
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pacy, idiosyncratic, wry.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-audio, quest
2nd book in, and really enjoying it. Interesting mix of genres. It seems to know exactly what it is though, and embraces it. Lots of fantasy goodness, great snark, and crime/mystery/?
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2017
Really enjoying these. It was a bit confusing at first as it was before the first book, but it is all good. There were a lot of moments that made me laugh
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but not nearly as much as the first one, which blew my mind. I still like Vlad, he's a solid character.

Here's one issue I had with this book. I don't want to give away any spoilers here, but let's just say something major goes down in the main character's life, and it gets like a 2 paragraph mention (in terms of the how's, why's, emotions, etc.) in a book where Vlad is known to go on for quite a bit longer than necessary on certain topics.

As a story, this one was great. Vlad
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Strangely although it is chronologically the second in the series, this book is set before the first book - which I found a bit irritating.
It was an enjoyable read and I am still pleased with the characters. However, the plot wasn't as sharp or well-defined as the first book and I found it confusing in places. It also seemed a mite less punchy to me.... I like my fantasy with a gritty edge :).
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes people fall in love, get married, and later wish the other person dead. Assassins Vlad and Cawti went about things differently. Cawti was hired to kill Vlad and succeeded -- luckily she didn't make it permanent and he was revived -- they both were. Impressed with one another, they fall in love. And they discover that there's more to the turf war that brought them together than it appears.

The second book in the Vlad Taltos series takes us back before the events of Jhereg, to his early
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Dragaera: Yendi 3 7 Dec 03, 2012 01:45AM  

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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)
  • 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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