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Steven Brust

Newest book - Dzur - a Vlad Taltos novel, paperback release date October 30, 2007.

Steven Brust writes humorous fantasy novels set on the planet of Dragaera - a world with many sentient creatures, of which Dragaerans and Humans are the most prominent, and in which magic, sorcery and dueling are the primary entertainments and professions - along with dressing appropriately and coming up with a moniker that expresses your own high opinion of yourself.

His wicked wit takes a black and satirical form, and at first glance you may not be sure whether he is being serious or not - he's not. While Brust's novels are funny, the satire can occasionally be heavy-handed to the point that his characters become caricatures, lessening our interest in their personal travails.

Brust's most popular and enjoyable Dragaera novels revolve around the exploits of a human assassin, Vlad Taltos, exercising his trade in Dragaera's largest city. Vlad is cool and very funny, indeed, but naturally his work involves a great deal of violence and death.

A complex fantasy world, feudal in nature, with much political intrigue between the ruling houses, judicious use of magic, and some utterly ridiculous characters and situations provide an enjoyable read for fantasy fans.

Buy Books by Steven Brust
The Book of Jhereg
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The Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust

Vlad Taltos is a highly paid, expert assassin and magician, though, as a human, a complete wimp at teleporting. His wife, Cawti, is an assassin also - they meet when she tries to kill him. Plying his trade in the large city of Adrilankha, Vlad makes a variety of interesting friends in high places (literally and figuratively).

Many of the Vlad Taltos books are actually novellas and have been combined into volumes containing two or three stories.

The Book of Jhereg: Contains the Complete Text of Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla
by Steven Brust
- "The Book of Jhereg follows the antics of the wise-cracking assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon-like companion through their first three adventures-Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla. From his rookie assassin days to his selfless feats of heroism, the dauntless Vlad will hold readers spellbound-and The Book of Jhereg will take its place among the classic compilations in fantasy." - book description. A little overblown, but these are good stories.
The Book of Taltos
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The Book of Taltos: Contains Taltos and Phoenix
by Steven Brust
- This is the compendium featuring Taltos and Phoenix - the next two short novels featuring intrepid assassin Vlad Taltos and his dragon companion (yes, he has a small, sentient dragon who sits on his shoulder and acts as lookout).
The Book of Athyra
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The Book of Athyra: Contains the Complete Text of Athyra and Orca
by Steven Brust
- Vlad Taltos is a sorcerer and assassin without peer-as deadly at spell casting as he is with sword wielding. Accompanying him on his journeys are two leathery-winged jhereg (little dragons) who share a telepathic link with Vlad--and triple his chances against even the most powerful of enemies...

In Athyra, Vlad finds he's ready to retire himself and his jhereg companions, but the biggest hitters of the House of the Jhereg have something else in mind. In Orca, Vlad must repay a debt to a boy who saved his life-even if it means breaking a scandal big enough to bring down the House of the Orca, and possibly the entire Empire.
Dragon by Steven Brust
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by Steven Brust

"After years of surviving in Adrilankha by practicing the trade I know best--killing people for a living--suddenly I'm in the last place any self-respecting assassin wants to be: the army. Worse, I'm right in the middle of a apocalyptic battle between two sorcerous armies, and everyone expects me to play a role they won't explain. All I've got between me and the worst kind of death is my wits. Oh, and a smart-mouthed winged lizard..." Poor Vlad.
Issola by Steven Brust
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by Steven Brust

"Okay, so maybe I've been living in the woods too long, where you can't even get a decent cup of klava first thing in the morning. So who should turn up but Lady Teldra, the courtly servant of my old friend the Dragonlord Morrolan?

Teldra wants my help, because Morrolan and Aliera have disappeared, and according to Sethra Lavode, it looks like they may be in the hands of the Jenoine. Do I want to mess with them? The guys who made this place? And I thought I had problems before..." Poor, poor Vlad.
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Dzur (A Vlad Taltos Novel)
by Steven Brust

Vlad Taltos, short-statured, short-lived human in an Empire of tall, long-lived Dragaerans, has always had to keep his wits about him. Long ago, he made a place for himself as a captain of the Jhereg, the noble house that runs the rackets in the great imperial city of Adrilankha. But love, revolution, betrayal, and revenge ensued, and for years now Vlad has been a man on the run, struggling to stay a step ahead of the Jhereg who would kill him without hesitation.

Now Vlad’s back in Adrilankha. The rackets he used to run are now under the control of the mysterious “Left Hand of the Jhereg”—a secretive cabal of women who report to no man. His ex-wife needs his help. His old enemies aren’t sure whether they want to kill him, or talk to him and then kill him. A goddess may be playing tricks with his memory. And the Great Weapon he’s carrying seems to have plans of its own…

Picking up directly where Issola left off, Dzur gives us Vlad Taltos at his best—swashbuckling storytelling with a wry and gritty edge.
The Phoenix Guards
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The Phoenix Guards books by Steven Brust
(includes the Viscount of Adrilankha trilogy):

The Phoenix Guards - "A thousand years before the birth of Vlad Taltos, the Dragaeran Empire is a hotbed of intrigue, sorcery, intrigue, swashbuckling adventure, and intrigue. For those who would be heroes, it is a delightful time to be alive--and an easy place to die.

Khaavren of the House of Tiassa is a son of landless nobility, possessor of a good sword and "tolerably well acquainted with its use." Along with three loyal friends, he enthusiastically seeks out danger and excitement. But in a realm renowned for repartee and betrayals, where power is as mutable as magic, a young man like Khaavren, newly come from the countryside, had best be wary. His life depends on it. And so does the future of Dragaera." - book description.
Five Hundred Years After
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Five Hundred Years After - "In which our Heroes--Khaavren, Pel, Aerich and Tazendra--are reunited again a mere five centuries later (oops, forgot to mention that Dragaerans live a really, really long time)...just in time for an uprising that threatens to destroy the Imperial Orb itself!

This is the story of the conspiracy against the Empire that begins in the mean streets of Underside and flourishes in the courtly politics of the Palace where Khaavren has loyally served in the Guards this past half-millennium.

It is the tale of the Dragonlord Adron's overweening schemes, of his brilliant daughter Aliers, and the eldritch Sethra Lavode.

And it is the tale of four boon companions, of love, and of revenge...a tale from the history of Dragaera, of the events that changed the world!" - book description.
The Paths of the Dead
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The Viscount of Adrilankha Trilogy:

The Paths of the Dead, Book 1 - "Two hundred years after Adron’s Disaster, in which Dragaera City was accidentally reduced to an ocean of chaos by an experiment in wizardry gone wrong, the Empire isn’t what it used to be. Deprived at a single blow of their Emperor, of the Orb that is the focus of the Empire’s power, of their capital city with its Impe-rial bureaucracy, and of a great many of their late fellow citizens, the surviving Dragaerans have been limping through a long Interregnum, bereft even of the simple magic and sorcery they were accustomed to use in everyday life.

Now the descendants and successors of the great ad-venturers Khaavren, Pel, Aerich, and Tazendra are growing up in this seemingly diminished world, con-vinced, like their elders, that the age of adventures is over and nothing interesting will ever happen to them. They are, of course, wrong . . . .

For even deprived of magic, Dragaerans fight, plot, and conspire as they breathe, and so do their still-powerful gods. The enemies of the Empire prowl at its edges, in-scrutable doings are up at Dzur Mountain...and, unex-pectedly, a surviving Phoenix Heir, young Zerika, is discovered—setting off a chain of swashbuckling events that will remake the world yet again." - book description.
The Lord of Castle Black
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The Lord of Castle Black, Book 2 - "Brust has returned to the Khaavren epic, first with last year's The Paths of the Dead, and now with its direct continuation, The Lord of Castle Black...a novel that gives Vlad Taltos and Khaavren fans alike a new look at one of Brust's most popular characters, the Dragonlord Morrolan.

Along the way, we'll also encounter swordplay, intrigues, quests, battles, romance, snappy dialogue, and the missing heir to the Imperial Throne. It's an old-fashioned adventure, moving at a twenty-first-century pace." - book description.
Sethra Lavode
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Sethra Lavode, Book 3 - The oldest person in the Dragaeran Empire. A military genius and master of sorcery whose story stretches back to before the dawn of history. Now, after a long absence, the undead Sethra Lavode, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain, has re-entered the Empire's affairs. And the affairs of Khaavren and Pel, Tazendra and Aerich, and all their descendants, colleagues, and friends.

For since Adron's Disaster, when Dragaera City was turned instantly into a sea of amorphia, the Empire has been in ruins. Trade has declined, brigands rule the roads, plagues sweep through the population. Now an ambitious Dragonlord means to rebuild the Empire in his own name. But unknown to him, the true heir, the Phoenix Zerika, has already retrieved the Imperial Orb from the Paths of the Dead. Sethra Lavode means to see Zerika on the throne. To do so will entail a climactic battle of sorcery and arms, told with all the swashbuckling flair for which Steven Brust is known." - book description.
Brokedown Palace
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Brokedown Palace (reprint 2006)
by Steven Brust

A stand-alone Dragaeran novel, originally published in the 90s and now reprinted.

"Back in print after a decade, a stand-alone fantasy in the world of Steven Brust's bestselling "Vlad Taltos" novels. Once upon a time...far to the East of the Dragaeran Empire, four brothers ruled in Fenario: King Laszlo, a good man--though perhaps a little mad; Prince Andor, a clever man--though perhaps a little shallow; Prince Vilmos, a strong man--though perhaps a little stupid; andP rince Miklos, the youngest brother, perhaps a little--no, a lot-- stubborn. Once upon a time there were four brothers--and a goddess, a wizard, an enigmatic talking stallion, a very hungry dragon--and a crumbling, broken-down palace with hungry jhereg circling overhead. And then..." - book description.