Teckla by Steven Brust

July 27, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in 4 stars, Book Reviews, Fantasy | Leave a comment

This is the third published Taltos book. The earlier two books were vapid procedurals. By the end of Yendi I was wondering if Vlad Taltos was the least self-aware protagonist I’ve ever read about. In Taltos Brust switches things up: there’s still a procedural detective story plot going on, but finally some larger issues are being raised. Taltos has always seemed like a suspiciously nice guy considering he’s an assassin, and finally Brust starts exploring the morality of the situation. In a sophisticated move, he explores the ethics of Taltos’ life while also examining the ethics of the empire in which the series takes place. Unfortunately, the political side of the book isn’t handled very well, but Brust makes up for it with much better character work than in Yendi. Brust has shown me enough that I’ll continue reading the series, but I would still recommend it mainly for fantasy fans who enjoy light plot-driven narratives. Try Jhereg and then this one and you’ll have still read less than a typical fantasy novel from the bookstore.

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