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Vlad #14: Hawk


Vlad #14: Hawk Cover

ISBN13: 9780765324443
ISBN10: 076532444x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Jhereg became mortal enemies.

For years, Vlad has run from one end of the Empire to the other, avoiding the Jhereg assassins who pursue him. Now, finally, he's back in the imperial capital where his family and friends are. He means to stay there this time. Whatever happens. And whatever it takes.

Hawk is the latest in Steven Brust's New York Times bestselling Vlad Taltos series.

“Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure.”

—Roger Zelazny

About the Author

STEVEN BRUST is the author of Dragon, Issola, the New York Times bestsellers Dzur and Tiassa, and many other fantasy novels. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

halofriendly, January 11, 2015 (view all comments by halofriendly)
I’ve been using Twitter to gush periodically while reading Hawk. I linked to Brust’s Twitter account in those tweets and he usually obliged me with a retweet, a favorite, and when I’ve been especially lucky, a response. I’m of the opinion that not enough people know and love this guy’s work. I consider it my sovereign duty as a voracious reader and as a bookseller to spread the good name of Brust.

So as soon as I finished the last sentence and left Vlad to retrieve his cloak, I immediately turned to Twitter to release my giddiness and inquire as to the publication date of the next Vlad novel. I was met with a message saying Twitter is under maintenance and to “check back soon”.


For those of you who haven’t read any Brust, let me give you some background on his Vlad books. I believe he started writing them in the early eighties (I don’t have internet access right now and my books are all in temporary storage in my RV) and is thankfully still writing them to this day. I was going to write a short synopsis of the series up to this point, but the book jacket of Hawk does that very succinctly, so I’ll quote that instead.

Vlad Taltos was an oppressed and underprivileged Easterner �" that is, a human �" living in Adrilankha, capital of the Dragaeran Empire. Life was hard. Worse, it was irritating. Then Vlad made a great discovery: Dragaerans would pay him to kill other Dragaerans. Win-win!

The years of Vlad’s career as a crime boss and top assassin were cut short by a revolution, a divorce, and an attack of conscience (not necessarily in that order). In the midst of all that, he broke with the Jhereg, the Dragaeran house of organized crime. He’s been a marked man ever since.

The world that Brust has created is detailed down to the very last aroma of Adrinlankha (never a good smell) and invented food that I desperately want to try (kethna, which I’ve always imagined tastes like chicken falling off of a spit, and klava, a beverage ten times better than coffee). The wit and humor in the midst of death and adventure brings me back book after book.

So finally, his latest installment: Hawk. I checked it out from the library on December 2nd and read it in such short installments to make it last longer that I had to renew it in order to avoid late fines. I finally caved yesterday and read 80 pages in one sitting which brought me almost to the climax of the storyline. I held off on that until today. It officially took me 26 days to read and I’m already ready for the next book.

Hawk introduces us to a Vlad who is really tired of wandering, hiding, and not seeing his family. He realizes that if it’s going to stop being this way, he’ll need to be the one to facilitate a plan that gets the Jhereg off his back for good. And he believes he’s come up with one. But first, he needs to live through a couple of assassination attempts (one of which made me gasp out loud) and attract the attention of those who are trying to kill him with a money-making scheme that will hopefully get them off his back.

In the midst of his planning, hiding, and trying to stay alive, we’re given some memorable scenes with Sethra Lavode (the undead enchantress of Dzur Mountain), the Dragonlords Morrolan and Aliera, Kragar (Vlad’s former go-to man who now runs Vlad’s old business), Loiosh and Rocza (Vlad’s two reptilian familiars �" have I mentioned Vlad is also a witch?) and my favorite of all: Lady Teldra. Pages 184 and 185 were a special reward for those of us wondering what really became of Teldra and I admit this sentence gave me chills: “…pleasure washes through me that I have not been forgotten”.

I continue to be astonished at how Brust is able to keep his books fresh, new, and captivating every time. There is never a dull moment or a feeling that you’re reading the same story over again and best of all, his series only gets better with every reread. The Dragaeran Empire is a place I’m really glad I don’t live in (I wouldn’t stay alive longer than, oh, maybe 5 hours) but one that I’m deliriously excited to visit every chance I get.

And I know that when reviewing a book, you’re supposed to mention something that you wish the author had done instead or some failing on behalf of the storyline, but honestly? I’ve got nothin’. It was perfectly enjoyable from start to finish, it had two gasp-worthy moments that stopped my heart both times (first fight scene early in the book and The Kragar Scene with a brief appearance by Aliera), and the ending was so well executed, I cheered.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Mr. Brust. Please keep writing. I don’t care how long it takes for the next novels; as long as they’re coming, I’m content with that.
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michaelafentoulis, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by michaelafentoulis)
Steven Brust does it again with the newest edition of his latest Vlad series books! Mystery and mayhem mixed with science fiction and fantasy is truly my favorite style of writing!
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Product Details

Brust, Steven
Tor Books
Fantasy - Epic
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Epic
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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