Reviewer: Andrew Clough

Author: Steven Brust

Published: 2008

Reviewed: 2008-07-20

Publisher: Tor

If there is one word that can be used to describe Steven Brust's
writing, that word would have to be 'clever.' From clever plots, to
clever use of motifs, to clever dialogue I don't think I've ever read
something by Steven Brust that I couldn't call clever, and this book
is no exception.

Jhegaala is the long awaited eleventh book in Brust's Vlad Taltos
series. It takes place shortly after the events in Teckla and follows
Vlad as he heads east to find where his mother's people come from. It
wouldn't be much of a book unless there were complications, however,
and this book certainly delivers them.

Like many of the previous Vlad books the story takes the form of a
mystery. If I had to compare it to another Vlad book I would probably
use Orca, but Jhegaalas are known for their mutable natures and both
the situations that Vlad finds himself in and their final resolution
are far more ambiguous than they were in Orca.

The dialogue, especially between Vlad and his familiar Loiosh, is as
delightful as it always is and I chuckled out loud more than once.
Like always there are chapter prefaces that reflect the contents of
the chapter in odd ways, this time excerpts from a comedic play
entitled "Six Parts Water."

People wanting to know what happens to Vlad next might be disappointed
to find that the newest book is set in Vlad's past, and I can't say
that I don't share any of that disappointment. All the same, this is
another engrossing and well crafted novel in the series and anyone who
has been following the series up to now will certainly enjoy it.