Phoenix - Steven Brust The Vlad Taltos series continues, and it's doing a great job of impressing me. This book was just as good as its predecessor, and has done an amazing job of keeping the Taltos material moving along. The story was good, nice to see things moving back into the assassin territory and a bit further from the Cawti-Revolutionary territory. The characters are still developing - they're obviously nothing but themselves, but they're still growing into it. When an author can pull this off after five books, in my opinion he's doing something right. I like to be surprised every now and again, and Brust is doing a fine job of that - half the time I still can't predict what's going to happen.

The ending of this book is its only downfall for me. It was really predictable (strange for this series) and I'm not a romantic, but good grief, I hate the interactions between Vlad and his wife. There's no love there, none, and even though it was a good thing they basically admitted there was no love between them, FINALLY, hearing it put out in the open when I'd been screaming it at them for two-odd books was just . . . sickening.

I was really glad to see Rocza in this one, though, I'd started to wonder if Brust forgot about her. I like her character, even though it's distant, and I hope she's developed more in later books.

Speaking of, I want to know more about Kiera and Kragar. If the ending of this book means I won't be seeing them again, I will not be happy, because I love those two.

Anyway, this book's really awesome, a shining example of the series. I highly recommend it.