Yendi - Steven Brust This book was incredible! As wonderfully written as Jhereg, and with all of the same amazing characters present, I liked it almost as much as the first book. The plot twists were just as fascinating and convoluted, the action was just as tight and perfectly placed, the humor was right in the same vein. I loved it!

My only problem with this book was the romance. It seemed dreadfully hurried and flat; Vlad and Cawti exchanged barely a hundred words and knew each other for just a couple of days before they agreed to marry--it seemed almost like Brust knew he had to fit that facet into it, because it was already in Jhereg, but he didn't work around with it enough. I saw love between the two in Jhereg, but just lust and empty proclamations of affection in here. I'll assume it grows in there later.

That doesn't take away from my overall impression of the book, though: as I stated plainly above, I just adored it. In my experience, it's very difficult to find a good assassin book out there--either the hero isn't really an assassin, or all of the assassinations happen out of sight and don't affect the hero at all, or the hero spends most of the book whining about being an assassin. I don't like cold-hearted killers in my books generally, but Vlad Taltos is perfect. He's an almost-perfect assassin, but he's human, too; he's afraid from time to time, and he hurts when he's injured, etc. It doesn't matter to me that he slaughters people without a second thought, because every time he does it, I'm so darned impressed that I don't have time to worry about the moral implications--and afterward, when I think about it, I just don't care because he's too awesome for me to spend time complaining about who he is. If he was different, I wouldn't like him as much.

Loiosh is another point about these books that I just can't get enough of. That little jhereg has so much personality packed into his little one-liners and nudges and hints that it doesn't matter how much he's present in the writing, I always wish he would stick around for longer. Luckily, I still have eleven books, and more coming out, to keep my Loiosh-craving sated for a while!

If you like assassins; political plots; storylines so twisted that thinking about them both gives you a headache and makes you beg for more; magic and monsters and mayhem all wrapped up in an incredible writing style and full to the brim of wonderful characters, read this! I recommend it more than I can say!