Saturday, September 24, 2005

Steven Brust - Favorite Author

Steven Brust is by far my favorite author. I have read every one of his books, some of them several times. I truly enjoy the worlds he has created in his novels. Jhereg was the first one to capture me and it was one of his first books. It tells the story of a young assassin trying to make his way in the world. From the very first passage, I was completely enchanted; it quickly & skillfully drew me in, heart and soul. Brust writes with wit, humor and charm, colorfully describing characters, scenes, thoughts, simply everything about the world he's created. It's obvious that a great deal of thought went into this creation; he passes along casual details that hint of greater stories to come, including histories, myths, and rumors.

The central figure is Vlad Taltos, one of the top assassins in the land. The other important figures are his assistants, his wife, a few antagonists, assorted friends and colleagues, but most importantly, his familiar, Loiosh. In addition to being a highly skilled assassin, Vlad is also a very powerful witch. Loiosh is perhaps his strongest ally, being able to communicate with Vlad telepathically. Several characters are able to communicate this way, and it's a handy method to advance the story more quickly, without intrusive time delays and journeys back and forth.

Part of what makes this story so easy to read is Brust's use of common language - he doesn't try to take us back into Olde Tyme, using overly-flowery, excessively eloquent language; he makes use of language as many of us do today, with only a few quirks thrown in to keep things interesting.

It takes a lot to charm me this thoroughly, and I can't think of the words to describe how happy I am with this book, and everything about it - the characters, the dialogue, the quick pace, the story line, the plot twists, the detail, the simple elegance, the vivacity of it all. It is, in other words, amazing. I'll bet you won't be disappointed.

There are ten books in the series right now, with also some splinter series that are just as good. The first ten are:
1 Jhereg
2 Yendi
3 Teckla
4 Taltos
5 Phoenix
6 Athyra
7 Orca
8 Dragon
9 Issola
10 Dzur

"This whole series is entertaining and worth reading!" -Locus
"Engaging...written with a light touch...good stuff!" -Publishers Weekly
"Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you." -Roger Zelazny
"Hard to put down . . . fun to read!" -OtherRealms
"Imagine James Bond in a world of magic...exciting!" -Voya

Hope you read and enjoy.

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