The newest book in the Vlad Taltos series. It’s the 15th.

Publication year: 2017
Format: Audio
Running time: 9 and 31 minutes
Narrator: Bernard Setaro Clark

This it the first Vlad Taltos book I’ve listened as an audiobook and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the reader, Clark. Of course, he can’t sound like I imagined the characters sounded like in my head, but I liked his interpretation of them well enough. It took a little while to get used to the breathy voice he used for Loiosh, Vlad’s familiar, but now I think it’s good, easy to distinguish from Vlad’s voice.

Anyway, Vlad is back in Anhdrilankha, the capital of Dragaera, and staying in the Easterners’ part of the city. Then Devera appears behind his door. Devera is… a bit hard to explain. She looks like a little (Dragaeran) girl and she’s the daughter of one of Vlad’s Dragaeran friends. However, she hasn’t been born yet and she has the ability to appear in different times and places. We’ve been seeing little glimpses of her in some of the previous books. So, now she comes to Vlad because she’s in trouble and needs his help. Vlad is glad enough to help her even though he doesn’t really understand the situation, and neither does the reader.

So, Devera takes Vlad (and Loiosh and Loiosh’s mate Roszca) to a manor which seems to have been abandoned. Once inside, Devera disappears and Vlad and the Jheregs are promptly trapped there. They wander around the manor, meeting the master of the place, the servants, and sometimes the soldiers. They can’t get out until Vlad has solved the puzzle of the manor.

While this isn’t the best book in the series, I enjoyed it a lot. It has lots of humor and remarks between Loiosh and Vlad. I also very much enjoyed some elements which would be a huge spoiler to mention.

Vallista gives us tidbits about Vlad’s past and also about the past of the whole Dragaeran Empire and the gods. I also rather enjoyed Vlad’s interactions with the Dragaerans in the house and, er, elsewhere.

But it’s not a starting point to the series at all. You need to know about Vlad and about the world before you can fully enjoy this novel. I recommend starting with the first book, or rather the omnibus of the three first books, the Book of Jhereg.

“It is a truth universally acknowledge that a human assassin in possession of an important mission must be in want of a target.”