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Iorich Paperback – Feb 1 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765328895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765328892
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Dzur gives us Vlad Taltos at his best." --Cinescope

"Fresh, snappy, and terribly likeable…Dzur shows you what heroic fantasy can be." --Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

About the Author

STEVEN BRUST is the author of Dragon, Issola, Jhegaala, and the New York Times-bestselling Dzur, among many other popular fantasy novels. A native of Minneapolis, he currently lives in Texas.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 8 2010
Format: Hardcover
There are a few things about this book that amaze me. First, Steven Brust is one of the few authors I read in high school 20 years ago that I still actively pursue; second, that this is the 12th book in a series and I still get very excited when a new book comes out and I finish it with regret, knowing I will have to wait an indefinite amount of time for the next one to be released. As the 12th book in this series and the 17th set in this reality, it contributes much to the storylines of both our hero, Vlad Taltos, and the Dragaeran world.

This book was a page-turner. Once I picked it up I just could not put it down. I believe this story can stand on its own, and I know people who have started this series at almost any place. Some recommend starting at the beginning, but then you can either read them chronologically or in order of publication. I have gone back and reread them both ways and prefer the order in which they were published. Vlad Taltos is a human living in a world of Dragaerans. The Dragaerans are a society ruled by houses and a cycle. There are 17 houses, and each takes a turn ruling the empire, depending on where a house is in the cycle. They have more or less power. This book goes more into that dynamic of house position than some of the others. Each house has dominant characteristics and predominant occupations. The order of the cycle is: Phoenix, Dragon, Lyorn, Tiassa, Hawk, Dzur, Issola, Tsalmoth, Vallista, Jhreg, Iorich, Chreotha, Yendi, Orca, Teckla, Jhegaala, Athyra, and then returns to Phoenix. Most houses you are born into, a few will sell titles, or can be earned. Vlad first bought a title in the Jhereg and moved up. The Jhereg are a mixed clan, and are known to be the criminal element in this world. Later Vlad earned an imperial title with estates and such.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I neat episode of Dragaeran justice and the workings of the imperial court, with the usual taltos hijinx we all knwo and love to keep laws from being dull :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 43 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Exquisitely painted by the numbers Jan. 9 2010
By Dylan Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In concept, Iorich is the perfect Vlad Taltos book for someone like me with a legal/military/libertarian background. It's tacked around the philosophy and activities of the House of Iorich, that faction of the Dragaeran Empire concerned with justice and usually employed as lawyers, judges, and prison guards. The seed of the plot is caused by the massacre of civilians during a counter-insurgency campaign/rebellion being put down by the empire. And the primary motivation of the bad guys is an attempt to outlaw or heavily regulate mind-altering drugs to earn profits selling them on the blackmarket.

Unfortunately, beyond the setting there's little here we haven't seen before, so I can't give it five stars. There are no important new characters, yet less interaction with the old favorites than you might expect. The actual operation of the plot is the usual slightly implausible motives and actions of shadowy factions that Vlad stumbles around for most of the book before unravelling it in a flash, followed by a quick planning session with supporting friends and (literal) execution that wraps everything up neatly at the end.

It's nothing you haven't seen before, and while it's just as much fun as it was the last five times, it's not more.

I will give special appreciation to the chapter intros, which here consist of depositions, memos, and minutes of an investigation into the civilian massacre. Almost all of them are interesting, a few are amusing, and one (Aliera's) is hilarious. Brust also continues to impress in how he's handled the huge Plot Device of Invincibility introduced at the end of Issola to avoid making Vlad boringly immune to real danger or difficulty.

I'd like to say that the events of this book and the especially the state of play at the end sets us up for a big change of story arc or at least gut punching development ala Phoenix or Issola, but we've been suckered by that before. I do have hope the next book will continue the chronological arc forward; the recent pattern is two steps forward, one step jumping back. Jhegaala was the most recent flashback, and Iorich only gave us a few hints at what happened the last four years since Dzur, so I think we'll get one more forward push of the story line before Brust jumps back to cover the Dzur-Iorich interval.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Damning with faint praise Aug. 15 2010
By Sardan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First let me make this clear: if you're a fan of Vlad, you'll like this book. It always fun to return to Vlad's world and hear him interacting with Loiosh and his old friends.

But....

While this book is better than Jhegaala, it simply isn't at the level of the earlier works of the series. The stakes don't seem very high for Vlad, there's little action and nearly no magic and much of the book is him grasping for clues that seem barely significant even after they're revealed. Instead of "holy cow, THAT's what they were hiding!?" it's more like "err, that's all?"

The end of the book clearly sets up the next volume and the stakes will be much higher for Vlad. Let's hope that reignites the series. Brust needs to give these excellent characters more to do!

Iorich is like a family reunion with relatives that you truly love to spend time with but leaving the reunion with no interesting anecdotes. A pleasant time but not memorable.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Boilerplate Vlad Feb. 9 2010
By K-Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I'm a diehard Brust fan, in awe of what he can accomplish when he takes his time and works through a number of drafts to perfect a masterpiece of investigation, action, and lively wit. "Iorich" isn't one of those works, however. This latest installment reads like it was swiftly and sloppily cobbled together from pieces of Brust's previous novels -- much as happened all too frequently with the late Robert B. Parker (one of Brust's acknowledged influences), who likewise swung from excellence to mere self-plagiarism.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good for some insight, but I still miss the brilliant books... March 27 2010
By John S. Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Been following Vlad since Jhereg was initially published. Been with Brust for the whole ride, and his other books as well. I really like the Vlad series, I think he's created a universe of incredible richness, subtly, and depth. He does a fantastic job of fleshing out the characters, and they grow on you like family.

One of the funnest things with the Vlad series has always been the puzzle, the complexity of the problem, and the flash of brilliance and scope of the climax. This book lacks that, as others have already said. The end was almost a letdown, premature, before it even had a chance to start. Like a big firecracker that got wet.

The buildup was good though, answering a few more questions, introducing a few more (I love when Brust has the characters thinking of something briefly that may or may not be in context, and they think "But that's another story," since I always wonder then if that's a hint of a forthcoming book). This is another patch in the quilt he's been creating for years, some good insight that's worth reading definitely, but just not on par with some of the funner books in the series.

If you're a fan of the Vlad series there's no choice, you need to read it, but come into it knowing it's a lower key book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good book though I suppose not what I was hoping for. Jan. 19 2010
By Floored - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading a lot of mystery novels recently; Steig Larson, Tara French, Michael Cox and George Pelecanos for example. And so when I heard that one of my favorite Fantasy writers, Steven Brust, had a new book out called "Iorich" frankly I had some resoundingly high hopes. I must have read, somewhere, that the great Dragorean house Iorich had something to do with law and justice and in my feverish mind I began to envision plots lines.

What could be better than for "Iorich" to move along similar trajectories as those of a mystery novel, or even better, a courtroom drama. I could hypothetically see Vlad on trial, Jereg assassins trying to break into his cell (is there such a thing as a morganti shiv?), his friends doing the leg work for a change, and instead of a final battle, a legal argument revealing all that was corrupt in the Empire ("Easterners can't handle the TRUTH!"). In my mind I was hoping for a look at the Dragorean legal system, much in the same way that "Dragon" was a look at the Dragorean military system.

Which isn't to say that what "Iorich" turned out to be, wasn't good; it is similar in tone and quality to Yendi, which has always been one Steven Brust's better novels. But like several other reviewers have pointed out. As wonderful, refreshing and just plain good as this book is, we've seen it all before.

Steven Brust can be at both his best and his worst when he is playing with an idea, taking a risk and turning the genre on its head. This book isn't that... but, buy it and read it anyway, because any book by this author, even his bad stuff, is miles away better than most other authors in working in the genre.

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