Tiassa Paperback – Apr 10 2012
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“A wonderful return to form... Full of plots, counterplots, unlikely disguises, sword fights, and mistaken identities. Fans will love the full cast of favorite characters and the resolution of longstanding plots and mysteries, and like most of Brust's books, this witty, wry tale stands well alone and is very accessible to new readers.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Steven Brust may well be America's best fantasy writer.” ―Tad Williams
“No mere plot summary can describe accurately the fun and adventure that naturally seem to follow Vlad Taltos.” ―VOYA
“Brust is incapable of writing a dull book.” ―Booklist
About the Author
STEVEN BRUST is the author of Dragon, Issola, the New York Times-bestselling Dzur, and many other novels of swashbuckling high fantasy. A native of Minneapolis, he lives near Austin, Texas.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The stories in this volume focuses around a an ornate silver Tissa, "It is described as a tiny sculpture of a tiassa, all of silver, with sapphires for eyes." And also "-about the size of my palm, all of silver, except for the eyes, which appeared to be very tiny sapphires. The wings were thin, and filled with a multitude of tiny holes so the light shone through, and there were whiskers around the mouth." Yes it is a beautiful piece of artwork, it was crafted by the goddess Mafenyi and stolen by Devera, and from time to time Devera passes it on to someone who needs it for a specific purpose. It features in this story and in its history Vlad appears to be the only person who has possessed it twice.Read more ›
Several years in the past, Vlad became involved in a peculiar plot that involved spell-marked coins, a mysterious highwayman known as the Blue Fox, and a silver tiassa with sapphire eyes. And in the present, a reported threat of a Jenoine invasion causes the Empire to desperately seek the tiassa, believing that the gods-forged "device" can save them.
At first it seems to be in Vlad's possession -- and he's on the lam from the Jhereg, and nearly unfindable. But Cawti soon discovers that the entire threat is a devious plan of the Jhereg to kill her estranged husband. And soon Khaavren is hot on Vlad's trail...
The biggest problem with "Tiassa" is simple: it's all over the place. The narrative flips from first to third-person, the settings jump around, and even the time period shifts unexpectedly. So it's pretty easy to get completely lost just by something as simple as "When are we? Who is in the room? What's going on?"
Brust's style even changes from one part to another -- at first we're treated to Vlad Taltos' snarky lean style, but later there are chunks of narrative that are more old-timey and serious. And there are some that have little to do with the overall story at all. It's not BAD, but it's often confusing -- it's like a string of intertwined short stories got squished together into a single story.Read more ›
Every Vlad novel is structurally clever in some fashion -- Tiassa goes further than most as this novel consists of three separate stories, tied together by a silver trinket that on first reading seems almost immaterial. But as ever, Mr Brust packs his book with subtle allusions and just enough details to allow a careful reader to piece together what's going on.
Tiassa spends some time with characters from the sidelines: Norathar and Daro get starring roles, and the story with them and Cawti is clever and shows all three for the tough ladies they are. And it appears perhaps that Pel and Vlad are on a collision course...
Looking forward to future Vlad novels!
I would recommend this book for your Vlad Taltos collection.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I've seen other reviewers claim that this book does nothing to further the story, a criticism I honestly would've lodged against Iorich, which, while a decent read, did little to advance the overall plot or provide opportunity for character growth. Tiassa not only sheds some light on some things that have been alluded to in past books (Devera, the Issola bard, the box he talks to) but also drops some HUGE hints toward the future of the series, one in particular stated almost outright by a certain Imperial official.
If I have to levy a criticism against it, it would be that it is definitely not the best place to jump into the series (though arguably that has been true for several books at this point) and it does heavily incorporate characters (and the ridiculously, hilariously overwrought writing style) of the Khaavren romances, which I adore, but could be confusing even to long-time readers if they've never strayed outside of the main Vlad series. Chronologically, it's all over the place; it jumps from events happening just after Yendi to around the same time as Dragon to slightly before (or after) Iorich.
Its a great book for long-time fans of Brust, and definitely one of the best in the series, both in terms of story and general writing. Not to be missed.
We spent years with the buildup of spellbreaker, and finally the great weapon is created... and then....
I keep waiting for more about the *after*, because I've been so curious. But this one again jumps in time, forwards, backwards, forwards... Pre marriage, post marriage.
And while the parts written from Vlad's point of view are as enjoyable as ever, as others have mentioned, there's not a lot of that...
We get to learn a little more about Devera, but beyond that, there just didn't seem that much here that moved the story forward at all, nor did it really fill in any big questions anywhere else.
I'm beginning to feel like I did mid way through the sword of truth series, where things just stalled so horribly and we had to wade through the morass in fear we might miss the couple good pages in a book... I'm NOT saying that this is at that point, but it's certainly nearing it...
Steven Brust is one of the four or five authors I ever recommend to others, but I'm getting to the point now where I feel I need to specify certain books so that people don't get the wrong impression. I'd rather have them learn about the author from the incomparable Jhereg than thinking this is the epitome of his writing...
So let's hope that we get back on track with the engaging stories again, because when he's hot, no other author compares...
In Tiassa he wastes many pages of text with the weird convoluted style he uses in 500 Years After. He can actually write 5 pages of text to cover a paragraphs worth of plot. I keep hoping he brings Vlad back to Andrilankha and gets back to what the made the series in the first place.
I'm losing hope, though. Pity. This was once my favorite series and I waited for each installment.
Fair warning, I've liked pretty much every book in this series, even Jhegaala, which was too convoluted and ponderous for me to get much of a buzz from. But this makes up for it fifteen times over. We get tantalizing hints at longstanding questions, not to mention the reappearance of fan-favorite characters... and a certain fan-favorite narrator.
This is not a good entry point into this series. It was written for people who have read both the last twelve Taltos novels as well as the five Phoenix Guards books. Anyone else might well be lost. But read them. You're in for a treat.
The book essentially includes 3 "Parts" or novellas which are all connected by a thread. The first part concerns an episode from Vlad's past, primarily during the time of his engagement to Cawti.
The second part focuses on a consequence to this first episode, told in Cawti's perspective, but involving Norathar, the Empress, and the Countess of Whitecrest (Khaavren's wife). This occurs after Vlad and Cawti's separation while Vlad is apparently back East somewhere.
The final part is told from Khaavren's perspective, similarly to that you've seen in the books focused on the head of the Phoenix Guards. Yes, including some of the same banter and stylistic elements you'd expect in those books. This was excellently done, however, and you really get to see the care that the Empress has for Vlad and you see the respect for him grow in Khaavren throughout as well.
If you're looking for "all the answers" to the dangling plotlines in the series, you are definitely not going to find them. In fact, the only plot advancement you really see that is relevant to the rest of the series is the fleshing-out of relationships. But who knows how important that will become in later books in the series? Besides, there's going to be at least one book for each of the houses in the cycle anyway. Of course.
If you're looking for deep and thought-provoking reading... why on earth are you reading the Vlad books? These are meant to be light, fun, fast-paced reads with action and humor. Maybe tinged with a little dark reality, but still. Be realistic.
If you've read the other books in the series (either series, really) then you probably ought to just go ahead and get and read it. You know you're going to do so eventually.