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Listening to the Silence

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Jhegaala - Steven Brust ***If you haven't read the other books in this series, there are spoilers ahead***

In his eleventh adventure to date, Vlad Taltos finds himself in a difficult position. His marriage, that he had thought was perfect in just about every way, has just collapsed. Oh and there is one other minor detail, the Jhereg organization as a whole is on his tail, a Morganti blade in hand. With nowhere left in the Empire to hide, he decides that now would be a good time to learn about his past. So armed with minimal leads from his Noish-pa about his mother's people, he heads east to the small town of Burz where he finds himself embroiled in the center of a standoff between three different and equally powerful groups of people.

***End Spoilers***

I think it's been too long since I've read a Brust novel. I always love everything this author has to offer but I didn't find myself nearly as engrossed in this tale as I have previously. Maybe a reread of the other 10 stories would have helped or maybe it was the story itself. Most of my favorite characters, including Aliera, Morrolan, Lady Teldra, and Sethra Lavode, were completely absent. Given the storyline, that is to be expected, but these characters add so much to the stories, that this one suffered as a result. Yes, the sarcastic interplay between Loiosh and Vlad was still humorous, but overall the story felt lacking. In addition, the lack of explanation about anything until the very last pages got annoying. Normally you would get some sort of idea of what was happening through the conversations between Vlad and his familiar, but instead there was a lot of Vlad telling Loiosh that he wasn't sure or he didn't want to talk about it. This made for a frustrating read.

Notwithstanding, I will definitely continue with the series. I love the characters and the world is a really unique one to fantasy literature. I just hope that sooner or later my old favorite characters reappear and that the stories are less convoluted.