Reaper Man: The demise of Death

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

Reading Reaper Man in light of Terry Pratchett’s recent passing was particularly poignant. It is a book all about death, both figuratively and literally speaking. DISCWORLD fans will be familiar with the character of Death, who this book is largely about. Then, of course, there are the blustering wizards of the Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork, but that is not to say that readers new to the Discworld can’t pick this up as a stand-alone novel. So, what happens when Death is sacked? Utter chaos, apparently…

The mystical forces of the universe (who very specifically have no personalities or individual qualities to them) are not happy. Death has become too much of a character (a he, not an it) and it is simply not proper for the impersonal forces o... Read More

Jhegaala: Vlad is one of the most entertaining protagonists

Jhegaala by Steven Brust

Jhegaala is the 11th novel in the excellent VLAD TALTOS series by Steven Brust. In case you're not familiar with the series, Vlad Taltos is a human assassin living in the Dragaeran empire. Dragaerans are human-like, but live for 1000 years or more and have a complex society divided into 17 Great Houses which all bear some resemblance to a real or mythical animal. So we have the Houses of the Orca and the Hawk, but also the Houses of the Dzur, Dragon, and Jhegaala. Since humans are not part of the Empire, Vlad's father bought his son a title in the House of Jhereg — which is named after a reptilian scavenger and is basically the crime syndicate of the Empire.

Vlad is one of the most fascinating and entertaining protagonists in current fantasy: a smart-ass, bon-vivant assassin who enjoys good food and wine and has a great sarcastic sense of humor.... Read More