fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsDzur by Steven Brust epic fantasy audiobook reviewsDzur by Steven Brust

In Dzur, the tenth book in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series, Vlad is finally back in the city of Adrilankha. I suspect that most fans will be thrilled to return to that decadent cosmopolitan city; it’s just so much more interesting than watching Vlad roam around the countryside. Fittingly, each of the chapters in Dzur is named for one of the items Vlad is served at his favorite restaurant during a gourmet meal that runs parallel to the main plot of Dzur. (Vlad, an assassin by trade, is quite the foodie and, while he dines, he often points out the analogies between preparing a gourmet dinner and preparing to make a hit.)

So, he’s back in Adrilankha eating with a new Dzurlord in his favorite restaurant and telling us what happened just after the events of the last book, Issola (which you’ll want to read first, I think). Vlad now owns a great weapon and is learning more about what they are and how they work. He’s back in the city because he finds out that his wife Cawti, who he’s been separated from for years, is having trouble with the “Left Hand of the Jhereg,” an group of women who Vlad calls the “Bitch Patrol.” They are adversely influencing Vlad’s old organization — the one he’s been running from all these years. Now, to protect Cawti, he’s willing to take his chances and shows up to straighten things out. Of course, he’ll need a little help from a couple of new friends and all his old friends, including some he hasn’t seen in quite a long time.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsIt’s great to see Vlad back in his element — swaggering down the streets of Adrilankha and dining in his favorite establishment. Unfortunately, a lot of the plot of Dzur is actually watching Vlad swagger down the streets of Adrilankha and dine in his favorite establishment, which turns out to be not all that interesting after a while. The plot moves awfully slowly and sometimes seems disjointed, especially when Vlad starts talking about how he thinks the goddess Vera has been messing with his memories.

But, still, it’s always fun to listen to Vlad and Loiosh talk — they’re genuinely funny — and there are a couple of promising new characters added to the mix and there’s another big life change for Vlad. Dzur isn’t one of the better books in the VLAD TALTOS series, but it will still probably satisfy Brust’s fans. As always, Bernard Setaro Clark is brilliant with the narration of the audio version which is eight hours long and produced by Audible Studios.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.