Author: Steven Brust
Series: Vlad Taltos #12
Vlad hadn’t intended to go back to Dragaera City, but when he hears Aliera has been arrested he can’t help getting involved. Puzzlingly, none of her powerful, influential friends (up to and including the Empress) appears willing to do anything about it. Vlad knows Aliera won’t appreciate it, but he has to do SOMETHING . . .
First: Read the epilogue. It’s a series of outtakes that had me in tears from laughing so hard. My favorites are the obligatory talking cat and the scene with Vlad walking outside the palace. I dearly hope this is going to be a tradition with the books going forward.
This was another fun one. Vlad is determined to get Aliera out of trouble that she and everyone else seems determined to leave her in. Not that it bothers him too much.
“And what do you think about the law?”
“Most of my thoughts about the law involve ways to circumvent it,” I said.
It’s a little sad to see how all of the people he loves are in their own small ways falling apart. But I like how honest the book is about not offering an easy happy ending, and instead going with the best way forward. Like how Vlad doesn’t dwell on the various troubles he picks up but instead looks for a way through. It’s a subtle progression of character for those friends Vlad has had for years, even now that being friends with him is not exactly a safe thing for those less powerful.
It’s also a very interesting look at laws and societies, how things are set up and why. I did like the lawyer Vlad ends up with. He has some good conversations about that.
All in all, this is one of the ones I liked better (although the outtakes are 10 stars out of 5), and I’m still eager to see where the series goes from here. I rate this book Recommended.