In which Vlad Taltos and his Jhereg learn how the love of a good woman can turn a cold-blooded killer into a real mean SOB.... Vlad tells the story of his early days in the House Jhereg, how he found himself in a Jhereg war, and how he fell in love with the wonderful woman, Yendi, who killed him.
©1984 Steven Brust (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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This is the second book in the series but it takes place before the first. It gives you more in-depth background to all the characters you know from the first book. Bernard Setaro Clark does a great job narrating, he brings the characters to life and will leave you wanting to hear more from him.
"A prequel to Jhereg"
Loveable assassin Vlad Taltos is back in Yendi, the second in Steven Brust’s VLAD TALTOS series. Yendi is actually a prequel to the first novel, Jhereg which introduced us to Vlad, his wife Cawti, his familiar, and several of his friends and enemies. Vlad is a new mob boss who is trying to protect his territory from the encroachment of neighboring mob bosses. When one of them sets up a racket in Vlad’s territory, Vlad has to take him on. As usual, he’ll need all his wits and all his friends just to stay alive.
In Yendi we learn a little more about the Dragaeran Empire, the Dragon Lords, and the activities of Vlad and the other bosses, but for some readers the most significant event is the story of how Vlad met Cawti, how she killed him, and how they fell in love. I was looking forward to this story, but it was a disappointment. The romance was dull and not very believable because of how instantaneous it was. Another complaint I have is the same thing I complained about in my review of the first book, Jhereg: Vlad solves crimes or mysteries by using convoluted suppositions that just happen to be right and there’s no way the reader could have figured out what was going on. This is disappointing because I’ve learned that it’s not much use to try to use my brain to remember clues or reason out a conclusion — I’ll never work it out on my own.
This sense of feeling slightly lost is part of Steven Brust’s unique style. He drops you right into his complex world, but only gives cursory explanations of the characters, politics and history as he goes along. Generally I like this technique because it doesn’t interrupt the plot, but there were several times while reading Yendi that I wasn’t certain that I understood the implications or all the nuances of what was happening. I was reading the audio version, so I’m not sure if I missed a glossary in the back, but fortunately there are plenty of resources on the internet for those seeking to study more of Brust’s world.
Even though I don’t fully understand Brust’s world yet, I like it. I like Brust’s sense of humor (very dry) and I like Vlad Taltos and his turf war. I’m going to keep reading this series for these reasons and because I have friends whose opinions I trust who love this series. I expect that the more I learn, the more I’ll like it, too.
I read the audio version which was recently produced by Audible Frontiers and read by Bernard Setaro Clark who is excellent in every way. Yendi is less than 7 hours long.
One of my favorite series of books ever, engaging, fun and we'll written.
"Really enjoy the speaker, just wish..."
The speaker is excellent at giving everyone their own voice.
I also enjoy the story. It does revolve around a good history. In addition, because the "dragon" people live so long, it's clear that the history of the world is very important. It also means plots and ploys are extremely convoluted, but that just adds to the fun of the story.
However, I find that, time and again, a person or place has been described not at all, or almost not at all. As such, I have difficulty picturing the people or locations fairly often. If a bit more detail were given to vlad's surroundings, that would make these books a lot better, I think.
"Prequel to Bk 1-Nevertheless should be read 2ms 😱"
Complicated plot that moves too slowly at times with too many miraculous "coincidences" and "rescues" so that by the end of the story one's credulity organs are exhausted.
An important story from the standpoint of providing the reader with information and background to the rest of the series of books (if the reader plans to travel that path). 😱
This was a fun read, good mystery Fantasy-Mafia story with a touch of Science Fiction.
"A prequel with a slightly different tone."
This book occurs before book 1 of the series (chronologically). I did not know this when I picked it up so was bit confused as to the goings-on - particularly when some stuff that happened in this story had already been referred to in book one.
There is a bit less of urban fantasy vigilante novel feel and a bit more of a detective novel feel. And a bit more investigating and a bit less action. Not sure if this was a good thing, or a bad one though... I like having the action to move it forward and feel like justice is being served, but the detective part helped flesh out the world and characters. I guess, all in all, it was just different in tone from book one, but not worse because of that, just less of a vigilante novel than I had been expecting.
All in all, it was pretty good, and I have bought the rest in the series. Though I do hope it goes back to the tone/feel of book one. The narration is very good. I think there was a tiny bit of swearing, but no graphic sex or violence.
"The wait is over"
The audio production of this book was excellent. The narrators voice and temple fit well with the read of the actual book.
I love when the reader switches to a dialog with his familiar.
Bernard Setaro Clark handles the different voices very well in a distinctive way so that you realize which character's perspective the writers was coming from.
yes. I drive long distances and it kept me wanting to contiunue listening.
A very good follow up to a fantastic opening book in the series. I thoroughly enjoy it. On to the next book in the series. Go Vlad!
"A must-listen for fantasy fans with sense of humor"
This is easily among the top 5. Not only is the story fantastic (this is one of my favorites in the Vlad Taltos series) but Bernard Setaro Clark manages to bring each character to life, infusing their voices with so much personality and humor.
This exchange between Vlad and Melestav:
"The boss wants you to be his personal secretary and bodyguard."
"The boss is nuts."
"I'm the boss."
He did a wonderful job giving each character a distinctive voice, so that even in long exchanges or multi-party conversations, I had no trouble following who was saying what. I also loved the accent he gave Loiosh.
Every book that Steven Brust writes gives me those reactions. This one is one of my favorites because it is so packed with humor. I literally laughed out loud several times.
Whether you've read any of the books in the Taltos series or not, this one is worth checking out. I love the fantasy world that Steven Brust created, and Bernard Setaro Clark is an outstanding narrator.
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