Phoenix by Steven Brust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a Vlad Taltos novel, it doesn't follow the same tricks as the previous novels, which bodes well. The main issue, assassination, starts and finishes almost immediately, but the ripple effect tears the rest of his life apart.
I can't say that I'm very surprised that his marriage has fallen apart, because that was the main terror of the last novel, as was the revolution, which has now finally blown up the great city.
Poor Vlad. Not only is his vaunted practicality falling to shit, he's actually becoming a reasonably respectable hero that actually CARES to do the RIGHT thing. Oh my. I mean, it's not like we haven't seen a glimmer of this moral and caring Vlad in the past, of course, but to actually admit it to himself?
Oh, The Horror.
And so ends one major chapter of his life, in more ways than one, and he's left with only his dragon companions and his trusty blade and Wonderous Magical Item.
Where will he go? What kind of mischief will a major crime boss and assassin extraordinaire get up to now, without a wife or crew to hold him back?
There's absolutely no reason in hell to go over the implications of the title, except that Mr. Brust had imbedded his own meanings quite nicely into the worldbuilding without ever needing to apply it to our mythology. Too bad the story, itself, does the job quite adroitly. :)
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