Steven Burst continues the adventures of Vlad Taltos, assassin in his latest novel, Jhegaala. Here Vlad has
earned the wrath of the Jheges, a criminal organization in the western provinces of the kingdom. With their
assassins after him, he left home and spent a couple of weeks with his grandfather. Then, he headed east to the
province of the Fenario. As long as he wore his amulet, the Jhoreg couldn't find him. But that also meant he could
perform no magic, not even a healing spell.
Vlad traveled to the town of Burry. His mother had come from that town. It was a modest sized town that had only
one claim to fame. It hosted the Empire's only paper mill. The grandfather of the current Count Sackaresh had
uncovered an old process for making cheap paper. The town prospered in spite of the stench from the mill.
But when Vlad began to ask about his mother's kin the members of the local merchant's Guild clammed up. The mere
mention of the Merss' name was viewed as a threat. Finally, he was sent to the count's coachman Zollie who told him
where his kinfold were.
Vlad set out the next day with his familiars, Louish and Rocza. He saw the smoke even before he arrived at the
smoking ruins of the Merss family home. And there were bodies, seven in all, two of them small children. Vlad vowed
to find and kill the murderers. But before he could get back to Zollie for more information, the coachman was
Jhegaala is a fascinating story, written by a master storyteller. The characters have clearly defined
personalities. My favorite is Loiush.
I like the way Vlad goes about solving the murders. The plot keeps changing the suspects until Vlad finds the
shocking answers. Fantasy and mystery fans are in for a treat. Read it and enjoy.