cover image Iorich


Steven Brust, . . Tor, $24.99 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1208-2

Brust's enjoyable 12th Vlad Taltos adventure (after 2008's Jhegaala ) brings the former organized crime figure back to his hometown, where he must avoid the many assassins still on the lookout for him. As Vlad tries to help Aliera e'Kieron, an old friend recently fallen from high places, he uncovers an increasingly complex web of intrigue aimed at creating an illegal drug trade. To thwart the plot, Vlad must navigate among the Dragaeran Empress and her associates, his ex-wife, his former associate Krager, and other schemers. Named for the Dragaeran clan of lawyers and judges, this installment has less action and more inscrutable dialogue than previous novels, providing some new insight into the interactions of the 17 clans. Newcomers will be a bit lost, but Brust fans will find a lot to think about as well as hints of larger plots to come. (Jan.)