Tsalmoth by Steven Brust: Swashbuckling Adventure

First comes love. Then comes marriage…

Vlad Taltos is in love. With a former assassin who may just be better than he is at the Game. Women like this don’t come along every day and no way is he passing up a sure bet.

So a wedding is being planned. Along with a shady deal gone wrong and a dead man who owes Vlad money. Setting up the first and trying to deal with the second is bad enough. And then bigger powers decide that Vlad is the perfect patsy to shake the power structure of the kingdom.

More’s the pity that his soul is sent walkabout to do it.

How might Vlad get his soul back and have any shot at a happy ending? Well, there’s the tale…

Book 16 in the tales of Vlad Taltos, Steven Brust brings his trademark wit to this new novel, Tsalmoth, offering readers a novel of swashbuckling adventure. Even having been several years since I read a Taltos novel, I fell right back into the rhythm of Brust’s voice and words. The character of Vlad Taltos is well developed and more importantly, he is engaging and charismatic. The secondary characters are likable and with a light touch, Brust develops the complexity and depth of all the characters.

Part of what makes this novel so delightful are the twists and turns, the intrigue of as Vlad attempts to solve the mystery of how to get his money and save his soul. Does he get a happy ending? You’ll have to read the novel to find out, no spoilers here. But I will say there were plenty of familiar characters but also surprises along the way in this thrilling ride of intrigue and mystery. 

If you love drama, intrigue and mystery or just a great swashbuckling adventure story, I suggest checking out the Vlad Taltos series. While you can read book 16 without being completely lost and there is enough information sprinkled throughout so you will be able to understand the world, you might still want to read the other novels to enjoy it better. It is a great continuation of the series. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Jhereg

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