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Teckla by Steven Brust
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1,0711511,949 (3.73)44



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This book introduces my least favorite storyline in the entire series, which is the Easterner uprising in South Andrilankha. There's just something about the whole thing that I find very dull. Also, it turns Cawti from a smart and sexy assassin into an obsessed revolutionist.

Despite this, the story still manages to be fairly entertaining, particularly Vlad's torture and the aftermath of it. ( )
  jrg1316 | Jun 20, 2019 |
Probably my least favorite of the books I have read. A lot of what made the first two wonderful was missing. Still enjoyed it. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Vlad's wife Cawti takes up with revolutionaries who want to overthrow the system and make things more fair" for Easterners[humans]and Teckla, the grunt of the Draegons. Too much talking by the head revolutionary for my taste. Vlad should have just wasted him right in the beginning. Oh well." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Hmmm... after reading the first book in this series, I immediately bought the remainder of the books because I figured they would all be similar in quality and tone. Now I am worried that I was mistaken.

The first book was a noir vigilante book set in a foreign (fantasy) world. The second was more along the lines of an almost-noir detective novel, and although there was not much vigilantism, the dark theme remained. This one was... well... a soap opera-y philosophical fiction. It had no detective work going on; it had no noir; it had no vigilantism. It was a bit on the lecture-y side (oh, look how bad "THE MAN" is and how the "system" controls us) and involved the main character essentially pacing back and forth (literally, from one side of town to another, and figuratively in trying to figure out his wife) and bemoaning the apparent breakdown of his marriage (in the face of her struggle against governmental control of "the people")

See my disappointment? It is missing all the features I enjoy (vigilantes, noir, detectives) and includes some of my main pet peeves (morals and lectures). And what was left - man pulling his hair out over relationship breakdown - really didn't tickle my emotional armpits. I simply didn't care. Maybe I'm callous, or maybe Brust simply is better at writing noir than emotional pieces.

I really hope the next one is back to the good stuff because this one was just not worth reading. ( )
  crazybatcow | Mar 5, 2015 |
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/teckla/

Teckla is the third novel in Steven Brust??s series about Vlad Taltos, a human assassin who lives in the empire of Dragaera which is populated mostly by a species of long-lived tall humanoids who were genetically engineered by sorcerers and divide themselves into clans depending on their specific traits. In the first VLAD TALTOS novel, Jhereg, we met Vlad, an Easterner whose father bought the family into the nobility of the lowly house of Jhereg. Vlad, like many of the Jhereg, is a crime boss and controls a portion of the city of Adrilankha. In the second book, Yendi, we learned how Vlad met his wife Cawti when she was sent to assassinate him. He died but was revivified by his minions and married Cawti.

The Teckla of the title of this third book are the peasant clan of Dragaera. For generations theyƒ??ve been the down-trodden masses. But now they have a charismatic leader who is stirring them up and fomenting revolution. The Easterners have joined them and so has Cawti, Vladƒ??s ultra-competent wife. The revolution is causing some difficulties for Herth, one of the other Jhereg bosses and Vlad learns that Herth plans to murder the leaders of the revolution, including Cawti. Vlad is being pulled in multiple directions. He wants to please and protect his wife, and his heritage is Easterner, but heƒ??s now a noble in one of the Dragaeran houses. What is a cold-hearted crime lord assassin to do? Kill people, of course.

For such a short book, thereƒ??s plenty of plot in Teckla ƒ?? assassinations, investigations, revolutionary rallies, break-ins, kidnapping, torture, rescues. To emphasize the action, Brust titles each chapter with a snippet from the laundry list that Vlad Taltos must have compiled at the end of the adventure ƒ?? ƒ??Chapter 3: And repair cut in right cuff,ƒ? ƒ??Chapter 4: One pair gray trousers: remove blood stain from upper right leg.ƒ? These cute chapter titles foreshadow the events in the chapter.

But the main focus of Teckla is Vladƒ??s insecurities about his own profession and lifestyle and his relationship with Cawti. Cawti wants to live her own life, but sheƒ??s heading into trouble. Vlad just wants to protect her, but she doesnƒ??t want his protection. Vlad also doesnƒ??t want to cause more tension between himself and the other nobility of Dragaera. The couple find themselves being pulled in opposite directions and starting to wonder how well they actually know and love each other.

I like the VLAD TALTOS series mainly because I like Vlad Taltos. I like his competence, his breezy but philosophical style, his thoughtful analysis of himself and others, and the amusing way he looks at life. In Teckla, Vlad is mostly feeling insecure and depressed, which is unusual for him (or so it seems to me after reading the previous two books). I enjoyed how he began to question his place in Dragaera and his thoughts about social status, the governmentƒ??s role in society, the worship of causes and ideas, and the need for revolution. But because of his failing marriage, Vlad does a lot of brooding in this book. While it makes him feel human and sensitive (which is kind of nice for an assassin, I suppose), itƒ??s not the Vlad Taltos we know and love and, frankly, it gets tiresome, and even annoying, after a while. I hope that Vlad will be back to himself in the next novel, Taltos.

Iƒ??m listening to Bernard Setaro Clarkƒ??s excellent narration of Audible Frontierƒ??s audio version. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brust, Stevenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, Bernard SetaroNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hickman, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My thanks to Adrian Morgan, for his invaluable assistance.
For Steven Biko, Tom Henehan, George Jackson, Patrice Lumumba, and R.T. Piyadasa
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I found an oracle about three blocks down on Undauntra, a little out of my area.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Steven Brust is the author of numerous fantasy novels, including Jhereg, Yendi, Teckla, and Orca. He lives in Minneapolis.

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