Well, I am usually one to quickly pick up a new Vlad Taltos novel. Steven Brust 's sword ans sorcery tales usually packs a lot of entertainment per page, though as I said before: that can't really be the only explanation why I am so hooked. This one took some time however (and there should even be a new installment in the series out long before this review goes online), but I had a lot of other novels in my queue. Then back in April I was back in Vancouver for a visit. To my joy I noted that there are a number of new second hand bookshops spread around the city. In one of the first ones sat Tiassa on a shelf. Serendipity I said, and bought it.
Then I read it. It's not the best in the series, but not bad for a straight adventure. I missed some of the mythology and world building. We follow a silver statue (that of a Tiassa of course) as it weaves through different events of Vlad Taltos' life, and of the lives of those around him. It also involves Khaavren, captain of the Phoenix Guards, and protagonist in Brust's s pinoff series of five books . I recommend reading those first even if you have worked your way through the Taltos books. It will help keeping up with the characters and voices. So, everyone wants this statue, but why?
A friend of mine, who usually is a great fan of the series, did not take to Tiassa at all; arguing that the story drowns in the different viewpoints and voices; that the book read like a cut-up. I would not go that far, and I think that Tiassa has its place in the canon, after all Brust has always experimented with style and voice throughout the books. In the end it furthers the story of Vlad's life and sets the stage for a confrontation between Vlad Taltos and his former employers. Read it, but read it as part of the series.