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Jhereg, Steven Brust, Ace, 1984 (c1983), ISBN 0-441-38552-4, $2.75

Steven Brust is another one of those authors that I somehow managed to miss when I was younger, even though he has quite a few novels to his credit and a sizable fan following. I was wanting something light and adventurous, having gotten bogged down in the middle of Lawrence Durrell’s Clea. Jhereg was what I expected. A clean, no-frills adventure of an assassin who might have taken a job that was too much for him.

I sit thinking about that last line and the possibility that I may have offended the Brust legions, for it is true that Brust’s world is unique and interesting. He also does a good job of avoiding info-dump, letting the reader slowly discover his world and its rules. But, after acknowledging his creativity in society and planet-building, when it comes to plot, there’s not much new. Like Lois McMaster Bujold, maybe I’m making a mistake by reading these early, journeyman works and trying to match it with their reputation that is instead based on a larger volume of work or a later, master-level effort.

[Finished 30 June 1997]


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