Issola Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Issola

Vlad Taltos, former Jhereg assassin, once again is called upon to help his friends Morrolan and Aliera, who have been kidnapped by the Jenoine, a mysterious race of beings long ago banished from the world. With the assistance of Lady Teldra, Morrolan's superhumanly polite hostess, he attempts to rescue his friends and foil the Jenoine's attempt to invade Dragaera.
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The review of this Book prepared by Ben Kidd

Tor, Jul 2001, 23.95, 255 pp.
ISBN: 0312859279

    Castle Black's Lady Teldra surprisingly finds Vlad Taltos, who buried himself in the wilderness more worried about survival than comfort. Teldra explains that she received help from Kiera the Thief who pointed in the general direction followed by the supreme sorceress Sethra Lavode who traced the specific spot via a link to Vlad's dragon Loiosh. Vlad concludes that the Jhereg would not be able to follow Teldra's path so he should remain safe.

    Teldra wants Vlad to rescue Morrolan and Aliera who have vanished without leaving a psychic trace. For a decent cup of klava, Vlad would risk anything so he agrees to accompany Teldra to learn more from Sethra, whose servant knows how to make a mean klava. Vlad concludes that the creators of Dragaera, the ultra powerful Jenoine have captured his two friends. This explains the lack of a psychic trace. He knows any attempt to free his friends means visibility to his foes and a new set of dangerous enemies whose illusions make Vlad's abilities look like child play.

    Long term fans of the Lord Taltos series will have a field day with ISSOLA, one of the best entries in several years. The story line contains the usual humor, illusions, and duels yet Vlad seems fresh mainly due to his relationship with Teldra who humanizes him. Loiosh remains a funny sidekick comic lightening the tale. Though new readers will struggle with the tone and self deprecating amusing references to previous novels, Steven Brust has written a triumphant story that fantasy fans will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Issola

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   rescue mission/escape from confinement Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   killer    -   mage/magician Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's If magical mental powers:    -   teleportation    -   can cast many different spells


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   unfriendly aliens    -   empty, or nearly empty world Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   explicit references to deaths How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Steven Brust Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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