A piece of explanation for the bold ones...
Vlad Taltos is a 14 books saga (19 expected at the end) which can be read either in the published order, or in the chronological one (this is what we recommand), the bravest among you all will see the challenge in here.
In 14 books, we can assure you a lot of stuff happens. Like...a lot. Too much to be able to write a complete summary. After having read 13 of them, we are able to split the saga in two big cycles. We will focus this review on the first one, and we promise to do our best to avoid any spoilers. Pinky swear.
In a world where humans are considered as the inferior race, and where magic allows people to teleport themselves, and even to bring people back to life, Vlad Taltos succeeds in climbing social scale using shenanigans, murders and sarcasm. We don't really know which one will cause more problems than the others.
What we love about it...
The various relationships are the strongest asset of the Vlad Taltos universe. Frienships, love interests, professional sphere or ennemies, Vlad is always using sarcasm and hidden meaning to make his voice heard. Each relationship grows, deepens, complexifies and is at the very core of the story. The most hilarious one is undoubtedly the relationship that binds him to his best friend, creating words clashes but in a kind way. Nevertheless I won't tell you more about it, you'll have to discover this by yourself.
The whole universe in which the story is settled is complex, well drawn, realistic. Magic and reality combines in harmony, but you still have this fantasy spirit where magical beings and witchcraft are on the front stage.
We love the fact that the story is written from the heroes point of view, taking us deep into the world through Vlad's pattern of thoughts in order to stay alive.
What we love a little less...
From a general point of view, all the books follow the same process. Vlad is living his life, something comes up, with different layers of complexity, and then the whole stuff blows up until it's resolved. That being said, it doesn't prevent you from being sucked inside this fantastic world. And sometimes surprises happen and the book is completely different from what you've expected, renewing the hunger for more.
I've been fighting with a friend who really wanted me to read this saga for years(but just in a contradictory spirit, i would say no.) Even if today I'm still blaming him for sending me into this marvelous universe, I mainly have to thank him. It's been a while since I had this addictive reaction to a saga, even more for one belonging to the fantasy genre far from being a teen drama. I felt invested in the emotional point of view, I lived with and for the characters, getting infatuated with them, hoping thay would be safe. And it is good!
If you are not afraid by fantasy, that saga with more than 3 books do not scare you either, you will fall in love with the Vlad Taltos adventures, a human, a criminal and an assassin.
How to read them (in the chronological order):