I’ll say right up front that I have very little useful to say about Steven Brust’s latest Vlad Taltos book, Jhegaala. This is the long-awaited story of Vlad back East, set shortly after Phoenix, and as a result of its position in the series, my principal reaction is that I want to re-read Athyra and maybe Orca too, to see how they look in light of Jhegaala. (The Dragaeran Timeline (spoilers, obviously) suggests that the book is narrated between the two, which makes emotional if not necessarily logistical sense to me.)
This book is a prime example of why I make a mental distinction between plot and story. The plot is a mystery whose solution (a) is deliberately not explained until the end, even though Vlad has arrived at it earlier and (b) doesn’t particularly interest me in and of itself. The story, as in most if not all the other Vlad books, is Vlad’s development; and while that is of great interest to me, I’m having trouble fitting into my conception of his overall arc. (This happens with some of the other Vlad books, too; I love Dzur for its story, but two years later, have forgotten pretty much all of its plot, whereas Orca sticks with me for both.)
Miscellaneous other notes: as would be expected from its chronological position in the series, this is a bleak book. It works very well thematically in terms of its title House, which represents metamorphosis and endurance. And I really liked the Nero Wolfe joke.