The third Vlad Taltos book represents a darker, more serious turn in the series. Vladimir Taltos is a short-lived, short-statured Easterner (what we would call a human) in a world mostly populated by the long-lived, extremely tall Dragaerans. He is also an assassin and petty crimelord. His lifestyle and career require some difficult moral choices. When his wife Cawti joins an uprising of Easterners and peasant Dragaerans (the Teckla of the title), it causes a severe strain in their marriage, and Vlad begins to question those choices.
In this 3rd book in the series Vlad finds himself trying to take neutral sides. But when his wife is fully invested in the uprising he finds himself at odds with his wife. If he wants to keep her safe he must make a decision. While all this is going on he finds that the competition is trying to movie in on his turf. I enjoyed listing to Vlad try to juggle his personal life and his business life. As you've come to expect Bernard Setaro Clark's narration had the same quality as the first two books.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Hmmm... after reading the first book in this series, I immediately bought the remainder of the books because I figured they would all be similar in quality and tone. Now I am worried that I was mistaken.
The first book was a noir vigilante book set in a foreign (fantasy) world. The second was more along the lines of an almost-noir detective novel, and although there was not much vigilantism, the dark theme remained. This one was... well... a soap opera-y philosophical fiction. It had no detective work going on; it had no noir; it had no vigilantism. It was more than a bit on the lecture-y side (oh, look how bad "THE MAN" is and how the "system" controls us) and involved the main character essentially pacing back and forth (literally, from one side of town to another, and figuratively in trying to figure out his wife) and bemoaning the apparent breakdown of his marriage (in the face of her struggle against governmental control of "the people").
See my disappointment? It is missing all the features I enjoy (vigilantes, noir, detectives) and includes some of my main pet peeves (morals and lectures). And what was left - man pulling his hair out over relationship breakdown - really didn't tickle my emotional armpits. I simply didn't care. Maybe I'm callous, or maybe Brust simply is better at writing noir than emotional pieces.
I really hope the next one is back to the good stuff because this one was just not worth reading. If this had been the first book I'd read by Brust, it would have been the last. In fact, I'm half tempted to ask for my money back because I feel like I was ripped off - I thought I was buying a noir fantasy with vigilante overtones and I got a philosophical political treatise instead.
The narration is fine. There is nothing gory or graphic and I don't think there is any swearing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I started the first book cautiously but ended enjoying it immensely.
I looked forward to many future books as enjoyable.
The second book not as good.
The third his weakest so far.
The author does not do well with cognitive exploration of personal philosophies.
I do plan to try his next book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I was extremely disappointed in this book.
I very much liked the first two books in the series. There was action, there were twists, there were great plans slowly revealed, there were characters of power as friend and foe. I expected more of the same.
Instead I got a drawn out tale about how people change. Sure, there were a few strategy bits, but it was mostly a tale of a man realizing that the woman he is married to is not the woman he married. The secondary story is politics. There is also a fair bit about refusing to look at things from other points of view. There are no real twists.
The story was still well told. In fact, the segues were possibly the most interesting part of the book.
I felt cheated out of the time I invested in this book. Several other books in the series look promising, but I doubt I’ll read them -- this was just so far outside of what I expected that I have no confidence in the rest of the series.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I’ve read all of the Taltos books a few times but listening to them being read so eloquently adds a whole new level of entertainment to the experience. I plan on buying the audiobooks of the entire series now and anxiously await any further books by Brust!
After Athyra, which still is my least favorite, I never really enjoyed Teckla. But I just have this a listen again -- maybe it's the third time in 20 years I've read (listened to) it -- and with the political climate, and perhaps a little of my own maturity, I have to say this is a much better story than I remember it being. The ideas being evaluated are complex and while occasionally the characters are a little archetypal, there's a lot of interesting discussion of politics and making the word in ones own righteous image. Definitely worth a re-read.
The subject matter of this book, an oppressed class of people fighting for their civil rights, makes this a very intense read. Be forewarned.
If you've liked the previous books, you should like this one.
This book focused on the tensions ever present and continuously causing problems within Taltos's world relating to how humans and Tekla are treated.
However, unlike the predecessors, this book didn't revolve around a master plan that had to be figured out but, rather, where Taltos felt he fit in with the world. As I had become accustomed to these puzzles, I did feel mildly let down at having no great master plan to figure out alongside Taltos, so I felt a bit more bored listening to this one.
So, 4 for stars for the story, while I continue to love the narrator. Overall, I'll give a 5 star because the book still gave excellent insight into this world, how it works, etc.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
It was a good listen, but I just didn't find a whole lot to care about in it. At the risk of spoilers Vlad is told early on that the events which will happen will happen regardless of what he does. That's the problem for me it really feels like Vlad is irrelevant to the main plot and as a result he's not handling the secondary plot ,which he is involved in, poorly.
What do you think your next listen will be?
I'm planning to read "Skin Games" next.
What about Bernard Setaro Clark’s performance did you like?
He had a good variety of voices and managed to keep them seperate. Really his performance was the best part of this book for me.
Was Teckla worth the listening time?
If you're in to this kind of thing, but its mostly a story about an attempt at starting social revolution. Not as interesting to listen as the first book in the series.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Teckla?
The battle for his wife from the uprising. Great plot just not enough action for me in this book.
What does Bernard Setaro Clark bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He brings the book to life
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?