The first book I finished reading this year was “Hawk” by Steven Brust. It is book number 14 in his Vlad Taltos series – and, yes, you need to have read the previous books to understand what is going on and who is who, so I will keep this review short. (The series, in a nutshell, takes place in a fantasy world where magic and witchcraft are a reality of everyday life. The main character, Vlad Taltos, makes a living by being a criminal, the only real option he has an Easterner in a society of Dragaerans. He is accompanied by a Jhereg called Loiosh, a flying reptile, which he can communicate telepathically with because they are soul mates.)
This novel was a typical book of the series in that Vlad manoeuvres himself into a tricky situation, narrowly escapes death, then works out a plan to wriggle himself out of the situation. Of course neither Loiosh, his faithful companion, nor the reader are initiated into the exact plan until it is executed.
I started the series ages ago because I liked the idea of the protagonist having a mythical creature by his side that would not shut up giving vital advice (at least sort of). Over the past books, I think that Loiosh – and the relationship between him and Vlad – turns out better and better every time. The only complaint I have about the series is that it can take Steven Brust several years to write a new book (and then it takes ages until the book is released as a paperback…). Ah, perhaps I should use the time until the next release to re-read all the previous books to refresh my memory of past events and characters that make an appearance again.