Finished catching up on Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos novels: I read Phoenix, Athyra, and Issola over the last three days. (The first two are out of print; the last isn't yet out in paperback.) One of the things that's impressed me with Brust is how he's been able to find interesting things to do with his writing for each novel instead of doing the obvious "reveal the next chapter of the story" (although this comparison isn't fair, really, since the epic fantasy authors have a particular single epic story they're trying to get across in pieces). For one thing, he's jumped around chronologically a fair bit with each novel. For another he'll experiment, like Dragon's multi-woven chronology, or Athyra's use of secondary character POV. Of these three books, I think Issola was the most pleasing to me; Phoenix felt a bit too pat, a bit too repetitive (talk to Jhereg A who fingers Jhereg B who fingers Jhereg C); whereas not much really happened in Athyra. Issola was particularly impressive for taking a minor, familiar character, and quickly giving her depth and making the reader (well, me, anyway) care about her. I was even amused instead of annoyed when the narrator said "well, probably by now you can see where this is going"... for the second time.