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This page is about the book Hawk. For the House of the Hawk, see Hawk. For the animal, see Hawk (animal).
Hawk Front Cover

Front Cover of Hawk

The fourteenth novel in the Vlad Taltos series, and the next novel after Tiassa.

Released October 7, 2014.


Vlad is back in Adrilankha and as usual is allowing his general irritation at things outside his control to make him risk his life on outrageous schemes. This time, the Jhereg's price on his head is interfering with his lifestyle, and he'd rather fight than run. If only there were some way to buy the Jhereg's forgiveness.

Plot Summary[]

Vlad is back in Adrilankha and is attacked three times in one day by the Jhereg, in a way that suggests a ridiculous amount of resources and research being applied to killing him. With a little help from The Warlock, and being forced to literally cut his own throat to save his life, he manages to escape, shaken, retreats to a hideaway (provided by Auntie, a friend of his grandfather) to recuperate.

While recovering from his injuries, Vlad recalls a long-ago drunken conversation with Daymar that gives him a clue how he might square things with the Jhereg. He thinks he's discovered a way to allow eavesdropping on psychic communications. Such an ability would be of great financial benefit to the Jhereg Organization, as they would be able to both sell the service of listening in on private conversations, as well as charging clients to protect their conversations against such scrutiny. He realizes he will need the assistance of many of his friends, as well as other magical and mundane resources in order to execute his plan.

After a discussion with Daymar regarding how he was able to "hide from the Orb" (mentioned during their long-ago conversation), and receiving a lecture on how psychic communication works, Vlad and Daymar realize his approach is feasible.

After his meeting, Vlad encounters a pair of Phoenix Guard soldiers in the process of arresting a young cutpurse named Asyavn. In exchange for future assistance, Vlad intervenes and uses his authority as holder of an Imperial Title to get the charge suspended. Vlad next looks up his old friend Kiera. He explains that he needs a way to distract the leaders of the Jhereg Council while he sets them up for his plan, and she suggests that a murder of a powerful figure within the Organization would likely do the trick. He also enquires about an enchanted lockpick she once used, and asks to borrow it.

After visiting a money-lender named Tippy to get some additional funds, as well as to plant some rumors he know will make it back to the leadership of the Jhereg, Vlad drops in on The Demon at his estate. After a brief confrontation with his minions, and the threat of using Godslayer, Vlad gains an audience. Vlad tempts The Demon by offering him the details of how the illegal eavesdropping can be accomplished, in exchange for calling off the Morganti death marker against him. The Demon is intrigued enough to hold off killing Vlad until he has a chance to discuss the offer with the rest of the Council. Vlad extracts a promise from The Demon not to attempt to kill him until after the meeting is over.

Vlad makes his way to his old office near Malak Circle, and arranges to stay with Kragar for a few days while finaliazes the deal. Vlad arranges with Daymar to obtain some items for him, including a Hawk's Egg and the Wand of Ucerics. Next, he consults with Perisil, an advocate who assisted him previously during the trial of Aliera e'Kieron for her use of Elder Sorcery (See Iorich (book)). Vlad asks Perisil to confirm that eavesdropping on Psychic communications is an illegal activity. Calling his favor from Asyavn, Vlad asks the boy to obtain a boat anchor for him. While he has no direct need for the anchor itself, in the process of having the boy obtain it, Vlad learns the depth of the ocean-sea at a specific place along the coastline near Precipice Manor.

Vlad later visits a tailor and has a special cloak made for himself. He contacts Sara and arranges to borrow an ensorcelled euphonium. He also employs a stone cutter to create a stairway at a specific point along the coastline, also near Precipice Manor. He also visits a witch and has her magically implant a subconscious suggestion to certain persons (who we later learn is The Demon) in order to persuade him where to arrange the meeting with the Jhereg Council. Naturally, this is Precipice Manor. He pays the location a visit personally to perform some additional preparations as well.

While Vlad suspects that the Jhereg might not be true to their word on letting him live, even after he gives them the secret to the eavesdropping spell, he has a more complicated twist to the plan, involving the use of the magical items he's collected. It also involves some help from his old associate, Khaavren, Captain of the Phoenix Guard.

As a further setup to the final meeting, Vlad finally dispatches his old nemesis, Terion, in one of the few assassinations he has performed since the end of his formal career with the Jhereg. This provides the key distraction he needed to keep the Jhereg Council from considering things too closely beyond their chance to get the eavesdropping spell.

Gathering select members of the Jhereg Council at Precipice Manor, Vlad presents his listening technique for their sorcerers to observe, thus fulfilling his side of the bargain. However, things are never quite as simple as they ought to be, and it is a good thing for Vlad that he has prepared himself well in advance.

Psychologically, the scheme involves having the Jhereg leadership focus on details and miss the bigger picture, or as Vlad puts it, 'see things like a Hawk'.

In a meta sense, the novel is a continuity buffet, with references to and/or cameo appearances by practically every surviving major character Vlad's ever associated with.

Role of the House:[]

Daymar, a Hawklord, provides the impetus and knowhow that become Vlad's scheme. The house of the Hawk also provides the perspective that Vlad hopes to induce in the Jhereg council. Vlad experiences several close calls because his focus blinds him to unexpected tactics or agendas, indicating he's not immune to that same overly-narrow perspective himself. Finally, by weaving a new technology from powerful psychic ability and subtle sorcery, Vlad himself is doing something that only Daymar and his like would normally attempt, so he himself is taking on the House role.

See also Meta:Hawk (book).

Major Characters[]

Others appearing:

Great Scenes[]

  • Vlad meets The Warlock
  • Consulting an advocate to make certain what you're going to do is against the law
  • Vlad negotiating with the Demon
  • The climax at Precipice Manor

Favorite Quotes[]

Vlad Taltos
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