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Now I have one for you. Have you read Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series? They're fantastic. The world he creates is very well done and they're very funny. Great dialogue. Vlad Taltos is an assassin and low level crime boss (I don't know how else to describe it). The first one is Jhereg (perhaps you recognize the name from one of LBYM's posters). I highly recommend it.

He has a parallel series called Phoenix Guards which is his affectionate tribute to Dumas. They're well worth reading.

Yes, yes! I knew I had forgotten so many of my favorites! I've read both of the Phoenix Guard books, but I've had a hard time getting my hands on the Vlad Taltos series. My local library system doesn't have all of them. So I've read about half of them, and out of order, which is extremely frustrating. Those books are very good; their tone swings from upbeat to depressing in a very realistic way. I read an interview with him - he said his marriage was breaking up as he wrote the book in which Vlad becomes estranged from his wife, and he didn't even realize it until later....

I've also read Brokedown Palace, which is connected somewhat to the Taltos world. And the epistolary novel he wrote with Bull is worthwhile, but dense.

Other favorites I omitted: Watt-Evans. I really enjoy his light fantasy. And Tim Powers writes great modern and historical fantasies. They're very compelling, even if, after three or four of them, you realize they're all the same book: young man becomes educated in the ways of a magical system and uses it to defeat evil and rescue Tess Trueheart.

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