The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White


Hawk cover
Fall 2014

Hawk was a difficult book to write, because I was consciously playing with plot structure–usually not something I think about.  In the end, I’m quite happy with how it came out.  And I’m never going to do that again.

Download pdf: Hawk Deleted Scene


Discussion Page


  1. Heh – Nuts!

  2. I’m tapped out.

  3. That was… riveting.

  4. You’ve given up searching for the perfect cup of klava and just fermented something, right?

  5. Looks like Hawk will be a screwball comedy.

  6. you don’t use a hammer you use some kind of dull knife? I’m a metalworker, welder and machinist, and that one went right over my head

  7. @Mike Rossi — pretty sure that’s a screwdriver

  8. skzb

    Yeah, I think so, too.

  9. So what do you do once you kick a finished product over the fence to complete the publishing cycle? Is there a sense of closure and a need to go clear the head by doing something other than write? Do you dive back into other work, e.g. The Incrementalists? Go on a mad hold ’em binge?

  10. haha nice Hawk is finnished 🙂
    Now only a few more months to wait untill i can order it in the Netherlands.
    After reading the short story about hawk and the dzurlord with the pure evil greatweapon i just can’t wait to see they witty hawk daymar in the plot.

    I hope the dutch amazone has the book as fast available as it’s counterpart.

  11. skzb

    Steve: I give myself permission to do nothing for a few months. These last couple of years, though, I seem to feel the urge to dive into a new project right away. Not sure why, but I see no reason to fight it.

  12. Do you have any say over whether or not this gets an audiobook release on Audible, or is that all the publisher’s doing?

  13. skzb

    It’s Audible’s doing, but the contract for Hawk is signed. I believe the audio book comes out the same day as the hardcover.

  14. That’s great to hear. I discovered your work on a recommendation late last year and have torn through them all since then. Vlad is now my new favourite book series. I can hardly wait for Hawk.

  15. Yes, thank you.

  16. Any way to get a signed copy when it is released!!?

  17. skzb

    Several possibilities. One of the easiest involves getting hold of Uncle Hugo’s bookstore in Minneapolis and buying it through them, because I usually go other there and sign a bunch when a new book comes in. There are other possibilities if that doesn’t work.

  18. Thanks for letting me know! I am in Canada, but will see if maybe they can mail me a copy after it is signed. Any other options closer to me?
    thank you!!

  19. skzb

    You can mail it to me with a SASE and I’ll sign it and return it. But with my upcoming travel schedule, that might take a while.

  20. I was able to get in touch with Don at Uncle Hugo’s books and he is going to arrange to have one shipped to me! Thanks for the help!

  21. I feel rather like Cinderella when the clock struck midnight; my Hawk is languishing in the ‘download error’ and it looks as if I won’t get any meaningful response till Amazon wake up on this side of the pond.

    Bang goes my rereading plan, perfectly timed to start on Hawk at midnight…

  22. Benefits of living in a major metropolitan area: You might live around the corner from a bookstore that opens early enough that you can buy the new Vlad book and still get to work on time.

  23. Pingback: Brust’s Hawk is out | Typing Animal

  24. Woo Hoo!!! Picked up my copy of Hawk earlier today. I’m a couple chapters in, and I am one excited gal! Just had to pop in and say Thank You Mr. Brust! You Rock!

  25. ok, bought this today and read it at work. There is not a Vlad book out there that made me think wtf while reading more than Hawk. after finishing it i’m still confuddled (not a bad thing at all tho).

    Love the book, and can’t wait for the next installment…

  26. Vlad said he killed Melestav. Either that’s not true or his memory is fuzzy.

  27. …”before I killed him”, “before he tried to kill me”… same thing in Vlad’s mind perhaps. 😉

  28. So. Good. Thank you!

  29. My local independent SF bookstore (Pandemonium) didn’t have it and didn’t know where it was. Forced me to go down to B+N, where it wasn’t in the F&SF section at all. On my way out when I spot a stack on the “new releases” table in front. That’s something, anyway! I was about to fall back on Amazon….

  30. Finished Hawk and loved it. So…when is the next Vlad book coming out?

  31. Hehe: Daymar the Incrementalist.

  32. This book was way too good. I am forcing myself to not reread it right away just so I can enjoy it that much more when I do reread it and know what will happen this time and can anticipate the scenes and catch all the little things that you put in it and didn’t or couldn’t catch the first time around but will pick up the second time when I twist my rubber arm and force my eyes to look at the letters that make up the words that tell this story of victory or misery or whatever it is. The best way I can describe it is that feeling of “I’m home” I get when I go to a Dead Fest or a Phish show. I laughed a lot and smiled just as much. Have a great night and a better tomorrow.

  33. The plot was excellent (the plots are always excellent), but what puts these books on my shelf are the details that make up the whole world, the little things that makes it feel like someone’s talking about a real time and place and the references to things and people that sound so natural that you can pick out basic facts before they’re spelled out. For instance, I wondered about Deragar’s name from the start, and I was fairly confident I knew where it came from because you’re careful with details and don’t pick names just because they sound fantasy-ish.

    I know that sounds like faint praise, but it’s like the daughter who assured her dad he was as important as the salt on her food – I just can’t savor a story if it feels false. Only 10% of my library is fiction because too many authors just can’t make their world feel real, and it’s the realism, the details and the internal logic of a story that makes it worth re-reading over the years.

  34. skzb

    DBJ: I’ve never had a book compared to a Dead show before. Sweet!

    L. Raymond: Thanks! I like that.

  35. Sigh…..this book has the same “failing” as the other Vlad books. It *ends* and now I have to wait another couple of years for the next one. 😀

    I really enjoyed it, BTW. I just don’t enjoy having to wait for more. I’m impatient that way.

  36. Just went out and bought this, parked myself at the first coffee shop I saw, and read it in about four hours. Fabulous. My favorite Vlad novel since Issola.

    -I continue to love the Demon.
    -I cried in public when Teldra woke up. I have been waiting for that for literally 13 years. Then I cried some more about Morrolan and Sethra.

  37. I read Hawk in one day, one sitting, with only coffee. Already I want the next. The plot was perfect, the return excellent, the anticipation of the reader’s skepticism also perfect, and I cannot believe how effortlessly the snark between Loiosh and Taltos came back. It makes me want to re-read everything before Teckla, before the exile.
    Please, more, More, MORE!!!

  38. Loved it. One of my favorites. Thank you skzb! You even got an opposable thumbs dig in there!

  39. Another fantastic book. Thank you very much for gracing us with your work once again, skzb.

  40. Well written. Enjoyable and How many are left in the cycle to finish? When will the next one come out?

  41. This is silly, but I am also happy that opposable thumbs made an appearance. Also, pleased to know that Kragar has offspring.

  42. Steve is currently working on Vallista. After that are Lyorn, Tsalmoth, and Chreotha (in an as yet undetermined order), followed by The Final Contract.

    As for when Vallista is coming out–12 to 18 months after Steve finishes it.

  43. What a great book, I have been reading these forever. The sort of cliffhanger by a cliff was fun but now i will go nuts till the next book.

  44. Pingback: Something About Chimpanzee Personhood | This Is

  45. I just finnished reading the book.
    Damn that was a nice book… but why there is such a big cliffhanger at the end… normally i already can’t wait for the next book… now it’s only worse.
    Will take some time to build of my vlad urges :)…. will be a long 1/2 year till the next one comes out.
    thx skzb for this amazing book hawk.

  46. Finished it last night after leaving my first copy on a plane and getting another. Always a pleasure to dive into a Brust book. Already have questions / speculations / things-about-which-I-am-mystified, but perhaps this is not the right forum for those due to inevitable spoilers. If not, is there a forum? 🙂

    Was my hard copy defective or is there actually not an epilogue for the first time since I can remember with the Dragaera books? I swear it ends with Chapter 17 (but I may have missed something).

    Well done, Steven!

  47. skzb

    Correct, Steve; no epilogue this time. And thanks.

  48. Steve: There’s some discussion of things about which I’m mystified right now on the Dragaera mailing list, which you can subscribe to at .

    Thanks, Steven, for lots of fun in Hawk! I have a question: It seems you had an opportunity for commentary on two current controversies. Mentioning one might be a spoiler, but I don’t think it will spoil anything to say that the more controversial one is government spying on citizens. Did you deliberately choose to keep this book out of American politics? Or is it an implied commentary that that dog didn’t bark? Or did I miss something?

  49. skzb

    Jerry: I don’t generally make commentary on current events, at least not directly. Well, actually, at least not consciously. There are occasional exceptions.

  50. And in Orca you got to comment on future events. But the possible connections between Hawk and current events (for some decades now) seemed so glaring to me that I wondered.

  51. @Jerry Friendman: Past and future events. Lord Fyres goes all the way back to the Tulip boom, although as I noted elsewhere, I have my suspicions about who he is an expy of.

  52. skzb

    Jerry: It wasn’t deliberate. Honest! On the other hand, my subconscious is kinda demanding sometimes. I’m curious about what connections with current events you’re seeing. I have a bet with myself that when you tell me, I’ll smack my forehead and go, “duh!”

  53. Okay, assuming that we’re not worried about spoilers, one is that Khaavren could well have asked Vlad to teach Special Tasks the eavesdropping technique, at which point we have the NSA, Stingray, legal and illegal wiretaps that have been going on for a long time, etc. Is Vlad still on the hook for that as part of the deal? Or could Khaavren be too honorable? Or what?

    The other is that Vlad’s plan looks strikingly like the entrapment I mean sting operations that date back to Abscam but have recently been used a good deal against supposed terrorists. Although Poletra protests that Vlad is as guilty as he is, no one says anything about the morality or legality of Khaavren’s involvement.

    Do you win your bet?

  54. Funny, I wonder how Khaavren deals with that gentlemen-do-not-read-other-gentlemen’s-mail thing in his current role. Of course the Empress reads everyone’s mail, but she’s the Empress.

  55. skzb

    Jerry: Hmmm. Not sure; need to think about it.

  56. I’ve always had a soft spot for anything Taltos related ever since I was introduced to the series. Imagine my delight when trolling Barnes and Noble for the first time in months and upon spying Hawk grabbing and reading it fully in the store before buying it. Thank-you.

  57. Finally! I have no real excuse about why it took me so long to get to it, but I just finished Hawk.

    What a beautifully layered experience! One of the things I love most about your writing, is that you treat each new book as an opportunity to learn something new about technique, not just a chance to display your virtuosity with the skills you have already mastered. You could have carried the story with your patented snappy dialog and well loved (or sometimes hated) cast of characters, but the slow reveal of the Ocean’s Eleven style caper and those chapter names… I got as much enjoyment from wondering how each chapter would go from “making music” to “making trouble” or from “progress” to “threats” as I did from seeing the overall plot evolve.

    A great tale of Vlad taking his destiny back into his own hands and finally treating fatherhood as more than just a pleasant notion that can be indefinitely pushed into the future, but with an atypical cliffhanger ending that, while perfectly appropriate to the story, I suspect is not going to be satisfied in the next novel published. Oh well! Anticipation makes the meal more savory.

    I am confused about one thing: why does Vlad find Daymar so annoying? He seems like a charming fellow to me, with a refreshingly practical world view. ^_^

  58. Am I the only one who picked up on the Burn Notice parody in the prologue? Fantastic.

  59. Ok so what is the name of the next vlad novel and when will it appear? Not rushing just curious.

  60. skzb

    It’s called Vallista, and I’m still working on it. Thanks for asking.

  61. So, a question, if you don’t mind me asking a small favor: I feel as if I own all of the Taltos books, (some of them got put in storage when I moved) but I don’t remember the story of how Lady Teldra became Godslayer. Could someone kindly tell me which book that story was in (if any. I may honestly just be going crazy.). Thanks a million in advance. It upsets me a great deal to not know if I have a certain book or not.

  62. That was in Issola.

  63. Thank you, Jerry. I thought I read that one, but it’s been a while. I’ll find it and go back over it.

  64. Rereading hawk…. i really want to kill the entire left hand myself. And damn i love Kragar :), not as much as loiosh ofcourse.

  65. Argh, I read the entire book in a day, now I have to wait for the next one to come out. Thanks for making such a wonderful vibrant world for me to get lost in.

  66. oh, just re-read the entire series…and try to do it in Vlad’s chronology (for a challenge). that’s what most of us do, while waiting for the new book. we also do our best to get others addicted to the series, by handing out copies of Jhereg & Taltos.

  67. I’ve reread all the Dragaeran books at least once, but I don’t think I’m the only one who finds other things to read in the intervals—which I agree are too long.

  68. Understand that you’ve ‘other things to do’ – ‘life’, for example – but I’d be deeply-grateful if you’d just put them aside and WRITE THE NEXT BOOK. Thanks.

  69. I would like to +1 the comment by Not Likely. The alternative idea is to simply create an exact physical and mental copy of Mr. Brust and have him multitask.

    Honestly, I’m sure his GF would also appreciate this idea.

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure if this would get new books faster, or simply bring more great food and music into the world.

    Come to think of _that_… this doesn’t sound so bad.

    So: how do we do the cloning?

  70. I trust that Lady Teldra is becoming epically charged during this interval between books, given that she is both awake and finally able to access the orb. It is speculation like this that sustains me while I anxiously await the next installment (that and downloading all of the books to my iPad so that I can quickly get to favored parts when I need a fix).

  71. will hawk be released as paperback?

  72. skzb

    Sorry, no. Hardcover and trade paperback only. Thanks for asking, though.

  73. I am probably going to bring the wrath of all fandom down on me, but having just read/re-read the whole cycle, I realized Vlad is my least favorite narrative voice in the series. Savn, Kiera, the Countess, Cawti, Paarfi, all more interesting. Probably because we have heard so much from Count Szurke, that we more or less know what he thinks most of the time and how he is going to say it. I found myself hoping Kragar or Daymar would poke their perspectives into the mix.

    I should probably go to the Tiassa thread and rewrite this as a glowing positive ’cause it’s a testament to how well Mr Brust can construct diverse voices that I don’t want to hear his tried and true (sort of) hero all the time.

  74. Pingback: Book review: Hawk (Brust) | Quick, think of a witty title.

Leave a Reply