For half-elven Pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his devil-blooded bodyguard Radovan, things are rarely as they seem. Yet not even the notorious crime-solving duo is prepared for what they find when a search for a missing Pathfinder takes them into the gothic and mist-shrouded mountains of Ustalav. Beset on all sides by noble intrigue, mysterious locals, and the deadly creatures of the night, Varian and Radovan must use both sword and spell to track the strange rumors to their source and uncover a secret of unimaginable proportions, aided in their quest by a pack of sinister werewolves and a mysterious mute priestess. But it’ll take more than merely solving the mystery to finish this job. For shadowy figures have taken note of the pair’s investigations, and the forces of darkness are set on making sure neither man gets out of Ustalav alive...
From fan-favorite author Dave Gross comes a new fantastical mystery set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
I got about 1/3 of the way through the book and enjoyed the story, but the style of writing really put me off. The author uses 1st person and this wouldn't be so bad, but he switches from person to person and sometimes it takes a few pages to realize who you're reading the thoughts of. To top it off, the person you're reading the thoughts of is sometimes talking to someone in their thoughts (not a quoted conversation), and it takes some time to figure out who that person is (ie "I want you to know that..."). Very frustrating. I would have like to have finished it, but just couldn't bring myself to get past the writing style.
I'm a big fan of the Pathfinder RPG and have read numerous fantasy novels over the years. I started this book at least a year or so ago and put it down after finding it hard to keep interested. I'm not quite sure what the problem was but I recently decided to give it another chance and was pleased I did. I just finished it and found it to be satisfying read.
I am a sucker for anything related to Ustalav and I have multiple Szcarni characters in PFS so I really enjoyed this novel. It was well written, which is obviously a plus. Unfortunately some fantasy novels lean heavily on a generic setting and romantic themes but are poorly written. This book is not one of those. There was minimal romance in the novel, which I liked. I thought the switching perspective of the book was neat. I can't wait to read Prince of Devils and follow Radovan and Count Varian on more adventures.
One annoyance about Pathfinder novels in general: poor editing. I'm sorry, Paizo, your books are great and all but I feel like some of your fiction editing flies under the radar. I am one of those people that carries a red pen everywhere I go and I just itched to mark the minor misused words I found in the novel. Of course I didn't do that because I had borrowed a friend's book. For someone like me, though, too many errors can be overlooked but is a bit of a turn-off.
Finally got around to buying and reading this. I've been wanting to check it out for some time, and finally got it from my FLGS. It took a bit to get used to the first person perspective and the switching back and forth between the two characters. I was quite confused as to who was speaking in the second chapter with the fight between Radovan and Nicola, but that was soon sorted out. I haven't quite finished it yet, but I'm really looking forward to the ending. :)
Just read this on Friday, and Master of Devils yesterday. I'd been a huge fan of the short-story arcs in PF, but took my time getting around to the novels.
From a PF perspective, I enjoyed getting a good look at Ustalav, seen through the eyes of 2 interesting characters like Jeggare and Radovan. I like the nod to Sherlock Holmes & Watson in their dynamic, though of course it's a lot more involved than just that. Radovan's a great anti-hero; not too 2-dimensional like he could be. As for the Count, I find his pretensions quite amusing, and like how his worldview contrasts w/ Radovan's.
There were some minor editing issues (mostly missing words like "to", and "tenants" instead of "tenets), but luckily those decreased in the next novel. I wish the rating system allowed for 1/2 stars. I'd give this 3.5 stars (to allow for the fact I liked Master of Devils even more, which also gets 4 stars).
Look forward to reading more of their misadventures.