On a mysterious errand for the Pathfinder Society, Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan journey to the distant land of Tian Xia, on the far side of the world. When disaster forces him to take shelter in a warrior monastery, “Brother” Jeggare finds himself competing with the disciples of Dragon Temple as he unravels a royal mystery. Meanwhile, Radovan—trapped in the body of a devil and held hostage by the legendary Quivering Palm attack—must serve a twisted master by defeating the land’s deadliest champions and learning the secret of slaying an immortal foe. Together with an unlikely army of beasts and spirits, the two companions must take the lead in an ancient conflict that will carry them through an exotic land, all the way to the Gates of Heaven and Hell and a final confrontation with the nefarious Master of Devils!
From fan-favorite author Dave Gross comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Here's part of what I said when I reviewed "King of Chaos": About page 33 of the new Dave Gross Novel "King of Chaos" I realized it was part of a series. About page 44 I went ahead and ordered the other three books in the series, but since I was already hooked, I kept reading....
I like reading fantasy novels, sometimes including those set in a gaming universe. The problem with those is sometimes the authors are third tier , hired to crank out some hack books just to support the game side. Not so with Pathfinder Tales. James Sutter, the Editor, has taken great care to get some solid authors for his line of Pathfinder Tales fiction.
Now, sometimes the authors come out with a fantasy tale, which other than the setting, is not particularly `set" in that gaming universe. The characters don't have "classes', don't use a lot of easily recognizable spells, and magic items are few and far between, unless they are a macguffin. This works as it gets in readers who don't play that particular fantasy roleplaying game.
But as one of my friends was complaining, they don't read as if they are set in one of those High Fantasy High Magic universes. I mean sure- the locations are there, but where's the magic?
Well, this one does. There are scads of spells being tossed around here, not to mention magic items. Characters use scrolls, quaff healing potions, and fire spells which are clearly from the pages of the Player Handbook. Most of the characters (other than those with a mysterious secret background, of course!) are clearly identifiable as to their class, and those who track the spells, etc used can even get a fair guess as to level. Summoners summon their eidolons, wizards burn thru scrolls like it's my Friday nite game, Paladins lay on hands, etc.
This is cool, fun & refreshing. And the combats! Ah here, Dave Gross excels! "
So, after ordering the prior three books, of course I am now reading them and finding them just as enjoyable as I thought. Here in "Master of Devils" we continue the fantastic adventures of the enigmatic Pathfinder Count Varian Jeggare and his strange & uncanny assistant Radovan.
Again early on Jeggare & Radovan are separated, but this time they spend most of the book apart, along with their faithful hound Arnisant . All three are thrust into a path of personal growth, training and adventure in what passes for ancient China in Golarion.
Be prepared for some fabulous “wu-shu” action and combat, straight out of the most fantastic and martial arts heavy Chinese cinema. Think “Crouching Tiger/ Hidden Dragon” meets “Big Trouble in Little China” with a dash of a few of your favorite fantasy movies thrown in.
Radovan is trapped in his devil form, Venture-Captain Jeggare is trapped training in a Monastery and our faithful hound is out raising an army of phantasmagorical Oni and other creatures to rescue them.
Ghosts, devils, demi-gods, wizards, celestial dragons, oriental goblins, and a host of other populate the action packed pages.
I am not a huge fan of the Kung-fu genre nor is Tian Xia an area of Golarion I care much about. Therefore it has taken me a while to pick up this book (certain for a while that I never would). I'm glad I picked it up.
This book delivers what it promises, great Kung Fu feel. It takes two of Pathfinder Tales' most famous characters and transports them around the world. They and their loyal companion are soon split from each other and placed in very different circumstances. In doing this Mr. Gross explores much of Tian Xia (culturally if not geographically) from different perspectives. They mythology, the organizations, the history are all so well laid out and presented with fun and exciting events that the reader can't help but get caught up in them while learning about the world.
This is all accomplished while nodding repeatedly to the genre as a whole which brings a smile to the reader's face when seen through the very thin rice paper that veils it.
i put off reading this book for a long time, i admit it. i generally don't care for "mythic psuedo-China" settings, and care even less for stories written in the first person. i am, however, a fan of Mr. Gross's Forgotten Realms novels. i had also already read his previous Pathfinder novel, Prince of Wolves, but found the first person perspective with changes in points of view to be rather distracting and reading it was a bit of a chore, although overall i did like it. so finally, i picked Master of Devils up. to my surprise, i couldn't put it down. perhaps it was because i knew what to expect style-wise or perhaps my tastes have changed, but something just clicked in this book. no longer were the changes in points of view distracting, but they were a welcome change, keeping things fresh and exciting. in addition to the two protagonists from Wolves, Count Jeggare and Radovan, there was the dog, Arnisant, who i found to be a charming addition. i would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre.