Once an alchemical researcher with the dark scholars of the
Technic League, Alaeron fled their arcane order when his
conscience got the better of him, taking with him a few strange
devices of unknown function. Now in hiding in a distant city, he’s
happy to use his skills creating minor potions and wonders—at
least until the back-alley rescue of an adventurer named Jaya
lands him in trouble with a powerful crime lord. In order to
keep their heads, Alaeron and Jaya must travel across wide seas
and steaming jungles in search of a wrecked flying city and the
magical artifacts that can buy their freedom. Yet the Technic
League hasn’t forgotten Alaeron’s betrayal, and an assassin
armed with alien weaponry is hot on their trail...
From Hugo Award–winner Tim Pratt comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
This is fun read about an alchemist, thief and roguish archer on a fairly epic adventure in search of relics in a lost city. As a guy who loves to play the characters who do not charge into every battle, I found it very enjoyable to read a book with a protagonist who thinks and does not even carry a sword.
I also recommend reading the web fiction by Tim Pratt. If you like to read stories in their in-world chronology, I would read them in this order:
1) A Tomb of Winter's Plunder (WF)
2) Bastard, Sword (WF)
3) City of the Fallen Sky (N)
4) Liar's Blade (N)
- Funny! Not just a little funny, but I laughed frequently without feeling like the story was frivolous. Well done
-Unique characters. I actually got this book because there were no other pathfinder tales in the store at the time so I reluctantly picked this one up. An alchemist protagonist? Sounds boring, but Pratt does a fantastic job of making it interesting and fun. I actually can't wait to play one the next time I play!
The support characters are also unique. I had strong feelings based on most of the characters. There was one support character, however, that I found totally unnecessary and annoying. He even saves the day when he's introduced the first time and it feels disappointing.
-Good sentence structure. I'm picky with the clunkyness of words and sentences when I read. I must say this was pleasant to read.
-Battles were not overdone, although a little more action on the part of the protagonist would have been cool, but so much better than too much action
-Sagging middle. Or more like sagging third quarter. It's not too bad, but I wasn't as entertained during that time as I was for the other parts.
-A really annoying unnecessary character (see above)
-Just a touch more action on the part of the protagonist would have been nice. It felt as if I never really saw the extent of his power, or the payoff of his studies.
All in all it's a fantastic adventure with some awesome moments. Pick this one up
This was the first book of the Pathfinder series I have read and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The characters were interesting and you really get a sense of the alchemist style. Excellent exploration of locale and over all a very fun read!
I'm only now about 60% finished with this book and I can already say that is my favorite of all the Pathfinder Tales entries to this point. I had some trepidation about the protagonist being an alchemist but the story hooks you from the very beginning. I can only hope that Paizo commissions Mr. Pratt to write further adventures involving Alaeron.
Some stories are like a well - small and ver confined, but tou can delve deeper and deeper into them just for the delight of finsing out when will you reach the bottom. This book is more like what and ice skating stadium would look like after the ice melts. Sure, it will be the size of a like but the depth of the water would only be about a couple inches.
I have stated my expectations out of Pathfinder Novels in other reviews - to be short, paltable, self contained, action packed stories. While other books in the line that Iv'e read certainly deliverred, City of the Fallen Sky fell way short.
Not a single character in the story is "real" in any way. They are shallow cardboard cutouts. The one character that had potential to create suspense and interest was a rouge in service of the villain, who by circumstances found himself working with the good guys. For the first couple of chapters it looked like he was going to have a complicated relatinship of mutual mistrust with the other members of the group while still being forced to work togather, he quickly turns out to just be a Nice Guy. That reduced a lot of the possible tention and mind-games potential in the story.
The main character, while presented as a super genuis, cunning alchemist, is really stuipd. He never comes up with any good idea and his companions - unaducated as they are - outsmart him at every turn. He is constantly put to shame and finds himself the last to realise many things during the journey. He's almost never the one to save the day. I guess that bothers me because I was expecting the POV to actualy be what he attested himself to be, but as it stands I just think he is really unlikable and unintersting.
The book has many, many "cool" elemtns - Numeria and the Sky City being only a couple of those. The story is packed full with unique environments, unusual magic items and bizzare monsters. I like that, except for the fact that the cool elements are delivered in such a "meh" fashion that they failed to grab me. The book never quite provokes the sense of wonder that it should about those "cool" factors, and that really brings the expirience down.
All in all, the weakest novel Iv'e read in quite a while.