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Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass

****( ) (based on 26 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass
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Embrace the Shadow

In the grim nation of Nidal, carefully chosen children are trained to practice dark magic, summoning forth creatures of horror and shadow for the greater glory of the Midnight Lord. Isiem is one such student, a promising young shadowcaller whose budding powers are the envy of his peers. Upon coming of age, he's dispatched on a diplomatic mission to the mountains of Devil's Perch, where he’s meant to assist the armies of devil-worshiping Cheliax in clearing out a tribe of monstrous winged humanoids. Yet as the body count rises and Isiem comes face to face with the people he's exterminating, lines begin to blur, and the shadowcaller must ask himself who the real monsters are...

From Liane Merciel, critically acclaimed author of The River King's Road and Heaven's Needle, comes a fantastical tale of darkness and redemption set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-440-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-441-2

Nightglass is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Nightglass is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional are a free download (270 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF/ePub: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF/ePub.

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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Product Reviews (26)
1 to 5 of 26 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 26 ratings)

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Liane Merciel's Nightglass

****( )

I enjoyed this book much more than I'd expected to, given its subject matter (the torture-loving nation of Nidal). Isiem is a wizard who descends into a moral wilderness under the rule of the Umbral Court, and then finds his way to a kind of redemption in the end. Some reviewers have complained about the two parts of the book not holding together very well, but I didn't experience that. There's lots of food for thought here, more than what I'd expected from a fantasy novel. Some of the questions Merciel raises are: What does it truly cost to cling to one's nation, tribe, or land? Can people ever truly atone for the evil they do? Ought one's morals and principles be sacrificed in order to survive, and is that ever justifiable? This novel is actually pretty deep. Despite all of the action in it, a lot of it is about Isiem's inner journey.

***( )( )

Worth it

****( )

I have to say, I wasn't sure I'd like this book. Nidal, and all the torture implicit in the faith of Zon-Kuthon, was not something I wanted particularly to read about.

In the process of reading the book I discovered that all that just served as the background for Isiem journey - from cog in an evil system to trying to become a his own man. In the end I liked the book much more than I thought would.

Would definitely recommend!

Detailed without MEGO Effect

****( )

The dreaded MEGO, mine eyes glaze over, can often hit when a writer goes into way too much detail. Here that's not a problem. Liane Merciel provides a lot of background and details on a part of the Pathfinder setting that doesn't receive a lot of attention and does so in a way that keeps the story flowing. As an author, her style has earned her a place on the 'list', a shortlist of authors I keep on my cell to check when I'm out and about in order to find and devour more of the work.

A great read and a not-so-great one.

***( )( )

Ah, Nightglass... This one is somewhat complicated to review.

The books is basically divided in two separate halves. In both of them, we follow Isiem, a boy with a knack for shadow magic who was unfortunate enough to be born in the dark nation of Nidal.


The first half of the book is a very unique read. It tells the story of Isiem's youth. Mostly focusing on the arduous journey that started the day he was taken from his family to be trained as a shadow mage in service of the Midnight Lord.

The author explores the world of Nidal with great skill. While Isiem is talented enough to survive and thrive on his training, it's his struggle to do so without being corrupted by his ordeal that makes this a compelling read. This, and the portrait of Nidal and its dark and unforgiving characteristics, made this an unique and engaging story.

While not evil, Isiem is not what one would call a hero, and even calling him a good guy might be pushing it, but considering the place where he lives and what he has to go through, not falling into the "evil" category is quite a feat. An enjoyable protagonist, even if not one we can look up to.

This is ultimately a story about a journey of growth and moral resilience in a world taken by darkness. I earns 4 stars from me.


But as I said... The book is divided in two separate halves. While the first one is unique and interesting, the second half is predictable and cliched. While it has a few nice touches, the reader can easily see the ending from a mile away. It feels as if the author finished telling the story but needed more pages to make it a book, so instead of adding filler material to the great story told in the first half, she decided to tell an additional story.

This one is set years after Isiem graduated from his shadow caller training. Now he's sent on a diplomatic mission to aid agents of Chelliax in exploring a silver mine that stands on territory claimed by the native Strix tribes... Who may not be the monsters they are taken for.

If you think you can see where that story leads... You're absolutely correct. There is no surprises here. It's a tale told a million times.

The 2nd half of the book gets a 2-star review. Giving the book an average of 3 stars.


Still, the first half of the story is good enough for me to recommend the book. Even the second half is not "bad" per se, just predictable and uninspired... It still has its moments and great action scenes.

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