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Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City

Add Print Edition: $9.99

Add PDF/ePub: $6.99

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by Robin D. Laws

Luma is a cobblestone druid, a canny fighter and spellcaster who can read the chaos of Magnimar’s city streets like a scholar reads books. Together, she and her siblings in the powerful Derexhi family form one of the most infamous and effective mercenary companies in the city, solving problems for the city’s wealthy elite. Yet despite being the oldest child, Luma gets little respect—perhaps due to her half-elven heritage. When a job gone wrong lands Luma in the fearsome prison called the Hells, it’s only the start of Luma’s problems. For a new web of bloody power politics is growing in Magnimar, and it may be that those Luma trusts most have become her deadliest enemies...

From visionary game designer and author Robin D. Laws comes a new urban fantasy adventure of murder, betrayal, and political intrigue set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Download a free sample chapter by clicking here! (61 KB zip/PDF)

368-page mass market paperback

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-456-6
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-457-3

Blood of the City is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

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

Product Availability


Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 business days.

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

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at webmaster@paizo.com.

PZO8510


See Also:



Product Discussion (47)
Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced! Cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Wow! You guys are completely nailing the support for Shattered Star. I'm loving the synergy!

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

w00t! More RDL Pathfinder Tales! I'm hoping some of the crew from Worldwound Gambit make a cameo, but even if I didn't have a subscription, I'd be on board for this one!

Andoran

Another novel by Robin Laws? I'll pass...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sounds great! Loved Worldwound Gambit, and can't wait to see what Laws does with a political urban tale like this!

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

More Laws! Ace!
Magnimar! Ace!
Urban Druid! Ace!
Total Shattered Star RotRL Hardcover support! Ace!


UndeadDan wrote:
w00t! More RDL Pathfinder Tales! I'm hoping some of the crew from Worldwound Gambit make a cameo, but even if I didn't have a subscription, I'd be on board for this one!

Seconded on the cameo bit. I don't understand the bad reviews The Worldwound Gambit got, but then I'm automatically fond of anything caper-like ever anyway.


I've also noticed that Golarion sometimes seems to have more half-elves than humans.


Yucale wrote:
UndeadDan wrote:
w00t! More RDL Pathfinder Tales! I'm hoping some of the crew from Worldwound Gambit make a cameo, but even if I didn't have a subscription, I'd be on board for this one!
Seconded on the cameo bit. I don't understand the bad reviews The Worldwound Gambit got, but then I'm automatically fond of anything caper-like ever anyway.

Apparently it's very radical to write fantasy that's not told in the past tense, through a third person point of view. Change both, and you get bad reviews. (Call me an artsy-fartsy with a penchant for reading the occasional book by a Nobel laureate [like, you know, the Jungle Book or Of Mice And Men], but I rather enjoyed it.)


Vic Wertz wrote:
Announced! Cover image is a mockup, and will change prior to publication.

Is it bad that about half the time I like your mockup covers more than a lot of other publishers' actual covers?


Kajehase wrote:
Apparently it's very radical to write fantasy that's not told in the past tense, through a third person point of view. Change both, and you get bad reviews. (Call me an artsy-fartsy with a penchant for reading the occasional book by a Nobel laureate [like, you know, the Jungle Book or Of Mice And Men], but I rather enjoyed it.)

Ouch... that's definitely one digression too many for just the two sentences.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Kajehase wrote:
Apparently it's very radical to write fantasy that's not told in the past tense, through a third person point of view. Change both, and you get bad reviews. (Call me an artsy-fartsy with a penchant for reading the occasional book by a Nobel laureate [like, you know, the Jungle Book or Of Mice And Men], but I rather enjoyed it.)

This book will be the more typical third-person, past tense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What's a "cobblestone druid" anyways?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Color me intrigued. I'll pick it up when it is out. I am honestly not too sure what to expect out of this one. I loved Worldwound Gambit, so I have pretty high expectations for this book.

I assume that a cobblestone druid is some sort of urban druid.

Also, Wow! There have been a lot of Pathfinder Tales announcements recently. With the new every other month schedule, I'm going to be busy reading and reviewing!!

-Aaron


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:
Apparently it's very radical to write fantasy that's not told in the past tense, through a third person point of view. Change both, and you get bad reviews. (Call me an artsy-fartsy with a penchant for reading the occasional book by a Nobel laureate [like, you know, the Jungle Book or Of Mice And Men], but I rather enjoyed it.)

Or, it could have been that it was more of a slap in the face every time I opened it up saying, "Look how different I can be from anyone else for no reason at all!" Which is not to say that the book was bad, as I actually thoroughly enjoyed it despite it not having a redeemable character throughout (my personal opinion, of course--I expect no one to agree). I do really enjoy a good caper. From a radical standpoint though, the way it was written took me time to find enjoyment in the story every time I opened it up, rather than enabling me to just dive right into the story.

Admittedly, I'm not an English major/professor/literature connoisseur of any sort, so such changes aren't something that peak my interest much. Another of my personal dislikes are books written in the first person, as it takes some of the enjoyment out of the story for me. I don't have to be worried about someone who's currently telling me the story. There's a pretty good chance they'll get out of whatever situation they're in, thus eliminating any suspense a situation might have held for me otherwise. These are just opinions of my own, however. Also, as I said above, I really did enjoy the book!

It should go without saying, then, that I shall be eagerly anticipating the release of this one!

Oh, and I loved Of Mice and Men! =D

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Sub-Creator wrote:


Or, it could have been that it was more of a slap in the face every time I opened it up saying, "Look how different I can be from anyone else for no reason at all!" Which is not to say that the book was bad, as I actually thoroughly enjoyed it despite it not having a redeemable character throughout (my personal opinion, of course--I expect no one to agree). I do really enjoy a good caper. From a radical standpoint though, the way it was written took me time to find enjoyment in the story every time I opened it up, rather than enabling me to just dive right into the story.

I think it's unfair to say that it was written in that way 'for no reason at all'. Sherlock Holmes, Mark Twain, Frankenstein and The Quiet American are all written from a first-person perspective for a story-telling reason and I think that the Worldwound Gambit was as well.

Capers perfectly suit first person as they allow the writer to establish an unreliable narrator, which was essential to the denouement of the novel. Worldwound Gambit's conclusion would not have had the same impact if it had been written from an omnipotent third-person perspective.

To be honest, I find it strange that anyone would regard first-person as strange or unusual. First-person is a very common writing perspective seen in many novels across genres, periods, nations and styles. It is not a radical writing style.

Would you also say that Raymond Chandler was slapping you in the face every time you opened up a Philip Marlowe novel? Or Conan Doyle with every single Holmes story? My favourite fantasy novels of recent years, hugely popular and acclaimed, are Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear: both are written in first person.

grammar stickler:
It's 'pique my interest'. Understandable and common error because 'peak', with its connotations of rising to the top, suits the phrase but pique (in this context) means sting/excite/sharpen.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Sub-Creator wrote:
Or, it could have been that it was more of a slap in the face every time I opened it up saying, "Look how different I can be from anyone else for no reason at all!" Which is not to say that the book was bad, as I actually thoroughly enjoyed it despite it not having a redeemable character throughout (my personal opinion, of course--I expect no one to agree).

I will also respectfully disagree with you, Sub-Creator. I felt that the story benefited from the first person perspective. I will admit that it took a couple chapters for me to attune my inner voice to reading that way (I have to do the same when reading Shakespeare), but once I did, I felt that it raised the tension level in the story.

I'm glad that we can disagree about small points and still both enjoy a book/story. Out of curiosity, do you work in a shipyard (buiding submarines)? I grew up near a Submarine base, so that was my immediate thought when I saw your avatar name.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
This book will be the more typical third-person, past tense.

I demand a second-person, future tense novel for the next PFT book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Itchy wrote:

I will also respectfully disagree with you, Sub-Creator. I felt that the story benefited from the first person perspective. I will admit that it took a couple chapters for me to attune my inner voice to reading that way (I have to do the same when reading Shakespeare), but once I did, I felt that it raised the tension level in the story.

I'm glad that we can disagree about small points and still both enjoy a book/story. Out of curiosity, do you work in a shipyard (buiding submarines)? I grew up near a Submarine base, so that was my immediate thought when I saw your avatar name.

I'm quite used to people disagreeing with me on these things, actually, and I find that completely legit. My dislike of the first-person narrative is stated above, so I won't get into that, though I will allow that I'm not against all first-person writings. I, too, am a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss, for instance, as am I a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and have the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes collections. However, Worldwound Gambit didn't strike me at all as being as smoothly written as either of the stated authors. I will admit that to me it felt incredibly forced.

Also, as I stated above, I didn't find any of the characters in the book redeemable either, which could have very easily been a reason why the narrative struck me the wrong way. It's strange, I suppose, that I could have so many things about the book that I didn't care for, and yet still enjoy the book! Perhaps I'm strange in that regard, but I did enjoy the story very much!

Itchy, the name actually derives from Tolkien, who wrote essays about the idea of sub-creation. I'm a huge Tolkien fan, as well. ;)

GE, thanks for the grammatical correction. Little things like that often times get by me when I'm trying to post something quickly! =)

Taldor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
UndeadDan wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
This book will be the more typical third-person, past tense.
I demand a second-person, future tense novel for the next PFT book.
Excerpt from forthcoming novel wrote:


You will walk with a quiet calm through the storm of everyday Varisian life until a pettifogging guard demands that you tell him of your lodgings. Indignant at such a slight you shall fall into a contemplative stance typical of ancient Vudran mystics until ennui takes hold and you are taken away by Amika Kaijitsu for a bloody good thrashing. You will surprise yourself by enjoying this very much.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I'd assumed that "Sub-Creator" was a nod to Tolkien.

I hope Laws didn't change the way he planned to write it just because of the vocal complainers. Anyway, Worldwound deserves more appreciation. And I do look forward to a story in Magnimar.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
What's a "cobblestone druid" anyways?

A flavorful way of saying "A druid with the urban druid archetype."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

In any case... it's a fun story, and folks can expect to see some fun synergy between this novel and the upcoming Magnimar: City of Monuments as well.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I really really liked the first person aspect of The Worldwound Gambit, just like I like it in the Spencer and Kinsey Milhone novels. It worked far better for that novel than any alternate would have.

Keep it up, I say :)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

As Vic noted, this one will be in a standard third-person viewpoint. So if you disliked the Worldwound Gambit because of the tense, I highly encourage you to give this one a shot--Robin's an excellent author, and the story's a lot of fun!

And yes, there may be some cameos...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the product image to match the finished product (it already had the correct art, but the text layout changed a bit). The description had already been updated.

Taldor

I will admit, I am very, very leery of this writer. I was one of those that hated WWG and it's writing style and I read a ton of books. This one just did not get me.

I believe I will read many pages before I decide to buy it. I only wished Paizo allowed us that option like Amazon does at least on the novels end. I'd subscribe but I don't want to buy a book that I will not read nor anyone else I know. Yeah I tried pawning WWG onto my fellow gamers and BF and after each read a few pages handed it back and said NO THANK YOU. That includes my BF who reads more books than anyone I have ever know. 3 at a time and each takes him just a few days to read. And he reads ANYTHING.

Just my view

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

IceniQueen wrote:

I will admit, I am very, very leery of this writer. I was one of those that hated WWG and it's writing style and I read a ton of books. This one just did not get me.

I believe I will read many pages before I decide to buy it. I only wished Paizo allowed us that option like Amazon does at least on the novels end. I'd subscribe but I don't want to buy a book that I will not read nor anyone else I know. Yeah I tried pawning WWG onto my fellow gamers and BF and after each read a few pages handed it back and said NO THANK YOU. That includes my BF who reads more books than anyone I have ever know. 3 at a time and each takes him just a few days to read. And he reads ANYTHING.

Just my view

Sorry to hear that! A lot of the complaints we heard about WWG had to do with the use of the present tense, which turned out to be a divisive stylistic choice. As a result, Blood of the City is written in the more standard past tense style. We'll be running both a sample chapter and a new short story from Robin (starring the new characters, and in the new style) in August, so you can check those out and see if the new book appeals to you more, as I hope it will!

Silver Crusade

James Sutter wrote:
IceniQueen wrote:

I will admit, I am very, very leery of this writer. I was one of those that hated WWG and it's writing style and I read a ton of books. This one just did not get me.

I believe I will read many pages before I decide to buy it. I only wished Paizo allowed us that option like Amazon does at least on the novels end. I'd subscribe but I don't want to buy a book that I will not read nor anyone else I know. Yeah I tried pawning WWG onto my fellow gamers and BF and after each read a few pages handed it back and said NO THANK YOU. That includes my BF who reads more books than anyone I have ever know. 3 at a time and each takes him just a few days to read. And he reads ANYTHING.

Just my view

Sorry to hear that! A lot of the complaints we heard about WWG had to do with the use of the present tense, which turned out to be a divisive stylistic choice. As a result, Blood of the City is written in the more standard past tense style. We'll be running both a sample chapter and a new short story from Robin (starring the new characters, and in the new style) in August, so you can check those out and see if the new book appeals to you more, as I hope it will!

Looking forward to the new short story!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Awww.

It's a common staple of the "hardboiled" style to be first person. It's a shame that we're unlikely to see it again.

Paizo Employee Developer

First person and present tense are different things. You will surely see more Pathfinder fiction written in the first person, but likely not much if any written in the present tense.


Boo! Hiss!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I enjoyed Worldwound Gambit and believe (IIRC) that the intent was to add to the tension, where normal past tense would aid in the illusion they all survived. (Aside, there's some movie coming out where the girl in the trailer says "Just because I'm telling you this story, doesn't mean I survived it.")

It was jarring for me because the only other present tense I remember reading was in 'But Loyal To His Own' where present tense was used to show how freaky fast Joachim is, then slips back to past tense.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
First person and present tense are different things. You will surely see more Pathfinder fiction written in the first person, but likely not much if any written in the present tense.

Oh good. I thought you were doing away with the entire concept!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

has this been pushed back? its not in my upcoming subs page, and wueen of thorns is listed as next product.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

WWG wasn't written in first person was it? Am I totally off base or are people using the phrase to mean "present tense"? Wouldn't first person refer to a style along the lines of "I did this, then I did that, then we went there..."?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
WWG wasn't written in first person was it? Am I totally off base or are people using the phrase to mean "present tense"? Wouldn't first person refer to a style along the lines of "I did this, then I did that, then we went there..."?

Some folks on the boards have, indeed, been confusing the terminology a bit when discussing Worldwound Gambit.

But yes, WWG was written in 3rd person, present tense.

Blood of the City is written in 3rd person, past tense.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

drowranger80 wrote:
has this been pushed back? its not in my upcoming subs page, and wueen of thorns is listed as next product.

Right now your My Subscriptions page looks correct to me. We made a couple changes to code and product info that might have shifted stuff around for you between yesterday and today and fixed the display for you.


This is definitely on my list! Looking forward to it. :)

Cheliax

Well done! Just finished.


Damn, one more week to wait for the EPUB novel :-(

It was scheduled for the 16 of August but was pushed back a week because of physical shipping issues (I read that in another thread of a product whose PDF released is delayed).


I thought WWG was ok

this book delivers

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I like it. Laws can write an adventuring party, which is a rare skill.

I preferred The Worldwound Gambit but would still like to see more from Luma and friends.

I read this away from home and there were a few times when I read a line so fine that I wanted to write it down but unfirtunately I couldn't. Which means I shall have to read it through again fairly soon.

Laws is a fine, fine writer: considered, poised, elegant and occasionally profound.

Gawd bless ya, guvna!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

First, apologies if this post rambles a bit. I have not been getting enough sleep for the past couple of weeks.

GeraintElberion wrote:

I read this away from home and there were a few times when I read a line so fine that I wanted to write it down but unfortunately I couldn't. Which means I shall have to read it through again fairly soon.

Laws is a fine, fine writer: considered, poised, elegant and occasionally profound.

Gawd bless ya, guvna!

GE, I finished this book last night, and I agree that there were some great lines that I wish I could have jotted down. I read this on my iPod Touch during my nightly (sometimes more than once in a night) duty feeding the baby.

I enjoyed it and will get to work on a review soon (after I finish another review). I was trying to come up with a halfway decent comparison for the book. It felt like two books: the first half (before Luma forms her party) and the second half (after she gathers the party). The second half definitely had story elements and tone that are commonly seen in Westerns. That's not a bad thing, it's just how I felt over the course of the last few chapters. And just to clarify, I'm not saying that the story changes midway from Sword and Sorcery to All Gunslingers All The Time.

Spoilers:
How was Blood of the City like a Western? Westerns typically do not have happy endings, the trope of the hero (antihero?) setting out on a quest for revenge and still not being happy at the end is common.

Midway through the book, Luma sets out on a quest for revenge. She sets out to kill the people that she has loved and cared about her whole life. She succeeds in her quest. At the end, she is not happy that she has succeeded. In the final lines of the book, she is in tears over her final act of the book.

I felt melancholy after I finished the book, which is generally not how I want to feel at the end of a story. That being said, I could not see the book ending any other way. I would not want the book to end any other way. I will be rereading this book at some point (which I don't often do anymore).

I loved that Hendregan showed up again, and that his character was developed a bit more. I would love to see a third Robin Laws book where Hendregan turns up again as a secondary character. It could be the Hendregan Trilogy! We could watch him develop as a secondary character throughout the books. That would be a lot of fun (for me anyway).

One of the things I really enjoyed was the descriptions of in-story character leveling.

-Aaron


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Hey folks, I just copied my review over to a large online retailer (named after both a large river on the South American continent and a female warrior fantasy staple) and I was the FIRST person to review this book. If you have written a review, PLEASE copy it over to them as well. The more exposure the Pathfinder Tales line gets, the bigger and better it will get!

-Aaron


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I am in the process of rereading this book and I have a found that as I am reading the voice of Noole the Gnome is the voice of Paul F Thompkins in my head. In a large part, he sounds like Paul F Thompkins playing Frank Doyle on Beyond Belief in the Thrilling Adventure Hour, but at other times, he just sounds like Paul F Thompkins rambling away.

This book is one of the three best Pathfinder Tales that I have read yet.

-Aaron


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I just got the following email from a friend that I loaned Blood of the City to:

My Friend wrote:
Speaking of reading, I read Blood of the City over the vacation... You are right, that was one of the best Tales books I have read thusfar. I'm now trying to finish up the Robin Laws Pathfinder stuff by reading the novella from the Pirate AP, and then the one from Wrath of the Righteous. Does he have another Tales book coming out any time soon?

He raised a very good question: Will we see another Robin D. Laws novel in the near (or distant) future? I would love to see another one!

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