Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns

****½ (based on 25 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add Print Edition $9.99 $5.00

Add ePub/PDF $6.99

Add Non-Mint $9.99 $7.49

Facebook Twitter Email

Secrets of the Elves

In the deep forests of Kyonin, elves live among their own kind, far from the prying eyes of other races. Few of impure blood are allowed beyond the nation’s borders, and thus it’s a great honor for the half-elven Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan to be allowed inside. Yet all is not well in the elven kingdom: demons stir in its depths, and an intricate web of politics seems destined to catch the two travelers in its snares. In the course of tracking down a missing druid, Varian and a team of eccentric elven adventurers will be forced to delve into dark secrets lost for generations—including the mystery of Varian’s own past.

From fan favorite Dave Gross, author of Prince of Wolves and Master of Devils, comes a fantastical new adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-463-4
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-464-1

Queen of Thorns is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Queen of Thorns is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional are a free download (193 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.

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

Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days. This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

PZO8511


See Also:

1 to 5 of 25 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 25 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

Another Great Varian & Radovan Tale

****( )

NO SPOILERS

Radovan and Varian return for their third book-length tale in David Gross' Queen of Thorns. Having previously set books in Ustalav and Tian Xia, Gross continues to keep things moving by setting this tale in Kyonin--the forest homeland of the elves of Golarion. There isn't a lot of Pathfinder fiction about Kyonin, so this novel is indispensable for players and GMs who want better insight into it. The story itself is fantastic, full of strong characterisation, clever story beats, fantastic integration of world lore, and plenty of humour. I did find the ending a bit of a let-down, but all in all this is a worthy entry in the chronicles of Radovan and Varian, and there are plenty of nice threads set up for the next book in the series.

SPOILERS

Radovan and Varian have come to Kyonin in the hopes of having Varian's once-exquisite carriage repaired. A gift from his long-departed father, the carriage is a masterful piece of worksmanship but was wrecked during the events of Master of Devils. Varian, as a half-elf, receives a chilly reception in Kyonin, but the elves allow him to proceed in search of the craftsman along with an escort: a Paladin of Iomedae, an Inquisitor of Calistrae, and a ranger. Finding the craftsman turns out to be easy, but a revelation is far more interesting: Varian's father is alive! The makeshift adventuring party set off through the forests of Kyonin to find him, and eventually track him to a lost city shielded from intruders by illusions. Only, Varian's father isn't alone, as the true power in the city is an ancient dragon.

My summary probably isn't doing a great job of making the book sound interesting and appealing, but it's definitely worth reading. Gross has a smooth, wry writing style that makes great use of the different perspectives of his two main characters (each chapter alternates between their points of view). Each member of the group is characterized well, and there's some great insight into how a Calistrian thinks and acts, for example. Varian's father and the dragon are full three-dimensional personalities. There's strong continuity with Gross' previous Pathfinder novels and with Pathfinder lore in general, but it's quite readable and exciting. My only complaint is that the book culminates in a big battle against invading demons that, although done well, felt jarring and unnecessary. Sometimes big isn't always better, even in sword-and-sorcery fiction. Still, there's so many exciting things set up in this book: a return to Cheliax, Radovan having a son(!) and a new devil in his body, etc. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next one.


Elves at last

****( )

I’ve always loved elves, even though they can be arrogant and xenophobic (and the elves of Pathfinder are no exception). Thus, I was excited to read Queen of Thorns. I am still fairly new to the Pathfinder setting, having been a long-time resident of Forgotten Realms.

I am not a huge fan of Calistria (I prefer the Seldarine from FR), and I wish she wasn’t a favored goddess among the elves. What I did like however, was that elven society doesn’t seem to care much about the gender of a lover (I am always looking for books with inclusiveness). Half-elves are looked down upon, though that doesn’t stop elves from having romantic relationships with humans. While the racial choice of lover can be frowned upon, or at least regarded with skepticism, the gender doesn’t seem to be. We first get a hint of this in the beginning at the Midsummer Masquerade. Varian notes that the masks and the gender mingling would be viewed as “scandalous” in Chelix. Varial is also bisexual, and while this doesn’t mean all elves are, there is no mention of his “preferences” being abnormal. He and Fimbulthicket (who I thought was rather charming, in a cute, gnome sort of way) may just be friends, but I at least, got the impression they were more than that.

Based on the summary, I initially thought more of it was going to take place within the elven city, but such is not the case. I wanted to learn more about the elves. While there are certainly lore bits, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Still, the adventure was exciting.

Radovan’s witty comments made me laugh, as usual, though I am starting to tire of his womanizing ways. Even though hellspawn are viewed with derision throughout Golarian, many women seem willing to sleep with him. In Queen of Thorns, we learn more about his fiendish heritage, and the more we learn, the more plot points open up for future tales. While the previous Varian and Radovan books seem fairly self-contained, this one leaves an opening for future events and stories.

And finally, as a dog lover, I must say, I adore Arnisant.


Another great read!

****( )

I'm reviewing this shamefully quite a while after having read it, but now that I'm back in reading mode again, I'd like to go back and catch up w/ all the PF Tales I've read to date.

I've been a fan of this duo, Jeggare & Radovan, since the early short fiction in PF. Having read all 5 of the novels, this one arguably might be my favorite. They're all a ton of fun, and I continue to enjoy both the growing relationship between the two friends, as well as advancements in personal abilities (level increases??) as time passes on. I'm glad the world does not stay static in the ongoing tales of their adventures.

As with all the PF fiction, short or otherwise, I find the best of it really draws me into an area (well, various areas, really, as they travel around the map) and helps flesh out the Inner Sea (and beyond, like in Master of Devils) like the best of the fluff pieces in the other PF products.


*****


*****


1 to 5 of 25 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
1 to 50 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Announced for October. The product image uses the finished cover art, but the layout may change slightly prior to publication.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Yay! More gross goodness!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmmm, I need to finish up A Dance with Dragons so I can go back to the Pathfinder Tales books.


I look forward to the "team of eccentric elven adventurers"

Dark Archive Contributor

Who painted that awesome cover?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Dave Gross + Elves = win!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

FAWESOME!!!!


Dave Gross wrote:

Who painted that awesome cover?

It IS awesome


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
MerrikCale wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:

Who painted that awesome cover?

It IS awesome

Indeed. I like the way the colors set a certain mood.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey, it's Razorhorn!

Second Darkness:
Apparently, I ran it correctly by allowing him to get away without fighting the PCs to the death.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

WooT! Must read!

Dark Archive Contributor

Joana wrote:
Hey, it's Razorhorn! ** spoiler omitted **

It's not Razorhorn. It's much worse.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Dave Gross wrote:

Who painted that awesome cover?

Mathias Kollros.

Dark Archive Contributor

Go, Mathias!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dave Gross wrote:
Joana wrote:
Hey, it's Razorhorn! ** spoiler omitted **

It's not Razorhorn. It's much worse.

So Treerazer?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hooray, more Jeggare/Radovan goodness! :)

Dark Archive Vendor - Fantasiapelit Tampere

Dave Gross wrote:
Joana wrote:
Hey, it's Razorhorn! ** spoiler omitted **

It's not Razorhorn. It's much worse.

Razorhorn's mother? Ok, bad joke. But hey, great news! I've been waiting for the new book eagerly! This is going to be great!


I was already looking forward to another Radovan/Varian novel, and after reading the description of this and seeing the awesome cover, I can't freakin' wait! Sounds awesome! :-)


Even if this book manifests on my doorstep tomorrow, it'll be waayyy too long a wait.

Admittedly I'm a bit nervous about an elven-centric book. I don't think most D&D settings do them right (looking at you, Dragonlance), as I like to portray them somewhere between Tolkien's elves and The Name of the Wind's Bast. It would be nice to see some non-racist elves. But my favorite race in the setting of my favorite game alongside two of my favorite characters ever? Hell yes.

Dark Archive Contributor

Yucale wrote:

Even if this book manifests on my doorstep tomorrow, it'll be waayyy too long a wait.

Admittedly I'm a bit nervous about an elven-centric book. I don't think most D&D settings do them right (looking at you, Dragonlance), as I like to portray them somewhere between Tolkien's elves and The Name of the Wind's Bast. It would be nice to see some non-racist elves. But my favorite race in the setting of my favorite game alongside two of my favorite characters ever? Hell yes.

I hope you will find these elves a little different from those you've seen in past. They aren't radically different, but I've always thought of elves as slightly more fey and alien than in popular presentation. I hope a little of that comes through.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Rosgakori wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:
Joana wrote:
Hey, it's Razorhorn! ** spoiler omitted **

It's not Razorhorn. It's much worse.

Razorhorn's mother?

That'd be stealing. Although I guess the guy who wrote Beowulf won't complain anyway. Besides, bad writers plagiarise, great writers steal.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Sounds interesting!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

SQUUUUUUEEEE!

Yay for more Varian and Radovan!

and elves, but mostly those first two :p


Just checking in to say that I'm a huge David Goss fan. Much squeeing will be had, especially how my birthday is in October.


Awesome! October can't come soon enough!

Contributor

Agreed: awesome cover, and really looking forward to this one... Congrats Dave! You're on a roll!


Dave Gross' last novel was a prelude to a lot of Tian Xia stuff. Could this be a prelude to a lot of Kyonin/elvish stuff?

please

Lantern Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mr Gross,

My wife and I really enjoy the unique personalities and dynamic relationship you've managed to create between Varian Jeggare and Radovan. My wife especially likes how Jeggare can be a bit of a pretentious,pompous ass; definitely not your standard hero type. Its a nice change of pace from the standard fantasy trope, and despite of it you've still managed to keep the audience rooting for the character. We heartily look forward to your next installment.

Duane and Katheryn

Dark Archive Contributor

Thanks for the kind words, Duane and Katheryn. After James Sutter's enthusiastic response to the manuscript, I'm cautiously hopeful that this one will prove to be the best yet. I can't wait for everyone to read it in October.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

You're definitely not the only one Dave :) Thanks for the awesome stuff so far, Radovan and Jeggare are some very cool characters.


My wife and I are both looking forward to this book :)

Dark Archive Contributor

Sketchpad wrote:
My wife and I are both looking forward to this book :)

If you make it to PaizoCon or Gen Con, and no one stops me, I'll give you a sneak preview reading.


Dave Gross wrote:
Sketchpad wrote:
My wife and I are both looking forward to this book :)
If you make it to PaizoCon or Gen Con, and no one stops me, I'll give you a sneak preview reading.

Me and my wife will be there; and hold you to that...


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Sounds fantastic - great to head back into Kyonin, I've missed it since Second Darkness.


Dave Gross wrote:
Sketchpad wrote:
My wife and I are both looking forward to this book :)
If you make it to PaizoCon or Gen Con, and no one stops me, I'll give you a sneak preview reading.

Ah, I only wish we could. Someday...


Pre-ordering... a nice heads-up after a bit of board hiatus. Wish we'd see you for a signing or somesuch at NYComicCon - that would be cool. Any case, I heartily second the love for Radovan & Jeggare, their hell is our pleasure.

Edit: Will there be a bridge-story to pick up the post-Devils continuity? I don't peruse the blog that often & the web tales don't get announced in the email-newsletter...

Sovereign Court

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

I hope we get to see some humble elves in this, so many unpleasant elves in SD, and elves seem to be 80% nobility at times.

I'd like to see some elves who make and sell streetfood, or some elf stevedores.

I know novels have their own character requirements but it would be nice to see some elves cut from that kind of cloth.

Dark Archive Contributor

Mandisa wrote:

Pre-ordering... a nice heads-up after a bit of board hiatus. Wish we'd see you for a signing or somesuch at NYComicCon - that would be cool. Any case, I heartily second the love for Radovan & Jeggare, their hell is our pleasure.

Edit: Will there be a bridge-story to pick up the post-Devils continuity? I don't peruse the blog that often & the web tales don't get announced in the email-newsletter...

Alas, no New York for me this year, but I'm eager to return one day.

Yes, there'll be a story. I know what it is, but I need to find a few uninterrupted days to write it. I think it's a safe bet there'll be a web tale for each of the novels.

Dark Archive Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:

I hope we get to see some humble elves in this, so many unpleasant elves in SD, and elves seem to be 80% nobility at times.

I'd like to see some elves who make and sell streetfood, or some elf stevedores.

While there's only one brief appearance by a kitchen drudge to represent the truly humble elves, of the four main "party members," only one is near-nobility (a high-ranking ranger), another is Forlorn, and the third is ... well, I don't want to spoil it, but not a noble. The fourth is not an elf at all but a gnome.

Silver Crusade

Thanks, Dave for another sure to be exciting romp with Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan. I'm especially looking forward to your gnome party member now that you've mentioned him.

See you at GC!


Dave Gross wrote:

Alas, no New York for me this year, but I'm eager to return one day.

Yes, there'll be a story. I know what it is, but I need to find a few uninterrupted days to write it. I think it's a safe bet there'll be a web tale for each of the novels.

Looking forward to both :) Will be sure to look for the story when the leaves turn *heh*

Dark Archive Contributor

If you're at Gen Con and want to hear some of Queen of Thorns two months before its release, come to Room 244 at 5:00 on Friday.

My full schedule is here.

Events of particular interest to Pathfinder people include the Pathfinder Tales Author Summit, "Fantasy Tropes," "Breaking into the RPG Fiction Market," "Writing RPG Fiction," and "Passing the Torch."

Silver Crusade

OMG how could I find out about this book so late ? I loved the previous books... subscribed ^^


I really enjoyed the previous books and looking forward to this one. Question: Does Radovan make use of all the monk skills he picked up in the last book?

Dark Archive Contributor

There's still time to get here and listen to the reading of Queen of Thorns tomorrow at 5:00 pm. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for October. :)


lol sorry, I won't be able to make it. I will look forward to reading it though. :)

Dark Archive Contributor

blope wrote:
I really enjoyed the previous books and looking forward to this one. Question: Does Radovan make use of all the monk skills he picked up in the last book?

Chapter Two of Queen of Thorns addresses that question, although I think the final chapter of Master of Devils also did so. To say more would be spoilery.

Dark Archive Contributor

Winter_Born wrote:

Thanks, Dave for another sure to be exciting romp with Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan. I'm especially looking forward to your gnome party member now that you've mentioned him.

See you at GC!

Fimbulthicket turned out to be one of my favorite characters, and the brief visit to Omesta makes me want to include gnomes in a future story.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Fimbulthicket... Long-winded with a hard to get through personality?

1 to 50 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.