Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns

****½ (based on 24 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Queen of Thorns
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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).

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Product Reviews (24)
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****½ (based on 24 ratings)

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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.



classic fantasy - plot, themes, characters, surprises!


A self-admitted huge fan of his works (dont forget to check out his short stories and fiction on if you want to supplement the novels!), I decided to go into this read with an eye towards the issue of whether people new to the Radovan and Count Jeggare world would get their "moneys worth".

I was very surprised to see just how much effort, when i paid attention, Mr Gross had put into just that. The book is fantastic even as a first introduction to their wonderful world.

The plot is top notch - this is one of those books a reviewer has to be careful what he says - and the usual advancement of the friendship between Radovan and Varian gets its share of attention and nourishment. But indeed, a new reader will get plenty of chance to come to love these characters without having read any previous works.

And as happens in all of his longer works (when page count permits! I am still a sucker for some of the short mystery-focused short stories however!), we get not just a great plot, a new character, and an advancement of the relationship we have come to adore, but a bevvy of themes as well that end up both tying the characters together in interesting ways, but also acting as classic fantasy or science fiction by (non preachily... is that a word?) shedding light on perhaps our own lives as well. Race versus nationality, heritage and tradition versus change, situations where no matter what you do, youre guaranteed to upset one of your friends/allies. The quest for knowledge versus the responsibility to let dangerous secrets lie. And figuring out who you are and what you believe, without the chaos of others trying to define it for you.

I was thrilled with Queen of Thorns, even with a special eye to acting as if i were brand new to the Jeggare family of lore.

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