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Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Blade

****½ (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Blade
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By Tim Pratt

With strength, wit, rakish charm, and a talking sword named Hrym, Rodrick has all the makings of a classic hero—except for the conscience. Instead, he and Hrym live a high life as scoundrels, pulling cons and parting the weak from their gold. When a mysterious woman invites them along on a quest into the frozen north in pursuit of a legendary artifact, it seems like a prime opportunity to make some easy coin—especially if there’s a chance for a double-cross. Along with a hooded priest and a half-elven tracker, the team sets forth into a land of monsters, bandits, and ancient magic. As the miles wear on, however, Rodrick’s companions begin acting steadily stranger, leading both man and sword to wonder what exactly they’ve gotten themselves into...

From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt, author of City of the Fallen Sky, comes a bold new tale of ice, magic, and questionable morality set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Download a free sample chapter by clicking here! (74 KB zip/PDF)

400-page mass market paperback

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-515-0

Liar's Blade is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet is available as a free download (397 KB zip/PDF).

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

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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.

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

PZO8513


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Product Reviews (12)
1 to 5 of 12 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 12 ratings)

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Reliable fun

****( )

Tim Pratt returns to the Pathfinder Tales franchise with this Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser homage which is a rollicking adventure that retains Pratt's gift for sneaking in unexpected originality and characterisation.

Rodrick is a swindler more than a thief. With his enchanted sword Hrym, the two are conning their way over Golarion. When a squishy priest and his nice-yet-creepy sidekick hire them to help find a religious artifact, it seems like easy money. But nothing is ever easy...

This was a pretty good one. The debt to Lieber is clear and Pratt has a lot of fun with it. His banter is reasonable, but I found his situational comedy the most amusing. A pleasant bonus - as was the case with Pratt's previous Pathfinder book - is his efforts to render all the characters three dimensional, with their own struggles and goals etc. It lends the party and their interactions a depth that wouldn't be present otherwise, and it really elevates the book.

This would count for little, of course, if it wasn't for Pratt's deft - almost seamless - sense of pace and structure. These are well built book's and the conclusion is very satisfying.

It's hard to rate the Pathfinder books - I mean, no one would confuse this as high literature, but they are really good at delivering what they promise. On that metric, they are very successful indeed


Super Fun Book, No Lie

*****

Liar's Blade by Tim Pratt is my new Pathfinder Tales gold standard. Of the seven tales I've consumed Liar's Blade was simply the most fun. A combination of simple but intriguing story, strong characters, mystery, and clever dealings put Liar's Blade on top. Liar's Blade is a fun romp in the north-east region of Galorion and provides a sense of travel and adventure; a classic quest across the River Kingdoms and Brevoy. It's rich in Galorion nuggets although on this point I wanted even deeper details. The plot keeps a brisk pace and provides constant short-term suspense, intermediate page turning anticipation, and long-term mystery. Who's the bad guy? What is really going on? Who is truly loyal? Can man and sword form an intimate bond? All these questions are answered.

It's a quest tale seen from the perspective of two hoot provoking hireling's. It's a buddy story. The main characters Rodrick (the human) and Hrym (the sword) made me laugh throughout the adventure. Rodrick's fertile mind produces some unique and creative solutions to encounters that inspire more mirth than you can stuff in a bag of holding. The other characters are also well developed and add a great deal to the story. There are some truly gruesome but enthralling character driven moments to keep you on your hoofs!

As I write this Liar's Blade is 7th on the top 10 list for Paizo novels but in my humble opinion it should be higher. I just want everyone to enjoy this book as much as I did.


A well crafted tail

*****

Tim's latest offering was both an enjoyable read, and a step up from City of the Fallen Sky. Not that that was a bad book, but this is better.

I'm looking forward to Tim's next book.


One of the most entertaining Pathfinder Tales I've read

*****

One of the best novels in the line, up there with Death's Heretic, Nightglass and the Dave Gross Novels (though for different reasons).

Liar's Blade is laugh out loud funny, with two main protagonists that are so entertaining, you'll find it hard to put the book down. The other characters don't disappoint, either. They've all got their own secrets and agendas, and Tim Pratt does a masterful job of teasing the reader with hints about their origins and motivations. Just a great book, not only funny, but exceptionally well written. I was impressed with Pratt's writing on City of the Fallen Sky, but I'm absolutely a fan now - I'll read anything he puts out, and am very much looking forward to his future contributions to the Pathfinder Tales line, whether it is the further adventures of Hyrm and Rodrick, or something new!


Geek Book Review: Liar’s Blade

****( )

I just finished reading Liar’s Blade, one of a batch of Pathfinder Tales novels I got recently. This is a line of novels set in Pathfinder’s Golarion game world.

This is a well-crafted novel, not standard tie-in fiction fare by any means. It’s a story of a scoundrel named Rodrick and his magical intelligent sword, Hrym. They get hired by some weirdos to go across the River Kingdoms and Brevoy to get some mystery artifact.

The writing is good, with less of the tortured translation of game rules into prose than is customary (I hate that…). The banter between Rodrick and Hrym (and to a lesser extent with their other traveling companions) is really fun. The two people who hire them, the dour priest Obed and his freaky companion Zaqen, remind me of the tag-along bad guys from the Curse of the Crimson Throne adventure path, who we affectionately referred to as “The Boner Squad” – Shadow Count Sial was the dour one, and then if you kinda combine the perky Laori Vaus and the chain devil into one person, you get a bit of the same dynamic.

Rodrick as a rogue was a well-realized character. He wasn’t uber competent or a hopeless schlep, and he was avaricious but not vicious, scheming but occasionally letting his emotions get away with him. And Hrym is pretty funny, he’s a sword made of living ice who can’t really remember all of his millennia of life; he’s fond of sleeping on piles of gold coins and of Rodrick’s “twisty little mind.” In the afterword Pratt credits Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser as the inspiration for his two characters’ adventures, and the main characters’ bromance in Liar’s Blade definitely puts one in mind of Leiber’s characters.

The travelogue through the River Kingdoms and Brevoy is also nice. The fight scenes aren’t anything to write home about, but since Hrym is super-magical many of the fights end quickly with a blast of ice magic, so we don’t have to dwell on many of them.

I’ve read a half dozen of these novels and this is definitely the best-written. Liar’s Blade is very entertaining, I give it 4 goblins out of 5!

- Review originally posted on Geek Related


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