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Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Called to Darkness

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by Richard Lee Byers

Kagur is a warrior of the Blacklions, fierce and fearless hunters in the savage Realm of the Mammoth Lords. When her clan is slaughtered by a frost giant she considered her adopted brother, honor demands that she, the last surviving Blacklion, track down her old ally and take the tribe’s revenge. This is no normal betrayal, however, for the murderous giant has followed the whispers of a dark god down into the depths of the earth, into a primeval cavern forgotten by time. There, he will unleash forces capable of wiping all humans from the region—unless Kagur can stop him first.

From acclaimed author Richard Lee Byers comes a tale of bloody revenge and subterranean wonder, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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

416-page mass market paperback

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-465-8

Called to Darkness is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle Sheet and additional are a free download (209 KB zip/PDF).

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

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Print Edition: Ships in 2 to 6 business days.

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

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Product Reviews (9)
1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 9 ratings)

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The Adventures of Kagur and Holg!


This book was SOOO good! At first it was a little bit slow, but in the end it gets so exciting when they enter the ziggurat and run away from the xulgaths. It was a little bit bloody and gruesome at times, but all in all it was a very good read!

Bit of a slog...

**( )( )( )

One of the longest Pathfinder novels is also one of the weakest. Byers has written an Edgar Rice Burroughs homage that unfortunately apes many of the flaws of Burroughs, along with his strengths.

Barbarian warrior Kagur is on a quest of vengeance, after her adoptive giant brother slaughters her clan. Accompanied only by an aging spirit shaman, their adventure will take them deep underground to face dinosaurs and more in a bizarre subterranean world.

Sad to say, this is the first Pathfinder novel that confirms to a lot of the negative expectations people have about RPG adaptation novels. It's not a bad book - well, maybe it is. It's certainly not a good book, and really lacks the fluency and depth of other Pathfinder Novels.

Firstly, the novel is episodic in the extreme. Every chapter feels like a drawn up piece of someone's campaign, and the piece don't snowball or add up together. There are several chapters you could remove from the book and it simply wouldn't be noticeable because what they contain has no bearing on the broader narrative.

Compounding this flaw is the fact you can practically hear the dice rolling during these confrontations. Dexterity checks, perception checks etc. It felt really obvious to me, and it gave the encounters a stale feeling, with little originality.

Further, it robbed the book of any sense that something was at stake. As a character, Kagur is very thin, and her "growth" is telegraphed miles away, and it was both predictable and uninteresting. I never felt any of the characters existed except as a means to move the narrative (or I should say campaign) to its conclusion - which is also easy to see coming.

These things really drain the book of sense of drama or tension. The fact that's it's a long book didn't really help matters I finished it - it's not a challenging read, I just thought it was really pedestrian and didn't measure up to the other fine efforts in the Pathfinder Tales series.

Exciting and Fun!


Called to Darkness is an exciting and fast paced read filled with adventure and great characters. Richard Lee Byers has crafted a tale that feels like a tabletop adventure, complete with strong action and vibrant scenes. This is the first novelization of an RPG that I've read that truly feels like playing at the table. Grab a copy now, and immerse yourself in this wonderful tale!

A Fun Adventure in the same veins as Lovecraft and Burroughs

****( )

A rare coupling, Called to Darkness manages to pull off the unusual combination of pulp elements and some Lovecraftian goodies to spice up a tale of revenge and magic that also lends itself to the Conan type vein. The main character, while being driven by revenge, shows just enough development and personality to get you to like her while still showing the cold detachment and self-reliance that makes you remember that she is still from a brutal culture. The travel through the darklands was as much fun as the events that transpired as they reached their destination, and even the secondary characters and villain were enjoyable. Overall an excellent addition to the Tales line.

A bit too one-dimensional and tedious

***( )( )

I've read all the Pathfinder Tales novels up to and including Called to Darkness, and I'm sorry to say that this was the only one I seriously considered giving up on less than half-way through.

Both the protagonist Kagur and the plot seemed to lack depth. The frost giant's violent act in the first chapter (which is mentioned on the back cover, so it's not a spoiler) sets the scene for the revenge theme that comes to dominate the entire book. The root cause of his actions was never uncovered (there's a clear surface answer but this was not satisfactory for me).

Ultimately, perhaps the biggest problem is that I couldn't identify with Kagur - while she's both strong and honorable, she's not interesting, and it took some willpower to finish a nearly 400 page novel focused on her. The book did pick up toward the climax at the end, and for that, I reluctantly give it three stars.

1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
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