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Pathfinder Tales: The Dagger of Trust

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: The Dagger of Trust
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by Chris Willrich

Fog of War

Gideon Gull leads a double life: one as a talented young bard at the Rhapsodic College, and the other as a student of the Shadow School, where Taldor’s infamous Lion Blades are trained to be master spies. When a magical fog starts turning ordinary people into murderous mobs along the border between Taldor and Andoran, it’s up to Gideon and a crew of his fellow performers to solve the mystery. But can a handful of entertainers really stop a brewing war?

From author Chris Willrich comes a new adventure of intrigue, espionage, and arcane mystery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Cover Art by Lucas Graciano.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-614-0
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-615-7

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

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Non-Mint: Ships from our warehouse in 2 to 14 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.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Enjoyable bardic fantasy for Golarion fans

***( )( )

The tenth Pathfinder Tales novel I have read, The Dagger of Trust is an adventure full of bards and bardic antics. I’ve never really understood bards in fantasy RPGs so this capable portrayal was a real plus for me. I also loved the Bogstriders and the setting along the Verduran Fork and Sellen River. The plot was reasonably paced but a little linear and singular in point of view for me. Characters held my interest and there was a nice bit of romance thrown in. All in all a solid fantasy novel, but not exceptional. I’d like to see Gideon Gull in a more eclectic adventuring party facing more tangible foes next time around.


A lyrical fare that could have had more depth

***( )( )

Likes:
The lyrical story-telling style, much in keeping with the musical thrust throughout the story (though see below)
The spy school scenes
The use of a TEAM in much of the story (you know, like would be found in an rpg)
The effectiveness of a primarily bard-dominated group
I want a sequel.

Dislikes:
The lyrical story-telling style blunted much of expected emotional depth in many scenes.
The scenes on the river felt more like a bunch of half-formed scenes strung together, bad Hollyweird movie-style.


Bard Fighters

*****

Plot is pretty streamlined. The protagonist is a recovering alcoholic who studies bardery at a performers university. He is also member of a secret society of rogues within the university called the Lion Blades.

Reports of a mysterious fog that somehow enrages people on contact make it to his school. He is then thrust into a quest to investigate the fog. He is accompanied by his schoolmates.

Good pace and very interesting fight scenes with the protagonist and his bandmates using bard magic in interesting ways. I read the book in 2 days because I was enthralled by the mystery of the fog.


Not a strong entry in the series...

**( )( )( )

A flawed book, and a weaker entry in the Pathfinder Tales series. Willrich's writing has its strengths, but they are often stymied by weak prose, a predictable narrative and the slightly silly milieu.

Gideon Gull is attending bard school, but it's also secretly a spy school, training up bards for intelligence work. When a magical fog starts driving peopl crazy, Gull reunites with his old flame and some fellow bards to solve the mystery.

The first thing that leapt out at me with this book was the prose, but unfortunately not in a positive way. In an effort to lend the book a suitably bardic tone, Willrich writes with a flowery overstated style, heavy on metaphors that break the flow and possess questionable efficacy. He also seems to struggle incorporating dialogue with action; the book veers wildly between the two at times, and the dialogue was quite... odd in parts. At points, it flows very naturally, but at others it seemed stilted and forced. It felt almost performative - what someone *thinks* they would say, rather than what they would actually say.

It doesn't help that the book has somewhat of a stop-start plot, very episodic and also quite predictable. The druid sections work best but are featured only a little. The villain is immediately guessable and the conclusion foregone.

It's a shame as there are parts of the book that work, but they are sporadic and it's just too inconsistent. I don't know how much of this is down to the setting (the Harry Potter like bard/spy school really is a bit much, as is the vast and powerful array of spells that *students* have), but Willrich seems like a writer who needs to write a few more books to get up to scratch.


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