Pathfinder Tales: Firesoul

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Firesoul
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Flames in the Night

Jiri has always been special. Found as an infant in the ashes of her village, she was taken in by a neighboring shaman and trained to be a powerful jungle druid. Yet when Aspis Consortium mercenaries release an ancient evil that burns her adopted home to the ground, Jiri must gather a group of her own to uncover the secrets of a lost nation and stop the fire spirit—and the greedy treasure hunters trying to leash it for their own ends—before it lays waste to the entire Mwangi Expanse.

From acclaimed short story author Gary Kloster comes a tale of revenge, lost cities, and unlikely alliances, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-741-3
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-742-0

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Sanctioned Content
Firesoul is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

Download the Chronicle sheet — (395 kb zip/PDF)

Firesoul is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

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

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PZO8525


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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Beating the jungle drums

****( )

Not the usual elements that would interest me in a book here: jungle setting, etc. but I'd encourage similarly cautiously-minded folk to give this one a go, as I was surprised how much I enjoyed this novel. I think the web fiction, 'The Gem', is well worth reading before the novel too, as it adds significantly to understanding the main characters' interactions. Bravo Mr Kloster, and I hope to see your name again in the Pathfinder Tales line.


An ok low level adventure but not great

***( )( )

THE GOOD:
-The first 100 pages are interesting as we get see the world from the viewpoint of a teenage girl druid in the Mwangi Expanse.
-The Fighter is quite funny and deep sometimes - reminded me of Valeros in the comics.
-The magic is handled properly (Jiri is 3rd level and wants to change shape but has to wait till she becomes 4rd level).
-Mikki is a character you love to hate.
- You can read the book in one go - the author is quite good with the flow of the words.
- A new magic item: the Kindi is quite nice.
- Good use of the low level Biloko.

THE BAD:
- The main character gets on your nerves once she enters the city and that continues until the end of the book.
- The time pacing is in real-time which makes for boring reading sometimes.
- The White Witch and the paladin are absolutely steriotypical and have no distinctive character.
- If you have the Campaign Setting: "Pathfinder Chronicles Heart of the Jungle" you learn almost nothing new about the expanse - the Pyre and Loza stay very bland an non-descript.

THE UGLY:
Nothing really ugly here - the torture scene is not very hard.
If you watch the news that´s more violent.

All in all a satisfying read but not so good that i would want to read it again.


I keep changing my mind about this novel.

***( )( )

I really enjoyed the Golarion lore in this book. Quite a bit of stuff about the mwangi expanse, it's history and it's current exploitation by the Aspis consortium. There was an enjoyable plot - I found the protagonists believable and likeable and their enemies truly villainous. I desperately wanted them to get their comeuppance.

For me, the negatives came in the character development - a significant portion of the book had the main character reluctant to trust her new companions, feeling like an outsider, carrying her burden on her own, etcetera... Then it seemed like, all in a rush, everything is resolved and she's learnt to have friends. I also found myself railing at her blinkered stubbornness/stupidity a few too many times, though that's a pet hate of mine and probably isn't a big deal.

I can't decide on four stars for story or three stars for character - I'm going to round down because there was a particularly unpleasant torture scene (in my opinion it went beyond paizo's usual PG13 bounds). I don't enjoy reading that stuff without warning, so I've settled on a three out of five.


Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced! Cover image and description are not final.


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

Looking forward to it!

Silver Crusade

Mwangi heroine?

Possibly an ifrit or emberkin aasimar or fire-bloodline Mwangi heroine?

Yes plz!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

It's exciting to see another portrayal of a Pathfinder Druid, and to see them in the lush, natural environment of the Mwangi Expanse. Excellent!


Jungle adventure of a druid? sounds interesting

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

From the title, I was hoping this was about Hendregan.

The Exchange

I like that this is Mwangi, but... "Jiri has always been special. Found as an infant in the ashes of her village...". Oh god :(

The Exchange

This looks fun! I know the cover of the book is just a placeholder, but where does the art come from? I don't remember Sajan fighting in a jungle.

Sovereign Court

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

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

The Exchange

GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.


Looks like the Aspis Consortium is about to get it's collective keester KICKED!

Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

Dark Archive

James Sutter wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

This has been moved to April. I wonder if the novel after that will be moved too because i don´t want the Dave gross novel that was scheduled for june to move too...

Do you have any information abot that?

Managing Editor

Marco Massoudi wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

This has been moved to April. I wonder if the novel after that will be moved too because i don´t want the Dave gross novel that was scheduled for june to move too...

Do you have any information abot that?

There have been some printing delays, but as you'll see at the top of the page, I think we're still looking for Firesoul to hit in late March.

Regardless, this will have absolutely no effect on the release date of the new Dave Gross novel. No worries. :)

Dark Archive

James Sutter wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

This has been moved to April. I wonder if the novel after that will be moved too because i don´t want the Dave gross novel that was scheduled for june to move too...

Do you have any information abot that?

There have been some printing delays, but as you'll see at the top of the page, I think we're still looking for Firesoul to hit in late March.

Regardless, this will have absolutely no effect on the release date of the new Dave Gross novel. No worries. :)

Sara Marie from Customer Service has written it has been moved to april.

Here is the link:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rr12?February-2015-New-Release-Shipping-Thread

But thank you for reassuring me.

I recon we will then have a novel in april, one in May and the one from Dave in June - good times! :-)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

This has been moved to April. I wonder if the novel after that will be moved too because i don´t want the Dave gross novel that was scheduled for june to move too...

Do you have any information abot that?

There have been some printing delays, but as you'll see at the top of the page, I think we're still looking for Firesoul to hit in late March.

Regardless, this will have absolutely no effect on the release date of the new Dave Gross novel. No worries. :)

Sara Marie from Customer Service has written it has been moved to april.

Here is the link:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rr12?February-2015-New-Release-Shipping-Thread

But thank you for reassuring me.

I recon we will then have a novel in april, one in May and the one from Dave in June - good times! :-)

Looking at the schedule, it is still Late April, mid-May and June. I guess my bus rides will be all pathfinder for a while starting late next month. Looking forward to it. Now to finish some Feist that has been ignored.

Contributor

I just finished this one and wow it is SO MUCH FUN you guys.

I love it, definitely top tier Tales for me. It's really hard to do a classic adventuring party story well, and this is a great one. Hits all the expected beats (awesome monsters! colorful local scenery! party banter! classic four-person party!) but does it cleverly and without lapsing into cliche. And the writing is just a joy to read, which is always much appreciated.

I would dearly love to see these characters' adventures continue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I agree about the story (didn't feel "cliche" to me at all). It was very good. I struggled a bit with the pacing of the character development.

I also found one scene to be particularly unpleasant - definitely not a joy to read and beyond paizo's usual limits, in my view. Of course, given it affected me so strongly, I'd have to concede it was well written - just not what I expect to find in a PF Tales novel.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is that the scene where

Spoiler:
Jiri gets captured and Corrianne and Mikki get to be unpleasant for a while
?

That was one of a few moments where I stepped out of the flow of the story as I was reading it, not because it disturbed me (although, granted, I have a pretty high bar), but because I started dissecting the scene in my head even as I was reading it for the first time. I don't normally do that, but I was really curious to see how the author would thread that particular needle.

I think he did a good job of it, and here's why:

Spoiler:
It would have been really easy, and really obvious, to make that scene all about physical torture. That would probably have tripped a whole lot of people's squeamishness buttons and would very likely have been beyond the parameters of the line, so I didn't really expect that we'd see any of that stuff on screen (but I didn't know for sure, and it's to the author's credit that he put me in doubt).

Instead what we see are a bunch of head games, some humiliation, and very little actual physical damage -- certainly much less than in almost any combat scene in any of the novels. The focus is squarely on Team Evil's intents and nastiness. They don't actually hurt Jiri that badly, but they're very clearly shown to be capital-B Bad people, and so the stakes go way up for Jiri's escape: if she can't find a way out of this one, and soon, the next round's going to be awful.

I thought it was a highly effective scene in that it made the villains extremely villainous, made Jiri's situation truly dire, and yet didn't rely on gore or grisliness to achieve the effect. What's disturbing about that sequence -- and I agree, it is disturbing -- is that you don't often see that level of pure unvarnished sadism in these books (at least not on screen). But it's almost entirely a mental and emotional effect, there's very little reliance on physical damage. And so it makes you think about how brutally this character's being treated even when she's "not really being hurt" (is that a waterboarding allusion I see there? I think so!).

Also, I liked how it differentiated the various members of Team Evil into the ones who actually enjoy doing that sort of thing and the ones who are essentially indifferent to torture and not especially eager to get their hands dirty. (And, piggybacking off that point, it does a nice job of illustrating why even standing idly by when someone else does the dirty work is still very clearly Evil.) When you can use a torture scene for character development, that is a pretty good trick.

ALSO also, I liked how it made the Aspis Team Evil as much of a threat as the giant village-destroying mystery monster that was still running around in the background (and this paid off later, I think, when we got to find out exactly what that monster was and found out that its motivations and background were considerably more sympathetic than, say, Mikki's). Up until then it might have been possible to imagine that the human threat was maybe the less awful one. Afterward, not so much.

Of course it's completely reasonable that not everyone is going to be on board for that, but when I read the scene, my reaction was pretty much "aha, I see what you did there. And there. And oh hey, over there too. Neat!" So I didn't think it was gratuitously nasty, although it certainly was nasty.

But yes, I can certainly see why not everybody would love that scene. I think it plays an important role in the story, and I appreciate that the Tales are occasionally willing to push the boundaries a little, but that could easily be a bit much for some. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Spoiler:
Yeah, I pretty much agree with your analysis. I also thought it was a striking way to underline the evilness of the enemy group. The fact I felt so uneasy about her plight was no doubt a testament to the quality of writing.

I think violence and gore is expected in PF Tales (whether it should be acceptable in a nominally PG book is another matter, but I think our culture has a casual acceptance of physical violence, so there it is). The psychological torture was really quite uncomfortable for me - I don't really mind reading that stuff, but PF tales are generally "light romps" in my view and I was caught a little by surprise.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

So...

A sci-fi author with no web-fiction and no published novel-length fiction is dropped into cliche-danger territory.

I am concerned.

James better be showing some mad editor-fu here and have gone full diamond-in-the-rough with this author.

Do you have any links to any of Gary Kloster's short sci-fi, or a blog, or something? My Google-fu was weak and I had trouble finding him and wasn't sure if I had him or some other Gary Kloster in my search results.

Hopefully more info about the author will be forthcoming.

For the record, both Gary and I are fully aware of the danger inherent in a novel about the Mwangi Expanse—and the opportunity. The reason Gary hasn't done any web fiction yet is because the web fiction story I assigned him was so good that I immediately made him turn around and make it the first four chapters of this novel!

Long story short, I'm *really* excited about this one. Gary took on a monumental task, and knocked it out of the park. I can't wait for you all to read it. :)

Finally got round to reading this and really enjoyed it. Nice work all round.

I would happily read a sequel.

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