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Pathfinder Tales: Shy Knives

***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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A Quiet Place to Hide

Shaia "Shy" Ratani used to be a member of the most powerful thieves' guild in Taldor—right up until she cheated her colleagues by taking the money and running. The frontier city of Yanmass seems like a perfect place to lie low, until a job solving a noble‚Äôs murder reveals an invading centaur army ready to burn the place to the ground. Of course, Shy could stop that from happening, but doing so would reveal her presence to the former friends who now want her dead. Add in a holier-than-thou patron with the literal blood of angels in her veins, and Shy quickly remembers why she swore off doing good deeds in the first place...

From critically acclaimed fantasy author Sam Sykes comes a darkly comic tale of intrigue, assassination, and the perils of friendship, all set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

352-page trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-8435-5

Shy Knives 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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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***( )( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Noire comes to Pathfinder

****( )

I like Sykes' take on what it means to be a certain type of rogue in the Pathfinder setting. Here we have a central character who isn't a hero, is thrust into a role she doesn't feel comfortable in, and who, in classic noire style, doesn't learn a damn thing.

I enjoyed the darker point of view he presented, especially a chance to see what makes a con artist tick. I enjoyed the glimpse into the Taldan crime syndicates and the corruption that is at the heart of the noble families.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and very much look forward to reading future works by Mr. Sykes.


Flawed, some basics missing

**( )( )( )

Pathfinder Tales had been on a bit of a tear lately. I've only read maybe 3 of the tales I didn't care for, and only 2 I would say were out and out duds, but this was definitely on the weaker end of the spectrum, more what I expect for "Franchise fiction".

Sykes has a potentially interesting character, but frankly his writing is not up to snuff. He can't resist a very snark adolescent flavour to his protagonist - it might be attempting to be clever but it comes off as clumsy and trying to hard. A kid's idea of what cool is, rather than actually being cool (like the effortless Radovan and Jheggare!).

Some of the scenes worked well but the pacing overall was a bit uneven and it didn't have the cohesive feel other tales have had for me. The world-building felt a bit one-dimensional, and I had trouble visualising the milieu.

There is potential here, but I'd think twice before buying another Sykes tale.


A bit light, but a fun romp.

***( )( )

Shy Knives is our first Tale from Sam Sykes. A solid romp with a lot of action, it is a fun read, but comes off a bit silly and a bit a shallow. That said, I'm interested in future stories from Sykes.


Implausible Story

***( )( )

I didn't enjoy this one. It starts slow, stars an unlikeable antihero as its main character (the combination of hyperconfidence, wit, selfishness, selfpitying, and unbelievable luck is difficult to sell), and the story follows an unimaginative and implausible plot.
What disappointed me the most is that this story felt so generic. The best novels in this line manage to breathe life into the Inner Sea setting. This one feels like a missed opportunity--we learn precious little about what it means to be Taldan (for centuries the most influential nation in basically every department!).
The writing isn't bad though (however, at times, it felt like the author was flirting with breaking the fourth wall, for example with those silly jokes about adventurers). There is room for improvement.


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