Pathfinder Tales: Master of Devils

3.90/5 (based on 41 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Master of Devils
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Journey to the East

On a mysterious errand for the Pathfinder Society, Count Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan journey to the distant land of Tian Xia, on the far side of the world. When disaster forces him to take shelter in a warrior monastery, "Brother" Jeggare finds himself competing with the disciples of Dragon Temple as he unravels a royal mystery. Meanwhile, Radovan—trapped in the body of a devil and held hostage by the legendary Quivering Palm attack—must serve a twisted master by defeating the land’s deadliest champions and learning the secret of slaying an immortal foe. Together with an unlikely army of beasts and spirits, the two companions must take the lead in an ancient conflict that will carry them through an exotic land, all the way to the Gates of Heaven and Hell and a final confrontation with the nefarious Master of Devils!

From fan-favorite author Dave Gross comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-357-6
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-358-3

Master of Devils is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Master of Devils is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional rules are a free download (229 KB zip/PDF).

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3.90/5 (based on 41 ratings)

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A Monk, a Devil, and a Dog

5/5

Let me start by saying I enjoy the multiple perspectives Gross employs in writing these novels, especially with the addition of Arnisant.

With Varian's storyline he finds himself trapped in a strict monastery in a land surrounded by dangerous, and quite often magical, beasts. For someone looking for a good portable of how an intellectual and skilled fighter performs rather than just one relying on brute strength, this is an interesting read.

With Radavon he finds himself trapped in his "super" mode and under contract with the rather eccentric and enigmatic Master of Devils as they travel around the country looking for challengers in order to increase his strength and skill so that he might "avenge" his boss (Readers of Prince of Wolves will get a kick out of this nice throwback).

And my personal favorite the Story of Arnisant the Wolfhound finds the poor dog cut off from both his master and Radovan, and so with an ever increasing army of Spirits and magical beasts he sets off on an epic quest that rivals if not outright surpasses the other two storylines.

If you were to compare Varian's tale would be that of a movie, Radovan's would be that of a video game, and Arnisant's would be that of an Epic from mythology. If you enjoy good storytelling, folklore, interesting characters, and badassery I cannot recommend this novel enough.


Jeggare & Radovan go "wu-shu"

5/5

Here's part of what I said when I reviewed "King of Chaos": About page 33 of the new Dave Gross Novel "King of Chaos" I realized it was part of a series. About page 44 I went ahead and ordered the other three books in the series, but since I was already hooked, I kept reading....

I like reading fantasy novels, sometimes including those set in a gaming universe. The problem with those is sometimes the authors are third tier , hired to crank out some hack books just to support the game side. Not so with Pathfinder Tales. James Sutter, the Editor, has taken great care to get some solid authors for his line of Pathfinder Tales fiction.

Now, sometimes the authors come out with a fantasy tale, which other than the setting, is not particularly `set" in that gaming universe. The characters don't have "classes', don't use a lot of easily recognizable spells, and magic items are few and far between, unless they are a macguffin. This works as it gets in readers who don't play that particular fantasy roleplaying game.

But as one of my friends was complaining, they don't read as if they are set in one of those High Fantasy High Magic universes. I mean sure- the locations are there, but where's the magic?

Well, this one does. There are scads of spells being tossed around here, not to mention magic items. Characters use scrolls, quaff healing potions, and fire spells which are clearly from the pages of the Player Handbook. Most of the characters (other than those with a mysterious secret background, of course!) are clearly identifiable as to their class, and those who track the spells, etc used can even get a fair guess as to level. Summoners summon their eidolons, wizards burn thru scrolls like it's my Friday nite game, Paladins lay on hands, etc.

This is cool, fun & refreshing. And the combats! Ah here, Dave Gross excels! "

So, after ordering the prior three books, of course I am now reading them and finding them just as enjoyable as I thought. Here in "Master of Devils" we continue the fantastic adventures of the enigmatic Pathfinder Count Varian Jeggare and his strange & uncanny assistant Radovan.

Again early on Jeggare & Radovan are separated, but this time they spend most of the book apart, along with their faithful hound Arnisant . All three are thrust into a path of personal growth, training and adventure in what passes for ancient China in Golarion.

Be prepared for some fabulous “wu-shu” action and combat, straight out of the most fantastic and martial arts heavy Chinese cinema. Think “Crouching Tiger/ Hidden Dragon” meets “Big Trouble in Little China” with a dash of a few of your favorite fantasy movies thrown in.

Radovan is trapped in his devil form, Venture-Captain Jeggare is trapped training in a Monastery and our faithful hound is out raising an army of phantasmagorical Oni and other creatures to rescue them.

Ghosts, devils, demi-gods, wizards, celestial dragons, oriental goblins, and a host of other populate the action packed pages.


Yes, we need the word there! All of them!

5/5

Seriously though, this is a good read with some surprises, although Radovan and Varian are getting scary with what they have learned. Fun and fully steeped in kung-fu movie athmosphere.


Not impressed at all...

1/5

Do we really need the word "a!~$$$~" in this book??? I put the book down after seeing this word and never picked it up again.


Glad I Read It

4/5

I am not a huge fan of the Kung-fu genre nor is Tian Xia an area of Golarion I care much about. Therefore it has taken me a while to pick up this book (certain for a while that I never would). I'm glad I picked it up.

This book delivers what it promises, great Kung Fu feel. It takes two of Pathfinder Tales' most famous characters and transports them around the world. They and their loyal companion are soon split from each other and placed in very different circumstances. In doing this Mr. Gross explores much of Tian Xia (culturally if not geographically) from different perspectives. They mythology, the organizations, the history are all so well laid out and presented with fun and exciting events that the reader can't help but get caught up in them while learning about the world.

This is all accomplished while nodding repeatedly to the genre as a whole which brings a smile to the reader's face when seen through the very thin rice paper that veils it.

Pick it up. You won't be disappointed.


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Dark Archive Contributor

Protoman wrote:
I loved this book! I ESPECIALLY love the appearance of my favorite simian demigod as I never get enough of him in any sorts of media. I've been wanting to read an asian-themed fantasy D&D story since I've started playing so I'm grateful you wrote it.

Anyone named Protoman is all right by me. Are you a fan of the band?


Dave Gross wrote:
Protoman wrote:
I loved this book! I ESPECIALLY love the appearance of my favorite simian demigod as I never get enough of him in any sorts of media. I've been wanting to read an asian-themed fantasy D&D story since I've started playing so I'm grateful you wrote it.

Anyone named Protoman is all right by me. Are you a fan of the band?

The band and the character.

I think I met you once in 2008. Played a LFR game at your place. Asian kid that kept talking too much lol

Dark Archive Contributor

Protoman wrote:
I loved this book! I ESPECIALLY love the appearance of my favorite simian demigod as I never get enough of him in any sorts of media. I've been wanting to read an asian-themed fantasy D&D story since I've started playing so I'm grateful you wrote it.

Also, I implore anyone who enjoyed the book to post a review here, at Amazon, Goodreads, Booksamillion, B&N, or anywhere you can spread the word about Pathfinder Tales. We're still in the early days of this book line, so the more word of mouth, the better for everyone.


I'm just about through this book and am loving it. Looks like Prince of Wolves is a must read for more of these characters, do they appear anywhere else? (Pathfinder...noob)

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zelq wrote:
I'm just about through this book and am loving it. Looks like Prince of Wolves is a must read for more of these characters, do they appear anywhere else? (Pathfinder...noob)

Jeggare & Radovan first appeared in the Pathfinder Journal for the Council of Thieves Adventure Path (available separately in "Hell's Pawns"). "The Lost Pathfinder" serves as an introduction or prequel to Prince of Wolves. "A Lesson in Taxonomy" features a much younger Varian Jeggare (which originally featured in Wayfinder #4). Master of Devils has Varian and Radovan in a very different set of circumstances, and the "Husks" serial featuring this dynamic duo are in the Jade Regent Adventure Path volumes.

Hope that helps!


Liz Courts wrote:

Jeggare & Radovan first appeared in the Pathfinder Journal for the Council of Thieves Adventure Path (available separately in "Hell's Pawns"). "The Lost Pathfinder" serves as an introduction or prequel to Prince of Wolves. "A Lesson in Taxonomy" features a much younger Varian Jeggare (which originally featured in Wayfinder #4). Master of Devils has Varian and Radovan in a very different set of circumstances, and the "Husks" serial featuring this dynamic duo are in the Jade Regent Adventure Path volumes.

Hope that helps!

Immensely! A shopping I must go :) Thank you!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Out of curiosity, are we going to get a wallpaper of the cover art? Or did I miss one? ^_^

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I finished this one a couple weeks ago, and I thought it was great. Especially

Spoiler:
"Radovan catches on fire more than anybody."

I freakin howled at that. But there are a lot of unanswered questions still about Radovan's nature. I'm wondering if
Spoiler:

the devil that occupied Radovan's space was a distinct entity and not a manifestation of his nature. In that case, killing a devil merely returns it to its native plane, with limitations on when it can return, correct? In that case, isn't it possible, and in fact likely, that Radovan may eventually encounter this being again, external to his own form, and the devil may want to renew the bond? Or seek vengeance of Radovan for letting him get killed. Even if this is not the case, there are still a number of questions about how the bond was formed in the first place. Or was this covered in the CoT AP fiction?

Anyway, the book was a lot of fun and I was sad to see it end. Thanks, Dave, for another great ripping yarn.

Dark Archive Contributor

Christopher Dudley wrote:

I finished this one a couple weeks ago, and I thought it was great. Especially ** spoiler omitted **

I freakin howled at that. But there are a lot of unanswered questions still about Radovan's nature. I'm wondering if ** spoiler omitted **

Anyway, the book was a lot of fun and I was sad to see it end. Thanks, Dave, for another great ripping yarn.

Thanks for the kind words! If you have a chance, it'd be great to see your review here and at amazon.com.

While there's a strong hint about the catalysing event in "Hell's Pawns," all of the information we have on Radovan's condition has come through the filter of his point of view. Since he doesn't have all the answers (yet), neither do we.

Master of Devils included some big hints of Radovan's unusual nature, and the next novel will include bigger revelations.

Much bigger.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Dave Gross wrote:

Master of Devils included some big hints of Radovan's unusual nature, and the next novel will include bigger revelations.

Much bigger.

Does the next book have a title and release date?

Dark Archive Contributor

JoelF847 wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:

Master of Devils included some big hints of Radovan's unusual nature, and the next novel will include bigger revelations.

Much bigger.

Does the next book have a title and release date?

Officially, not until Paizo announces them, but I'm told it's okay to say there is another book in the works with these boys.


Very much looking forward to it...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Dave Gross wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
Dave Gross wrote:

Master of Devils included some big hints of Radovan's unusual nature, and the next novel will include bigger revelations.

Much bigger.

Does the next book have a title and release date?
Officially, not until Paizo announces them, but I'm told it's okay to say there is another book in the works with these boys.

Darn, you saw through my clever ruse!

I hope that "these boys" includes all 3 point of view characters.


Well done Dave Gross - I've put up my review for Master of Devils, and I am certainly looking forward to more. I'd be particularly happy if you could offer another glimpse of the Dragon Empires in more than a passing manner in a future novel! (Who could resist reading about the Monkey King in action?)

Dark Archive Contributor

LoreKeeper wrote:

Well done Dave Gross - I've put up my review for Master of Devils, and I am certainly looking forward to more. I'd be particularly happy if you could offer another glimpse of the Dragon Empires in more than a passing manner in a future novel! (Who could resist reading about the Monkey King in action?)

Thanks for that well-written and gratifying review.

While I could write nine more novels set in Tian Xia, I don't expect the boys to return soon. If you haven't been following the Jade Regent AP, you can look forward to "Husks," the Minkai-based prequel novella to Master of Devils, appearing via the web store later this year. If you have been following Jade Regent, then you've got most of it already.


Thanks for the swift response! I've mentioned it in a thread with James Jacobs before, but perhaps you could directly pitch such an idea to Paizo: I think there is ample opportunity to pen a "bigger" story.

By that I don't mean something more epic or world-shattering (Paizo has repeatedly confirmed that they are happy with the degree of impact the stories have, and I agree wholeheartedly). I mean that there is room for a story so rich and complex that it requires not one but eight books to complete.

Perhaps, to me, the perfect example is Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" (consisting of the three volumes: Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World). Many characters, complex relations, a fantastic story that conveys a tremendous sense of reality and insight into the psyche of the time.

Dark Archive Contributor

I share your love of long-form narrative and Tian Xia. If a lot of folks feel the same way and sales follow, who knows what might happen?

In the meantime, the boys' next adventure takes them to Kyonin, back in the Inner Sea region. And in case you haven't read Prince of Wolves, there's a tiny element of Asian fantasy in the otherwise Eastern European-influenced setting.

Have you read the Barry Hughart novels? That might satisfy your craving for more Chinese-influenced fantasy.


I'll keep my eyes open for them, thanks :)

Kyonin, you say? I think my ex will like that a lot.


Dave Gross wrote:
Also, I implore anyone who enjoyed the book to post a review here, at Amazon, Goodreads, Booksamillion, B&N, or anywhere you can spread the word about Pathfinder Tales. We're still in the early days of this book line, so the more word of mouth, the better for everyone.

I have posted my review on both Amazon (where I am a "Top Reviewer") and here. Thanks for the fun read!

The Barry Hughart novels are great. I highly suggest them.

Dave, in your last book, you put the name of the protagonist/narrator at the top of each chapter. Please continue this.

Dark Archive Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the reviews, DrDeth.

I love Hughart's novels. It's a shame he hasn't written any more, giving up in despair with his publisher. Bridge of Birds remains one of my favorite novels.

In Queen of Thorns I started tagging the chapters with the POV character. It seems more important to do that when there are more than two, but I'm sure it's a permanent fixture.


Folks, here are some other ways to help a fave author on Amazon (and these mostly work elsewhere) besides the usual buy the books, and write a review:

1. If the book is not out yet, add it to your Wish List, even if you plan on buying it straight from Paizo.

2. If you find a good review, mark it helpful. This adds verisimilitude to the review, which helps the book. It also makes the reviewer happy.

3. Look for other books by the same author.

Dark Archive

Dave Gross wrote:

Thanks for the reviews, DrDeth.

I love Hughart's novels. It's a shame he hasn't written any more, giving up in despair with his publisher. Bridge of Birds remains one of my favorite novels.

In Queen of Thorns I started tagging the chapters with the POV character. It seems more important to do that when there are more than two, but I'm sure it's a permanent fixture.

Congratulations for your first sold out Pathfinder novel, Dave!

I'm sure the others will follow.
Anything new planned?


Absolutely brilliant, loved it.
So well written it was like watching an epic Kung Fu movie on a cinema screen.
Dave Gross is my new favourite author.
Let's hope for many more novels to come.
I have to say, Radovan reminds me a little of the Wolverine comic character, which is a very good parallel to have.

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