Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky

4.30/5 (based on 27 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky
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Secrets of the Ancients

Once an alchemical researcher with the dark scholars of the Technic League, Alaeron fled their arcane order when his conscience got the better of him, taking with him a few strange devices of unknown function. Now in hiding in a distant city, he's happy to use his skills creating minor potions and wonders—at least until the back-alley rescue of an adventurer named Jaya lands him in trouble with a powerful crime lord. In order to keep their heads, Alaeron and Jaya must travel across wide seas and steaming jungles in search of a wrecked flying city and the magical artifacts that can buy their freedom. Yet the Technic League hasn't forgotten Alaeron's betrayal, and an assassin armed with alien weaponry is hot on their trail...

From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-418-4
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-419-1

City of the Fallen Sky is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

City of the Fallen Sky is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional rules are a free download (270 KB zip/PDF).

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Average product rating:

4.30/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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And We're Walking, and We're Walking...

5/5

This was a rather pleasant adventure novel, even moreso through the pov of the magical-scientific personage of Alearon. Though while the traveling is smooth (from the reader's chair anyway hehe) and the places they visit fantastical it is the characters and interactions where this novel truly shines. I actually found myself getting aggravated when action or some other dire element interrupted conversations wherein, not to say that those parts are boring or not well written (cause they aren't), the dialogue is just that good. I highly, highly recommend this one.

Spoiler:

Though its kinda hard to shake the feeling of kicked puppyness for poor Alearon at tge end at least he has some new toys he loves to take his mind off the matter.


Good Times!

4/5

Tim Pratt has a gift for loveable rogues and clever dialogue that do not disappoint. Well worth the read!


Great

4/5

Great characters,fast paced and funny.

Thanks to Jeff Baylor for pointing out the order you should read these stories in.

I also recommend reading the web fiction by Tim Pratt. If you like to read stories in their in-world chronology, I would read them in this order:

1) A Tomb of Winter's Plunder (WF)
2) Bastard, Sword (WF)
3) City of the Fallen Sky (N)
4) Liar's Blade (N)
5) Reign of Stars (N)


I didn't like this one

3/5

I have read a few pathfinder tales and this is the second one i didn't like (the other was song of a serpent).

The protagonist has a very interesting past but although supposedly a genius acts like the village's idiot most of the times.
The rest of the characters (both allies and enemies) are quite stereotypical (except one), i don't have a problem with that but some people might have. In addition nearly nobody (allies, enemies, extras) has any faith or religion whatsoever.

The story starts as very interesting (go explore a formerly flying city of the Shory empire) but the way it unfolds leaves a lot to be desired. First of all the characters spend only a small portion of the book in the ancient city since they spend most of the book traveling there. Secondly we don't get to know nothing more about the Shory empire. Thirdly the book teases you about a lot of locales and cultures but doesn't stay enough at one place in order to really give you stuff about it.

My biggest issue with this book is that the writer took A LOT of liberties with the mechanics of the pathfinder RPG, i can understand that sometimes you have to deviate from the rules of the game a little but this time things went too far.


Take me to the sky!

4/5

A brief review from a non-native english speaker: I liked it a lot :-)
Well written, easy read. Funny and creative cast of characters, good insight into what an Alchemist might be wondering about.

Very well placed within the Golarion setting - which is something that means a lot to me running a long term TT campaign there ;-)

Minor things a did not fancy so much:

The city map wasn't really used in the book. Perhaps it would've been better with a traveling map showing the journey instead.

And also the love-story: I think I guessed the outcome very early.

But aside from these minor things, a great read! More of that... plz.

:-) Rgs from overseas


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Contributor

I just finished reading this, and I gotta say, I loved the idea of a science geek (and the idea of chemistry + magic as a scientific discipline is fine we me) as the protagonist is awesome. The sheer "absent minded professor" flavor of Alaeron is delightful. The way he gets sidetracked thinking about the whys and hows of the world around him, wondering about the properties of every bit of fungus and slime... I know people like this, worked with people like this... Love it!

I tend to focus on characters when I read, and the main three in this novel hooked me... Well done, Tim, and I hope we see more of Alaeron!

Grand Lodge

GeraintElberion wrote:

Tim Pratt won a Hugo for a sci-fi short story, which is better than I could do.

However, he does not appear to understand that alchemy is something other than modern science. This novel is littered with anachronistic language which undermines the story. Tim's writing is often cumbersome and disrupts his expression of ideas.

As such, this is simply, mechanically, the worst piece of writing I have seen from Paizo: far below that of Gross, Cunningham, Jones or Sutter.

** spoiler omitted **...

So long as I am immersed in a story, I would hardly stop to scrutinize the writing in such a way that it would not only take away from being entertainment (Fantasy Novel, ahem..), but instead become something similar to work. This book was great, I liked the characters, and most importantly, it entertained me. I didn't buy it expecting a new milestone in literature. There was absolutely nothing in this book to warrant such a review - especially for potential buyers, as you're throwing harsh accusations simply because it goes against what you would've wrote - but you didn't. Tim Pratt did.

Sovereign Court

Ametheus wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:

Tim Pratt won a Hugo for a sci-fi short story, which is better than I could do.

However, he does not appear to understand that alchemy is something other than modern science. This novel is littered with anachronistic language which undermines the story. Tim's writing is often cumbersome and disrupts his expression of ideas.

As such, this is simply, mechanically, the worst piece of writing I have seen from Paizo: far below that of Gross, Cunningham, Jones or Sutter.

** spoiler omitted **...

So long as I am immersed in a story, I would hardly stop to scrutinize the writing in such a way that it would not only take away from being entertainment (Fantasy Novel, ahem..), but instead become something similar to work. This book was great, I liked the characters, and most importantly, it entertained me. I didn't buy it expecting a new milestone in literature. There was absolutely nothing in this book to warrant such a review - especially for potential buyers, as you're throwing harsh accusations simply because it goes against what you would've wrote - but you didn't. Tim Pratt did.

SO, my opinions are not valid because they do not match your expectations?

And you accuse me of being harsh?

Wowser!

The point you may have missed is that it did break my immersion, so maybe I am just different to you, and equally allowed to my opinion?

I actually find it really sad to see someone imply that fantasy novels should not be held up to the standard of other novels.

I didn't expect it to be a new milestone in literature and I don't think I have suggested that: so why would you suggest that I have suggested that? Isn't it quite rude to put words in another person's mouth just because they had a different response to a work of art than you did? I think it is.

I regard my review as honest, not harsh: Pathfinder Tales have already established a standard (Gross, Cunningham, Laws, Sutter, Merciel) and I don't believe that either City of the Fallen Sky or Song of the Serpent are of sufficient quality to stand up amongst the other books in the Pathfinder Tales line.

City of Fallen Sky is, to my mind, particularly poor. You may disagree but I think that the novel did warrant such a comment, which is why I wrote one.

You may note that I was gracious enough not to include my comments in an actual review, I don't think I was actually writing something comprehensive enough for that, but I stand by my opinions. They may differ from your own but such is life. We cannot all think and feel the same way, and the world would be a less wondrous place if we did.

Rather than pointing out that you and I read a book differently (which seems inevitable, us both being unique and richly complex human beings) perhaps you might support the novel by writing your own honest review? Rather than taking umbrage with me for seeing the writing in a different light to you.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I am about half way done, and I have to say this is a fantastic story. Kudos Tim!


It was a good read, but at times a bit wordy. I have super ADHD, and so I recognize it is difficult to hold my attention at times, but I could skip a paragraph or two at times and not miss a thing. I would totally recommend it, though
(can't figure out how to post to ratings)


I find it hard to believe that in a world like Golarion that they didn't develop the word adhesive a lot sooner than we did on Earth. Golarian is by necessity of design a very different universe from our own and only superficially resembles any epoch of real world history at best....it's almost improbable to me in such a world with real magic that we don't see a stronger and more exotic lexicon of descriptors than we ever have in the real world.

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