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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Far too wide, not deep at all

2/5

Some stories are like a well - small and ver confined, but tou can delve deeper and deeper into them just for the delight of finsing out when will you reach the bottom. This book is more like what and ice skating stadium would look like after the ice melts. Sure, it will be the size of a like but the depth of the water would only be about a couple inches.

I have stated my expectations out of Pathfinder Novels in other reviews - to be short, paltable, self contained, action packed stories. While other books in the line that Iv'e read certainly deliverred, City of the Fallen Sky fell way short.

Not a single character in the story is "real" in any way. They are shallow cardboard cutouts. The one character that had potential to create suspense and interest was a rouge in service of the villain, who by circumstances found himself working with the good guys. For the first couple of chapters it looked like he was going to have a complicated relatinship of mutual mistrust with the other members of the group while still being forced to work togather, he quickly turns out to just be a Nice Guy. That reduced a lot of the possible tention and mind-games potential in the story.

The main character, while presented as a super genuis, cunning alchemist, is really stuipd. He never comes up with any good idea and his companions - unaducated as they are - outsmart him at every turn. He is constantly put to shame and finds himself the last to realise many things during the journey. He's almost never the one to save the day. I guess that bothers me because I was expecting the POV to actualy be what he attested himself to be, but as it stands I just think he is really unlikable and unintersting.

The book has many, many "cool" elemtns - Numeria and the Sky City being only a couple of those. The story is packed full with unique environments, unusual magic items and bizzare monsters. I like that, except for the fact that the cool elements are delivered in such a "meh" fashion that they failed to grab me. The book never quite provokes the sense of wonder that it should about those "cool" factors, and that really brings the expirience down.

All in all, the weakest novel Iv'e read in quite a while.


Outstanding Dungeon Dive!

5/5

This was a outstanding read. I enjoyed every moment. I loved the dungeon dive at the end, and travels through Golarion. All of Tim Pratt's characters were great, but Skiver was my absolute favorite! I would love to see him get his own story.


Highly recommended

5/5

Another very well done entry in the Tales line that aspires (and succeeds!) to be more than simple shared world fiction. Pratt does an excellent job drawing interesting, complex characters while playing in and expanding the Golarion sandbox.
He also deserves massive kudos for introducing an unapologetic gay character who just happens to be a menacing, unapologetic rogue. The lovelorn, haplessly heterosexual protagonist Alaeron is well-done, as is the more-than-damsel-in-distress Jaya.
The story expands considerably on Numeria, the Mwangi expanse and the lost civilization of the Shori. I particularly liked the handling of Numerian artifacts. Can't wait for another by this author, whether involving these characters or others. Bring on the Skiver sequel.


great novel..

5/5

Wow.. where to start?

I really enjoyed this book. To start with the characters are well thought out. Each has a unique personality and seem quite authentic. I was a bit skeptical of a book written in regards to a alchemist. Alaeron's background as unique and much grander than what i expected. His companions with their personalities and umm lifestyles.. were also unique..

Well done Tim Pratt..... well done...


Intresting but Not at the same time

3/5

First off I have to say that I was highly interested at the book by the sample chapter that I read and then it fell short on me. The Main Character was a great guy and an interesting one that I will agree. I bought the book and left it on the shelf for a couple of days to read.
Once I started reading the book it was a very easy read. I read the whole book in a matter of 2 days. So being that said, it was a little off setting because it was nowhere near what I was expecting for a book that I had high expectations for.
The Main Character Alaeron was a great one, I just wish that he was fleshed out a little more and some more thought given to his abilities and his skills. The Secondary characters were a great addition to the party. It made the book readable. I think that there should have been more development into a structure as well.
The storyline was too short. There was enough to the point where I wasn’t upset when book ended but there could have been a lot more done before the end. I really was not happy with the story between the main character and one of the side characters played out either, That really made me upset when I finished the book.

Over all I would have to say that I sort of liked the book and I was disappointed by it more then I was happy about finishing it. I was expecting a lot more out of this compared to what I have read in the past form other novels in this genre


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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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