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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Superb

5/5

Absolutely loved it. Nothing bad to say about it,and will be looking more into this author.


Solid read

4/5

This was an enjoyable read. Alaeron and Skiver, especially, were fully realized characters. Skiver - he could carry his own trilogy. I've never played an alchemist or GMed for one, but it was nonetheless nice to see one represented so well on the page. Heck, Alaeron has got me wanting to play one now.

Without getting into spoilers, the antagonist of the novel didn't do it for me, but that's really just a nitpick. This was a solid book, just behind Death's Heretic and Nightglass in my mind. I'd happily read another offering by Pratt, with or without Skiver and Alaeron!


Best so far (IMO)

5/5

I enjoyed the book very much. For me it was the best so far. The characters where believable and real. The situation and encounters seemed authentic.
The artifacts and villians in the story where well done - so much that I was getting annoyed at the persuit and waas trying to think of what I would do if I was the main character.
A very inveloping book.


Another Excellent Addition to the Pathfinder Tales line

4/5

The Pathfinder Tales novels continue to deliver giving the readers interesting characters and a further tour of the world of Golarion. Following a trio of people on their journey to the ruins of a fallen city from the sky seeking to pay off their debts to a crime lord the reader gets a look at several major regions of Golarion along the way.

With excellent pacing and interesting characters Tim Pratt succeeds in drawing the reader into the novel. Well worth adding to your Pathfinder Tales collection.

See my full review at The Iron Tavern - Review: City of the Fallen Sky.


Great Characters, Great Setting...A Little Rushed at the End

4/5

I've read quite a few Pathfinder Tales books, and while I liked some better than others, all of them leave me with what is probably the intended purpose of these tie-in novels - to get your imagination fired up about things you would like to include in your games, and some character types you might not have thought of.

To be honest, the Alchemist class didn't immediately interest me, but this book changed my mind a bit. Alaeron, the main character, was interesting and well-written.

The plot sort of revolves around the journey that Alaeron and his unlikely companions take to an ancient ruin on the edge of the Mwangi Expanse, which used to be a floating city of an ancient race. The character development is good, and the cat and mouse chase subplot was interesting as well. In fact, I enjoyed the book quite a bit until I got to the end, where I really felt like the author wanted to elaborate on the destination a bit more, but might have run up against a deadline. There were some nice little 'twists' at the end that would have been nice if they had been elaborated on a bit. Still, it was fantastic stuff, and anybody who wants to know about the Shory, Numeria (it's a big factor in a major sub-plot, and Numerian relics from the Silver Mount play a big role in the story,) Andoran, and of course derhii (flying gorillas! awesome) should pick this up. A good read.

I'd also like to mention that the author including a gay character in the novel that doesn't play to stereotypes is great, and I'd like to see more of that in both Paizo's fiction and popular literature/movies/television in general.


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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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