Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass

****( ) (based on 29 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass
Show Description For:
Non-Mint

Add Print Edition $9.99 $5.00

Add PDF/ePub $6.99

Add Non-Mint $9.99 $7.49

Facebook Twitter Email

Embrace the Shadow

In the grim nation of Nidal, carefully chosen children are trained to practice dark magic, summoning forth creatures of horror and shadow for the greater glory of the Midnight Lord. Isiem is one such student, a promising young shadowcaller whose budding powers are the envy of his peers. Upon coming of age, he's dispatched on a diplomatic mission to the mountains of Devil's Perch, where he’s meant to assist the armies of devil-worshiping Cheliax in clearing out a tribe of monstrous winged humanoids. Yet as the body count rises and Isiem comes face to face with the people he's exterminating, lines begin to blur, and the shadowcaller must ask himself who the real monsters are...

From Liane Merciel, critically acclaimed author of The River King's Road and Heaven's Needle, comes a fantastical tale of darkness and redemption set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-440-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-441-2

Nightglass is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Nightglass is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet and additional are a free download (270 KB zip/PDF).

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Tales Subscription.

Product Availability

Print Edition:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF/ePub:

Fulfilled immediately.

Non-Mint:

Available now

Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO8509


See Also:

1 to 5 of 29 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 29 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

****( )

An interesting protagonist, but not one of my favorite protagonists. The redemption story--or at least its beginnings--however is well-done. The earlier Nidal experience was quite a heady experience, no holds barred. Probably best recommended for a mature audience, shall we say.

I saw the Strix, in the far west of Cheliax, like the Native Americans in this country. A poor writer would have made them into "noble savages", but Ms. Merciel is quite the opposite of a poor writer. They were what they were; and lived life on their own terms in a hardscrabble existence as best they could.

Others have pointed out a few glaring editing mistakes but overall it was pretty good.


Evocative Setting

****( )

NO SPOILERS

Nightglass is a Pathfinder Tales novel that's very different than the norm. It's not about adventurers on some sort of quest, but instead a book that traces, from childhood to adulthood, the life of a single individual. The novel is set in the country of Nidal, a dark but fascinating place where the rulers (and, by necessity, most of the people) have dedicated themselves to a god of pain and shadows. It's not easy to imagine what everyday life would be like in such a foreboding place, but author Liane Merciel does a fantastic job bringing Nidal to life. The book's main character strikes me as a touch bland and (no insult intended!) a bit too much like Drizzt Do'Urden, but on the whole this is an excellent job that adds more depth and range to the official Pathfinder campaign setting of Golarion. We need more clever and original books like this!

SPOILERS

The book's main character, Isiem, is taken from his rural village as a child when he shows aptitude for the arcane art of shadowcalling: contacting and manipulating the evil and hungry forces of the shadow plane! The novel follows Isiem's training at Dusk Hall in Nidal's capital city of Pangolais, and we see what a very evil Hogwarts would be like. (There's something in there called Joyful Things--jeepers they're creepy!) The students who survive and progress in their studies at Dusk Hall are eventually initiated into the faith of Zon-Kuthon in a ceremony (the Needled Choir) that is ghastly but a perfect encapsulation and explanation of the faith's tenets. As often as role-playing scenarios are about heroes defeating evil cultists, it's really unusual to see the inner works of those evil faiths.

After being assigned to help (and spy) on a Chelaxian envoy, Isiem starts planning his escape from Nidal. Isiem's character isn't easy to pin down. He takes no joy in the evils deeds he's often asked to do as part of his studies and has no innate respect for the tenets of his faith and government. Yet, although he sometimes tries to curb the worst of their excesses, he's definitely not a heroic type of character. He's a survivor who wants, most of all, to be free--and that's why the comparison to Drizzt's escape from the Drow strikes me as an apt comparison.

The second half of the book shifts to a remote town in Cheliax called Crackspike where silver has recently been discovered. Isiem is sent with a contingent of Hellknights (because Nidal cooperates with Cheliax by making its shadowcallers available to them) to pacify the birdlike strix that have been warring with the miners. The novel shows great insight (and adds worldlore) for the strix, creatures I haven't encountered in much Pathfinder fiction. After the strix overrun Crackspike, Isiem becomes their ally because he showed mercy to one of their warriors during the battle. He helps the strix in a later battle against Chelaxian reinforcements, and helps to negotiate a peace treaty between the two forces. It's an odd and unpredictable turn of events for the character, and although it ties into his freedom from Nidal, I'm sure if it fits the theme of the book as well. Nidal is such an interesting place that I'd rather see more of it than follow the life of one of its escapees.

Despite the review ending on a bit of a down note, Nightglass is an excellent novel and definitely worth reading. It has single-handedly turned a particular aspect of Golarion from an interesting idea to a fully fleshed-out and believable place, which is no small feat.


Wow, that flew by too fast I want more.

*****

The only drawback to this story was it wasn't long enough. I loved the path of the main character and the dark and gory details of his life. This book was wonderfully bleak and fantastically uplifting at the same time. I truly enjoyed this novel.


Liane Merciel's Nightglass

****( )

I enjoyed this book much more than I'd expected to, given its subject matter (the torture-loving nation of Nidal). Isiem is a wizard who descends into a moral wilderness under the rule of the Umbral Court, and then finds his way to a kind of redemption in the end. Some reviewers have complained about the two parts of the book not holding together very well, but I didn't experience that. There's lots of food for thought here, more than what I'd expected from a fantasy novel. Some of the questions Merciel raises are: What does it truly cost to cling to one's nation, tribe, or land? Can people ever truly atone for the evil they do? Ought one's morals and principles be sacrificed in order to survive, and is that ever justifiable? This novel is actually pretty deep. Despite all of the action in it, a lot of it is about Isiem's inner journey.


***( )( )


1 to 5 of 29 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
51 to 66 of 66 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

June 20? That's even worse! 20 days passed that I haven't read this book! Blasphemy!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ThatEvilGuy wrote:
June 20? That's even worse! 20 days passed that I haven't read this book! Blasphemy!

You could always subscribe :)

Not only would you get the book faster, you'd have an electronic version available instantly.

(e-books have grown on me, but only for books I have an actual, physical copy of. When I'm stuck somewhere, I can read them on my iPhone, yet when I'm home, I can enjoy the much more pleasurable feeling of reading an actual book)

Sovereign Court

I am heavily disappointed that Barnes and Nobles has yet to get it in my area. Now if I want to drive 50 miles I can get it. Stupid.

Don't want to subscribe as there are writers at Paizo I cannot stand to read (World wound gambit)

Not to mention I'd rather not have to pay a heavy shipping on a book that will get read and shoved on a shelf afterwards.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

IceniQueen wrote:
I am heavily disappointed that Barnes and Nobles has yet to get it in my area. Now if I want to drive 50 miles I can get it. Stupid.

Did you ask if they could order it for you? The amount you'd spend on gas would far outweigh the cost of getting it shipped, but I imagine B&N (or any other bookseller) can order you anything their distributor has (and book distributors should have this book now).


Glad to see folks are enjoying this one so much! Liane's currently working on an outline for another novel, so hopefully you'll see more of her before too long. :)

Apologies for the two errors noted--they'll be fixed in subsequent printings.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

Glad to see folks are enjoying this one so much! Liane's currently working on an outline for another novel, so hopefully you'll see more of her before too long. :)

Apologies for the two errors noted--they'll be fixed in subsequent printings.

Great to hear that she will be writing another. This girl can write.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

Glad to see folks are enjoying this one so much! Liane's currently working on an outline for another novel, so hopefully you'll see more of her before too long. :)

Awesome news! Can't wait to hear what it is about!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Please let it be a book about either Mendev/Worldwound or Cheliax (possibly Isiem's "adventures" there?)!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ravenmantle wrote:
Please let it be a book about either Mendev/Worldwound or Cheliax (possibly Isiem's "adventures" there?)!

Alas, no. The scope's likely to be a little more claustrophobic.

It is possible that someday I may try to do something set in one of those two regions, however, because I would like to bring about a convergence between certain characters from Nightglass and certain character(s) from "Certainty." And either Mendev or Cheliax would be the most logical place to do that.

But that's not this story, yet.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Oh well, I'm a patient man. When I read Nightglass (which was a stellar read, by the way), I was very intrigued by the references to Isiem's time in Westcrown, which is why I mentioned Cheliax as a project I'd like to see with your name on it. That and Cheliax is a damn cool place. :D


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Finally finished it, I love my 4 minute bus commute, but it is really killing my bus reading. I looked over the reviews and Karameikos hit exactly what I was thinking. I loved reading about the environment. I loved the insight into Nidal, but never really cared for Isiem.

Additionally, after some of the comments mentioned her online Pathfinder story, I clicked on it and was reminded of something I have wondered about.

Why, after a story is finished, are the stories left in a backward chapter order?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I started reading this yesterday. I had suspended my subscription due to financial concerns, and so missed three books (Song of the Serpent, City of the Fallen Sky, and Nightglass). I picked up the ePubs that I missed with the Christmas Discount.

I am sad that I did not start with this book when I began reading my backlog. This book grabbed me in a way that Song of the Serpent and City of the Fallen Sky did not. I'll reserve final judgment until I am done with the book, but this is shaping up to be one of the better books in the Tales Line.

-Aaron

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just finished reading this after too long a wait. These aren't my full thoughts, but:

I really want more Isiem now. And more of a look inside his headspace.

Spoiler:
I really liked how his rebellion was a slow burn(that "slow slip into apostasy") and that he really was part of the system, not coming out of Nidal as relatively clean and untouched as Drizzt. Even his big heroic moment in Nidal is morally compromising, though he does the best he can with what he's given.

I do wish we got a bit more time inside Isiem's head and, honestly, kind of wish he angsted a bit more openly... But, I suppose that's the Nidalese stoicism in him. I have to say that I absolutely loved that he actually broke down and wept when he thought he was going to die and worrying over the fate of his soul. (really curious if he's going to learn he has other options in Nightblade, and if that stoicism might be further eroded along the way...)

Also, I really worried Honey was going to have to be eaten before it was over. That probably would have wrecked him a bit.

Do have to wonder though...what happened to Isiem's scrysphere? Surely it's not still in the Dusk Hall...is it? D:

Really happy that this book shows the people in Nidal as victims of their own culture too.

And hot damn, that moth pile and what lead to it...

Also, all the behavioral, anatomical, and cultural details on the strix were great. I loved how they have some potentially horrifying(to us) customs that reflect some of what we see of Nidal, yet the character of what they do and why is entirely different. To anyone interested in the strix, this is a must-read. I also loved how, certain activities the protagonist is involved in "offscreen" aside, Cheliax truly comes across as far less horrifying and oppressive than Nidal. To the point that once it gets there, the reader can honestly say "Oh thank God, he's in Cheliax now".

Fair warning to readers, child endangerment is certainly a thing here. Let's put it this way: If Korvosa's Acadamae is Hogwarts if Voldemort took over, then Dusk Hall is that with Pinhead in charge.

Eagerly awaiting Nightblade. :)

Spoiler:
goes hunting for Isiem/paladin-of-Shelyn slashfic

he could have more jewelry to play around with and everything YES I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO PUT THEM ON FOR A MOMENT

Silver Crusade

Also...:
...have to wonder just what that flying creature/construct of bone and feathers was...


Liane Merciel wrote:

Alas, no. The scope's likely to be a little more claustrophobic.

I hope you can keep the same kind of mood and atmosphere as Nightglass, though the short description of Nightblade hints at something more traditional as a fantasy novel (but I pray you'll surprise just as you did with Nightglass).

Here's the review I just wrote, it's an almost first-timer for me:

Moonbird wrote:

Great mood and atmosphere

***** Moonbird — 1 hour, 28 minutes ago

I really enjoyed this book, it stands out of the crowd of usual hack and slash or adventure type stories set in fantasy settings. Here, no group of super heroes plowing through obstacles and getting rid of them usually by brawn (or magic super powers) and witty end lines.

What you'll find is closer to (dark) mood and emotions, the heavy atmosphere of a nation using torture as means for its ends, and the path one of it's shadowcaller follows through his apprenticeship. I'd really like more of this kind of books, they're so rare. The first part of the book reminded me very much of the Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Le Guin (2nd book of the Earthsea series). The second part is a bit more conventional as a plot, but using a different point of view for the main character, who comes to understand and embrace a very different culture.

The novel is of a very high quality. Enjoy it !


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'm about halfway through this, and really enjoying it. I'm curious about something, though. Isiem is called "shadowcaller". I suspect that title is not related to the summoner class archetype, since he's pretty clearly not a summoner. He's a wizard, certainly, but also, I think, a cleric. His doubts have led him into apostasy, though. Perhaps he's better described as an ex-cleric. The CRB says "A cleric who grossly violates the code of conduct required by her god loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. She cannot thereafter gain levels as a cleric of that god until she atones for her deeds (see the atonement spell description)." Seems to me this fits Isiem, at least at this point in the story (after the destruction of Crackspire).

I suppose he might be a prestige class, probably Mystic Theurge, but that seems unlikely - and the description of that class doesn't say what happens if such a character falls into apostasy. I suppose he would, like a cleric, lose all spells and divine class features, but would he also lose the ability to advance in the mystic theurge class?

Any thoughts?

51 to 66 of 66 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.