Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Blade

4.80/5 (based on 20 ratings)
Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Blade
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Bastard and Sword

With strength, wit, rakish charm, and a talking sword named Hrym, Rodrick has all the makings of a classic hero—except for the conscience. Instead, he and Hrym live a high life as scoundrels, pulling cons and parting the weak from their gold. When a mysterious woman invites them along on a quest into the frozen north in pursuit of a legendary artifact, it seems like a prime opportunity to make some easy coin—especially if there’s a chance for a double-cross. Along with a hooded priest and a half-elven tracker, the team sets forth into a land of monsters, bandits, and ancient magic. As the miles wear on, however, Rodrick’s companions begin acting steadily stranger, leading both man and sword to wonder what exactly they’ve gotten themselves into...

From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt, author of City of the Fallen Sky, comes a bold new tale of ice, magic, and questionable morality set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

400-page mass market paperback
ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-515-0
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-516-7

Liar's Blade is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

Liar's Blade is sanctioned for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. Its Chronicle sheet is available as a free download (397 KB zip/PDF).

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Average product rating:

4.80/5 (based on 20 ratings)

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5/5


As Good as it Gets

5/5

NO SPOILERS

I'm a huge fan of Tim Pratt's other work (like the Marla Mason urban fantasy series), so I had high expectations going into Liar's Blade--and they weren't disappointed in the least. Liar's Blade is one of those books that could be really bad in lesser hands, as the main characters are a conman and his intelligent, talking sword, and the plot involves a long quest through several countries. But instead of coming across as a series of random encounters with an absurd sword providing commentary, the novel is wickedly clever, the supporting cast are intriguing, the plot is steeped in Golarion lore, and the dialogue is crisp and laugh-out-loud funny. Liar's Blade isn't the typical piece of fantasy RPG tie-in fiction, but in this case that's a good thing. More in the genre should have the wit that Pratt provides here. I'd strongly recommend this one.

* A free short story that explains how the main characters met each other is available here: https://paizo.com/store/pathfinder/fiction/tales/serial/bastardSword

SPOILERS!:
The novel starts with Rodrick, a rakish conman, and his intelligent sword, Hyrm, in the nation of Tymon in the River Kingdoms. After narrowly escaping some trouble from a professional gladiator, Rodrick and Hyrm take a job escorting a pilgrim (Obed) and his associate (Zaqen) to retrieve a religious relic in Brevoy. The journey takes the group through several of the River Kingdoms, providing some great "on the ground" views of what they're like that corresponds with (but is much more interesting than) the gazetteer-approach of campaign setting books. Along the way, the mystery of Obed and Zaqen deepen, and Rodrick (and the reader) start to suspect that this job is more than it first appears. Eventually, Obed is revealed to be a Gillman worshipper of Gozreh, while Zaqen is a sorcerer with what, in game terms, would be the aberrant bloodline and a sort of tumor-familiar. There are some great encounters along the way and the great banter between Rodrock and Hyrm keep the pages turning while the overall story becomes more and more compelling. Are Obed and Zaqen trying to resurrect Aroden? Or is this just another lie? What do the origins of the Worldwound have to do with this? Even in this spoiler-heavy section of the review, I'd rather leave things vague and encourage you to read this one fresh. It's definitely worth the wait.

In sum, I'm happy to label Liar's Blade as one of the best Pathfinder Tales novels I've read so far. It's engaging, smart, and memorable.


My new favorite

5/5

This was my 3rd Tim Pratt PF book in 3 days (sadly, I'm back to work tomorrow). While I greatly enjoyed the 2 Alaeron & Skiver books (especially "Reign of Stars"), this book--written curiously enough in the middle of those 2--was my favorite. W/ only 11 PF books left to read, this very well might be my new favorite, narrowly edging out "Plague of Shadows". Though in a way I hate to rank the best of these books.

I can't really say anything more (or more eloquently) than the other reviewers have already done. Though beyond the Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser/Fritz Leiber homage the author and reviewers all point out, no one seems to have mentioned a comedic riff on Moorcock's Elric & Stormbringer relationship, which was how I took Rodrick & Hrym's relationship to be. There's some not so subtle hints on exactly that relationship; at least the sword part of it. Since I grew up w/ Leiber & Moorcock as my fantasy staples, that meant this book had extra meaning to me.

Regardless, the humor in this book never stops. I was either grinning or laughing out loud for almost the entire book. I loved the banter, ALL the characters of any significance, the plot twists upon twists upon twists. The final reveal about Hrym's true origins is quite cool as well. I have nothing bad to say about this book. I won't even mention editing, as I can live w/ a half-dozen typos and the like in a book this size. Ok, I did mention it, but it didn't affect my review score...


Everything and more ...

5/5

From title to story end this book is simply awesome!

Pro's:

- Funny, witty and well written. Good banter
- Great connection/placing within the Golarion setting
- Amazingly interesting characters that evolve throughout the story
- Many sub-stories within the plot that (for once) actually works
- A real roleplaying storytale/feel that doesn't feel like someone
actually making a resume of actual roleplaying

Together with Liane Merciels Night* stories this is on my top 3 of the PF Tales, and I can highly recommend it!


Be Wary My Friend, of Talking Swords and Psychotic Tavern Wenches

5/5

First let me start off by saying that while the story is awesome it is the dialogue where this novels rises heads and shoulders above others, similar to Pratt's equally good City of the Fallen Sky. Hrym is hands down my favorite Tales character that I've had the joy of reading. I'll come right out and say it, I keep a little notebook where I write down my favorite pages and lines in it. Liar's Blades and City of the Fallen Sky each have more pages to themselves than the rest of the Tales novels combined. The dialogue is just that good.

Also this novel contains the absolute best way to kill a Final Boss. Period.

I can't recomend this novel enough.


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Earned this as a GM boon at Comicpalooza, finished it today after starting it yesterday. Might actually start picking these up, even get a subscription when I have a permanent address again.

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