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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4.80/5 (based on 20 ratings)

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Tim Pratt is on fire!


While I enjoyed City of Fallen Stars, it just does not hold a candle to Liar's Blade. Incredibly sharp dialogue, loveable scoundrels, and crazy adventure combine to make this one of the best Pathfinder Tales books.

As an added bonus, there is a special treat for any fans of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories.

Great buddy story with wit and adventure


It has been 25 years (at least) since I read Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the gray mouser books so I can't really say if Tim Pratt executed this homage well or not. What I can say is that he did a fantastic job crafting a solid buddy story about two ostensible scoundrels who care deeply about each other and work as a team to take on the world together (even if one is "only" a sword). That sense of trust and shared knowledge infuses the story and gives it life.

And Pratt does a good job with the other characters as well. Each of the secondary characters has believable motivations and depth enough to both understand and, to an extent, even sympathize with their actions—even when you don't like what they do and know that they will eventually harm the characters we're most invested in. I'm talking mostly of Zaqen, of course, whose devotion to the mysterious jerk Obed is achingly raw at times, but even Cilian the deluded ranger has more to him than you might first assume (that both helps and hinders Rodrick and Hrym).

Add a great deal of wit and enough humor to spice it up a bit and you have people you don't mind spending some time with, even if they weren't doing much interesting. Set this all into a great adventure story and a plot that holds together even under scrutiny and you have a fast-paced tale that ramps up nicely to a great dénouement and even a touching (and only slightly forced) coda at the end.

Reliable fun


Tim Pratt returns to the Pathfinder Tales franchise with this Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser homage which is a rollicking adventure that retains Pratt's gift for sneaking in unexpected originality and characterisation.

Rodrick is a swindler more than a thief. With his enchanted sword Hrym, the two are conning their way over Golarion. When a squishy priest and his nice-yet-creepy sidekick hire them to help find a religious artifact, it seems like easy money. But nothing is ever easy...

This was a pretty good one. The debt to Lieber is clear and Pratt has a lot of fun with it. His banter is reasonable, but I found his situational comedy the most amusing. A pleasant bonus - as was the case with Pratt's previous Pathfinder book - is his efforts to render all the characters three dimensional, with their own struggles and goals etc. It lends the party and their interactions a depth that wouldn't be present otherwise, and it really elevates the book.

This would count for little, of course, if it wasn't for Pratt's deft - almost seamless - sense of pace and structure. These are well built book's and the conclusion is very satisfying.

It's hard to rate the Pathfinder books - I mean, no one would confuse this as high literature, but they are really good at delivering what they promise. On that metric, they are very successful indeed

Super Fun Book, No Lie


Liar's Blade by Tim Pratt is my new Pathfinder Tales gold standard. Of the seven tales I've consumed Liar's Blade was simply the most fun. A combination of simple but intriguing story, strong characters, mystery, and clever dealings put Liar's Blade on top. Liar's Blade is a fun romp in the north-east region of Galorion and provides a sense of travel and adventure; a classic quest across the River Kingdoms and Brevoy. It's rich in Galorion nuggets although on this point I wanted even deeper details. The plot keeps a brisk pace and provides constant short-term suspense, intermediate page turning anticipation, and long-term mystery. Who's the bad guy? What is really going on? Who is truly loyal? Can man and sword form an intimate bond? All these questions are answered.

It's a quest tale seen from the perspective of two hoot provoking hireling's. It's a buddy story. The main characters Rodrick (the human) and Hrym (the sword) made me laugh throughout the adventure. Rodrick's fertile mind produces some unique and creative solutions to encounters that inspire more mirth than you can stuff in a bag of holding. The other characters are also well developed and add a great deal to the story. There are some truly gruesome but enthralling character driven moments to keep you on your hoofs!

As I write this Liar's Blade is 7th on the top 10 list for Paizo novels but in my humble opinion it should be higher. I just want everyone to enjoy this book as much as I did.

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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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