When the leader of the ruthless Technic League calls in a favor, the mild-mannered alchemist Alaeron has no choice but to face a life he thought he'd left behind long ago. Accompanied by his only friend, a street-savvy thief named Skiver, Alaeron must head north into Numeria, a land where brilliant and evil arcanists rule over the local barbarian tribes with technology looted from a crashed spaceship. Can Alaeron and Skiver survive long enough to unlock the secrets of the stars? Or will the backstabbing scientists of the Technic League make Alaeron's curiosity his undoing?
From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt comes a fantastical adventure of science, savagery, and the vagaries of the human heart, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and tied into the Iron Gods Adventure Path.
400-page mass market paperback
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-661-4
This is such a great book, full of action, great characters, a memorable setting, and lots of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. I've been a huge fan of Tim Pratt's writing (such as the excellent Marla Mason series), and he 100% "gets" Pathfinder. Reign of Stars features the same main characters that appeared in Pratt's previous Pathfinder Tales novel, City of the Fallen Sky: the exiled Numerian alchemist Alaeron and his unsavoury, knife-wielding companion Skiver. The book is branded as a tie-in to the Iron Gods adventure path, and certainly adds a wealth of color and lore to the area of Golarion where that AP is set. I could rave more, but the gist of the matter is I enjoyed this book from start to finish. It was a genuine pleasure to read.
In Reign of Stars, Alaeron, who has long been living in Almas since his hasty departure with stolen tech from Numeria, receives a surprising invitation. His mentor, the Techno League captain Zernebeth, is alive and wants him to come back to Numeria for a special project--with all past misdeeds forgiven. An obvious set-up for a trap, as Alaeron and Skiver well know, but the incentives provided are enough to persuade them to take the risk. The novel is a great way to learn about the history of Silver Mount and to get a feel for present-day Numeria, and there are some great scenes that only that particular geographical setting can provide. There are hilarious bits throughout, like a cleric worshipping the Holy Fundament, the Black Sovereign's feast that I can't even begin to describe, and so much more. Pratt always plays by the rules of Pathfinder, so descriptions of things like Alaeron using a mutagen are both fun and "realistic" in terms of effect. There's also some fun little easter eggs, like references to Gad, Rodrick, and Hyrm from other Pathfinder Tales stories. Anyway, I definitely recommend this one.
I didn't think anything could save Alaeron for me after City of the Fallen Sky. But putting him and Skiver, the best part of City, back in his home element really brought out the right aspects. A small touch of deus ex machina towards the end with the thief group, but overall it was a nice look at how dysfunctional Numeria really is.
A wonderful follow-up to City of the Fallen Sky, which I read yesterday. I really like Alaeron and Skiver, but the author does a wonderful job of giving us other fleshed out characters to root for and against (Zernebeth was awesome). For those who complained that Alaeron didn't do all that much in the 1st book, rest assured he's much more competent and self-assured--if as hopelessly myopic in other ways--in this book.
The 1st third of the book in particular had me grinning and at times laughing out loud. The dialogue is snappy and often funny. The 1st book had Alaeron on the cover, but I'm pretty sure this one has Skiver on the cover (wasting an action throwing a knife at a Myrmidon...but he's got plenty of knives). Speaking of Skiver, he really came into his own as a cunning rogue w/ some great plans. The 2 characters definitely complement one another.
Editing just a notch below the 1st book, but overall not too bad. Here's hoping I enjoy the adventures of the protagonist(s) of the "Liar's..." books, of which I see there are 3, as much.
Alaeron and Skiver are back at it again, this time in the hellish hellscape that is Numeria. If you enjoy Tim Pratt's writing, those more science oriented trying to figure out strange technologies, or the main characters surrounded by a bunch of evil people that a group of bandits and pirates turn out to be the reliable ones, then you've come to the right story.
After the previous books I was really looking forward to this one but it is very weak. I agree with the previous reviewer
"Major issue: The complete disregard for religion and faith from city of the fallen sky is worse in this book, in fact in this book it goes to making fun of faith and putting religion in a very unflattering light."
I hope this is more Liar's ** spoiler omitted ** and less City of ** spoiler omitted **.
We'll have to agree to disagree then. I enjoyed City of the Fallen Sky a lot, though agree that Liar's Blade was better. There's several tales books I would consider the worst, but CotFS wasn't even close.
City of the Fallen Sky is one of my favorite Tales novels. While I really enjoy Liar's Blade, I very much preferred City. Great characters, entertaining writing, interesting settings, and gripping plot. Really looking forward to this one.
Really looking forward to coming back to Alaeron and Numeria, CotFS was the first book I read in the series and I've been waiting to come back to these characters for a while. hopefully we'll see Alaeron run into Rodrick (and Hyrm) again at some point
Though Liar's Blade is one of my top 5, I was amazingly excited to see this sequel announced. CotFS was solid, (and is the reason I'm so excited for PFS season 6) and I'm looking forward to more Technic League fun!
You can count on my purchase!
I am very excited to see the return of Alaeron. Liar's Blade was great in a Fritz Leiber sort of way, but City of the Fallen Sky was my kind of book. Really looking forward to this.
Let's hope that this will be better than the previous book with Alaeron, don't get me wrong Liar's Blade was awesome but CotFS was one of the worst tales i have read (the worst being song of the serpent by FAR but i haven't yet read all of the pathfinder tales).
Nice cover! Once again we have Alaeron throwing a bomb up at something that seems to be attacking him!
I was not a big fan of City of the Fallen Sky, but I adored Liar's Blade. Thus, I will give Tim Pratt the benefit of the doubt. I'll make a decision based upon the evidence contained within the pages of this book.
I have read all of the Pathfinder Tales except The Redemption Engine, and that last one is just a matter of time.
Regarding taste in books:
Anorak, disagreement is welcome! The literary tastes of the Pathfinder Tales readers are as varied as the books produced thus far. I thoroughly enjoyed The Worldwound Gambit and place it among the best of the Pathfinder Tales books. I rank Song of the Serpent, Nightglass and City of the Fallen Sky as among the worst of the Tales line. But that's my opinion only, and (obviously) many agree and/or disagree with me. But lets not sidetrack the conversation about Reign of Stars.
The Worldwound Gambit was just awful, I couldn't even force myself to finish it as the writing was so execrable. But I've enjoyed CotFS and Liars Blade - fun character development with good motivations and snappy pacing. I'm looking forward to this one.
Well, just finished reading the novel. I really, really enjoyed. One area I thought went by a bit faster and would have enjoyed more description and showed some of the planning. The rest was great and gives a great overall feeling of how Numeria functions/operates along with the general attitudes. Great timing releasing this with the Iron Gods AP.
In City of Fallen Sky and Reign of Stars, it is quite clear that Alaeron is
I have a question in general for Pathfinder Tales authors: do you imagine or even stat out characters as PCs in the Pathfinder RPGs? I'm sure that some of what the characters do in the novels would be difficult to do in the RPG, but maybe not. I'm wondering how much of the events in the novels are imagined as possible events in a Pathfinder session.
This and the first book are definitely in my top 5 favorite pathfinder tales. The Snappy dialogue and quite possibly one of the best characters I've seen in a novel in a long time (Skiver obviously) Make both of these books a must read. I've had City of The Fallen Sky sitting on my shelf for 2 years and i finally decided to read it and Death's Heretic on a whim recently. Suffice it to say I loved COTFS so much I went and bought ROS immediately after finishing it and read both in 2 days and 4 sitting total
1.City of The Fallen Sky
4.Reign of Stars
Last night I finally figured out what it was reminding me of: Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork and all the lovable, slightly cockeyed scoundrels therein. Some of them are clever and some of them are brutes, but they all seem to be approaching the world about ten degrees tilted from the ordinary. I get exactly the same vibe here.
It's pretty great. It's also a really fun approach to Numeria, which is just the perfect larger-than-life setting for these characters to play in.
I used to be one of those hardcore "keep the sci-fi out of my fantasy!" people, but Tim Pratt's Pathfinder Tales have made me do a total 180 on that one.