Pathfinder Tales: Reaper's Eye

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Let Sleeping Gods Lie

Daryus Gaunt used to be a crusader, battling to protect civilization from the demons of the Worldwound, before a battlefield mutiny forced him to flee or be executed. Pathfinder Shiera Tristane is an adventuring scholar obsessed with making the next big archaeological discovery. When a talking weasel reveals that a sinister witch is close to uncovering a long-lost temple deep within the Worldwound, the two adventurers are drawn into the demon-haunted lands in order to stop him from releasing an ancient evil. Now both fame and redemption may be at hand... if they can survive.

From New York Times bestselling author Richard A. Knaak comes a novel of exploration, betrayal, and deadly magic, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

352-page trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-7653-8435-5

Reaper's Eye is also available as a digital edition on the following sites:

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

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PZO8536


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Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Back to the Worldwound

****( )

I liked this pretty much. Though I'm becoming less enamored of the Tales model of "chapter 1 for character A, chapter 2 for character B", what was interesting here was that sometimes you were reading from the perspective of the villain. Not something you see every day. Lots of twists and characters to keep you interested, and I have to say the main twist near the end--involving the "Reaper"--was unexpected and cool. I always like when something plays out against type.

Minor criticisms...well, as is all too common, the editing of these books. I'm getting too good at filling in missing words, correcting typos, and mentally removing extra words. Also, while I enjoyed the "talking weasel" character quite a lot, naming it "Toy" was a distraction I didn't want.

Bonus points for hinting at the real BBEG w/ a simple coin description. That was cool; didn't spell it out but didn't need to...if there were ever a sequel, I would hope that would be explored more.

EDIT: another criticism of sorts. Why have the villain a PF "witch", a distinct class that exists in the game, but not have a single hex thrown around. I get that the patron was punishing him, but why not simply make him a more standard spell caster?


Hmmm.

**( )( )( )

I had a stab of nostalgia, seeing Knaak's name, as I devoured his Dragonlance books in the early nineties as a kid. Those were fond memories, but based on this novel I fear like much of the Dragonlance canon, those books wouldn't stand up well to the test of time.

Knaak is exceedingly obvious as a writer. He tells you *absolutely* everything - the first few pages are a rare "characterisation info dump", and the book doesn't really improve much beyond this.

Everything the characters feel or think is told you as a reader. Often the same thing is told multiple times, in just one chapter. There is nowhere near as much telling and it renders the characters flat and their arcs predictable.

The attempts at mystery are disappointingly transparent. You'll see where the book is going within the first thirty pages. And this drains much of the excitement from the ensuing narrative.

Much like the previous tale, Shy Knives, I felt like Knaak wasn't really familiar with Golarion or the Pathfinder world. Another book about the Worldwound and surrounding area was not really necessary - especially when it's been done so much better before by Dave Duncan. What Knaak delivered felt... patchy, incomplete. The world only existed to move the characters from point A to point B.

For me, the top Tales writers are Liane Merciel, Chris Jackson, Tim Pratt, James Sutterand Howard Andrew Jones, Dave Duncan. Those books are insta-buys for me. This fell far, far short and I'm a little worried editorial quality is slipping a bit.

Paizo took gambles fresh writers previously which delivered very enjoyable books (though those writers haven't come back, much to my disappointment), this is a gamble that didn't pay off in my estimation.

PS also the names were terrible. "Daryus Gaunt"?! Why not call him "Max Steele" for goodness' sake!


Lost opportunity for a villain protagonist

**( )( )( )

I hate to be so negative, but this was probably the novel with the weakest writing of the whole series so far. A better author would have needed 100 pages less to tell the same story.
The plot can be summed up as

Spoiler:
A powerful witch has crossed his demonic patron on his quest for power and tries to escape his former patron's wrath. His former familiar opposes him on his quest for a new, more powerful patron.
It's not at all about the stereotypical heroes, which the author had to introduce for some reason. Their involvement in the story makes little sense from the start and becomes more and more implausible as the story continues. The whole narrative really suffers from it. Focusing on the antagonist (the author's not-so-secret favorite and clearly the most interesting character) would have turned this into a way better story.

This is another novel that is very light on Golarion lore and flavor. I get that I cannot expect every author to become as familiar with Golarion as the people who wrote the setting, but the main reason why I'm interested in these novels is that, if done well, they make the Inner Sea region come alive. Aside from Wesley Schneider and James Sutter, authors like Dave Gross and Liane Merciel have been my favorites so far precisely for that reason. I hope that future authors take some notes.

Unless you like one-dimensional characters, longwinded combat descriptions, and an implausible storyline, stay away.


Archeological adventure in a demon plagued wasteland!

*****

I've long been a fan of Knaak's work, so I was thrilled to see him come to the Tales line. Nor was I disappointed. I read Reaper's Eye within 24 hours of purchase, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Highly recommended.


Silver Crusade

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

Very intrigued!

Scarab Sages

I remember Knaak! Loved some of his old Dragonlance novels! Once we get more information on this one, I may have to add this to my list.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I liked Knaak previous books so I am looking forward to this.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I've liked Knaak's Dragonlance and original work, looking forward to him in the Pathfinder world as well. He's also the first author I ever got to sign a book.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Now that is a writer i can imagine writing a good Golarion tale! :-)

Scarab Sages

I'm trying to remember the last novel by him I read. Sadly, it's probably been awhile...

OR...not so sadly, since it would mean there are more books out there I hadn't yet read, by a writer I know can do the job to my satisfaction.

In the end, that's what I like about this - he's a writer whom I've enjoyed in the past, so the chances are high of this book being something I'd enjoyed spending time and money on. Because that's how my life goes.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I've heard he's got a gift for fantasy writing, you might call it a knack...

...

..

.

I'll get my coat.

Scarab Sages

GeraintElberion wrote:

I've heard he's got a gift for fantasy writing, you might call it a knack...

...

..

.

I'll get my coat.

You forgot to add Badumptish!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ah, his minotaur character in Dragonlance was memorable. Left an impression even though I read it 30 or more years ago.
Need more information!

Scarab Sages

Fourshadow wrote:
Ah, his minotaur character in Dragonlance was memorable.

Kaz!

Executive Editor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see people are excited. I was also thrilled to bring Knaak on board, given his books' extreme influence on me as an impressionable child. :D


Extremely excited for this, I have many fond memories of reading Mr. Knaak's works, Kaz is very much a part of those fond memories.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, many fond memories of "Legend of Huma" and "Kaz the Minotaur."


Huma, now there was a hero! (The Legend of Human was the first fantasy novel I ever read, 25 years ago)

If RIchard is even anywhere close to his level of awesome in those DL offerings, then this is going to be an amazing book!

And but of course, why wouldn't he be.

Silver Crusade

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

Are those Hucueva's that are getting headshoted?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Are those Hucueva's that are getting headshoted?

Shure looks like it - good eye.

This is the first book that excites me without a description - the cover is enough!

One repeating crossbow and a shortbow vs. 7 undead at close quarter.
And only 2 bolts left!

Great stuff.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Are those Hucueva's that are getting headshoted?

Shure looks like it - good eye.

This is the first book that excites me without a description - the cover is enough!

One repeating crossbow and a shortbow vs. 7 undead at close quarter.
And only 2 bolts left!

Great stuff.

Eye see what you did there.

Dark Archive

Rysky wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Are those Hucueva's that are getting headshoted?

Shure looks like it - good eye.

This is the first book that excites me without a description - the cover is enough!

One repeating crossbow and a shortbow vs. 7 undead at close quarter.
And only 2 bolts left!

Great stuff.

Eye see what you did there.

The same that is going to happen to Carl Grimes on sunday in The Walking Dead 6.9...


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
GM_Beernorg wrote:

Huma, now there was a hero! (The Legend of Huma was the first fantasy(tie-in) novel I ever read, 25 years ago)

If Richard is even anywhere close to his level of awesome in those DL offerings, then this is going to be an amazing book!

And but of course, why wouldn't he be.

Ditto this in almost every detail!!!

Wow!

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Link to Macmillian's description. And the next two are Through the Gate in the Sea, by Howard Andrew Jones (ETA February) and Gears of Faith, by Gabrielle Harbowy.


The fallen crusader bit has been done in Pathfinder Tales already (via Paizo's short story web fiction). I'm not expecting much from this.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Berselius wrote:
The fallen crusader bit has been done in Pathfinder Tales already (via Paizo's short story web fiction). I'm not expecting much from this.

Ah, but has it been done by Richard Knaak?! Try reading his Dragonlance work--probably the best DL writer outside of Weis/Hickman.

Dark Archive

Daryus Gaunt used to be a crusader, before a questionable battlefield decision forced him to desert his unit. Pathfinder Shiera Tristane is an adventuring scholar obsessed with gaining the recognition she feels was stolen from her. When both are contacted by a sinister talking weasel and warned of a witch about to release a magical threat long trapped beneath an ancient temple, the two have no choice but to venture into the demon-haunted Worldwound in order to stop the disaster. Yet there’s more to the situation than either realizes, and neither fame nor redemption will matter unless they can first survive.

Based on the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
... a sinister talking weasel...

SOLD.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:

Daryus Gaunt used to be a crusader, before a questionable battlefield decision forced him to desert his unit. Pathfinder Shiera Tristane is an adventuring scholar obsessed with gaining the recognition she feels was stolen from her. When both are contacted by a sinister talking weasel and warned of a witch about to release a magical threat long trapped beneath an ancient temple, the two have no choice but to venture into the demon-haunted Worldwound in order to stop the disaster. Yet there’s more to the situation than either realizes, and neither fame nor redemption will matter unless they can first survive.

Based on the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Oooh, me likey. The author caught my attention. This description just reeled me in.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

Updated with description!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Fool! I am the weasel!

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

How come this doesn't show in my subscription though?

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

This is another novel that is very light on Golarion lore and flavor. I get that I cannot expect every author to become as familiar with Golarion as the people who wrote the setting, but the main reason why I'm interested in these novels is that, if done well, they make the Inner Sea region come alive. Aside from Wesley Schneider and James Sutter, authors like Dave Gross and Liane Merciel have been my favorites so far precisely for that reason. I hope that future authors take some notes.

I hate to be so negative, but this was probably the novel with the weakest writing of the whole series so far. Focusing on the antagonist (the author's not-so-secret favorite and clearly the most interesting character) would have turned this into a way better story. Unless you like one-dimensional characters, longwinded combat descriptions, and an implausible storyline, stay away.

Grand Lodge

Will there be a boon sheet for the latest 4 in this series?

PZO8533 - PZO8536?

Thanks!

The Exchange

I am also curious if there will be an associated chronicle sheet. I have noticed that the newer books don't have the pathfinder tales chronicle sheets. Although I enjoy reading the books, it was always an awesome bonus that there was also some incentive associated with Pathfinder Society.

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