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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prince of Wolves - book review

This is a review for the novel "Prince of Wolves" by Dave Gross. No spoilers included.

I'm not sure about anyone else, but when it comes to game fiction, I lower my standards a bit. To be honest, most game fiction authors are not that great. Their big advantage is the setting they are working with. Since most readers will already be familiar with the setting, it saves them a lot of explanation. Of course, there are good gaming novels, and luckily, this is one of them.

The book is set in Ustalav, the Pathfinder/Golarion equivalent of Ravenloft. It features two protagonists, an elven Pathfinder who is a noble of Cheliax, and his bodyguard. Chapters alternate between their points of view. The noble's chapters take the form of entries into a journal, and can be a bit dry. The bodyguard's viewpoint is more typical of novels, and more engaging, in my opinion.

The story has the pair looking for a lost Pathfinder, last known to be in Ustalav. All the tropes come out, from gypsies, to werewolves, to strange Counts and other nobles. And yet it ends up not be as straightforward as you might expect. There is also an interesting character they meet that is a traveling cleric/healer.

Overall, I really liked the story. It may have been a bit better if the author had focused on one character's point of view, but he made it work quite well. The two characters were quite different, and their observations of the same events gave better insight into what happened.

Overall, I give the book 4 out of 5 stars for the average reader. If you are a fan of the old Ravenloft novels, then it is definitely worth 5 out of 5 stars.

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