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Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky
Tim Pratt
Paizo, 365 pages

Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky
Tim Pratt
Tim Pratt (aka T.A. Pratt) lives in Oakland, California with partner H.L. Shaw, and works as a senior editor for a trade publishing magazine.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandra Scholes

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One night Alaeron, an alchemical researcher, comes upon a young woman being held at knife point by two suspicious looking men who believe she owes their master a large sum of money. Alaeron isn't one for getting involved in other people's affairs, but when women are involved, he makes an exception. Using a powerful time altering egg device, Alaeron stops the villains in their tracks, and gets the woman to safety. She tells him her name is Jaya and thanks him for saving her life, but she warns him about the kind of men who threatened her, that they will surely be coming after them if he is not careful.

She wants to spare him any further trouble, and decides to leave his side, and go her own way, but it is too late, their lives have been inexorably linked. Alaeron's run in with Jaya's assailants get him into more trouble with a ruthless crime lord. This means that the two of them must journey far and wide to get several magical artefacts that could buy their freedom.

Buying freedom isn't as easy as it sounds as Alaeron and Jaya have a long way to go before they can accomplish their task; they have to go through wild seas and dangerous jungles before they can get what they came for, but the two of them are skilled enough to get through it. One thing that separates Alaeron from the typical traveller is his past, once an alchemical researcher with the Technic League, he left their arcane order as their experiments caused him to think more of his conscience than anything else, fleeing with some of their unusual magical objects. These objects are unknown to him, new powers he thinks are inside them, but they could also be dangerous, however he is in for some surprises. The dark scholars of the Technic League will dog their steps all the way, and aren't about to let them get away without a considerable fight.

Kormak has been sent to intercept him and bring him back to the league where he will stand trial for what he has done. Alaeron knows what the league is like and they will most probably want to kill him, or worse, experiment on him as a punishment. Alaeron thinks he doesn't want to let go of the precious artefacts he has stolen, and if they are as prized as Kormak says, they could do anything he wants. The Technic League's scholars are not the sort of men Alaeron, or anyone, would want to annoy as they have untold power and a cruel sense of what they know is theirs. They keep hidden in the shadows and Alaeron knows of what they are all capable.

His past led him to be interested in the Technic League which led him to Zernebeth, she took him in as a half-apprentice, as he wanted to know more of what was hidden in the mount as he felt fascinated by magic and magical artefacts. Not so enamoured was he of the dark scholar's cruelty and penchant for experimenting endlessly on people. The dark scholars are only interested in power not knowledge, and using others in their experiments. This is why he left, as he could not take any more of what he saw there.

Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky is a standalone novel of characters that are featured in the Pathfinder Campaign setting, a popular role playing game. Hugo Award winner Tim Pratt, author of the Dungeons & Dragons novel, Venom in Her Veins, has written a gripping fantasy adventure full of honesty, humour and it depicts the harsh reality of a man trying to escape from a cruel and heartless organisation. Alaeron and Jaya are the perfect pair, they seem to get on even though they are both different people; they are both on the run, and could get away from their troubles if they can obtain the artefacts. Everyone else recons to be friendly and helpful, but many only pretend to be such, and some him and Jaya would rather be without.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has had her work published in Love Romance Passion, Love Vampires and Active Anime to name a few, and they're all cuddly people who run them.


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