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Plague of Shadows (Pathfinder Tales)
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Plague of Shadows (Pathfinder Tales)

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3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana, his old elven adventuring companion and former lover, has the wisdom and reflexes to save him. When the villain turns out to be another of their former companions, Elyana and a band of ragtag adventurers must set out on a perilous race across the revolution-wracked nation of Galt and the...more
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 2011 by Paizo Publishing, LLC
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Prince of Wolves by Dave GrossMaster of Devils by Dave GrossDeath's Heretic by James L. SutterQueen of Thorns by Dave GrossPirate's Honor by Chris A. Jackson
pathfinder novels
6th out of 18 books — 14 voters
The Keeper and the Rune Stone by Paige W. PendletonThe Keeper and the Alabaster Chalice by Paige W. PendletonLightmasters by M.G. WellsLady Languish by S.C.D. GoffSkulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Young Adult Fantasy & Sci Fi
22nd out of 59 books — 28 voters


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Community Reviews

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P. Aaron Potter
This was a very good entry into the pulp sword-and-sorcery quest genre. The characters' motivations are both unusually believable and unsually complex (non-contiguous, and sometimes mutually incompatible, qualities). The world-building (dependent here on the Pathfinder RPG property) is serviceable. The pacing bogs only very occasionally, and the action sequences are handled with just the right degree of detail, evocative and clear without belaboring each sword swing or blood spatter.

The two real...more
Johnny
Have you ever been pulled into a world with the force of being pulled into a black hole? I was totally engrossed in the first 50 pages or so of Plague of Shadows. What wasn’t there to like? It introduces a wise, strong, mysterious female elf protagonist training a young, intelligent, and brave young noble while trying to solve a mysterious curse in the midst of not one, but two, different love triangles. Much of the action takes place in an extremely well-conceived, vividly portrayed vision of t...more
Timothy McNeil
Plague of Shadows, in the end, is genre fiction at the median level. The references to the world come across as forced, as though author Jones had imported an existent story into a company's setting. He also does a less than admirable job of making the reader feel any sense of distance, which makes the journeys seem somehow less important than the brief spasms of conflict. Jones also has one of the worst in-book references to a game mechanic I have ever read where he has a bard actually say, as...more
Paul McNamee
Good adventuring with a nice angle, as someone else noted, "what happens when elves get too old for this s*&^?" A blend of D&D adventuring with tones of Jirel of Jory and the western, Unforgiven. The payoffs here are setup through characters, hard truths and exposed lies. I look forward to Jones next entry in the Pathfinder universe, and I need to check out some of the other authors and novels of this world.
Sunknight
Kind of flat. Never felt that engaged with the characters nor the Pathfinder universe. I am comparing it to a couple of other Pathfinder books I have read, Pirate's Honor and Queen of Thorns. Both did a better job of getting you to know the characters and gave a better flavor of the Pathfinder universe. I will say that as an active player in the RPG Pathfinder system, that I did appreciate the accuracy of the fight scenes.
Douglas
Plague of Shadows was one of the most entertaining Pathfinders Tales books to date, if not the best one. I can find few flaws other than some confusion regarding various character twists involved. However, as a gamer, one thing I loved about this is the mix of flashbacks. The leading protagonist shows us memories of a group of adventurers from when she was younger, mixed in with the current state of their dysfunction. It gives a sense that the spirit of the storyline began years ago and is comin...more
Chad Perrin
As a book whose plot takes place in the campaign setting of a popular roleplaying game (Pathfinder RPG), published under the imprint of the company responsible for the game (Paizo), it should come as no surprise that Plague of Shadows is not art, or even excellent entertainment. Like many such books, in a category of fiction I tend to call "professional fanfic", it stumbles at times over the clumsy limitations of compatibility with game rules that were clearly never well thought out in terms of...more
Vincent Darlage
The writing was excellent, and the plot twists actually surprised me. The only faults I found with the novel had nothing to do with the writing, but are faults with the genre - largely, I don't like healing magic. I think it takes away from the peril. Imagine if John McClain had access to healing potions in the Die Hard movies. (This is also why I don't allow clerics in my personal DnD or Pathfinder games).

However, I thought Howard Jones did a superb job within the constraints of a genre that is...more
Joseph Zurat
I really breezed through this one. I liked how established the characters felt, like they had their own series of books set some time in the past, but without having to read those books. It is refreshing to me because it feels like sometimes the world doesn't really move until whoever-PoV-Character sets off on a journey. Sure, things can be in the works, but these characters had history, like references or in-jokes that pop up in groups of friends or co-workers.

The setting for this one felt the...more
Triopticon
Sep 23, 2014 Triopticon rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like swords and sorcery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony Calder
Novels set in a published game setting and/or written to fit within the framework of a published game system have advantages and disadvantages compared with other novels of their genre. This novel is set in the world of Golarion, the official campaign setting for the Pathfinder RPG. As this is a game I play, and a campaign setting that I play in, there is perhaps a closer connection for me than for a reader not familiar with the setting. On the other hand, because it is a published game setting,...more
Chris Jackson
Solid four stars for Howard Andrew Jones on this rollicking high-fantasy story! Aside from a few characterization issues that are probably simple personal preferences on my part, no real flaw in the story, I truly enjoyed this fantasy "Quest Perilous" romp. Based in Paizo's world of Golarion, where the Pathfinder Tales novels all take place (it is a truly vast and rich environment, and one I have often played in myself) the story centers around a "rescue" plot with so many twists and turns that...more
Gilbert M.
Howard Andrew Jones is a famous proponent of Sword and Sorcery as well as a former editor of Flashing Swords ezine. So it was with some surprise and a lot of interest that I noticed he had written a novel with a female lead character for the Pathfinder series. What I found was a solid fantasy novel which with very minor changes could have run independently of the Pathfinder universe. His female elf protagonist was handled with thoughtful subtlety and there were enough surprise twists and turns t...more
Tom
This was a very well-written high-adventure fantasy story. The characterization was pretty good, and I felt connected to all of them (even the bad guys in their turns). There were some good surprise twists, and a few "wow" moments. The action was exciting, the dialogue flowed pretty naturally, and the world felt real. And finally, it was very evocative of the game it is based on, without reading like fan fiction. If I had any complaints it would be that the end felt a little rushed (which I find...more
William Quest
The book was alright. I enjoyed reading the tale, but it just almost seemed too easy despite the evident dangers that were faces. The thrill just wasn't quite there for me.
Pastor2112
The elf Elyana goes on a quest to save a former adventuring companion and lover. The story featured some interesting twists and good character development. I particularly liked the Half-orc, Drelm.
Robert Carlberg
When friends go bad. This was an enjoyable book. I enjoyed how it played around with the option of what may happen if someone you traveled with as not as good as they may seem. I thought Elyana was a great character overall, and even Drelm was a great half-orc character. If I get a chance to read about them again it would be great.
Bryan Schmidt
The story of an Elven woman who goes on a quest to save her ex-lover's life, pairing with old cronies who may or may not be helping her, this sword and sorcery tale hooked me and kept me interested the whole way through. This is unsurprising since Jones is a masterful S&S writer. Good characterizations, fun world, interesting. My first venture into Pathfinder and I liked it so much I bought campaign materials and the other novels in the series. I am also preparing to play my first game in th...more
Joseph
A generation ago, the elf Elyana was part of a band of adventurers who fought the shadow wizards. Now, 20 years later, she sets out on a desperate journey to save one of her old friends from a curse, a journey fraught with danger and betrayal and shadow magic.

I've read both of Howard Andrew Jones' Dabir & Asim books and quite enjoyed them. This was the first time I read something of his written in the third person, juggling a larger cast of characters and multiple viewpoints in a higher-magi...more
Cody
Read on my nook. After enjoying Desert of Souls, I was excited to see that Howard Andrew Jones had written a Pathfinder novel. It turned out to be an enjoyable but not remarkable quest-based rpg-style adventure. I do think the author was held back by the Pathfinder setting, which I find to be bland and unoriginal. I was also annoyed at how filled with little magical items the world of the Forgotten Realms... I mean, Pathfinder... is. If you're in the mood for standard pulp fantasy you'll enjoy t...more
Sam Reese
Jones does an excellent job making you care about the characters and is an expert at throwing in surprises. Usually I can see a plot twist coming from a mile away, but not with this book. Also, when a character dies-even a minor one-Jones sets you up to care one way or the other. You either say, "Thank God that bastard's dead" or you shake your fist at the heavens and say, "Why? Why did they have to go at such an early age?!" Very enjoyable read; highly recommended.
Peter
This was a nice book. the fact that the a lot of the main characters have a history as an adventure party and are forced to go on an adventure once more is really cool. I also liked the characterisation of the people in this book.

The only thing that bothered me is the fact that in the final battle you never have a real clear few on what is happening. Some people seem far away and the next moment they are right there. but other than that, a very nice book.
Chad


This story was a good old fashioned adventure module in story form. And that's a good thing for me. I felt like I was watching someone's game only without the mechanisms occurring in the background. The story was engaging and I liked all the characters. All of them. My favorite was Kellius. He reminded me of several wizards I have played over the years.

This book is a solid read for fantasy adventure fans. I liked it quite a bit.
Patrick
Enjoyable but not as great as the previous books in the series.
Troy Taylor
There is something about an author that sticks with the main character -- even when for convenience's sake, -- there is a temptation to stray into other points of view. Jones' sticks with the elf warrior's story, and it pays off. There is a twist ending and it captures the "adventuring party" premise that is a staple of this brand of shared world fiction. I eagerly await another effort by this novelist.
Trevor
Finally, a Pathfinder book that is decent again. This book is really what I expect to find in a Pathfinder Tales book. A good story, interesting characters, and a nice degree of background for the characters. It felt very much like this came right out of an adventure someone created for Pathfinder that a group played in. It's nice to have a good book again.
Andrew Jones
An exceptional novel with plot twists that far surpassed those usually in the genre. Almost every time that I thought I had a good handle on where the author was going, he went in a slightly different direction ... and it never seemed forced, but always seemed - in retrospect - the natural course for the story.
Eric
One of the more entertaining Pathfinder Tales novels so far. A bit heavy on the love-triangle side of things, and I felt Ellyana was a little too far removed from her elven nature, but the last third of the book really flew.
Mark
Decent fantasy novel. Not as strong as the first two Pathfinder books. Characters were developed nicely, imjust not sure I'd want to see them again. The book lacked a main villain.
Gregory Scott
Pretty standard sword and sorcery stuff. I'd read whatever came next in the series if it fell into my lap, but I'm not going out and hunting down the next Howard A. Jones book, either.
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The Desert of Souls (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #1) The Bones of the Old Ones (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #2) The Waters of Eternity (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand, #1.5) Stalking the Beast (Pathfinder Tales) The Walkers from the Crypt (Pathfinder Tales)

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