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Prince of Wolves

(Pathfinder Tales)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  768 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Howls in the Dark

For elven pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his devil-blooded assistant Radovan, things are rarely as they seem. Yet not even the notorious crime-solving duo is prepared for what they find when a search for a missing pathfinder takes them into the mist-shrouded mountains of gothic Ustalav. Beset on all sides by noble intrigue, mysterious locals, and the deadly
Mass Market Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 20th 2010 by Paizo Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  768 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, pathfinder
This is the first book of the Pathfinder Tales, tie-in fictions for the official campaign world of the Pathfinder RPG, Golarion. Now, in my time, I have read tons of tie-in fiction. When I used to play AD&D, I pretty much bought every Forgotten Realms book published, and same with the Dragonlance books. A lot of this tie-in fiction was bad or disappointing. I know people love R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt do' Urden books, but I despised them. They were bland, generic, and Drizzt is just such a special ...more
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Above-average tie-in fiction and a nice introduction to Golarion, the setting of the Pathfinder RPG. A nobleman and his servant (both with secrets of their own) are looking for knowledge in Ustalav, kind of a Universal horror movie take on Eastern Europe. Complications naturally ensue -- werewolves and vampires and ancient tombs and the like -- but not in the way you might expect. A bit of a slow beginning, and it took me a few chapters to get the rhythm of the book -- it alternates chapters bet ...more
Αταλάντη Ευριπίδου
This was a surprisingly good book. Dave Gross has found the balance between staying true to the RPG world while managing to still write literature. His writing is beautiful and his characters absolutely brilliant; theis voices are distinctive and very realistic. Blending horror with humour and mystery worked wonders, as well as the little tricks employed by the writer to make the story appear more obscure and less linear. Overall, Prince of Wolves is a really good fantasy book which could be rea ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Filled with interesting characters, situations, and settings, Prince of Wolves is a triumph of modern fantasy writing. Though based on an RPG (The Pathfinder world and setting), the book seems altogether new and fresh, while at the same time paying homage to its "dungeon quest" roots. In some ways, this is the best Dungeons & Dragons book I've ever read (even though it's not part of that series) -- and saying it's a D&D book is not low praise by any means. (I say that as someone who's worked on ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ryan by: Mordicai
I don't know much about Role Playing Games in general and even less about the Pathfinder game, but my friend Mordicai recommended Dave Gross' books and when Mordicai says, 'This is something you would enjoy,' I listen. Prince of Wolves took me a little while to get into, but after about 40 or so pages I was hooked. It's a fast paced adventure tale with a compelling mystery that kept me engaged and entertained until the end and I don't feel my lack of knowledge of the Pathfinder world hindered my ...more
Timothy McNeil
Oct 03, 2012 rated it did not like it
It took quite some time for me to get past Gross' awkward style and insistence on narrating the story from two first person perspectives, but there was something of a mildly interesting genre fantasy story shaping up. Then it fell apart as things mostly didn't happen, or, when they did, they were in the sloppy vein of an author who is more interested in trying to forge some verisimilitude than an engaging narrative.
Gross clearly has a good understanding of the setting of Golarion and tried to wo
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pathfinder and D&D setting enthusiasts
Radovan has drawn me in. Love the character and his — pun intended — devil-may-care mannerisms. Dave Gross doesn't pull punches in this fantasy/horror-driven sword and sorcery tale that sets the stage for Paizo's Pathfinder Tales. It's harsh, brutal, fantastical, macabre, and exciting. It's got werewolves, spells, vampires, swordplay, gypsies, nobles people, noble pets, ancient legends, traitorous villains, a mute cleric, and a demon-spawn in it. What's not to love? I'm glad to see there are mor ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
If you should happen to pick up Prince of Wolves in a bookstore and skim through the chapter titles, don’t be fooled! The chapter titles sound like episodes in a classic pulp adventure (“Dance of the Sczarni,” “The Fiddler’s Revenge,” “The Hall of Weeping Consorts,” “The Dead Undead,” or “Devil’s Deal”), but the novel is anything but a pulp adventure. Prince of Wolves is proof that Dave Gross has become a novelist, not merely a genre novelist. Oh, to be sure, he may continue to display his métie ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short take:

"Prince of Wolves" has more in common with gothic horror than your stereotypical fantasy, and Gross makes good use of the former genre in the context of a shared universe. The mood is creepy and the obstacles facing the heroes include cool monsters. Both narrators have individual and entertaining voices. "Prince" is a neat adventure, and I'm ready for more.

More thoughts:

For the opening volume in a line of shared universe fantasies, "Prince" is surprisingly odd: royal persons receiv
Chris Jackson
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very well written piece with an interesting POV perspective; first person from two different protagonists. This is especially entertaining here, in a very "Holmes Watson" way, as one of the characters is a rather haughty, womanizing, wine-loving "ambassador" and member of the Pathfinders, a group of knowledge seeking adventurers in the Paizo gaming world of Golarion. Please don't let the fact that this is a game oriented novel dissuade you from picking it up. The writing and characterization a ...more
Prince of Wolves is the first book in a book series based on the Pathfinder game world. It started out slow for about the first five chapters. After the story picked up I did enjoy it. It wasn't great, but I liked it and enjoyed most of the story. There were a couple of gory descriptions I could have done without, but nothing I haven't read in books before. Someone else said that it's much better than the Dragonlance books. Having read all of the DL books that were written by Weis and Hickman (w ...more
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Hugely entertaining, start to finish. I read it in three days, snowed into a cabin in the Smokies, which I highly recommend as the ideal reading experience.

In particular, Varian's visit to Willowmourn is deliciously creepy, heavily reminiscent of the best of Edgar Allan Poe.

I got chills at the revelation of the meaning of the book's title.

The integration of Harrowing (one of my favorite details of the Pathfinder setting) was handled perfectly.

Just fantastic. I could sit and point out fantastic i
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans, Roleplayers
Recommended to Gdaybloke by: Dave Gross
Shelves: pathfinder
I used to read a lot. Mainly fantasy genre fiction, because that’s what floated my boat. Nothing too meaty, but still fun. I cut my teeth on Xanth, Dragonlance, and the Belgariad. I did Pern, Forgotten Realms, Lankhmar, Spellsinger, expanded universe Star Wars, and of COURSE I did Discworld. The common thread here is that they’re all extended series of multiple books in the same setting. Very few one-off’s. I found a setting I liked, and I stuck with it through thick and thin.

Then I immigrated h
Joel Flank
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Prince of Wolves, by Dave Gross is the first in the Pathfinder Tales series. This is the eagerly awaited fiction line set in the world of Golarion, the house setting of the Pathfinder Role Playing Game, from Paizo. If you're not into role playing games, Paizo is one of the best publishers out there (if you don't believe me, check out the 2010 ENnie awards, which Paizo swept.) Over the past 3 years, they've built their campaign setting, published dozens of top quality adventures, started the Plan ...more
Carlos G. Flores
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well this is a must read book if you're into the whole Pathfinder deal, this marks the standard to which all other authors in the book must aim to. The story is great and the format is very likable. Its a story divided into two which end up being one of the most captivating high fantasy novels I have read. The two main characters are Count Varian Jaegare, a half-elf nobleman; and his faithful bodyguard Radovan Virholt, a tiefling that is on the verge of discovering the true nature of his heritag ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I can see why it was narrated in this fashion. The dual first person narration--each protagonist telling every other chapter--allows the reader to see each from his own perspective as well as from the other, as well as providing each one's distinctive voice. It's a bold move, but one which doesn't entirely hold up.

Varian's version is framed as a journal written for and addressed directly to the missing Pathfinder, a form of correspondence for her later perusal. This device is loosely adhered to
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
It took me to chapter 3 to realize the story bounced back and forth between the two main characters. I wasn't expecting that so Chapter 2 made no sense. Chapter 3 made even less so I went back and looked at the prior chapters. Once I realized it was a shift in perspective, "I" was one character for the odd number chapters, "I" was the other character for the even number chapters, the book made sense. While I give the reader (me) some of the blame for the confusion, the book didn't help. That is ...more
Anne L.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
What an enjoyable book! It’s the tale of an adventure undertaken by half-elf Count Varian Jeggare and his faithful bodyguard, Radovan, who’s blood is touched by a hellspawn ancestor. Jegarre is a Pathfinder, part of an organization that seeks out and protects knowledge. He’s searching for an associate of his, who was herself hunting for a book said to contain deadly arcane knowledge. What they find en route is certainly deadly and arcane itself. The story is basic dungeons and dragons, if you li ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
If you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing you like. Setting fantasy based in the Pathfinder world - felt better executed than the early Forgotten Realms books.

The shifting POV is old hat for anyone who's read Song of Ice and Fire, and helps give the book more scope than you'd get from a single POV.

The book starts a bit slow, but certainly picks up the pace. I had read a couple shorter works that lead into this novel, and I think that helped me jump right in. So, if you're l
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Prince of Wolves turned out to be a great, fun read. I picked it up as a tie-in to the Carrion Crown adventure path my gaming group is running for the Pathfinder RPG. The book is a page-turning fantasy romp featuring a group of memorable characters adventuring around the gothic land of Ustalav, Pathfinder's vaguely Eastern European fantasy-horror setting. As such it contains plenty of fantasy horror tropes: werewolves, vampires, mysterious cults, long-dead tyrants, and dark magic.

Prince of Wolv
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I got this tie-in book in anticipation of starting a Pathfinder campaign with some friends. I didn't really have very high hopes because most of the tie-in fantasy fiction I read is okay, serviceable, predictable, but rarely excellent. This really exceeded my admittedly low expectations. Both PoV characters have likeable traits, and a relatively clear arc from the start to the end. Half of the chapters are written as a journal, which works here because they are more about the intrigue/mystery st ...more
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a fun book. I know some readers I talked to were confused by the alternating first person chapters, but I didn't have a problem with it after the second chapter.

The two main characters were each well defined and had qualities that kept me wanting more. The two converging stories were planned and written well and I didn't feel like it was too forced. I also enjoyed the supporting characters like the priestess and her wagon.

Its a fun read and will introduce you to Ustalav from the Pathfind
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pathfinder
An excellent read. I do recommend that one read the pathfinder journals and webfiction that set it up though. Chapters alternate back and forth between the two main characters. For me, Radovan stole the show with witty lines and a compelling personality. The Count has his moments as well, and his magical "quirk" is an interesting twist along with his way of over coming it. The story itself is intriguing and keeps you wanting more, wondering what more will come from it.
Nicole Luiken
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Entertaining adventure tale that starts off with an excellent prologue (and I don't say THAT very often) then alternates between half-elven noble Varian and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan. As a Pathfinder, Varian unravels clues while Radovan's chapters tended more to straight action. It took me a couple chapters to warm up to Varian, but after Senir Bridge I was hooked on the mystery of his missing days. I've never played Pathfinder, but the magic system had some cool innovations.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Yes, this is a book based on portraying life in a role-playing game's setting. But that being said, this one is pretty good. Based around an interesting mystery, the pacing is good, with no strange gaps. Characterization is good, and the story handles that old RPG adage, "Don't split the party!", with interesting twists.
Scott Carmody
Sep 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A good start to the pathfinder series. A little slow in the beginning but has some nice twists. It also expands the details of the setting without rewriting the world, a trend WOTC should return to. The cover is a little weird, and makes me wonder how much info the artist had about the book.

I also find it funny just like the Harpers series the second Pathfinder will be done by Cunningham.
Martin St-laurent
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The beginning of the book is a bit slow and it is hard to find yourself immersed in the story. Once it starts, it becomes entertaining. It was interesting to read the story from two characters perspective instead of one. The author succeeded at keeping a distinction between the chapters described by Radovan and the chapters in which Varian is the narrator. That was well done! Publishing
A friend of mine in the biz recommended this book to me, saying that he was biased but that it was one of his favorite fantasy novels, despite his friendship with the author. I go the opposite direction: I liked this book-- & the follow-ups-- so much that I had to go & befriend the author. The adventures of Radovan & the Count are fantastic fun, pun intended. --MK ...more
Michael Parker
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pathfinder
This is one of the best RP based novel that I have read in a long time. The first 2 chapters are tedious to work through, but once you make it past that threshold the book quickly turns into a read that can't be put down.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
It started out slow, but as the story went it picked up pace. Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable, and easy read. I would recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy (particularly Paizo's world of Golarion) and looking for an entertaining escape.
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Dave Gross is the author of ten novels, notably the adventures of Radovan and the Count, including Prince of Wolves, Master of Devils, Queen of Thorns, and King of Chaos. Formerly the editor of such magazines as Dragon, Star Wars Insider, and Amazing Stories, Dave has also written novels for the Forgotten Realms and Iron Kingdoms settings. For more tales of Radovan and the Count, including free sh ...more

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Pathfinder Tales (1 - 10 of 38 books)
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  • Plague of Shadows (Pathfinder Tales)
  • The Worldwound Gambit (Pathfinder Tales)
  • Master of Devils (Pathfinder Tales)
  • Death's Heretic (Pathfinder Tales)
  • Song of the Serpent (Pathfinder Tales)
  • City of the Fallen Sky (Pathfinder Tales)
  • Nightglass
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“Then you are sure to follow them,” said Senir. “Perhaps it would be best if you did. It has long been said that the mysteries of Ustalav sleep late and wake angry. I would not wish you to endure their ire.” 0 likes
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