Read Prince of Wolves by Dave Gross Online

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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 creatures of theFor 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 creatures of the night, Varian and Radovan must use both sword and spell to track the strange rumors to their source and uncover a secret of unimaginable proportions. But it'll take more than merely solving the mystery to finish this job, for a shadowy figure has taken note of the pair's investigations, and is set on making sure neither man gets out of Ustalav alive...From fan-favorite author Dave Gross comes a new fantastical mystery set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game....

Title : Prince of Wolves
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781601252876
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Prince of Wolves Reviews

  • Andrea
    2019-06-25 05:21

    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 snowflake. Eventually I moved on to what I consider real fiction. I mean, come on, I even read Dragonlance fiction by Richard Knaak, the guy who brought us Rhonin and other disappointments in WoW fiction. This all should explain why my expectations for Pathfinder fiction were really really low. I am very happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.Prince of Wolves is set in Ustalav, Golarion's version of Romania or maybe Transsylvania, settled by a group of people called Varisians. It's a country ravaged by war against the Whispering Tyrant, a powerful lich and is still suffering from that today. The story has two protagonists and is told from the first person perspective in alternating chapters. Count Varian Jeggare is an elven Venture-Captain in the Pathfinder society, a powerful faction of explorers. He has lost contact to one of his Pathfinder agents and travels to Ustalav to find her. He is accompanied by his bodyguard Radovan, a tiefling with devil blood, but also Varisian roots. Early on, they get attacked and separated. Count Jeggare ends up in the clutches of cultists of Urgathoa, the goddess of undeath, whereas Radovan ends up with a group of werewolves who are Sczarni and who believe he is the Prince of Wolves that was foretold to them. Inevitably, they end up together again, both searching for the Lacuna Codex, an evil book of spells that the Urgathoa cultists are only too eager to get their hands on. The book is a strange mix of humor, a bit of a Victorian feel because Count Jeggare and Radovan were a bit like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, with the count being very much snooty upper class, and classic gothic horror, sometimes a lot more creepy than I really expected. Above all, it was extremely true to the world of Golarion and pretty much oozed Pathfinder spirit at all times. I am not the only one surprised at this level of quality from a series of tie-in novels, as you can see in Aidan Moher's interview with James L. Sutter, one of the Paizo developers and in charge of the line of novels.My rating: 4.5 stars

  • Stephen
    2019-06-23 00:12

    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 the game since near its beginnings, and who has written more than a few fantasy novels -- both game-based and non-game-based -- of his own.)Alternating first-person POV narration between his two main characters, Dave Gross takes you on a wild ride filled with action, mystery, adventure, horror, and a bit of sex/romance, too. Prince of Wolves will keep you turning pages, and have you longing for more once it ends. Fortunately for all of us, there are already two sequels. I won't say more, because I don't want to give away any of the surprises. Buy it and read it. You'll be glad you did.

  • Joseph
    2019-05-30 04:24

    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 between two different first-person perspectives -- but quite enjoyable. Probably closer to a 3.5 if only GR did fractions.

  • Αταλάντη Ευριπίδου
    2019-06-11 06:30

    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 read by Pathfinder fans as well as pretty much anyone else and I'll definitely be reading more of the Jeggare & Radovan adventures in the future.

  • Ryan
    2019-06-10 00:34

    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 enjoyment or understanding of what was going on.On to the next one!

  • J.M.
    2019-06-15 03:23

    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 more Pathfinder Tales by Gross. Adding 'em to my to-read list. Solid 4-star reading.

  • Johnny
    2019-06-08 06:10

    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 métier in the fantasy genre in general and game-related fiction in specific, but Prince of Wolves shows a maturity one does not usually see in this style of fiction.Don’t get me wrong. I’ve enjoyed Gross’ work in the past. I very much enjoyed Black Wolf and Lords of Stormweather, but even in the enjoyment, I felt like he had a tendency to latch onto a conceit, a mechanism, a joke, or an idea and milk it until it made even skim milk taste like water. I felt like there were too many serendipitous contrivances (particularly in his unattributed The Sundered Arms novel in the short-lived T. H. Lain series) and convenient (for the author) coincidences. I only felt one such “coincidence” in Prince of Wolves and I immediately forgave that one because it was staged so perfectly that I could have visualized it in a film scene. I will also confess that I hesitated to pick up Prince of Wolves because I thought it was going to be something of a rehash of the lycanthrope ideas Gross had explored in Black Wolf. I heartily and enthusiastically admit to being wrong, wrong, wrong! In the first place, Prince of Wolves really has two protagonists instead of one and the eponymous protagonist isn’t exactly your father’s lycanthrope. The unveiling of the so-called prince and the actual development of the character is superb. (Don’t tell Dave I said that. He doesn’t think that predicate adjective exists in my vocabulary.) I’d tell you which protagonist has the opportunity or potential to claim the novel’s “title,” but that would give away the fun. You’ll want to see it unfold for yourself.I will also confess that there are certain readers who will quibble with something that I think is marvelous. Stylistically speaking, I feel like Dave captured just the right conceit for telling the story (at least, when narrating from the point-of-view of Count Jeggare). Jeggare is a “Pathfinder,” a member of the society for which the popular game system/universe is named. The novel was the first unveiled as one of the Pathfinder Tales. So, why not tell the story in the style of an explorer keeping a journal of his adventures. At one point, I was alarmed that the journal in which, presumably, all of the notes (including the narrative) were lost, but Gross was clever enough to even handle that. Why then, will some readers quibble? They will complain because Gross didn’t establish such a solid basis for Radovan’s point-of-view sections. To be sure, Gross uses a different style for Radovan—more straightforward, something of a “sotto voce” aside to the readers that, in theater-speak, would have broken the proscenium. But it works! I don’t quite know why it works or why I’m willing to suspend my disbelief, but I am. The style of the entire novel veritably flows.Now, for those people who need to know something of the idea of a plot in order to ascertain whether they will buy a book, I will do my best to describe the book without spoiling the surprises. However, I’d urge most people reading this review to consider this a hearty “BUY” recommendation and avoid any possible spoilers in the next paragraph.A Pathfinder seeks out another Pathfinder who seems to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The Pathfinder picks up the trail, but is derailed by an accident in which the survivors are convinced that the other survivors are dead. The Pathfinder apparently solves a portion of the mystery, but experiences a temporary amnesia that forces him to retrace his steps (and make a few fascinating discoveries along the way). Another survivor runs afoul of both a pack of ne’er-do-wells and a mob of angry, superstitious peasants. The converging lines of the two stories are logical and yet, suspenseful. The convergence of the two stories is dramatic at times, and comical at times, even though the protagonists in both of the story arcs stand on their own—neither is comic relief or mere supporting actor to the other. Indeed, some of the joy within this volume is observing the contretemps between the two strong characters.The rest of the story involves solving the mystery of the missing Pathfinder, locating the dangerous artifact being sought by both the protagonists and the, often unseen, antagonists,and understanding a potential betrayal by one of the main characters. In short, there is something for everyone. Finally, I will confess that there were times in some of Gross’ other work when I thought the characters were, at times, caricatures of themselves. Prince of Wolves offers rich, credible characters in a lusciously described, powerfully demonstrated story that could have been ordinary but becomes exceptional. I offer one of my very few, “I’m not worthy” accolades to my former colleague.

  • Daniel
    2019-06-10 00:24

    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 receive mention but play little part in the story; a prophesy appears, but its validity is left open to question and its repercussions are negligible to the present story; finally, though the protagonists offer good "hero" material, their opposition isn't so much evil as they are a competing interest. I'm impressed that Paizo launched their line with an off-beat tale. I like Gross's prose and his open admiration for gothic horror. I also really like the personal nature of the story: the world isn't at risk, nor is a kingdom facing extinction. One humorous aside: the country of Ustalav appears to be a fantastic analog of Russia, while the world "ustal" in Russian is the past tense of the verb that means "to be tired." So, the country's name could be interpreted to me "the tired people." Maybe that goes with the gloomy vibe of the place...

  • Chris Jackson
    2019-06-13 23:36

    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 are tight, and the plot twists are well done.The only down side I have to lay down about this wonderful tale, and the only reason I didn't give it the full five stars, is the author's propensity to start a chapter in the middle, then backfill a page or two to catch up to where he started. It works, but I feel that it is a tool too often used in this single novel. That said, I have the highest recommendations for the book, and will be picking up the sequel, Master of Demons, as soon as I can get my hands on a copy...Well done!Disclaimer: I met Dave Gross at Gencon 2011, and the fact that he is a great guy may have influenced this review... ;-)

  • Timothy McNeil
    2019-06-19 06:39

    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 work much of that into the story. Unfortunately, most of this was done in the first third of the book (instead of throughout in as equally possible) and with all of the subtlety of using sledgehammer to knock on one's door. I do feel somewhat bad about going with the 1 star rating, but the only reason I finished the book is because I've resolved that I am not allowed to abandon books I've started (and it needed to go back to the library soon). Otherwise, I likely would have shelved this for some time.

  • Erik
    2019-06-09 03:34

    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 ideas and great bits all day (the book thief spell! the wolfhound! Radovan's romances!).Loved it. I bet Dave Gross doesn't know this, but he wrote this book for me. Thanks! :)

  • Tammie
    2019-06-09 05:32

    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 (which in my opinion are the only ones worth reading), I have to say I very much disagree with that person. The DL books were way better than this.

  • Gdaybloke
    2019-06-02 03:25

    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 halfway around the world and my library was sold off to help finance the move. Thus began a fairly length drought in my reading, in which Tad Williams’ Otherland series was about the only oasis of note, until Privateer Press launched Skull Island Expeditions. As a player of Warmachine, I’m already well invested in the setting, and sank my teeth with glee into the novellae that rolled off the digital presses. This in turn led to my overlong treatise on Dave Gross’ Dark Convergence, touching on the use of titillation in fiction and the merits and/or potential pitfalls of an author changing voices as he writes. I had read The Devil’s Pay, also by Gross, and it wasn’t a favourite of mine, but Dark Convergence played much more to his strengths as an author, and I enjoyed it to the extent that I ended up with a copy of his Pathfinder novel Prince of Wolves in my hands.Now, here’s where it got interesting for me. I had two primary problems while reading the book.The first is that, while I am a gamer, I’ve never played the Pathfinder RPG. I’ve never even flipped through the rulebook. I’m peripherally aware that it’s a fantasy RPG setting, but know no details whatsoever other than what could be gleaned from casually casting one’s gaze over the covers of the modules on the shelf at the gaming store. Accordingly, I found myself – a self-admitted series junkie who really enjoys stories told in familiar settings – looking at something completely unknown. Even after the first few pages I found myself confused. With no grounding in the setting, I had no real idea why someone from Nation A would be viewed a certain way by someone from Nation B, yet the nationalities and locale names dropped like a rain of frogs, all noisome and with the occasional splat . Anyone with a basic grounding in the setting would have been nodding along quite happily, but as an outsider it was a challenge to muscle through. I plunged in the understanding that, at some point in the novel, I’d have enough of an understanding to blithely stride forth. For the record, I was right, and once the fog had lifted, I was able to enjoy the book all the more.The other problem was that Gross has written the series from a First Person perspective. This is something I don’t typically enjoy in fiction, because it can generate an empathic connection with characters that I may or may not want to have any empathy with. If it can be pulled off successfully, it can invest the reader much more strongly in the story, but it can readily backfire as well. If the reader suddenly finds themselves in a sympathetic connection with a character engaged in something that jars it can cause a cognitive disconnect, shattering the illusion of the setting and story and leaving the reader with a metaphorical bad taste in their mouth. I’m not a hardcore reader – I read for relaxation and entertainment, not to have my worldview challenged and my moral compass jiggled (though that has certainly happened before). Okay, now that we’ve established that, let’s finally talk about the book itself. Spoiler warning goes here. Ignore it if you want, that’s on your head, not mine ;)Prince of Wolves follows Count Varian Jeggare, the half-Elven member of the Pathfinder society, as he seeks to track down a missing colleague. With him is the story’s other protagonist, the hellspawn (which I’ve learned means he actually has infernal heritage) Radovan. Yup, two protagonists. In a first-person narrative.Here’s where Gross stands out, to me. One of the strongest points for me of Dark Convergence was Gross’ ability to write alternating between Sebastien Nemo and Aurora as protagonists, two competing leaders, with different personalities and different perspectives. He pulled it off and provided an exceptionally enjoyable read. When I found that Prince of Wolves not only used the same literary device, but that it was two allied protagonists, I was intrigued. Especially since, again, the book is written in the first-person. On the one hand we have Jeggare; a political animal, the Count has a head full of social niceties and etiquette. An inquisitive mind, a sense of noble purpose – to be honest, I found him a bit of a self-important prat at times, but then I’ve never taken tea under the gazebo with Milady Uppercrust, and am otherwise as common as muck. Oh the other hand we have Radovan; a churlish brute, Radovan comes across more as a bruiser with his heart in the right place. As Jeggare’s bodyguard, his primary role is to provide brawn to counterbalance Jeggare’s brain. This was a character I was able to more readily connect with. The thing that impressed me, chapter after chapter, was how readily Gross was able to change gears as an author. One minute I imagine him sitting at his metaphorical typewriter with a jaunty little peaked cap with a feather in it and a twinkle in his eye, next minute the hat is gone and he’s torn the sleeves off of his golf shirt to reveal a rather obscene tattoo that gets more obscene when he flexes, and the only twinkle is coming from a menacing grin.In the end, as confusing as it was for me early on in the book, it just *works*. The chapters focusing on Jegarre are more intellectual – digging into the mystery of the missing Pathfinder, the horrors of Willowmourn, trying to figure out what the metastory is. Those focusing on Radovan are more visceral (he said, despite the evident viscera in some of Jegarre’s chapters), more brutal. Knife fight with the Sczarni (Gypsy Werewolves). Busting out of a coffin after being sealed in and thrown on a bonfire. Sprouting demonic extremeties and going toe-to-toe with undead gribblies.B y making the narratives from a first-person perspective Gross is able to assume the voice of either of the two characters, and even though much of the book the two are in the same scene, by having the one voice or the other as dominant he’s able to set the tone, and somewhat steer reader expectations. Even if Jeggare’s in the scene, such as the fight with a vampiric head (we’ll get to that in a second), if it’s from Radovan’s point of view you know as a reader that it’s an action scene more than it is a story advancement scene. It’s a subtle trick, and not one that I think can be pulled off by many authors, but Gross seems to have wrapped his head around the mechanics. So more on the story itself.The meh…:There’s a bunch of stuff that goes… unexplained right until the very end. For example, a bridge blows up at one point, and there’s no real indication or even advancement of theory as to who was responsible until right at the very end of the book. When you finally find out who did it, it’s a case of “Oh yeah, it was that character we met briefly back at X point in the story, who hadn’t really featured in it at all prior to the bridge blowing up and even after we met him didn’t seem at the time to have relevant motivation”. At another point, after a thoroughly confusing few pages of reading as I tried to figure out what was going on with the setting, Jeggare clues in that he’s missing several days worth of memories. This would drive me *nuts* and be my primary focus for the next while, but it goes unsolved as a mystery until much later in the book, when the answer kinda falls into Jeggare’s lap. The ooh!!!:Oh, the twists… this was the good stuff. It was SO DAMN EASY to sink my teeth into the supporting cast as I tried to figure them out. The Sczarni – are they friend, foe, or both? What’s Malena’s real motivation? Azra intercedes when Malena tries to knock boots with Radovan – what’s Azra’s interest here? Is she trying to stop Radovan falling under Malena’s influence, or does she have a claim on Radovan herself? What of Tara and Casomir? Why is Arnissant so loyal to Jeggare after only a scrap of meat? What’s up with the bloody chicken?? Gross manages to weave a good number of twists in with the supporting casts. At numerous points I was left questioning the motives of various characters, half-expecting betrayals from different angles and yet still impressed by their execution when they showed up. The bwah???:As stated, I’ve read a lot of fantasy genre books. I played a lot of RPG’s back in the day, and I’ve got a pretty solid grounding in many monster mythoi… but using a [REDACTED] as the monstrous mastermind behind the whole thing? Holy crap, Gross! Talk about pulling something out of left field! I think the only thing what might have caught me more unawares was a Catoblepas! I did *not* see that coming. The Conclusion:Prince of Wolves was initially difficult for me to sink my teeth into, in large part due to unfamiliarity with the setting. I think the author has either taken it for granted that the reader would at least have a basic familiarity with the setting, or if assuming that they were ignorant (as I was), tried to compensate by name-dropping all over the map for the first chapter. It was a hurdle, but in the end it was worth overcoming. The story flicks adeptly between mystery and action, and while Jeggare may not be my best chum, Radovan is a character I can find myself liking. I look forward to tackling the next book in the series.

  • Joel Flank
    2019-06-06 05:28

    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 Planet Stories line of classic out of print SF/Fantasy stories, and made a top selling RPG based on previous editions of Dungeons and Dragons. Finally, they have a line of original Pathfinder fiction, and they picked a great author to start the line off.Gross has written several shared world books before, for the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms setting, and in Prince of Wolves, he has refined his craft. Thrilling fights and magic? Check.Engrossing mystery? CheckRich story that draws you into the present and history of the setting? CheckInteresting and well developed characters? CheckEngaging moral dilemmas? CheckIn addition to all of these critical elements to a great story, Gross writes for adults. This isn't dumbed down fantasy to appeal to the lowest common denominator, or sanitized to be kid-friendly (not that it's unfriendly to kids, though). His characters are adults, and they have adult interests and problems. They drink too much. They can be crude/uncomfortable talking about sex or with members of the opposite sex. They have a hard time overcoming their own personal demons. And, he manages to do all of this without sacrificing the exciting action and mystery elements that makes the book feel like a wonderful mix of Indiana Jones (the good ones) and Conan the Barbarian.Another way that Gross presents twice as much detail about the world is by splitting the point of view throughout the book. Each of the two main characters alternates chapters as the primary point of view character, and describes events in the first person, which gives two very distinct views on the world, and their adventures. It's pretty easy to tell the characters apart, as one is a rough and tumble hellspawn street thug, and the other is a half elven aristocrat, witch gives them very different views of the world around them.Finally, as a novel set in a game world, Gross does a great job of writing within the rules of the world (how magic, monsters, and other 'rules' work). At the same time, he doesn't go out of his way to point out just which rules he's using. There's a character who's described as a cleric, and witch. All of her powers and abilities in the book could be re-created using those rules from the Pathfinder game, not to mention as an oracle (which I happen to think is a better fit, even though it's not mentioned in the book at all.) However, it's never made clear in the book, or to the characters, exactly which one of those is correct. While it's great to the reader that the book conforms to the game rules, at the same time, it's not even apparent to the other characters in the book that there are game rules that define their lives, and that's the best way to write a successful book based on a game.Strongly recommended.

  • Carlos Flores
    2019-06-10 02:18

    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 heritage. The hook of the story is not the best one, but certainly one that makes you read at least the next chapter. The Count is a renown Venture-Captain Pathfinder, which is a society in search for knowledge. He is looking for his missing pathfinder which he has not heard of in a while. But just in a few pages the book transforms itself into a monster story with intrigue and wrapped in mystery.The book is written in first person, first by the Count which is "telling" the story to his missing pathfinder and then by Radovan, which mixes up in his own little story which little by little becomes as important as the other. Each chapter reveals more about whats really happening with both characters and how they decide to act upon this. We find in the pages devils, werewolves, fights, and ancient artifacts which may place a threat to their world. It's the best ending that I have read in a while.I recommend greatly this book for people in the hobby as well as readers that are interested in high fantasy. Otherwise it may proof very annoying going back and forth deciphering what does "egorian" and other nouns mean.

  • Derek
    2019-06-18 03:33

    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, and never structured in journal form, with dated entries and compression of events: it's all standard stream of consciousness with verbatim dialog. And while I can imagine Radovan reciting his tale in terms of, say, a tall tale told to admiring listeners in response to a round of drinks, his narration is without a framing device. The result is a strange effect: what is this that I'm reading? Given the importance and presence of books and journals in the story, it's odd that this isn't exclusively framed as a collation of journal entries.The relationship between Varian and Radovan is interestingly textured and I'm pleased to see that they have further novels. From the start, their roles of employer and subordinate are straining and limiting, with significant ramifications. I'd be intrigued to see how this develops in later novels.

  • Daniel
    2019-06-22 01:25

    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 part of why the score is lower than I'd like to give.The other part is the book starts off as a journal entry (Chapter 1 and several odd numbered chapters thereafter). It continues that way until the character disposes of the journal. Then it shifts to the first person's POV as it happens. I'm not much for journal reading, and then shifting like that, didn't really interest me. Another reason for the lower score.The score didn't go lower because on the plus side, it is good filler read. It is something that once I got beyond those two issues, I could sit and read, not think about too much, and enjoy a decent fantasy tale. I'm not familiar with the Pathfinder world so I'm attempting to read the first books to gain a better understanding. This helped (though a lack of a map is the final reason for a lower score).

  • Anne L.
    2019-06-17 00:15

    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 like that kind of stuff, which I do. That’s why I play D&D, and why my husband and I wrote our own adventure-based trilogy. The Prince of Wolves is one of the Pathfinder Tales put out by gaming company Paizo. But don’t let that put you off if you’re not a gamer. Gross has a great way with words, and the book is set up intriguingly; alternate chapters are written first person from either Jeggare or Radovan’s perspective. Sound weird, works great. The man’s thoughts and actions are distinct and according to his station and background, making it easy to know who’s narrating. I loved seeing certain events from both perspectives. The rest of the characters are diverse and well-written, too. My advice? Get comfy, put up your feet, and enjoy the adventure.

  • Eric
    2019-06-08 07:12

    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 looking at this one, I recommend reading Pathfinder Tales: Hell's Pawns and Pathfinder Tales: The Lost Pathfinder first.

  • Jason
    2019-06-25 02:15

    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 Wolves reminds me of some of the best D&D novelizations from the TSR days. It's fun, engaging, and the characters stick with you after you close the book. You can almost see the game mechanics behind the scenes, giving those familiar with Pathfinder an extra bonus as they can track how the game might play out in a fictional scenario based on characters they might create.

  • Joseph Zurat
    2019-06-26 04:11

    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 storyline, but it took a chapter or so to really get used to. The other half are just standard 3rd person. I liked the use of werewolves in this one, and feel it had a pretty strong sense of place and tone. If the Pathfinder tie-in novels are all this good, I'll continue to pick them up.

  • James
    2019-05-29 02:09

    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 Pathfinder world.

  • Nicole Luiken
    2019-06-22 00:20

    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.

  • Seth
    2019-05-30 01:32

    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.

  • Tor.com Publishing
    2019-05-26 23:19

    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

  • Robert
    2019-06-09 01:14

    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.

  • Martin St-laurent
    2019-06-10 01:28

    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!

  • Scott Carmody
    2019-06-09 07:11

    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.

  • Robert Carlberg
    2019-06-05 02:24

    Thought it was a good beginning to the Pathfinder series of books. Took me a little time to get into it, but after a few chapters I found it very entertaining. The whole story was really well told, and even when the author had to split both of the characters it was really well done.

  • Michael Parker
    2019-06-21 06:33

    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.