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Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City Paperback – 4 Sep 2012
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"Blood of the City" is a tense, action filled adventure involving intrigue, friendhip, death and tragedy. It is actualy very good as a thriller, which is what I'd expect out of a Pathfinder Novel, the fights are described expertly (nearly as good as in Death's Heratic), the story is unpredictable in a good way, and in it I probably found the best, most plausible translation of game mechanics into a story from any of the Pathfinder Tales line (admittadly i didn't get around to reading many of them yet).
To sum up, "Blood of the City" is actualy a very enjoyable story and I read the last 1/3 of it in one tension filled sitting. It's oh so regretable that it's a story about atuomatons, not people.
The book has not emotional hook whatsoever. None of the characters seems to react as a human would, to anything. The main character is as emotionaly dead as the white stone from which Magnimar is built. While she experiences major changes and revelations in the book, we get no emotional response from her - her inner world, the way she experiences things and feels them, is hidden from the reader. The book feels more like a dry recounting of events than an actual story. Kind of like how a history teacher sounds when lecturing about world war 2 - it's supposed to be a grand story about the largest war the world has ever seen, but you don't experience it that way. Her companions are all not very well rounded characters and we only get to see very rare, short glimpses to their personalities.
To be fair, the book actualy address the issue - many characters call out the POV, Luma Derahxi, for being very guarded with her emotions. At one point a character even complains that Luma was "able to give an accurate description of a room and eveything that was in it... but of how the terrible things that happened in the room effected her, she gave no hint..." That's fine by me as a character trait, but why can't the reader learn about the inner world of the character?
Maybe Author Robin D Laws knows exactly what he is doing and it's all a descision he's made to help portray the character - if so, it's an impressive echievment, and from what little he's shown of character development I actual think he can do it very well, except that he maybe finds it not very interesting. The end result, unfourtanatley, is that my enjoyment of the book was decreased dramaticaly, which is a real shame because the book had such great potential.
Will I recommend this book? No, I have to say I wouldn't. But I certainly would try to read another of Laws' books and see if I can find a liking to it, because the potential for greatness is certainly there. Unless you are activley looking for a story set in Magnimar or anything, I'd skip "blood of the city", and give some of the other books in this line a try.