- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Paizo Inc.; 01 edition (7 Dec. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1601252862
- ISBN-13: 978-1601252869
- Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 2.8 x 17 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,033,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Pathfinder Tales: Winter Witch Paperback – 7 Dec 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Most important of all - for a fantasy novel - it doesn't suck. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy novels, they're often over-long and turgid. This one is brisk, witty and has compelling characters. Props to the Authors for having good female characters who can kick ass and aren't caricatures.
If you like Pathfinder, this won't disappoint - it's not the most complex story in the world - but it is pacy and brings the setting alive.
It is written by Elaine Cunningham who some might know better from her books in the Forgotten Realms setting. It is a solid story with an interesting twist on magic. It features a love story and betrayal. I don't want to give away to much of the story to spoil it. If you are looking for some light fantasy and you enjoyed Elaines writing in the past then you likely will like this book as well.
If you just look for a good fantasy novel - give it a try. There is another book out already with Amazon - Prince of Woolves that plays in the same fantasy world. A thrid one - Plague of Shadows is also out but will take a few more days before arriving with Amazon. It should be available by the time you read this and the Prince of Wolves. More books are planned in this series - but you will have to be patient as the schedule right now is rather slow.
In case you are also a Pathfinder RPG player you will enjoy the additional background and depths in which areas like Irrisien are explored. You will get a more succinct description in the Golarion Campaign setting. But this will never give you as much of a feel for a land as a novel can give you.
I did dither between four and five stars. Four stars for the story - a fifth as it also helps me to immerse myself into the RPG world. This will be helpful if I should GM some scenarios in the cold north and I need to represent some Berserker clans struggling against the cold and the witches.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Winter Witch was the second novel published in Paizo's Pathfinder Tales line. Written by veteran fantasy novelist Elaine Cunningham, the book is primarily set in Korvosa, Irrisen, and the Land of Linnorm Kings. It's a book with both urban and wilderness elements and features both arcane and martial protagonists. An interior map and surprisingly extensive glossary are quite helpful for newcomers.
Winter Witch isn't afraid to hold back on some of the mysteries it sets up until the end, and contains at least one excellent twist. It's well-grounded in Golarion-lore and its main characters and plot are interesting enough to give it a solid recommendation. The book would serve as excellent background to anyone running adventures in any of the areas where the book is set. Winter Witch may not be earth-shattering, but fans of the campaign setting will definitely enjoy it; I know I did.
Note: Amazon customers should note that, despite what the website says, this book is not part of the Jeggare series.
The two leads in Winter Witch are a mapmaker (and reluctant wizard) from Korvosa named Declan Avari and a warrior shield-maiden from the Land of Linnorm Kings named Ellasif. Ellasif's sister is a witch who has ended up in Whitethrone, capital of Irrisen, after a sequence of events that are heart-rending. Ellasif makes a deal that if she can bring a powerful wizard to trade for her sister, the winter witches will let the girl go. Thus, Ellasif tricks and lures Declan to travel all the way across Varisia with her on an epic quest, the real purpose of which he is none the wiser.
One of the parts about Declan I really enjoyed was his unconscious magic ability to manifest into reality things from his sketchbook. It's handled quite well in the book, and whether or not it has a Pathfinder RPG analogue, it certainly makes him distinctive and memorable compared to standard wizards. The differing cultures between Korvosa, Irrisen, and the Land of the Linnorm Kings iare illustrated quite well in the novel and one can see how nurture and nature interact.
For a moment it looked like the ending would take place without violence, a surprising but not unwelcome way to resolve the storyline. Instead, the book has a more conventional (if tragic) ending to Ellasif's quest. Other readers are probably more clever than I, but I was completely blind-sided by a twist involving a supporting character's real identity. I'm still not 100% sure why Declan was seen as such an attractive prospect for a winter witch in Whitethrone, but the detail is small enough that it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. Overall, a strong second entry in the novel line.