Queen of Thorns by Dave Gross

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I started off by queuing up Prince of Wolves by Dave Gross to listen to but I found myself stopping and researching this or that because the world of Golarion and the Pathfinder Society is new to me.  I mentioned my frustration on Twitter and after a recommendation from the author to read his series out of order (quoted below) I purchased Queen of Thorns by Dave Gross on Nook.

A little background before I continue.  When I met and fell in love with my darling husband (DH) I was not a gamer, a reader yes but a gamer in no way, shape or form.  I will also confess I wasn’t a reader of fantasy novels either.  So when DH described a paladin (the holy warrior who you could trust implicitly but cross the line or insult their god and fear for your life) to me one day early in our relationship I was interested but as the years wore one and I got into gaming and fantasy novels that description of a paladin never came to pass.  I can no longer claim that to be a true statement, Dave Gross wrote the paladin my DH always talks of and I hope there are more of her stories to come.

I generally don’t read series out of order but I was thankful I did because this book was truly a terrific introduction to the world of Golarion and the Pathfinder universe.  The two main protagonists of the series are Count Varian Jeggare, a half-elf, raised by his human noble mother’s family and Radovan, his Tiefling bodyguard and friend.  Our two friends travel to the Elven kingdom to get Varian’s coach repaired.  Little did they count on or anticipate the adventures they would have along the path to getting the coach restored.  Oparal is the paladin that accompanies them on their journey, amongst others, and she is an incredibly complex and beautifully written character.  Our band of characters fight demons, meet walking trees, encounter deception and duplicity, and along the way strengthen the ties that bind them.

I generally play the shorter races, probably because in real life I’m short, and I adore the Gnomes in the world of Pathfinder I have discovered.  They are NOT the Gnomes of Warcraft or Everquest.  They are these incredible wee people that are always looking to learn and discover new things.  They aren’t the tinkerer’s of other games, at least not in my experience so far.  Fimbulthicket was the Gnome of the book and his story and transformation were fascinating.

As you can tell, I flat out loved this book!  Prince of Wolves will be in my headset this week as the dog and I resume walking now that the morning temperatures are no longer sweltering.  Five stars our of five stars, the writing is fantastic, the vocabulary is challenging (even I had to look up a word or two), and the book left me wanting more.

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