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Book Review: Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn By Wendy N. Wagner
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Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn header

Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn
Paperback | Kindle
By Wendy N. Wagner
Cover Art by Jesper Ejsing
Tor Books
Release Date: August 9, 2016

I was having a crisis of faith, folks. Specifically a loss of faith in the extended world of Pathfinder. For you see, I have read at least a half dozen of the Pathfinder Tales over the last few months and had become discouraged that I would find any that would please me. Luckily, I picked up Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn, for it has made everything okay again. Blending classic sword and sorcery with tales of the Old Ones, this novel more than makes up for some of the shortcomings I’ve seen in other books from this series. It is not without its flaws, but the tale itself is amazing and well written, two essential components in any fictional story.

It’s a sequel, though. That was what I thought when first picking up this novel. Time and again, I’m disappointed that I failed to read the prior book(s) in order to gain knowledge of the characters and their feats. But wait! What’s this? The author actually doesn’t hinge everything on the former book? That’s right, it’s actually a sequel that stands on its own merits. Introductions are made, allusions are present, but not overwhelmingly so. I was able to immerse myself in this book quickly, whereas oftentimes I struggle to find anything interesting. Author Wendy N. Wagner has definitely acquired a new fan this day.

The story presented is that of an ex-pirate named Jendara. Settling in to the mundane life of an islander seems to be fitting her just right, allowing her to spend time with her son while keeping him safer than he would be aboard a ship. But when an earthquake causes a tsunami of epic proportions to hit her tiny island, all seems lost. This natural disaster uncovers a mysterious submerged island city-state that seems not just abandoned, but treasure laden as well! With her husband and his crew, they embark on what should only be a day trip, but turns into something much more.

With danger lurking around every corner, can our heroine and her friends survive this nightmare? It seems that many different creatures have decided to explore this newfound island. In this tale, humans aren’t necessarily the strongest and most advanced race. It also appears that treasure comes in many forms and this island may look normal at first glance, but it is hiding a secret of Lovecraftian proportions. And that secret is starting to wake up!

What a wild ride this one was! I enjoyed this story from start to finish and never looked back. This is what I refer to as a single-sitting book. I took a couple of breaks to eat and drink, but dove right back in each time. As a huge Cthulhu fan, this really hit the spot for me. It has just enough Elder Gods references to sate even the hungriest reader’s appetite for otherworldly destruction. It’s an all-original story that weaves itself into a modern tale of fantasy and horror. If this appeals to you on any level, snag this book for your collection. You’ll enjoy it from cover to cover!

Pathfinder Tales: Starspawn cover

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