Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Liar's Bargain by Tim Pratt

Liar's Bargain
Author:  Tim Pratt
Series:  Pathfinder Tales 33
Publisher:  Tor Books, June 7, 2016
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  US$14.99 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780765384317 (print); 9780765384300 (eBook)

Paizo Publishing is the award-winning publisher of fantasy roleplaying games, accessories, and board games. Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Bargain is the latest in their popular novel series.

The sequel to Hugo Award Winner Tim Pratt’s Liar’s Island! For charming con man Rodrick and his talking sword Hrym, life is all about taking what you can and getting away clean. But when the pair are arrested in the crusader nation of Lastwall, Rodrick faces immediate execution, with Hrym spending the rest of eternity trapped in an enchanted scabbard. Their only hope lies in a secret government program in which captured career criminals are teamed up and sent on suicide missions too sensitive for ordinary soldiers. Trapped between almost certain death and actual certain death, the two join forces with a team of rogues and scoundrels, ready to serve their year-long tenure as best they can. Yet not everyone in their party is what they seem, and a death sentence may only be the start of the friends’ problems.

Brannigan's Review

Liar's Bargain is the third book set in the Pathfinder world based on the characters of Rodrick and his talking sword Hrym. I read and reviewed Liar's Island a while back. I've come to see how Tim Pratt writes and I enjoy it. He doesn't let things get too serious. He likes his characters to have fun as well as his readers.

Rodrick is a confidence trickster finds himself caught by some holier than thou Paladins along with some other criminals. This group is quickly forced into performing some tasks that are the types of missions crusading paladin's are too good to do. It reminds me a lot of the Suicide Squad comic book, if you're familiar with that. This premise isn't new, but Pratt does a great job of keeping it fresh and allowing the characters to move the plot along. By the end of the book, I found myself wanting the group to stay together. The characters had a fun dynamic in their relationship while on their missions.

Even though this is the third book with Rodrick and Hrym, Pratt still finds some opportunity to show growth in his characters and their unusual relationship. The world building is perfect. Even after a few books in this world, each one has taken place in a new area with its own history and custom, and each writer has done an excellent job at breathing life into the world.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was the villain. I'm not going to tell you anything about the villain so you can enjoy it once it comes. I love being shown new creatures. I had never read about this one in particular, so I'm not sure if it's only found in the Pathfinder world or not, but a very cool monster.

Liar's Bargain is an enjoyable romp in the fantasy haystack. There is minor violence and minor adult themes. I'd recommend it to teens and adults. If you can't enjoy yourself while reading this book, you might need to talk to a doctor about supplementing your fun with funzala (side effects include giggling, uncontrollable smiling, the happy sweats, excited clapping, impossible death).


Liar's Blade
Pathfinder Tales 13
Tor Books, August 18, 2016
     eBook, 388 pages
Paizo Publishing, March 12, 2013
     Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

With strength, wit, rakish charm, and a talking sword named Hrym, Rodrick has all the makings of a classic hero - except for the conscience. Instead, he and Hrym live a high life as scoundrels, pulling cons and parting the weak from their gold. When a mysterious woman invites them along on a quest into the frozen north in pursuit of a legendary artifact, it seems like a prime opportunity to make some easy coin - especially if there's a chance for a double-cross. Along with a hooded priest and a half-elven tracker, the team sets forth into a land of witches, yetis, and ancient magic. As the miles wear on, however, Rodrick's companions begin acting steadily stranger, leading man and sword to wonder what exactly they've gotten themselves into... From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt, author of City of the Fallen Sky, comes a bold new tale of ice, magic, and questionable morality set in the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Liar's Island
Pathfinder Tales 28
Tor Books, August 25, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Rodrick is a con man as charming as he is cunning. Hrym is a talking sword of magical ice, with the soul and spells of an ancient dragon. Together, the two travel the world, parting the gullible from their gold and freezing their enemies in their tracks. But when the two get summoned to the mysterious island of Jalmeray by a king with genies and elementals at his command, they'll need all their wits and charm if they're going to escape with the greatest prize of all-their lives.

From Hugo Award winner Tim Pratt comes a tale of magic, assassination, monsters, and cheerful larceny, in Pathfinder Tales: Liar's Island, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

See Brannigan's review here.


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