This book, written by Dave Gross, was the first novel that was made in the Pathfinder RPG setting of Golarian. It came out in 2010 and started off the series of novels called Pathfinder Tales. As I’ve been playing Starfinder for some time now and am now getting into Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I thought it might be interesting to start reading the novels that are set in the Golarian world. Novels are the best way to stick a setting into your mind, I think. They certainly work better in that capacity than reading core rule books.
And so, I gave Prince of Wolves a try. It’s the story of a half-elf Pathfinder Venture-Captain Varian Jeggare and his Tiefling servant/ partner/ bodyguard, Radovan Virholt. They travel to Ustalav looking for a lost Pathfinder. Ustalav is sort of an eastern European gothic horror type area within Golarian with the requisite werewolves and vampires scattered throughout. The story itself combines aspects of mystery, adventure, and gothic horror in an effective way. Some of the horror scenes are quite macabre. There’s also a dose of humor mixed throughout to lighten the mood from time to time. The oddest thing about the story is that it is told from the two main protagonists’ viewpoints in alternating first-person chapters. Once I got used to the constant viewpoint change it worked well enough. Gross does a good job of giving both characters very distinctive voices. It quickly becomes easy to tell the two characters’ chapters apart by narrative tone alone. The end result of these literary ingredients was a good book. Good, but not great.
The book helped me solidify many Pathfinder setting tidbits in my mind, which was the point of reading it in the first place. So, it was well worth the read for me. I’d recommend the book to any adults or older teenagers playing the Pathfinder RPG.