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Paizo Books £6.75
Review By Dean Jennings

The Worldwound Gambit; written by Robin D. Laws, is a novel based in the Pathfinder universe. For those who have ever roleplayed in this setting, some of these places will be very familiar, and for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, you will find a world of high adventure, with well rounded people and places. The setting itself is very much Good vs Evil, but with a few twists along the way, which I really like! The world that you will become part of is crumbling, the history says that many years ago a God died, and when that happens a wound appears on the Earth, a “Worldwound”, and this wound is connected to the Abyss. The Worldwound is growing and has been for a very long time. There is a new name flying around the name of Yath; some new Demon Lord looking to try and corrupt this world completely as others have failed before him. With the emergence of this so-called new Demon Lord the ward stones that have been placed around the Worldwound are now starting to fail, and the demons are now starting to break through them.

The story starts in a small town called Krega, where we first meet Gad a silver tongued Thief who lives for the rip, a scam, he is in the midsts of a rip when the demons first attack the town. Gad fights his way out and makes his escape as he needs time to think and plan. After this attack, Gad has had enough of the demon attacks, as it’s bad for business, so a plan is hatched in his mind but he will need help for this the biggest rip of them all. At this point Gad is sorting through who he thinks will be the best people for the job. When he finishes his list he starts to make his move to find the first one.

The characters in the book are great, there really are some great moments between characters. There is not one weak character in the group. You have Gad the, kind of, leader of this ragtag band and as a silver tongued thief his power really is in his words. He excells at being able to assess a problem and come up with a way out of it. Tiberio, the half Orc, is a walking meat wall and one of Gad’s close friends. Then there is Vitta, the locksmith, she is one hell of a talented locksmith. Also there is Jerisa, the assassin of the group. She is a little impulsive and rather hot headed at times. The group also carry a bard who is called Calliard. He has spent his life studying demons and their way of life. Finally, there is Hendregan, the fire sorcerer, and my one of my personal favourite characters in the story. He is as mad as a box of frogs but he’s so funny with it. For me, the group dynamics in this book, and the way the Author has given them life is just like seeing my roleplay group play this sort of story. All the characters seem to have their own problems and personality but they work so well together.

Even from the point of view of the demons it really is a great story. I enjoyed the fact that we get both sides of the story in this book, it’s not just the heroes that get it all their own way and get all of the limelight, which is nice to see. I also liked that Robin D. Laws did not hold back on the descriptions of what the demons look like and how truly evil they can be. No matter how faithful and good a person is, there is always room for corruption to take seed. As you can expect with all these evil entities around the place there are also the likes of paladins who are forming crusades to fight the ever growing Demon Armies. There are also calls for heroes to join as well with words floating around of treasure and statements like ‘it’s all yours if you stand and fight the Evil that is coming’.

The flow of the story is excellent. I love the fact that the chapters are not too big but also not too small, and with the changing location you feel like each chapter brings you somewhere new in the setting, and really gives you a great passage of time. I also enjoyed how well the story twisted and turned to keep you reading. For me there really was never a part of this book that I disliked. It seemed to tell the story very well. I found no low bits in the story that I could not wait to get past, if anything I would love to meet this band of characters again. One of the biggest things for me is how the Author brings the story to an end, and I for one was very happy with the way Robin D. Laws ended this epic story.

Overall
The Worldwound Gambit by Robin D. Laws is a great book if you enjoy a good old fantasy storyline; one of high adventure and Good vs Evil. If this is your taste then you really can not go wrong with this book, it was a great read with well rounded characters, from both sides. This is one book that should easily find a home on any fantasy lover’s bookshelf. It’s very easy to read; an exciting story, with twists, turns comedy and darkness. It was also nice to read a book that felt so embedded in the Pathfinder universe.

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