‘The Dagger of Trust’ by Chris Willrich

This substantial novel is one of many ‘Pathfinder Tales’, a series of novels which support the eponymous gaming system.

I love me some Chris Willrich. That man does not write novels half quick enough for my liking. He is much more visible in the fantasy magazine world. He has been a regular in ‘Beneath Ceaseless Skies’ for more than a decade, and I see contributions by him in back issues of ‘The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction’. Therein he keeps pretty august company with the likes of Elizabeth Hand and Charles de Lint – so you can see how highly his writing is regarded.

Every so often I trawl Amazon to see if he’s released something new at book length, which is how I found this novel without really registering that it is part of a gaming world-series.

The content is Willrich’s usual meat: a setting without much technology, a party of beings with varying skills and talents undertaking a quest against overwhelming odds. Standard fantasy fare. Only Willrich does it with such insouciance, such imaginative plotting and set pieces, that the whole schtick feels entirely new.

If you like your fantasy witty and light, your characters sharply drawn, your one-liners numerous and as accurate as throwing knives, the obstacles to success enormous but flawed to the searching eye, give this a go, why not.

So chuffed was I with this particular novel from the Pathfinder universe that I tried a couple of others in the series, to see if they were as good. Series like this can be very variable. One was so long-winded I couldn’t get past the first three pages, and the other refused to load from my Kindle (nor can I now delete it – epic fantasy gremlins, eh? Can’t live with ‘em, can’t … er … live with ‘em.)

My copy’s copyright line is 2013, but the Amazon listing claims the publication date to be 2020. What is going on? Dunno. But at least it is still available. I see the other Willrich novels are now out of print and fetching silly money on Amazon, and they never were put onto Kindle for some bizarre reason.


Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

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