Favorite Radovan & the Count Novel

If you’ve read at least two of the Radovan & the Count novels, which ones have you read and which is your favorite?

Bonus question: If you’ve read at least two of the stories and novellas, which have you read and which is your favorite?

Extra bonus question: Why?

8 thoughts on “Favorite Radovan & the Count Novel

  1. I have read all the novels and most (if not all) of the novellas. For the novels, it is close between King of Chaos and Queen of Thorns. I liked all the pally insight in King, but liked the family background from Queen. For the novellas, I really like seeing the politics in Hell’s Pawns. Interesting to see the Count dealing with other nobility in Cheliax.

  2. I think I’d probably pick Master of Devils and Husks. I loved the cultural background of Tian Xia and Minkai in both and it added a lot to the story and characters. Master of Devils, though, has my favourite ending of all the Radovan& the Count novels up to date, I was literally close to tears while reading it, it was heartbreaking. Husks had the murder mystery element which I liked and I think I’d really like to see a special edition of Master of Devils which would include Husks in the future.

  3. I’ve read Queen of Thorns (first) and Prince of Wolves, and have just picked up the Master of Devils.

    Queen of Thorns was quite enjoyable, as it is a pleasant read in a with first person narrative – other stories I’ve read in first person tended to grate on me. I had bought it to get an alternate view of how a half elf would be received into elven culture for a D&D campaign I’m running, and I fell in love with the juxtaposition of the highborn Count and his friend in low places Radovan.

    Also, dragons. Dragons are always neat.

  4. Queen of Thorns is wildly awesome. it turned me on to the whole pathfinder novels section. originally, I took a risk because I just really like sylvan adventures, and my expectations were pretty low. most of my experience with RPG tie-ins have been the Weis/Hickman Dragonlance novels, which were so dry and disappointing – especially having cut my teeth on their Death Gate Cycle as a kid – that I was expecting a (macho white male insert hero) and (delicate flower bud love interest) along with some other overused and unimaginative characters that don’t care about each other (despite their statements otherwise), don’t have any REASON to care about, much less even like, and certainly are all to busy plotting against each other that they only manage to win through contrivance rather than their actual skill.

    there was literally none of that in Queen of Thorns. I mean, I really was on edge the ENTIRE ten hours I sat and plowed through the book, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “he’s going to have the Calistrean get raped, of course he will,” I thought to myself. “of course, the pally and the Calistrean will catfight over Radovan. then they’ll both get raped, or captured, or damseled, or killed, and even though Radovan has gotten to know them pretty well, he’ll just shrug and Be A Man about it because lol who cares about some dead broads right?” the whole time! I didn’t even realize how tensed I was until I finally had to put the book down and take a break. I was just so in love with these characters and the world that I was TERRIFIED that somehow, something would happen that would put the book right back down there with any other bland and forgettable RPG tie-in I’d read before.

    but it never came. the characters never did something stupid simply for the sake of the plot, they never backstabbed each other “because”, they felt like actual, genuine friends (even if they might have had conflicting loyalties or private opinions about one another). I was so damn impressed, because that’s such a beautiful, but rare thing to find in most fantasy novels. most of the time, I’ve just been told that someone’s a bestie, or that some chick is the love and light of this dude’s life, but it’s never backed up by a character’s actual actions in the text. Queen of Thorns just… wildly blew that out of the water. Radovan and the Count feel like true bros, watching each others’ backs and I know for certain that neither would ever rest if the other fell, and at no point did that need to be explicitly said! I just know it based on what they do for each other (not the least of which involves faking a laugh at the other’s flat jokes!).

    it was just such a great novel. everything about it turned things on its head, so to speak. great feats are accomplished – but without any planning or even intention of that! relationships form and are broken, the usual elf seductress is at the heart of it – but damn if she wasn’t one of the funnest (and funniest!) takes on the role I have ever seen. superbly original work that made me snicker and cheer and tense.

    there’s icing on the cake of course that I’m bi and you include glbt characters, and their sexualities actually have an impact on the plot. like the two pallies in King of Chaos, and you do a fine job of handling it with both respect (the weight of his lover’s death weighing on the surviving pally) and humor (Radovan being clueless and perhaps never realizing…?), and that’s just so important to a minority member that’s used to being completely overlooked in this genre.

    I drifted a little there and had it be less about “favorite book” and more about why I think you’re an awesome author. thanks for turning me back on to the RPG tie-in novels, and even more, I guess, thanks for being an upright guy about women, glbt people, and the tropes they typically get shoved on them as you do so. you’ve made a fan for life in me.

    • Not to fish, but which sequences in King of Chaos are memorable to you? I ask because I’m nearing completion on the next book and making notes to myself for revision. Knowing what has worked before helps me decide where to put my first rewriting efforts, sometimes because I want to do it again, sometimes because it feels like I’ve done it too often and it’s time to turn it 15 degrees to the left.

      • I thought The River was an outstanding action sequence. Introduces R+V and the Vampire (showcases his fallibility, which will be really important). For first-=time readers there is just enough of R+V’s personality, a sense of them and the buddy relationship to clue me on how they operate. I like the nods to gaming action sequences. A GM could run this scene. But that’s secondary to how it sets up the story; pithy dialog and fun action.

        The Cathedral has a lot of dialog coming from a lot of different people, but you don’t lose a sense of who is speaking. Varian’s commanding presence comes through. Having this encounter in a cathedral really brings home the “crusade” theme. This is more than a jaunty romp, this is a mission, and if evil gets the upper hand, bad for everyone. R+V are fighting for more than just themselves this time. It kept the story on track. (There’s a lot of fiction with whiz bang openings that then lose readers a quarter of the way through.) So I thought the scene digs the hook in at an important place.

        I think I wrote in my Goodreads review that Chapter 19 really pulled it together for me, saved the story, actually, because though I like O’s character, I found her POV chapters, up until then, intrusive. But Ch 19 was really strong. I found it really claustrophobic from O’s POV, O standing alone among such evil, a pawn, yet waiting for that moment to take bold action and knowing it was an act of sacrifice all at the same time. Plus, there’s some really showy magic going on, energies, floating bodies. I thought O was a goner, for sure, so there was peril. The chapter builds good suspense. Plus there is the pay off on the groundwork you laid earlier on the vampire and the succubus, so those character threads converged nicely.

        Those are my reactions, for what it is worth.

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