Death's Heretic

  • by James L. Sutter
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Nobody cheats death. A warrior haunted by his past, Salim Ghadafar serves as a problem-solver for a church he hates, bound by the goddess of death to hunt down those who would rob her of her due. Such is the case in the desert nation of Thuvia, where a powerful merchant on the verge of achieving eternal youth via a magical elixir is mysteriously murdered, his soul kidnapped somewhere along its path to the afterlife. The only clue is a magical ransom note, offering to trade the merchant's successful resurrection for his dose of the fabled potion. But who would have the power to steal a soul from the boneyard of Death herself?
Enter Salim, whose keen mind and contacts throughout the multiverse should make solving this mystery a cinch. There's only one problem: The investigation is being financed by Neila Anvanory, the dead merchant's stubborn and aristocratic daughter. And she wants to go with him. Along with his uninvited passenger, Salim must unravel a web of intrigue that will lead them far from the blistering sands of Thuvia on a grand tour of the Outer Planes, where devils and angels rub shoulders with fey lords and mechanical men, and nothing is as it seems....


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Interesting Twist on a Classic Archetype

On the surface, we've seen this story a million times before. A person strikes a desperate bargain that swears them into the reluctant service of a powerful being. The things that makes this story interesting is the nature of the being that holds his oath, and the use that Pharasma makes of Salim.

The pace of the story is usually desperate, and the locations are fantastic. It really does a great job mixing Mystery with Adventure, keeping the mind whirling to solve the problem, while also feeling that you're going on a journey. It seemed that my commute always ended right when they were about to do a big reveal in the story and I wanted to see what was going to happen when I got back in the car.

My issues with this story come largely from the writing style itself. The profanity conflicts so drastically with the tone the rest of the book that it jars you loose from the immersion. Additionally, every now and again, we get a chapter that could have been omitted with no loss to the story (the First World tangent being a really good example). I feel like the story very easily could have demonstrated those within the bounds of the conflict that already existed, rather than creating a new appendage to the story. The fight choreography gets pretty silly at times as well, with a single fighter making three to four moves to another fighter's one.

On the whole, the story is very engaging and fascinating. The performance of Ray Porter is very impressive, lending gravity to the story and personality to the characters. It reminded me of the voice acting in the first Assassin's Creed game, which (at least from my perspective) was a pretty impressive cultural work. I'd recommend this to any fans of casual mystery or the world of Golarian. For fans of swashbuckling action or hard boiled detective novels, this probably isn't a good fit, as the fights are pretty brief and one sided and the mystery is kind of obvious and let out of the bag comparatively early.
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- Brian Zohner

Good Story, and Free (for a few days)

This book briefly turned up on Audible's bestsellers list, they were offering it free for a few days, I assume to introduce the line of Pathfinder Tales based on a role-playing game. I am not now nor have I ever been the least interested in RPG--I am mystified as to how they even operate. But the book's description looked interesting and, hey, for free? Why not.

Without knowing how it fits into the "Pathfinder" cosmos, I can say I enjoyed this as a standalone adventure about a warrior priest forced to serve the goddess of death, making sure she is not cheated of the souls that are her due. The characters -- hero, heroine, villain, creatures, and "constructs" -- are nothing unique and the story is fairly predictable, but it moves along, has some philosophy lite, and is well performed by Ray Porter.

There is a second volume of Salime's adventures ("Redemption Engine"), and I'm tempted to burn a credit on it, so Audible's ploy may have worked :-) James Sutter is the overall editor of the Pathfinder Tales franchise and a good, solid fantasy writer. The books, by a variety of different authors and narrators, each appear to work by themselves, no need to commit to a 30-volume cycle.
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- Carol

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-19-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios