Well, Fading Suns is one of the best Space Opera settings out there, and this is a really useful tool for all the players wanting to find out more about this universe and wanting to make the most out of the experience.
The first section of the book offer the various points of views of the participants in the Universe, from Houses to Serfs, humans an Vorox, which is a great tool to get into the "mind" of each and use them towards creating a more defined in game persona... Nice way to keep creating a well-rounded character.
The second section deal with the tow groups that thrive in this universe: the Questing Knights and the Church Knights. All the esssentials are there, along with a few remarkable individuals. For those wondering, this is a very cruch-lite section.
The third chapter is all about what many enthusiasts call the "main powerplayers": the Religious Orders. History and structure for three such groups are covered in a concise way, and one that is crunchier than the one mentioned above, as this is where the main rites and powers, as well as new skills are presented.
The fourth section deals with guilds. And it's eight of them. Plenty of career oportunities for the players' characters and some very interesting ones... such as the Guild of Vagabonds.
Chapter five deals with the quite necessary and ever-present military. Great information about Orders of Battle, groups and even sects!, with their structure, elements and crunchy details.
6 is for Aliens. If you are into this game, and love roleplaying challanges, you are going to love the Shantor. Still great for anyone who likes the "typical atypical", the Gannok or the Hironem offer interesting opportunities in and of themselves. Finally, I believe that many will be charmed by the diversity of the Etyri--for the first time I found an Avian species that I really wanted to use more than just occasionally on my games. Then there's the Ascorbites, and the fantastic Oro'ym, races you will seeing a lot given the potential they have for GMs and players a lot.
Seven men came then,
of these the seven
all had change in them.
Mutants, mutations and mayhem. very good, crunchy section.
Section eight is all about rules. Damage, martial artes, firearms, fencing, traits, knacks, skills, psychic paths, the moolah, the chrome, the hardware, the rides... all you need to detail a character is here.
This rounds up the 211 pages of goodness you get from this book. A veritable source of great ideas, inspiration and game opportunities, this is one download you just know you don't want to miss. especially if you have the same luck I had and get it on sale (or as was my case, for free as part of an effort to promote the game system. Really, I was among the lucky and, while late, it's due: Thank you, very, very much, guys! You made a fan for life with this increadible game and this great book!)
P.S.: The splash pages by Bill Bridges are fantastic. Full of character, dramatic enough and certainly illustrative of the citizens of the Known Worlds' ways of life. I truly believe these should be all compiled into a portfolio, or better yet, made into miniatures.
[5 of 5 Stars!]