From the Back Cover
An age of magic once existed in our world. Lost to history, this time is remembered in the echoes of myth and legend. Humans lived alongside the other Namegiver races: Dwarf and Elf, Troll and Ork, Windling, T'Skrang, and Obsidiman. The wild places of the world were home to griffins, shadowmants, and other fantastic beasts.
The land was once besieged by the horrors, foul creatures from the depths of astral space that sought to feed upon and destroy all that was living and good. Their time, the time of the scourge, has passed and the people have returned to the surface, reclaiming the lands that were once their home.
Brave heroes band together to explore the land of Barsaive, fighting the horrors that remain and protecting their homes from those that would enslave them.
The Player's Guide Provides you with the rules for playing characters from first to eighth circle, with all the talents, spells, and other tools needed to forge your own legends in the Earthdawn roleplaying game.
I have a friend who lent me the old FASA version, many years ago. I thought it was a great setting and I especially loved all the clever easter-egg connections to Shadowrun. From what I understand, those are no more, due to the severing of the licenses, but I still like the exotic fantasy races, strange magic, and undercurrent of melancholy that characterize the setting as a whole.
This particular book is an absolute brick, more than 500 pages long. I hope that means that there will be a lot of juicy setting detail, though my worry is that the system will be really finicky and complicated.
Either way, there are sure to be long, dry stretches.I've got to prepare myself emotionally to power through.