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Elminster Must Die: The Sage of Shadowdale (Forgotten Realms Novel: Sage of Shadowdale) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Jun 2011

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Elminster Must Die: The Sage of Shadowdale (Forgotten Realms Novel: Sage of Shadowdale) + Bury Elminster Deep: The Sage of Shadowdale (Dungeons & Dragons) (Forgotten Realms Novel: Sage of Shadowdale) + Elminster Enraged: The Sage of Shadowdale, Book III (Forgotten Realms Novel: Sage of Shadowdale)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; Reprint edition (7 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786957999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786957996
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.7 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pongoose on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Ed greenwood disappoints.Was looking forward to reading this.But as with all Eds Elminsters novels i was hoping for better this time.I was wrong.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.5 stars but good enough to me for a 4 star rating. 20 Sept. 2010
By Robert "Dimndbangr" Hicks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Elminster Must Die! The Sage of Shadowdale book 1 is the newest novel about Elminster by Ed Greenwood. Previous books are about Elminster are Elminster the Making of a Mage, Elminster in Myth Drannor, The Temptation of Elminster, Elminster in Hell, and Elminster's Daughter as well as short stories in multiple anthologies. Bury Elminster Deep is slated to come out August 2011 and the set is expected to be six books total.

Elminster Must Die! introduces a lot of new characters since this one takes place 100 years after the spell plague. Also there are appearances of older characters such as Storm Silverhand, the Simbul, Alusair, and Vangerdahast. With Elminster's magic gone and the Simbul's ailing affliction due to Mystra's death, Elminster has to choose between saving his love, the Simbul and saving the world. Along the way, an old enemy is doing everything in his power to finally best Elminster and take Cormyr for himself. Other plotlines involve another villain who is seeking magical artifacts to further his own evil goals, the same magical artifacts Elminster needs to save the Simbul. Along the way, Elminster is discovering that he is not the mage he used to be and may need more help. Then there is Amarune a masked dancer who has her own problems and doesn't know that she is about to become a bigger part of the world. There are some other subplots involving a love interest and a young noble, but for spoiler's sakes, I will stop here.

The story moves as a quick pace and things happen quickly. It is typical Greenwood fashion and jumps around a lot. There are so many things going on that it can get a bit confusing trying to follow all the plot lines and the characters. It keeps the pace moving quickly, but breaks up the flow of the novel trying to keep everything straight. The characters are pretty much the same for the older familiar characters and the newer ones are a bit of a surprise. In this one, Elminster is more persecuted in the land of Cormyr and the War Wizards and everyone else with royal dealings wants him arrested. It is a change of pace, for if I remember correctly from all the previous novels, Elminster was well liked in the land of Cormyr.

Some criticisms:

1. Mr. Greenwood has taken to this new liking of using made up swear words that don't seem to make any sense. Words such as: stlarning, and talunin. The one I don't mind since it is closer to a familiar word is farruking. The other problem with this is he uses the word Stlarn in a sentence to refer to damn and then in the same sentence uses gods be damned. A little consistency would be nice.

2. The hesitancy to leave out more characters. It just seems that even if some of the main characters are killed off, there has to be a place to bring them back. Mr. Greenwood just seems to be attached to his main uber powerful characters to get rid of them. If it wasn't for the way Alusair's character was used and her plotline in the story, it was well done and a nice plot line, I would prefer that she were more of a passing reference for nostalgic feelings. Vangerdahast was another one that didn't need to show back up. Finally, there is a surprise appearance at the end, but I won't spoil it, but suffice it to say if the plan was to take the realms in a certain direction, this is a step backwards.

3. The fact this book really doesn't resolve much. Without being able to read the next book, the reader is left with a bunch of open plot lines and no resolution to most of the sub plots.

4. The prologue with the dopplegangers, yes, there in the post spellplague lands still. Anyway, this is the only mention of them in the whole story, so why even have it written. Maybe we will find out later in the series, but for now, it seemed to be just something to put in to start the novel but has no bearing on the story whatsoever.

Some positives:

1. The action sequences are really good. The fight scenes were really engaging and kept me reading wanting to see the outcome. At least in this book, there was no-the bad guys show up and Elminster casts a spell to wipe out everyone or whisk everyone to safety.

2. Some of the new characters were fun to read. The noble from Suzail was a fun character to read and has some really shining moments and his humor and banter with everyone was refreshing. Mr. Greenwood did add some nice new characters that were enjoyable to read.

3. Mr. Greenwood keeps an interesting air of mystery with this one. There is a new character who we don't know much about and is not much talked about keep her keeping an air of mystery and adds the feeling of wanting to know more. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for the future books to come out.

4. The fact that Elminster is no longer the all powerful wizard adds a nice complexity to the character. Every time he casts a spell, he becomes mad and can no longer control himself unless he has a magical item with him to draw from. It was a great change of pace for the character.

For me, this was an above average novel by Mr. Greenwood. I do look forward to the next novel to see how things progress. Aside from a few of the old returning characters and there is one I didn't mention and he shows up for a short appearance and doesn't add much to the story except fulfilling some neglected needs for lack of a better term, I still enjoyed it better than some of his other books. If you enjoy reading Mr. Greenwood's writing, then you won't be disappointed and if you are not a fan, you may not like this one. For realms fans, you will have to read for yourself, but I don't think you will be disappointed.

Happy reading.

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good and bad 22 Aug. 2010
By Stan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading many of Ed's books, I really should not have been surprised at the whirlwind chain of events that occurred over the last 30 or so pages. But this one was a little extreme. Way too much happens near the end and I felt as though he had a lot more to say but realized that he was limited to X number of pages, so he just started wrapping things up. Unfulfilled chaos is the best way to describe the ending. So that's the bad. The good was seeing familiar characters from pre Spell Plague again. It was also nice to see the world settled and somewhat normal again. If you enjoy reading about the Old Mage, then get this book but either read it very slowly or hold on to it till the next one comes out as the story definitely does not end in this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Confused and confusing 31 May 2013
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Pretty much as long as there has been a Forgotten Realms campaign setting there has been an Elminster in it. In this book, an old enemy has a plan for Elminster, and for Cormyr. El himself is increasingly desperate, stealing magical items to briefly prop up the sanity of the failing Simbul. With his few remaining supporters, he needs to stand up for the Realms, and save the day. But, with Mystara gone, Elminster is a shadow of his former self, and before he can save the world he is going to need to save himself...if he even can!

OK, where do I start? I am a fan of Ed Greenwood's work, and especially of his Forgotten Realms books. This book, however, is not among his best works. The story is chaotic and confusing as the multiple characters run around, interact and sometimes die, all at a rapid clip. At times I was scratching my head trying to figure out what happened to this character or that - were they dead or just waiting in the wings? To make matters worse, the ending is a cliff hanger, leaving you waiting for the next installment of the series, and wondering what all happened and why.

Overall, I found this to be an OK book. The characters are interesting, and the action is very good. It's the story that is the clinker - confused and confusing. In a way, it won't be possible to fully appreciate this book until the series is complete, but since it's not complete this book needs to stand on its own, and it only does an OK job of doing so.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed 11 Jan. 2014
By Razorswitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first Ed Greenwood novel purchase. As the creator of the world of Faerun, I was expecting a lot more. Instead I got a novel that was difficult to follow, and failed to keep me interested. I guess the author is a lot better a world building that he is at writing stories that occur in said world.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disjointed 23 April 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Never cared much what was going to happen. Seemed like lots of random events.
There was no build or climax.
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