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Friday, March 13, 2020

Review: Spellstorm by Ed Greenwood

While I will probably stick mostly to my Completed Series post, sometimes I will post single book reviews. This will almost always be the case for the “other" category of Forgotten Realms novels; books that don’t fit into a series.

On February 29 I finished Spellstorm (2015) by Ed Greenwood.
The book is an Elminster book, and takes place before Death Masks and after The Herald, but again it is not part of any series. I would not recommend starting here if you want Elminster’s story. Ironically I started with The Herald, only because I had a copy lying around. I plan to remedy this by starting Elminster: The Making of A Mage soon(where you should start for Elminster's Story). 

Unlike chunks of The Herald though, this book is readable without previous novels under your belt. It is Greenwood’s attempt at a murder mystery. A dozen or so archmages from across Faerûn to get their hands on the Lost Spell, who the aging lord of Oldspires in Cormyr, Lord Halaunt, has somehow acquired. Mostly in the spotlight for the host side is Elminster, Mirt the Moneylender, Myrmeen, and the ghost of Alusair. In the other corner is Manshoon and Shaaan the Serpent Queen among others. Surprisingly, with all the characters, I was never lost in who was who but it could certainly be a problem for some.
While all the powerful and power hungry archmages are inside, a Spellstorm rages outside, cutting off any easy entrance or escape, and also making magic highly unreliable in Oldspires.

There is lots and lots of death in this book (and lots of it offscreen, so to speak), and it honestly gave the sense that Greenwood wanted to tie up loose ends with these super powerful players running around in the world. I could easily be wrong on that plenty of characters are completely new in this book, but it seems that way a little. 

I did take heavy notes, as I was inspired by things I felt I could easily integrate into my own Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Also much appreciated is the room-by-room map of the mansion.

Overall it was an enjoyable read, but not the greatest of the Realms. During the busy weekend I made time to to finish, it honestly started me along another binge of Forgotten Realms novels. Spellstorm by Ed Greenwood is Good.
You can track my current progress here.

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