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Friday, March 26, 2021

Review: Far Too Many Thieves by Ed Greenwood

 Far Too Many Thieves is the first of four stories cut from Elminster: The Making of a Mage, the first book of the Elminster series that you should read before this tale, which I thought was great (you can read my whole review here). Beyond the four cut stories, there is also a fifth story that takes place before the novel that can be found in The Best of the Realms II anthology. Far Too Many Thieves was released on the web in June of 2005 in celebration of the anthology's release a month later; it can be read for free here in the web archive.

Eladar the Dark

This story is set during Elminster's time as a thief on the streets of Hastarl, when his alias was Eladar the Dark, as he was attempting to hide his identity as a Prince of Athalantar from the tyrannical magelords. This story would fit late into part two of Making of a Mage, as Farl and El have already formed the Velvet Hands, a band of thieves.

The story follows a falling out that occurred during the formation of the gang, as different parties vied for leadership. It’s nice to know what ended up happening to those who walked out, as we are left hanging in the book.

Our anti-heroes have a nice brawl with the Moonclaws, with daggers and arrows missing and hitting their targets. I appreciate how often they miss, as it makes them seem fallible compared to other fantasy stories, always hitting their targets. We  learn the fate of the youth Rhegaer, who I was curious about because of his similar name to another character from another fantasy world that also has a similarly royal families symbol being a stag. 

By the end, weakened by the assault, the Velvet Hands decide to get to the bottom of who is supplying the Moonclaws. This tale is very short and more of a first part of a chapter, that will likely be continued in the next stories. As it goes, it was a pleasure to be back on the streets of Hastarl with El, Farl, and Tassabra. Fans of the book should read this, it is Good.


You can track my current progress here.

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