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Monday, May 1, 2023

Review: The Temptation of Elminster by Ed Greenwood

Elminster in Myth Drannor ends with the raising of the mythal in the city of Cormanthor which is properly renamed Myth Drannor. As the second book in the Elminster series, it is a directly sequel to The Making of a Mage. The third book, The Temptation of Elminster, is not a direct sequel, but takes place several hundred years later. I hope someday we will get more novels from the time in between the two novels, but as of now this is all we have, and it is just as good as the first two. 

Can be found in Elminster Ascending and
The Annotated Elminster omnibus
Ed Greenwood graced the world in 1998 with the release of The Temptation of Elminster. In Nethrar (later Nethra) the year is 759 DR. A nameless adventuring band goes into a Netheril tomb and there they awaken dire foes, but also an Elminster who has been in stasis for 100 years.

Elminster is still largely unknown but he starts gaining fame in this one, getting on his way to being recognized by many people of the Realms. At this point, his immortality is evident.

The temptation the title speaks of is more in lines with Karsus and his folly, for those unaware he tried to take the mantle of the goddess Mystryl for himself. She was the old goddess of magic before Mystra, and his greed for power caused the downfall of the Netherese Empire. So rather than a sexual temptation, Elminster has the temptation of power.

When he awakes Mystra is silent, Myth Drannor has fallen. The second books ends in 261, and the city fell in 714, and since Elminster has been in stasis, he was not around for the City's fall.

This book is interestingly described as a tragedy, and this is not innaccurate. As we see Elminster come into the lonely and almost friendless role of a super powerful Chosen of the goddess of magic, it's sad aplenty. The guy just needs some love. And the end is fantastic for that, very heartfelt. 

Throughout we do see three of the Seven Sisters, and also the story takes place somewhat in 767 DR. Fans of the God of Strife, Bane, will be happy to see some followers of his several centuries before the proper time of D&D in the 14th century.

Overall, this is a fun adventure, really solidifying Elminster as one of my favorite wizards ever, not just in the Realms. This is an Exceptional book, Greenwood has done it again.


You can track my current progress here

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