Tethtoril's Bookshelf


TSR Code:

8413 8413.jpg (27882 bytes)
Product Type: Novel
ISBN Number: 0-88038-587-1
Author: Ed Greenwood
Cover Artist: Clyde Caldwell
Release Date: 1988
Format: Paperback book (382 pages).
The text below is taken from a description by TSR on the reverse of the actual product:

'Spellfire: The word brings to mind magic and dragons.  Unthinkable energy.
Magical energy that a simple scullery maid can't possibly control.
Shandril of Highmoon, an orphaned girl, is bored.  her solution: run away, in search of adventure.
What Shandril doesn't know is that her whimsical action will take her to the grotto of the most feared creature in the Realms...or that the only magic strong enough to defeat the unspeakable evil surrounding that dracolich must - thanks to the Great Mage, Elminster - be channeled through her body...or that the burden of saving the Forgotten Realms will fall on her slender shoulders.
Shandril of Highmoon finds adventure all right...and love, and death, and terror'.

See also the sequel to Spellfire, the Harpers novel: Crown of Fire

Spellfire is now part of a new series released in 2002 by WotC: Shandril's Saga - Book I

By: Brett Franklin Date: 12-July-1999
Rating: GoodGoodGood
Spellfire was written in Ed Greenwood's excellent writing style and there was lots of exciting parts , but I couldnt help but find this book boring at some stages.

When Shandril gets to Shadowdale it seems the book becomes rather repetitive , with enemies keep coming to kill and she just fries them before they get close.

However , this novel did serve as a great introduction to the Dalelands and other Forgotten Realms icons , like the Knights of Myth Drannor , the Harpers , Manshoon and the Zhentarim and of course Elminster!

The start of the novel also worked the way Greenwood wanted it too , giving readers the feeling they too could get swept into adventure just like Shandril.

There are too many characters to list all of them - most going on to appear in many other FR books. Shandril made a great heroine - original and her inexperience was well expressed. Narm was just your ordinary hero , but this allowed him to fit in well. Elminster was Elminster and you cant help but love him.

Cover - The cover was your average fight scene , drawn well and showing Shandril in all her glory.

By: T.D. Paulat Date: 01-August-1999
Rating: Good
I know that Ed Greenwood created the Forgotten Realms, but does that mean that we have to be subject to his subpar novels as well?

Spellfire is the story of a young woman with the innate power of the novel's title, which allows her to draw off the power of any magic spell cast at her, regardless of its power, and channel it back in a burst of unstopable fire or healing power. It also has a tendency to burn off her clothing. (Has any one else noticed Greenwod's female characters end up nude a lot?) This power renders her inpervious to all magic bearing opponents, including vast numbers of The Zhentarim, who just keep showing up, tossing spells at her, and being burnt out of existance. And that sums up the plot in a nutshell: Bad guys show up and die. Repeat for the length of this rather thick novel and continue without pause in it's sequel, Crown of Fire. Spellfire also introduces a host of other characters, some quite interesting in their own rights, such as the Knights of Myth Drannor. But there are so many charaters thrown at you in a short period of time, it is hard to keep them straight.

This book is shoddy writing from start to end. The bad news is that Greenwood's work really goes down from here, from bad to unreadable. It really is a waste of good trees and ink.

By: Duniya Date: 22-August-1999
Rating: GoodGood
A book that has its moments, but everything seemed to perfect. Dragons, dracolichs, baatezu and other powerful creatures were being destroyed, killed, mutilated etc. and that somehow ruined the book. The main characters (the Knights, Elminster) do not face an actual challenge other than different monsters and characters. Shandril did face a certain problem about controlling her powers, but with companions like the Knights of Myth Drannor and Elminster, it always seemed as if there was nothing that could go wrong, even if she blundered big time.

An average novel, novels that practically anyone can write, not only Ed Greenwood. Can't really blame him, for he receives an outline of the story TSR wants, and then he creates a more detailed plot along that line.

By: Justin Tooker Date: 17-October-1999
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGoodGood
I loved this book. The way Ed Greenwood described Shandril was amazing. He put a picture of a beautiful blonde 17-21 year old in my head. I recommend that every Forgotten Realms reader should go out and buy this book and its sequal Crown of Fire.
By: Mike G Jordan Date: 12-May-2000
Rating: Good
Slop! This is complete garbage. Ed Greenwood isn't a bad writer, but I can't help but hate this book. Here's the plot: Girl suddenly has archmagi rivaling powers. Girl meets completely earthshattering, titanic monsters that are practicly undefeatable. Monsters die. That's it, that's the plot. Doesn't get much more indepth than that. This might have been salvaged into a readable form, but there are, oh, say, 20 zillion characters, infact, when I put this book down because it was so boring and started it later, I knew, maybe 2 people. This book is unexpressibly horrible.
By: Jonathan Burness Date: 06-August-2000
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGood

Although I admitt that I have read better books this one is definately not deserving of a one. The books plot is a little more complicated than shandril just kills lots of stuff. First off in the opening (SPOILER)when she joins the adventuring group and the entire group gets slaughtered is briliant. Who expects that all these characters, real characters with personalities, would die in the next few pages.

Also the fact that Shandril has a hard time coping with her new found power is part of the plot. This book is also a great intro to many of the exciting characters (ie. Elminster), organizations (ie. Harpers, Cult of the dragon), as well as places (ie. Shadowdale).

Overall it is a great read for veteran Realms travelers as well as a good introductory novel for newcomers.

By: James Zobac Date: 18-March-2001
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGoodGood

I can't understand why most of the reviews for this novel are so condesending! I felt this story (on the surface anyway) was a typical FR Novel. But I think most people forget (or don't see the underlying points).

It shows how strong Shar is with this very powerful ability that she doesn't just give in to the power for power sake. Her husband (name slips my mind now. Gonna have to re-read:)) shows how supportive he is by not being afraid of the power and it shows the lengths the Zhents will go to possess anything. I felt it was a well written, well thought out story line.

As for the people who say "It's the same as all the rest." I urge them to re-read this book and put themselves into Shars character when they do.

P.S. And who can forget the cleric and knights constant bantering and insults? It is one of the best parts of the book.


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