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 Elminster Must Die -- Chapters 32 - 36 & Epilogue
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2010 :  13:04:16  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by geok1ng

I am less than impressed by this book. It does not have any of the 4th edition flavor of the pther novels. Were it not by the constatnt reminder of how powerful the characters were in the past, one could not find any difference from pre spellplague books.

And the formula of keeping old chars in play is repetitive: a princess of cormyr, a royal mage and a chosen all follow manshoons recipe for surviving the spellplague.



I HIGHLY agree.

This book is a complete disappointment.

quote:
Originally posted by geok1ng

But Arclath Delcastle lost most of my respect on the dialogue on chapter 36, pages 338 to 339. First i was mildly amused to discover that the author wasnt brave enough to created a truly queer anti-hero. A gay noble swordsman without any morals would be a welcome addition to the line of sexual oriented chars of the novel. Oh, how i would love to see a Forgotten Realms Marquis de Sade, but Delcastle is already on the way to romantic love with Amarune. How i miss Pharaun Mizzrym, spoiled and sarcastic.



Arclath is bisexual. I don't think his mother would simply jest that he liked young men if she hadn't seen him bed one or two.

Every beginning has an end.
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2010 :  14:56:37  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A complete disappointment for you, but not for me.
You've posted repeatedly about your boredom while reading it, and your hatred of the "cockroach" Manshoon.
Fair enough.
However, I respectfully disagree. Completely.
I loved this book. Parts of it weren't pleasant for the characters, but given the situations, that's hardly surprising.
And geok1ng's comment about following Manshoon's recipe is simply wrong. The three characters he cites all survived the Spellplague in very different ways. He obviously didn't read the book very closely.
As for his comment not having "the 4th edition flavor" - - I think Ed, as the creator of the world, "gets" the Realms better than any of us.
I hope we can avoid, in this thread and others, the Internet trap of posters equating their opinions with absolute fact or definitive judgment. "I didn't like this book" is NOT the same as "This book stinks."
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WildRyc
Acolyte

Canada
3 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2010 :  20:44:12  Show Profile  Visit WildRyc's Homepage Send WildRyc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll admit: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could barely stop reading it after I purchased it on Saturday.

However, I did feel a bit upset with how Manshoon seemed so omnipresent. No one could escape his grasp, no one could put up a fight. Beholders, wights, wizards and whatnot - all fell before the guy who could control the mind of anyone he could think of. All he did was sit in a command centre with TV's turned onto all the stations and played around every trick everyone else tried. Granted, controlling beholders to do that is WAY cooler than how I described it.


The jump-frames during the end may have have been used to build the tension, but they definitely jarred me from the immersion. I had to reread each section so that I could be sure I knew what happened. I'm not sure if this came down to bad editing, but I feel as though you might need a bit more substance to each little part. Shows can do this because the image conveys a lot more information - I'm unsure as to whether it's the best option in writing.

For me, the best parts were when Storm or El managed to bring the weight of their years and accolades to bear upon other characters - like when she convinces Starbridge to give her the ring. Being impressed with titles is still something that gets me: I'm trying to stop gibbering like an idiot whenever I meet someone famous, or that I look up to. Being dressed down by the person who created the organization that you claim to lead - that's something else.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2010 :  02:05:54  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WildRyc

However, I did feel a bit upset with how Manshoon seemed so omnipresent. No one could escape his grasp, no one could put up a fight. Beholders, wights, wizards and whatnot - all fell before the guy who could control the mind of anyone he could think of. All he did was sit in a command centre with TV's turned onto all the stations and played around every trick everyone else tried.



It's just the concept of 'puppet master' with unsavory exaggeration.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 01 Dec 2010 :  18:45:41  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or you could look a little deeper and see it as Manshoon FINALLY preparing enough, and being patient enough, that he has "enough up his sleeve" to deal with anything unforeseen that arises.
And if that sounds like what Manshoon has pretended to be rather than what we've seen Manshoon really is, and so sounds odd or "wrong" for the character . . . ah, NOW you're on to something. Stay tuned to later books to see just what it is. (According to Ed.)
love,
THO

Edited by - The Hooded One on 01 Dec 2010 18:46:04
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WildRyc
Acolyte

Canada
3 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2010 :  02:56:18  Show Profile  Visit WildRyc's Homepage Send WildRyc a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, that would explain why Manshoon keeps on saying his name over and over again...
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2010 :  02:26:40  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Or you could look a little deeper and see it as Manshoon FINALLY preparing enough, and being patient enough, that he has "enough up his sleeve" to deal with anything unforeseen that arises.
And if that sounds like what Manshoon has pretended to be rather than what we've seen Manshoon really is, and so sounds odd or "wrong" for the character . . . ah, NOW you're on to something. Stay tuned to later books to see just what it is. (According to Ed.)
love,
THO



Preparing and blabbering about it.

Tam did prepare his ascension to Thay's sole sovereign but he didn't ridiculously blabber about it even though he's as mad as the cockroach.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5055 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2010 :  03:22:16  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quite true. And hardly surprising, being as they're different characters. Both created by Ed, but very different from each other.
One of Ed's ongoing themes, over his last forty-some years of Realms fiction, has been how power, and longevity, affects archmages differently. Elminster and Khelben, the Seven, the Srinshee, Manshoon, Szass Tam, Larloch, and for that matter Elaith . . . all creations of his, all very different.
And no, Szass Tam ISN'T as mad as Manshoon. I have that directly from Ed. Who says you might have been right about that, about sixty clones and more than a century back.
love,
THO
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2010 :  03:35:20  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by geok1ng

I am less than impressed by this book. It does not have any of the 4th edition flavor of the pther novels. Were it not by the constatnt reminder of how powerful the characters were in the past, one could not find any difference from pre spellplague books.



That's probably why I enjoyed it so thoroughly. Looking forward to "Bury Elminster Deep" with great interest!

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Or you could look a little deeper and see it as Manshoon FINALLY preparing enough, and being patient enough, that he has "enough up his sleeve" to deal with anything unforeseen that arises.
And if that sounds like what Manshoon has pretended to be rather than what we've seen Manshoon really is, and so sounds odd or "wrong" for the character . . . ah, NOW you're on to something. Stay tuned to later books to see just what it is. (According to Ed.)
love,
THO



Heh... I was thinking something similar, but yet different... more along the lines of, this is how I expected Manshoon to be (apart from the maniacal gloating) from the first publication of the Realms... but I understand that TSR's ethics guidelines prevented that. I have my theories as to what's "wrong" with Manshoon, and I think much of it goes back to the "Manshoon Clone Wars" and the status/condition of the winner of said conflict.

THO... you said earlier that this is a SIX-book series!? Will this storyline then take us through to the next RSE and Fifth Edition, or is that still under wraps? (he says, only half jokingly)

And yes, this is my first post in quite some time; I've been busy with assembling and testing a homebrew ruleset, playing in three campaigns (one in the Realms, one in Golarion, and the last in a universe based on, but not identical with, that of StarCraft II), and real life... electronics retail is a busy industry at this time of the year.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 19 Jan 2011 :  07:13:50  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Or you could look a little deeper and see it as Manshoon FINALLY preparing enough, and being patient enough, that he has "enough up his sleeve" to deal with anything unforeseen that arises.
And if that sounds like what Manshoon has pretended to be rather than what we've seen Manshoon really is, and so sounds odd or "wrong" for the character . . . ah, NOW you're on to something. Stay tuned to later books to see just what it is. (According to Ed.)
love,
THO



I might do that---not because I want to see more of the roach; definitely not that; but because I still like Alassra and Elminster. I just HOPE I wouldn't be as disappointed as I was with this book.

Every beginning has an end.
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Arcanus
Senior Scribe

485 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2011 :  16:41:51  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I sometimes find it very hard to read Ed's books. Too much 'hey nonny nonny' and pointless description but not enough story.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2011 :  09:22:02  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arcanus

I sometimes find it very hard to read Ed's books. Too much 'hey nonny nonny' and pointless description but not enough story.



His older novels are way better, particularly the first 4 in the Elminster saga.

Every beginning has an end.
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Arcanus
Senior Scribe

485 Posts

Posted - 31 Jan 2011 :  18:21:28  Show Profile  Visit Arcanus's Homepage Send Arcanus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Arcanus

I sometimes find it very hard to read Ed's books. Too much 'hey nonny nonny' and pointless description but not enough story.



His older novels are way better, particularly the first 4 in the Elminster saga.



I agree wholeheartedly. I only half read the first book in the knights of myth drannor, I gave up waiting for something to happen. On the other hand I've read the spellfire books loads of times.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2011 :  01:40:03  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

I'm not giving up on his works. Not yet, at least. I only hope his future books will prove as entertaining as his older ones. There's still the "revival" of Alassra that I'm looking forward to. And perhaps his future novels will finally reveal that someone or something that deters Tam from conquering Aglarond despite the Simbul's prolonged absence.

-----

I tried to reread this book to gain some new perspective. But I just can't go on after chapter 2.

Every beginning has an end.

Edited by - Dennis on 24 Apr 2011 01:27:43
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Longtime Lurker
Seeker

51 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2011 :  18:52:23  Show Profile  Visit Longtime Lurker's Homepage Send Longtime Lurker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished EL MUST DIE for the fourth time. It stands up better and better to repeated rereadings, and I keep noticing subtle hints and nuances I didn't pick up on in early reads. I'm sure those who want to read a hack-and-slash battle session brought from the gaming table to the pages of a novel have given up on Ed's writing a long time ago, though his battle descriptions are great (if short) when they finally arrive, but the depth of feeling like actually being in the Realms, in the middle of the everyday lives of thousands, is wonderful, the banter enjoyable, and the characters intriguing.
I can't wait for more. I've ordered the anthologies WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME and THE NEW HERO because Ed has stories in them (not to mention other Realms writers in the first one, and Robin Laws editing and lots of game writers in the second one), and BEAUTY HAS HER WAY just arrived yesterday; I ordered it for the Ed story in it, and wasn't disappointed. Short, very un-Realms-like, and made me wince. Just as it was supposed to.
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Thieran
Learned Scribe

Germany
293 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2011 :  11:37:15  Show Profile Send Thieran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wasn't too happy with the Knights novels, but "Elminster Must Die" was a great read - very well done! Looking forward to the sequel...
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gomez
Learned Scribe

Netherlands
254 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2012 :  13:41:12  Show Profile  Visit gomez's Homepage Send gomez a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finally got to writing a review for Elminster Must Die.
Initially at Goodreads, but that one is a bit short and may come over as a bit too negative.
I rewrote it, and while it is still not all that positive (after all, I DO have issues), I think I managed to also add a bit on what I did like.
Anyway, it is on the wizards bookclub:

http://community.wizards.com/bookclub/go/thread/view/110769/28857645/Elminster_Must_Die


Gomez
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 20 Jan 2012 :  14:43:25  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Agreed on all acounts, gomez. Your review brings back some unsavory memories I'd rather forget.

Every beginning has an end.
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Malcolm
Learned Scribe

242 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2012 :  18:49:12  Show Profile  Visit Malcolm's Homepage Send Malcolm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I liked ELMINSTER MUST DIE! a lot. It works better if you just read it as a novel, instead of reacting to how Ed depicts this or that character, place, or group in the Realms vs. the way you think of them.
He is, after all, THE expert on the Realms.
For Ed fans, FORESHADOWS: THE GHOSTS OF ZERO has just been released, and THE NEW HERO is coming out very soon. Next up - not counting the FR comic Ed is writing, his monthly DDI column, or paperback reprints of hardback Realms novels - is, I think, the WHAT SCARES THE BOOGEYMAN? horror anthology, that has an Ed story in it. Though I know he's been contributing to non-WotC games and some online sf mags, so one of them might debut first. I can hardly keep up with the guy.
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Blueblade
Senior Scribe

USA
804 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2012 :  21:39:53  Show Profile  Visit Blueblade's Homepage Send Blueblade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And a triumphant conclusion. What a great book.
A yarn, a romp in places, and great fun. Not mighty literature, but then most fantasy novels aren't and don't try to be. Well worth the bucks, and stands up very well to rereading.
I liked BURY RLMINSTER DEEP, too, and am itching to read ELMINSTER ENRAGED when it (it feels like I should write "finally" here ) comes out.
BB
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Neo2151
Learned Scribe

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2012 :  06:33:15  Show Profile Send Neo2151 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[I don't know why you'd be in this tome if you haven't finished the book, but in case you haven't, be warned! - Spoilers Ahead]

I won't lie - I had a lot of trouble working my way through this book, and the last few chapters were the worst.
Either Ed is losing his writing touch or the editor is about as graceful as a butcher with a meat cleaver.

Here's my big issues:
1- Characters should not be teleporting all over the place.
No, I don't mean with magic. This is why I think the editor is to blame and not Ed. All throughout the book you'd have characters suddenly in entirely different scenarios than when you just left them previously, but it's probably the worst I've ever seen in my literary life at the last few chapters. Mirt and Arclath manage to get all over the city in less than two pages without any sense of "scene conclusion." Transitions need to be smooth and they are anything but in this book.
2- Don't kill a character if their death literally means nothing!
Biggest slap in the face, ever. El died! But then he wasn't dead, cuz his ashes get to keep living? Even now, when his power is at a tiny fraction of what it once was? How the hell is he still alive? Because Ed wanted him to be? Not good enough.
Death is an inconvenient setback in D&D. Death should have meaning in fiction.
3- Let ye olde favorites go, hm?
Why the hell were Mirt and Vangerdahast in this book? They serve literally zero purpose. It feels like Ed wasn't done writing stories with some of his favorite characters, so he "cheated" their way into still existing 100 years later. Now, this criticism might be premature, I'll admit. Maybe they serve a real purpose in one of the upcoming related novels. But even if they do, they had no place in THIS novel.
4- You're thinking of the wrong Mystra...
Why is Mystra pining after Elminster in the epilogue? El had the romantic relationship with Mystra 2, not Mystra 3 (ie: Midnight). Or am I missing something here?

Don't get me wrong. I like Ed Greenwood and I love the characters he gives us. Hell, Making of a Mage continues to be one of my favorite Realms novels, and excluding the newest stuff, I've read them all. But this book just didn't hold up to snuff in my opinion.

(As to Manshoon, sorry THO, but there's no good excuse for him. Manshoon has never been portrayed as a competent villain. We know Ed hasn't been able to play with the Zhents the way he wanted to, and I'm sure Manshoon is terrifying in tabletop games where you've had Ed piloting him, but as far as what we, the readers, have seen? Failure after failure with never even a hint at getting ahead of the curve. He's Wiley Coyote to Elminster's Roadrunner.)

"Come looking for me, and I will blast you to dust, and then lay waste to all your descendants, ancestors, and the realm you came from, every last tree and stone of it. Why? Well, it's what I usually do."

-Baerendra Riverhand on The Story of Spellfire

Edited by - Neo2151 on 23 Nov 2012 06:37:43
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 23 Nov 2012 :  06:47:38  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Full agreement, Neo. We had a rather long discussion about this book in a not so distant past here.

Every beginning has an end.
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