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The Epic Historical Saga of the Most Powerful Nation in the Realms
Cormyr has been ruled by the Obarskyr family since its inception one and a half millennia ago. Now its king, Azoun IV, lies on his deathbed, and the vultures are circling, hoping to usurp the throne for their own. Against this crisis of state, the history of the Forest Kingdom unfolds, relating the previously untold story of a nation, its rulers, and its wizards.
Cormyr: A Novel is the epic historical saga of the most powerful nation in the Forgotten Realms fantasy world, as told by the world's co-creators.

486 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1996

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About the author

Ed Greenwood

311 books769 followers
Ed Greenwood is the creator of the Forgotten Realms fantasy world, which became the setting for his home D&D game in 1975. Play still continues in this long-running campaign, and Ed also keeps busy producing Realmslore for various TSR publications.

Ed has published over two hundred articles in Dragon magazine and Polyhedron newszine, is a lifetime charter member of the Role Playing Game Associaton (RPGA) network, has written over thirty books and modules for TSR, and been Gen Con Game Fair guest of honor several times.

In addition to all these activities, Ed works as a library clerk and has edited over a dozen small press magazines.

Invented the character Elminster from the popular Forgotten Realms RPG series. Currently resides in an old farmhouse in the countryside of Ontario, Canada.

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5 stars
560 (29%)
4 stars
658 (34%)
3 stars
529 (27%)
2 stars
159 (8%)
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24 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Daran.
58 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2013
There are some good forgotten realms books, and some bad forgotten realms books. The same can be said of the writings of Ed Greenwood. On both counts, this was a solid one.

This first novel in The Cormyr Saga chronicles the history of the Kingdom of Cormyr, and tells the story of the poisoning of King Azoun IV. There are two narratives in this novel. The first is a Edward Rutherford style series of vignettes which highlights important moments in Cormyr's history. The second narrative is a mystery involving the poisoning of the King, and the court intrigues that tale place subsequent. I'd honestly like more epic fantasies to use this technique, it gives you the history of the world, while telling a compelling story.

All the characters are classic Greenwood. there are thrilling dancehall girls, foolishly imperious nobles, and mysterious wizards. There's nowhere near enough character development, but I suspected that there wouldn't be. Greenwood rarely gives his characters enough flesh, but at least in this case the main characters are well known from other Forgotten realms books that preceded this one.

I'm looking forward to the next book, Beyond The High Road, by Troy Denning, an author I'm much more fond of in the Realms in particular, and Sword and Sorcery in general.
Profile Image for Sicofonia.
275 reviews
June 15, 2013
Unless you are a AD&D die hard fan... avoid this book at all cost. The plot is UBER repetitive here, basically the history of the Cormyr kingdom thru different generations and all the conspiracies that several noblemen do upon each king. And it is the same again again and again.
On parallel there goes the current story about... you guessed it, a conspiracy against king Azoun.

I made the mistake of reading another book from Ed Greenwood, this guy should be banned from writing. And I just want to make people aware to avoid any form of literary piece written by him. Honestly, I felt I wasted my time... don't waste yours!!!!!!!
Profile Image for Jeffrey.
890 reviews109 followers
July 6, 2011
Imaginary conversation between TSP and Ed Greenwood.

TSP -- Ed we want to tap into the D & D market.

TSP -- Can you write a history of Comyr and its ruling family.

Ed -- Thats a great idea. I'll write a book about the background of a popular D & D game.

Thats all this novel really is. Its well written because Greenwood and Grubb are good writers but its not a story per se. Its kind of like McCaffrey writing the story of Robinton's life or Eddings writing about Belgarath and Polgara.
Profile Image for Jesse.
1,043 reviews11 followers
August 26, 2019
I'm not sure how I missed adding this book review when I read it.

I don't recall everything, and I will say that while I've read many of his books and short stories in an attempt to fully immerse myself in Forgotten Realms, I am not a fan of Greenwood's writing.

With that said, I recall really enjoying this book. Some of his best work, as it is choke full of history of Cormyr and a great intro to the rest of the series that takes place in this kingdom.

If you are going to read anything by Greenwood, read this.
Profile Image for Ward G.
262 reviews1 follower
September 16, 2019
This has some very interesting openings.
Between dragon and kingdom.

Yet prove to be a very frustrating read.
It serves as a current storyline for Cormyr.
Then at the same time. Provides a historical timeline for the kingdom.

Which results in a back and forth tale.
One chapter current story. Next chapter short story from the past.
It bounces back and forth like this. Through the entire novel.
Most past tales single or two chapters.

Each introducing new characters. That likely have no bearing on anything.
So main story. New characters, setting and time. Next chapter.

Many of these could be very interesting reads.
Set up this way makes it a jumble. You just try and keep set apart.
Intent may have been to give gamers, a more in depth sketch.
Of the characters they may encounter in the game settings.

From a readers stand point. Just made it take longer to get into and read.

Hopefully the next volume in this arc. Will be single story.
They have some good concepts of magic, king, and kingdom started.
That could pay off very well, as things move forward.
Profile Image for Pierre.
120 reviews
March 6, 2008
I enjoyed reading this book. It combined the elements of mystery and fantasy literature very well. The book had me spellbound and sitting at the edge of my seat. It was a real page turner.

Unfortunately, this book suffered from two minor flaws. The first flaw was that the book shifted back and forth every chapter between a historic story and the main story. I found myself confused a number of times, thinking that I was reading about one time line, but I was reading about another. The second flaw was that the writing became sloppy towards the end of the book, and the ending itself was truly disappointing and "unbelievable" and there were many loose ends that were left undone.
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,760 followers
April 11, 2013
I just remembered that I read this, back when I was hugely into big, fat fantasy books. However, I don't think I can recall a single character, event, or scene from the whole thing--which is particularly odd for me, since with every other book I've ever read, I at least remember the basic plot and a few choice moments. Clearly this one, beyond all others, was entirely unremarkable.

Forgotten Realms indeed.
Profile Image for AnaDeCintra.
124 reviews
February 18, 2021
Es un libro muy interesante de Reinos Olvidados que habla sobre Cormyr, desde que se fundó, hasta el "año presente". Lleno de intrigas políticas, batallas, magos y mucho lore del lugar. Me ha encantado. Si tengo que ponerle una pega es que, a veces, alguna parte se hacía un poco densa, pero eran escasas.
Profile Image for Elmer Foster.
505 reviews1 follower
October 1, 2022
For a story, and book, that I wasn't looking for, by an author I have only barely read from (like one Elminster book), in a genre that I am familiar with thru EVERY R. A. Salvatore Drizzt title, this one stands out as highly engaging and thoroughly insightful.

While political intrigue probably isn't everyone's favorite thing to read about, not so much mine to be honest, Vangerdahast's deft manipulations are masterful. And Greenwood and Grubb interplay a kingly attempt at overthrowing the government as they give what one could consider a history lesson of the lands created by Greenwood for D&D.

Each jump back into time reveals a story, of sorts, that paints a necessary picture for the present situation or element thereof. From a black/purple dragon (and other colors) and elves, to an abraxus and venomous murder, to a weretiger that "haunts" a farm, there was much to read about and enjoy.

The political grumblings almost reached a tedium but held firm to an actual plot, as the historical stories and main plot converged into a nice resolution that felt satisfying.

At no time did I feel overwhelmed by minutiae of the D&D world (requiring any guidebook for reference) nor under engaged, due to the numerous characters participating in this adventure. Although the plot revolves around a few key figures, we meet a cast of veritable thousands that prompt inquiry to other stories in the canon of Cormyr (should they even come to be or exist.)

One could read this tome and immediately feel a part of Greenwood's universe.
Highly recommend for fantasy fans at a minimum.

Thanks for reading.
Profile Image for Katrin.
571 reviews7 followers
April 26, 2019
Although this book had everything that could make it truly great, I really disliked it. First of all half the book is about a dying king and the conspiracies that develop, nobles trying to grab as much as they can once the king is dead. This was endless pages with politics, intrigues and such. It got very boring, the few times there was some action couldn't save it. Secondly the other part of the book is the whole history of cormyr, told in interrupting chapters with huge time jumps. Why, oh why would you do this?? What does the story gain from it? It's just bits and pieces of a great history, that could fill some twenty books or so! How unsatisfying. You get a glimpse of an interesting part in the history just to leave you hanging and the story picks up 200 years later. Well, great. Also I was wishing for a broader spectrum of other creature characters. There are elves, orcs, goblins and dragons, but in the end all these great strands of lore and myth are lost. The beginning is so dragon centered and then it's completely dropped. Too bad. I'll never understand why the writers thought this is a good idea, to cram so much into this book and the main story to be dull and full of endless dialogues.
Profile Image for Kagan Oztarakci.
177 reviews1 follower
December 2, 2017
"A poor workman blames his tools."

"It was not a meeting they had time for but then it was not a meeting they could afford to miss, either."

"a lot of us believe what we want to believe and not what the world shows us to be the truth."

"unique method of crashing head-on into problems and wrestling them into submission without ever understanding them"
Profile Image for Richard.
18 reviews9 followers
October 23, 2021
Not as terrible as I was expecting!

Ed Greenwood is a wonderful creator but he needs the "traffic cop" of Jeff Grubb to keep things on track, and I enjoyed this trip through the history of Cormyr.
9 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2018
May be my favorite Forgotten Realms novel. Tells the history of Cormyr and its royal & magical dynasty through an ingenious flashback story structure.
Profile Image for Chris.
651 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2018
An interesting, almost historical look at one of the kingdoms of the Forgotten Realms.
November 22, 2020
Fantasy dosyć niskich lotów. Niby dworska intryga z plot twistem, ale jednak wychodzi naprawdę słabo. Nie polecam generalnie.
28 reviews
March 3, 2022
DNF. This would have been better as a collection of short stories, many not making the final cut.
2 reviews
January 8, 2023
Excellent parallel storytelling, and very inspiring for writing one's own fantasy
Profile Image for Alice.
362 reviews1 follower
December 24, 2018
Although an avid D&D player, I've never actually read any of the fiction surrounding it apart from the Dragonlance Chronicles. This hit the nail on the head in terms of world - place names cropped up I knew, races acted as I expected, the names were utterly unpronouncable, and so on. The book had me gripped until about halfway through.

The problem with the ending is that rather than continuing to be a play by play of how epic the world had been up until this point - the trials and tribulations of the current king mixed with the founding of the realm as the characters knew it - it turned into a crime/thriller novel.

And unlike a crime/thriller novel it spent so long in the current day chapters being mysterious that the ending was a bit 'where the hell did this come from'. The hints were so subtle I had to go back to find out which left field this plot twist came from. What made it even worse is that between those chapters you had the steadily more and more boring 'past' narrative slowing catching up to current day, so by the time the plot got back on track you'd forgotten who the hell was who, what was going on, and why all these previously loyal families were doing their evil thing.

It's well written, and not a bad plot by any means, but the ending was such a disspointing rush after the epic sprawl of the first few chapters.
Profile Image for Mark.
989 reviews63 followers
October 2, 2011
I am a sucker, as mentioned, for march through history books in certain fantasy settings - assuming I am already invested in it, of course. A march through history book about Cormyr is cool because Cormyr is cool. You read the setting book and it stands out as a neat flavor kind of place, or at least it did to me.

Now it's a tumultuous time and as an aging monarch fades away, the history is related to see how we got here. It's cool and I don't care if it probably sucks, because I was 17 at the time.
Profile Image for Scott.
178 reviews5 followers
November 17, 2013
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I credit Ed Greenwood for incredibly world-building skills and painstaking attention to detail to fill in the nooks and crannies of the Forgotten Realms while still leaving plenty of options for dungeon masters and players to make up their own stories. However, I had not been terribly impressed with his novels before this one when a forum friend on the Candlekeep website recommended this. The story itself is passably told, but the chapters that are composed of Cormyr's history are the main reason to read this novel.
Profile Image for Jason Kalinowski.
Author 4 books1 follower
May 29, 2022
This book got me through a deployment in the middle east. I couldn't put it down and the book helped me cope with the stressors of being deployed in the military. I recall the heat of the desert melting the spine of the book and the pages started to fall out so I honestly had to read it before the 130degree F dissolved the glue holding it together. I absolutely loved this book. I liked how the history of Cormyr was showcased between chapters. It became 2 books in 1! Thank you Ed Greenwood.
Profile Image for Eyjólfur Örn Jónsson.
60 reviews7 followers
July 4, 2011
The very first book my fiancée gave me and the start of my love affair with the Forgotten Realms. I had read quite a few FR books previously but Ed Greenwoods fantastic writing in this book really drew me in and has yet to let me go.

I´ll be the first to admit that the FR series are not the first nor even the last thing in proper literature but my view is that they´re a lot of fun and provide an easy and fun break from reality.
716 reviews3 followers
August 20, 2013
A history of Cormyr, alternating chapters between distant past and relatively recent, until the two meet. Though some of the recent chapters took a paragraph or two before I could pick up the new thread, when switching scenes, I still felt the book kept a good pace and interest throughout, with a solid writing style.

Not a story to recommend to all my friends, but one I wouldn't mind reading again down the line, and more enjoyable than a lot of the other FR pulp.
Profile Image for Dave.
200 reviews11 followers
January 22, 2016
Very Good 2nd Edition D&D fantasy fiction about a country I'd long been interested in: Cormyr. When I was 16 I visited my sister in Boston and she bought me the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting boxed set for my birthday. I devoured the contents and came to greatly admire the country of Cormyr. This long delayed read was great for me. Ed Greenwood is masterful.
Profile Image for Sandro H..
21 reviews7 followers
July 3, 2011
Uno de los libros fundamentales de Reinos Olvidados que nos cuenta la historia del reino de cormyr a través de varios capítulos que son pequeñas historias independientes sobre el origen del reino. Un libro muy recomendado que puede leerse aunque no se conozcan los Reinos Olvidados.
Profile Image for Jax.
567 reviews16 followers
November 3, 2012
the concept was good but the writing, wow. these guys cannot write conversations to save their life...and their female characters...and like..what the hell happened to the other daughter? so many things were wrong.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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