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Sage of Shadowdale #2

Bury Elminster Deep

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Elminster's archenemy, the vampiric Lord Manshoon, thinks he has destroyed Elminster at last. But Elminster survives in the form of magical ash, and with the help of his scion, a fop who is growing into a true nobleman, and his longtime companion Storm, he still has a chance to counter Manshoon's insidious plots.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published August 1, 2011

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About the author

Ed Greenwood

313 books770 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
262 (35%)
4 stars
248 (33%)
3 stars
171 (22%)
2 stars
49 (6%)
1 star
14 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Jim.
189 reviews24 followers
March 17, 2013
I've always been a fan of Ed Greenwood, and of Elminster and the Chosen of Mystra especially. So really, I should love this book... but instead it gets two stars, like its predecessor, Elminster Must Die. In response to a comment my friend left when I rated that book, this is how I replied, summarizing the problems I had with that book: "I liked most of the Elminster books, but he's always had a bad habit of coming up with the most ridiculous names for supporting characters, having too many supporting characters, and focusing on them way more than he focuses on the characters people by the books for, and those bad habits are way out of control in this one." I include that here because this book is just more of the same. The main characters are included less than the supporting characters, pretty much all of who are remarkably unlikeable, while the main characters... the ones we care about... chase their tail in an ouroboros of a plot that doesn't really go anywhere except for the last fifty or so pages. If I wasn't so invested in the characters and the Forgotten Realms setting after twenty years of reading, this book might have been my dropping-off point, but since I am, well, I'll have to read the next one and just hope it improves.
Profile Image for Jeremy.
69 reviews5 followers
March 8, 2012
The worst FR book I've read yet, and I've read about 80% of them.

Pros: None

Cons: Very thin plot, too many made-up words, too many ancillary characters, too many smash-a-keyboard-to-make-up-a-name names, lackluster ending, very little character development, no surprises, so on and so on.

Why does Ed Greenwood insist on using medieval language when no other author writing for the Forgotten Realms world will? I don't care if FR is his baby, when you have thirty or more other authors working in your world, consistency is a nice thing to have.

This was monumentally disappointing compared to Ed's earlier work, he really phoned this one in. I honestly don't know how this one made it to the press.
Profile Image for Cindy Dees.
Author 128 books1,841 followers
May 10, 2020
Fun read. As usually the author surprises you with excellent twists and turns while staying true to characters of yore. Enjoy the book!

As usually the author surprises you with excellent twists and turns while staying true to characters of yore. Enjoy the book! The next one should be just as good.
Profile Image for Robert.
92 reviews6 followers
August 14, 2011
Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you.

Bury Elminster Deep is the next book in the series The Sage of Shadowdale. The first book is Elminster: The Making of a Mage, the second is Elminster in Myth Drannor, then The Temptation of Elminster, Elminster in Hell, Elminster’s Daughter co-wrote with Elaine Cunningham, and Elminster Must Die!. Elminster Enraged is due out in August 2012.

Bury Elminster Deep continues directly from where Elminster Must Die! ends. The main plot of this book follows those who want to take control of Cormyr and unseat the king. There are numerous subplots dealing with all the intrigues of the nobles and the disorganization of the war wizards and just about everyone else in the castle. There are also the love interest subplots and the ambitions of the one who strives to be the king of Cormyr and beyond.

At first the novel begins with a very linear storyline and once the focus shifts to the city of Suzail pretty much all hell breaks loose, which is a very accurate way to describe the writing. There are so many shifts in the settings is was very difficult to keep up with what was going on and became confusing to the point I was thinking this was not going to be that good of a novel. After about two-thirds of the way through the book, the plotline becomes more focused and was easier to follow along and was a definite improvement. The ending was a bit surprising and yet not all at the same time, but was a good place to stop to for the next novel to begin.

Some criticisms:

1. Lack of direction in the beginning. There was so much going on it was really hard to follow the story as I said previously. I was so lost I didn’t know where this book was going. Eventually, however, it does get back and track and makes up for all the confusing moments.

2. Jumpy. Along with all the things going on, the focus of the book shifts constantly and the reader is forced to change perspectives about every other page adding to the confusion of trying to keep up with all the plotlines.

3. Way too many side characters. There are so many names thrown at the reader it is hard to keep up with who is who. Not only the characters that play a part in the story, but also those that are just mentioned to serve either as a lineage or who is supposed to be in league with who.

Some positives:

1. For those who were looking forward to seeing if what was mentioned in the last book was true, well you will have to see, but I am sure you won’t be disappointed in what you find out. To add on to that, the ending of this book expands on the FR world and explains nicely what was foreseen by the Gods and why the spellplague had to happen.

2. The main characters really shine for me, especially Amarune and Lord Arclath. They develop nicely and I found myself really caring for them and how things played out and kept rooting for them. Also I really enjoyed Mirt. I have always had an affinity for his character and enjoyed every novel he has been in. He adds some nice comedic scenes and keep things interesting and entertaining.

For me this was just another average book by Mr. Greenwood. This one could have been so much better without all the jumping around and the multiple subplots which I feel were supposed to keep the book exciting, but tuned out to just make it more confusing. For fans of Mr. Greenwood, you will definitely want to get this one to see how things progress. For those who don’t like him, well, I have a feeling this book won’t change your mind either. For fans of the FR and hardcore fans, you may want to pick this one up if only just for the beginning and the ending. For people new to the realms, start at the beginning of the series and judge for yourself, but know there are better out there.

Happy reading

Profile Image for Brenda Cothern.
Author 65 books293 followers
August 18, 2011
Ed Greenwood has redeemed himself with Bury Elminster Deep: The Sage of Shadowdale. After reading Elminster Must Die, I had lost all faith in Ed and was severely disappointed in the book and what he'd done to Elminster. However, it seems the witty old mage that we all love (Elmister, not Greenwood) is almost back to himself in this book.

With a new quest to give him purpose and the need to save the Dragonthrone again, Elmister is back to the character we love.

If you were disappointed with Elminster Must Die, set that disappointment aside and pick up Bury Elminster Deep: The Sage of Shadowdale. Your faith in the old mage (Greenwood, not Elminster) will be restored!

I am looking forward to book three... which I believe is entitled: Elminster Enraged.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1,917 reviews12 followers
July 11, 2014
This continues right on from the previous book, only moments later. Overall, it's the same rollicking adventure of any Elminster book, though this one has a few more titillating scenes than previous books (they are always there, but there are more this time, since Elminster is in a female body more often than not). It also sort of became a bit impressionistic at the end, where scenes seemed to take place outside of what was written in the book, and I felt a little bit lost when scenes changed, and we were in the middle of action I don't recall the book getting into. It wasn't hard to figure out what happened, but it was a bit odd. Other than that, it went more or less where I expected it to go (with a few twists and turns along the way), and was a fun adventure story.
Profile Image for Mario García.
82 reviews3 followers
January 8, 2015
I really wanted to like this book. I'm a huge forgotten realms fan, and I've read as many books in this universe as I can. Unfortunately this Elminster series has been very disappointing. I think it is Greenwood's writing style. I've had enough of this author for a while, and I think I'll just skip the next book.

The plot jumps all over the place. There is supposed to be humor, but it gets old quickly with the same jokes rehashed over and over again. Finally, I'm not even sure this book is about Elminster. Yes, he makes an appearance, but the plot is so loose that it could be about any of the main characters. Really could use some serious editing, as I'm sure there's a good story buried deep in here somewhere.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
308 reviews17 followers
August 15, 2014
ugh. what more can I say about these books that I haven't said yet? Did I mention the bad guy is supposed to be someone Elminster has thwarted many times and yet he hasn't been in the previous 5 books? Did I mention the author loves to stress the same idea over and over and over again? What about how it drags on for now reason and rushed the end? No surprise, this book was as bad as the last. I"m soooo happy to only have one more of these to read. I pray when I get to The Sundering, it's at least decent
12 reviews
October 25, 2011
Elminster is the main charecter and he is a powerful wizard who has lost his powers because he has to carry the powers of a god until she needs her powers.And there is an evil force that is trying to ether steal the power that he holds or kill him. And he whant's to survive and there is a lady knight and two Harpers at first he does not want them but later on they become friends.One night Elminster sneaks of
Profile Image for Bob Sharp.
1 review5 followers
March 28, 2013
Ed Greenwood is a good author, but I do have 1 problem with his work. He jumps around a lot. It makes it very difficult to keep up with the story.
Profile Image for David.
51 reviews5 followers
May 11, 2015
what an exciting romp through Cormyr.
101 reviews
November 25, 2014
God I can't read Greenwood any more. No plot, Manshoon's a vampire now starting in Bad Guys Gone Wild and of course Storm is beautiful beyond words and often naked.
Profile Image for Dubravko.
21 reviews
December 23, 2014
The only thing I find unsatisfying is the end. It's as if Ed wanted to finish writing this book as fast as possible. But the rest of the book is awesome.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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