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Sunday, June 7, 2015

SpellstormSpellstorm by Ed Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first time reading Ed Greenwood, but I've seen his name in the bookstores for a long time, invariably of Forgotten Realms lore. I like to play D&D, but I never quite got into the habit of reading novels based in it. I'm probably not going to change my mind and start picking up more titles, but I am tempted. I've heard of Elminster from friends for over twenty years now, and from everything I've come to understand, he's quite a ruthless antihero wizard.

My Impressions of this soon-to-come book? Elminster is a pretty happy-go-lucky guy with a few rather interesting friends, and it's either a credit or an admonition to the author that I can fall into Elminster's happy POV without quite registering or caring that he's hosting a cheerful slaughterhouse of peers, enemies, and friends.

Come one, come all, to my abattoir! I've got one hell of a MacGuffin for you! You know you want it! Only the most powerful wizards can apply!

And then he carelessly cooks so many meals with his adventurers while everyone else cheerfully murders themselves.

Should I be shocked or disturbed that this seems so damn normal? Perhaps not. I am used to D&D.

The story was quite fine and the resolution was more than fine. It (Almost) makes up for the sociopathic reality of this long murderous house party. It did end on a fine high note, after all, filled with full bellies and the admiration of the goddess of magic.

It still leaves me with a disturbing note chiming in my brain.

Okay, so the only thing I really had a problem with, now that I've gotten through the novel, is the initial parade of neverending characters with little to differentiate them except their names. That may be an issue only because I haven't read the umpteen million books that came before, of course, but it was enough to make me put the novel down several times to recharge. It was almost like reading the Iliad for the first time.

Everything else was fun. Just one deep message to part on, and it was perfectly reasonable.

Always watch over your kitchen. You never know who might be messing with your next meal.

Right? Right.

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