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Elminster in Hell (Forgotten Realms: The Elminster Series, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2002

Book 4 of 5 in the Sage of Shadowdale Series

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Product Details

  • Series: The Elminster Series
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786927461
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786927463
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gods and mortals alike succumb to gambling fever aboard the Peace of Boona on its yearly baccarat cruise, and would-be lovers Max and Eleanor, children of two of the game's celebrated fixtures, are alternately seduced and repulsed by the frenzy. From up above, Kronos, Apollo and other celestial powerhouses dabble in earthly matters as the Titan Argus competes with the mortal D.A. Holon for the strumpet La Petite's love in Mark Broderick's madcap first book, Baccarat: Nine Lives South of Boona.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

ED GREENWOOD has written numerous articles, game products, columns, short stories, and novels. Among his most recent novels are Death of the Dragon (with Troy Denning) and Elminster in Hell. Greenwood resides in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Customer Reviews

The descriptive verse is not there save for the parentheses.
john washington
This book is just a bunch of short stories tied together that were used to extend the main story from 50 pages to 400 pages.
Rom Gin
I know that any other author would have started the book differently.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying that this is an amazing book, easily the
best Elminster book yet. However you will want to prepare yourself
before you read this book, this book is not a first-read book. This
book has quite a few prerequisites, including the previous 3 El books,
the Avatar trilogy, and the shadows of the avatar trilogy (and the two
books that follow those), and MOST definately Silverfall. I should
point out that this book takes place in the current date of the Realms
timeline, and occurs just after the events in The Summoning, and a
reader may also consider reading that book before hand to see what
caused El to go to hell (and also consider the three Netheril books as
a prerequisite to The Summoning) Now that the prerequisites are out of
the way, we can reveal some content. The book is about our beloved
Elminster trapped in the first layer of hell by a powerful devil who
will not rest until he has raped El's mind of all his precious
memories. The first few pages of the book explain this, and also give
the realms dates for those memories. This book is one of the very
best Forgotten Realms books I have ever read (numbering over 70, and
growing), and would place this book in the top five, along with
Servant of the Shard (another amazing Realms book). This book is very
enjoyable if you take the time to prepare yourself by reading
Silverfall, and the other books mentioned above.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RZ4 on October 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Before I begin to praise this unique novel, I'd like to start off by saying that I strongly recommend reading the previous three Elminster novels by Ed Greenwood before embarking on this outstanding book. After doing so, I decided to pick up Elminster in Hell despite the fact that I heard chronologically it takes place most recently in the Forgotten Realms' extensive timeline. Nevertheless, upon reading about twenty pages into the book you realize that you're in for an immensely interesting and informative read. Elminster of Shadowdale; one of the most recognized, respected and powerful beings in the land of Faerun is attempting to destroy a rift between the Nine Hells and Toril, when he is captured by an arch-devil named Nergal in Avernus. Nergal plans on appropriating valuable memories dealing with the magical technique Silver Fire in Elminster's mind for his own diabolical usage. Elminster displays bravery and sly cleverness despite his predicament, but inevitably is forced to release his memories one by one.
Here in lies the greatness of the book. Ed Greenwood takes over twenty(!) of his signature characters and has them each playing roles in the various recollections that Elminster is providing to Nergal. It was truly satisfying to read page after page, seeing different characters that I have read about in Forgotten Realms source books finally in action all in one book. Without giving away any truly satisfying surprises there are cameos and fairly dominant roles by The Simbul, Storm Silverhand, Sylune, Alustriel, Laeral Silverhand, Mirt, Durnan, Piergeiron, Vangerdahast,and my favorite Khelben Blackstaff Arunsun.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andy Gray on August 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I admit I am not a big fan of Greenwood's, yet for some reason I keep subjecting myself to his book. This book differs from Greenwoods's other novels in that this one makes absolutley no sense what so ever. This book is a jumble of ideas all trying for the same page... it doesn't follow a logical line of thought, nor is there any real character development. I enjoy the character of Elminster, but how many Elminster books do we really need? The initial Elminster series was good, then it just fell apart after that.

This book is definatley a pass...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a bit of a let down. I expected a much clearer story line and telling. This is a book all Forgotten Realms fans should read, but probably just the once. Its hard to follow at times and kinda leaves you wanting to know a bit more at the end. Not what I've come to expect from Ed Greenwood. His other books were wonderful; this one, could of used some work.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Charles H. Martin on January 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is just a mess of a book. The concept was enough to get me to pick the book up: the mighty Elminster, fighting for his life against a duke of Hell. And for a little while, the story is somewhat engrossing as we take a trip through Elminster's memories while the old wizard tries to distract his captor from learning all of the secrets of one of Mystra's Chosen.

As the book moves on, however, the story starts to fall apart. Elminster reaches out through his thoughts to a number of his friends and acquaintances. Among those who get involved in the plot are Mirt the Moneylender, Vangerdahast, the Simbul, Halaster, and Mystra herself. However, Mirt and Vangerdahast prove themselves completely useless, worrying about Elminster but being unable to help him or even advance the plot. Halaster only proves himself somewhat useful as a deus ex machina near the end and even then only with Mystra's help. Even Mystra herself, the goddess of magic in the Forgotten Realms, proves to be of little use in Elminster's rescue. As a result, we have really only three important characters: Elminster, the Simbul, and the devil captor. The rest of the cast serves no other purpose than to mill about ineffectually and occasionally serve as the focus of a quick flashback from the old mage.

Even more frustrating than the mess of a plot that Greenwood provides is the fact that he writes like a horny adolescent. Every woman in the novel -- bar none -- ends up undressed at one point or another. Every interlude we get involves sex in one way or another, not as a way of advancing the plot but more or less just because Greenwood seems obsessed with woman wanting to sleep with Elminster. This is the type of writing that gives fantasy a bad name and results in so few people taking it seriously.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

About me...

Thought by some to be an incarnation of one of the Great Old Ones, the being now commonly known as Ed Greenwood fell to earth in the heart of a shooting star on the Night of the Unicorn Moon. Overnight. he grew to bearded manliness, becoming by the end of that month the Canadian fencing-with-saxophones champion and a doctor of strange games played while wearing fishnets, before embarking on potty training (largely completed now), belly dancing training (belly attained, but Ed is still working on the dancing) and the road to greatness that he still hasn't found the first milepost on (perhaps he missed it among all the Yield and Stop signs).

Admired by many for the inspired lunacy of his school projects, he--

Oh. Sorry. The REAL version. Uh-huh.

--Boring bragging commences . . .

Ed Greenwood is an award-winning Canadian writer and game designer. Although most Canadians don't know his name, he has been in the top ten (usually top five) writers of bestselling Canadian fiction writers almost every year of the last two decades.

Ed created the Forgotten Realms® fantasy world for the Dungeons and Dragons game; it has been featured in board, roleplaying, computer and card games, comic books, and a bestselling novel line that has spanned twenty years and hundreds of titles by more than sixty writers, including R.A. Salvatore's famous Drizzt novels. Ed is currently Canada's only judge for the prestigious World Fantasy Awards, and has published over 170 books that have sold millions of copies worldwide in over a dozen languages. He has written three novels already this year, and by the time they are all published this fall, he will have written at least the first drafts of three more. Ed usually writes fantasy, but has also written science fiction, horror, romance, mysteries, song lyrics, poetry, and many, many magazine articles and columns. He even appeared (as himself) in comic books published by DC Comics and by TSR, Inc. Ed's novels regularly climb the New York Times and other major best-seller lists; his 1987 novel Spellfire has sold over three million copies worldwide in various editions, and the Waldenbooks bookstore chain reported that his novel Crown of Fire was its top-selling game-related publication of 1994. His writing has won many awards down the years, and he was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design's Origins Awards Hall of Fame in 2003. Ed has been a guest of honor at more than four dozen conventions all over the world, from Stockholm, Sweden to Melbourne, Australia.

In real life, Ed Greenwood is a large, well-padded, bearded man who is all too often mistaken for Santa Claus. He has worked in public libraries for forty years, and lives in an old farmhouse with more than 80,000 books. When he was younger, he loved exploring caves, fencing with swords, and camping. These days, he much prefers a well-padded fireside armchair where he can curl up and read books about exploring caves, fencing with swords, and camping. Or books about crazies in armor who ride dragons, hurl spells, and seek princesses in castles. Ed has lived for more than a decade in rural Ontario, but was born and raised in Don Mills, now part of Toronto. He comes from a literary family; his mother, Barbara Greenwood, is the author of several popular Canadian children's books, including A Pioneer Story, A Question of Loyalty, and The Kids Book of Canada. Ed's parents together wrote Stand Up! Speak Out! (a book on public speaking for novices), and his uncle W. G. Hardy was a major figure in Canadian literature decades ago, writing such bestsellers as The Unfulfilled, City of Libertines, The Scarlet Mantle, The Bloody Toga, and Alberta: A Bicentennial History.

Ed has been an editor of Dragon Magazine and a columnist for The Campaign Hack (Canada's longest-running gaming magazine), the media magazine Realms, Polyhedron™ Newszine, Cryptych, and several other fantasy and gaming periodicals. Ed is a charter lifetime member of the RPGA (Role Playing Game Association) and a lifetime active member of SFWA (the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). Ed has been hailed as "the Canadian author of the great American novel" (bestselling fantasy author J. Robert King), "an industry legend" (Dragon Magazine), "one of the greats" (Games Magazine), and "a true genius" (bestselling SF and fantasy author Elaine Cunningham). Bestselling fantasy author Margaret Weis said of him: "Ed Greenwood is a master of fantasy adventure worldbuilding. His magic and wizardry are wondrous to all!"

Bestselling SF and fantasy author and game designer Michael Stackpole said this of Ed: "Creating fantasy requires imagination and a deft but subtle hand, which Ed Greenwood has long showed himself capable of in his creation of the Forgotten Realms world. His skill lies in his ability to make the ordinary magical and in integrating magic and legends so thoroughly in his work. His sense of humor and drama combine in wondrous adventure tales with depth and pacing that make his books single-sitting treasures."

Computer game enthusiasts will find Ed's short story "Moonrise over Myth Drannor" in the Myth Drannor Forgotten Realms computer game from Strategic Simulations, Inc., and his short story "Living Forever" in the Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor computer game from Ubisoft. Ed was one of the writers of the classic Interplay computer game The Two Towers, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Ed's lore has been used in over two dozen computer games, including the best-selling Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series. Ed cocreated the Mornmist fantasy world (published by Vision Books) with noted fantasy author Lynn Abbey, and is developing more fantasy settings, as well as assisting in the preparation of an on-again-off-again Forgotten Realms television series and movie. Ed has contributed literally hundreds of articles and short stories to dozens of magazines, including Dragon, Dungeon Adventures, Gameplay, Troll, Games Unplugged, Realms, Game Trade, Amberzine, and The Excellent Prismatic Spray. He has written forewords for several books, including the Planet Stories/Paizo Publishing reprint of Gary Gygax's The Samarkand Solution (2008).

Ed also contributes weekly articles to the Wizards of the Coast site (www.wizards.com). These include the long-running and now completed Realmswatch, Ed Says, Elminster Speaks, Realmslore, Waterdeep News, and Border Kingdoms columns, the current Eye On The Realms column, and Realms short stories such as "Never a Warpig Born" (2001); "One Comes, Unheralded, To Zirta" (2001); "Wisdom Comes to the Maimed Wizard" (2002); "Ladies Night at the Yawning Portal" (2002); "Only a Woman Can Take This Sort of Abuse" (2003); "The Night Tymora Sneezed" (2004); "The Silverfall Interview" (2005); "A Ghost Of a Chance" (2005); "Far Too Many Thieves" (2005); "Dark Times in Hastarl" (2005); "Revenge among Thieves" (2005); "The Lady of the Mists" (2005); "Every Revel a Masterpiece" (2006); "The Weaver of Dreams" (2007); "Volo Breaks a Hot Tale" (2008); "Night of the Dread Pudding" (2009); "The Rise of Bardic Beauty" (2010). In 2005, the Wizards of the Coast Legendology website published Ed's novelette Oroon Rising in serialized form.

Via one of his players, Ed regularly answers fan questions in the "Chamber of Sages" Candlekeep forums at forum.candlekeep.com. Those wanting to hang out with Ed, hear his latest news, and buy new fiction by him should head to TheEdVerse.com.

-Ed Greenwood, Dec 2013

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Elminster in Hell (Forgotten Realms: The Elminster Series, Book 4)
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