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The Lost Library of Cormanthyr (Forgotten Realms: Lost Empires, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1998

16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Lost Empires
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786907355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786907359
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I write in a number of fields, but always with the hope of telling an interesting tale that will incite a reader to think for himself or herself, to examine his or her own place in the world, and offer a little nudge in the direction of dreams, faith, and personal growth in spite of whatever odds a person has to face. I also believe we were all put here for a purpose. Hopefully, several purposes. I'm a father, a little league coach, a teacher, a friend, and a writer. I struggle to keep that balance, as many of us do these days, but I hold tightly to the belief that I'm doing all I can be doing, and doing what I should be doing.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By AnthonyWrites on September 17, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
MINOR SPOILER WARNING: There are no crucial plot elements revealed in this review. However, in the interest of providing a very in depth review, there are some minor spoilers in the text. They should not in any way ruin the story, but they do reveal some story events. If that bugs you out, STOP HERE!

Some background on this review: I had read a few Forgotten Realms books. They were not good. In fact, they were mostly refuse, most notably the Ed Greenwood, creator of the Realms, authored "Spellfire," which I threw across the room halfway through, it was so pathetic. Even though I had enjoyed "Horselords," I had sworn off of FR books altogether due to my other reads, until an online acquaintance who worked in the WotC/TSR fiction dept. convinced me that they were doing some new and exciting things. So based on his recommendation, specifically for this then "new" series, I gave it another shot. Now, the review:

The story revolves around Baylee, a ranger/archaeologist who was mentored by a mage with whom he's had a falling out. Baylee is more interested in knowledge than riches, much like his mentor. When the mage, Fannt Golsway, is murdered by a drow (yes, there's them drow again :-/ ) early on, Baylee, away on an expedition, is implicated. Fannt lived in Waterdeep, so a contingent (read: small army) from there is sent to find Baylee, which they do easily enough. It becomes quickly apparent that Baylee is not guilty of anything, and the search for the murderer is tied up in Fannt's search for the Lost Library of Cormanthyr, which was lost at the fall of Myth Drannor and is now guarded by a lich.

First, the good: Mel's writing style is easy to read.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Edwin H Morales on March 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book leaves much to be desired. First of all, the author leave too many unfinished stories. For example, it gives you an interesting epilogue which introduces almost the best rounded characters in the story. At the end of this epilogue, the author gives us the hint that these characters are going to return to the main story, but this never happens. This elemment in the book repeats itself even with another character Jaeleen, which is mentioned in almost half of the book but it is never given a satisfactory conclusion (the character disappears without a trace and a reason as to why). Also I found the action of the story (such as battle scenes) being poorly described and ended so fast that they became pointless. (One hit-one kill).
The development of the story and characters leaves much to be desired. For example, the main character is an "overqualified" adventurer who never lose an argument or a battle. At the end of the book, we have a main character who knows everything, fights (and wins) with everything. Indeed, it makes it difficult for the reader to identify him(her)self with the main character. My not buy this book. There are other and much better fantasy books out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L Gontzes on August 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Lost Library of Cormanthyr is the first in a series of four novels (known as the Lost Empires series and which includes Faces of Deception, Star of Cursrah, and the Nether Scroll) that deal with the secrets of four of Toril's long lost ancient civilizations.
The book describes the adventures of an archaeologist ranger named Baylee Arnvold who, along with his azmyth bat familiar, tries to find out who killed his mentor, Fannt Golsway, in the city of Waterdeep. His efforts lead him from adventure to adventure before he has to face a powerful undead which in its quest for power is set on magically transporting one of Faerun's oldest and most magnificent libraries to the Astral Plane so that it may protect its contents from interlopers as well as unlock Toril's secrets without the threat of that many adventurers interfering.
Mel Odom does a good job of acquiring and presenting essential knowledge relevant to Faerun, including customs, religion and the history of the peoples of Toril e.g. "The city had once been called Rainydale, known as Selarrynm in the elven tongue, and had been one of the larger trading posts outside of Myth Drannor proper." (p.256) Additionally, the author does a wonderful job of describing the Legend of the Sleeping Kings (pp. 47-48) as well as the sacrificial altar dedicated to the god Vaprak, a deity worshiped by trolls and ogres alike. (p.46)
Moreover, on page 133 he provides very good descriptions of the fireball and web spells, while on pages 267-268 he does a good job in his portrayal of hook horrors.
Furthermore, Mel Odom is on the ball when the baelnorn utters: "In truth you are all humans, and I would care less if you all die in this endeavor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wanderlust Addict on May 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book; it has been the best I have read of Odom. I felt it was an excellent story. Yes its true there are several areas that could be flushed out a bit more, and it definitely gives you're a thirst for more. There are some areas characters are used briefly and disappear but I feel that these help develop the main character and the story. This was fun read that kept me glued to the book. I have read a lot of Wizards novels, primarily Forgotten Realms area. Too many times the books are set up in a way that the main character (the underdog) ends up going against the odds and saving the entire realm. This book is different. You have a ranger, which by gaming standards is not an easy class to obtain, trying to find a big treasure, in this case a library. Once he finds it he tries to save it from being lost. The realms are not being taken over and there is no great evil trying to dominate the country side. Don't get me wrong there is an evil but its ambitions are the same as the main character, to get/keep the library.

I would really like to see Wizards/TSR bring the main character back in a series and answer all the openings this book created and left open.

All in all I highly recommend this book. It has a nice cast of characters and it not difficult to follow. If you like Indiana Jones, you will like this.
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