The eagerly awaited sequel to the bestselling "Elminster: The Making of a Mage". Traveling overland to Cormanthor, the young Elminster journeys to the legendary elven city to learn their ways and magics.
Ed Greenwood does a good job overall, but again, he can be too jumpy in his storytelling, not letting things flow as smoothly as they could, and can become slightly confusing. Overall, a very good book, but could be so much better.
However, if you like to read about what an ancient people with thousands of years in their lifespan might be like, it is for you. Ed portrays the elves as being much like White Wolf's vampires. If you aren't familiar with the concept, they are selfish, greedy, malevolent, manipulative beings, bent on controlling everything and being quite egomaniacal about their own nature. If you have read this book, this will immediately sound familiar to you, as this is exactly how all of the elves behave.
In short, Ed Greenwood did that most forbidden of fantasy novel things: He didn't leave the ugliness of our world behind when he wrote it, and, thus, created characters that you can hate. Characters that aren't even noble while they are evil, but are simply selfish and cruel. The elves are insulated and xenophobic, casually cruel in places, and concerned only with their own existence. In short, they are all you would expect of an arrogant race that lives thousands of years. They are realistic. None of this noble houses of morality banalness. Rather, they are believable. You will hate the Starym, and you will smile at Elminster's charisma and wisdom as he lives amongst the elves of Myth Drannor.
It was wonderfully written, a beautiful piece. It dares challenge the belief that fantasy is all about escapism, alone earning it five stars. But, in addition to all of that, it is satisfying, fun, and pleasant. Well done. Buy this book, read it, enjoy it, and read it again.