• Death Masks

  • Forgotten Realms: Elminster, Book 7
  • By: Ed Greenwood
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 15 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (222 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ed Greenwood, who is synonymous with the Forgotten Realms, leads listeners through a story that combines the rollicking fantasy adventure for which he is famous with a murder mystery-thriller.

That's what, four lords dead?

Revealed in death to have been Masked Lords, three more citizens had been murdered over the preceding day and night: the Sembian wine seller and collector Oszbur Malankar; the half-elf sorceress and artisan Dathanscza Meiril; and the moneylender, landlord, and investor Ammasker Gwelt.

All of Waterdeep now knew someone was killing the Lords of Waterdeep one by one. Yet that was about where truth ended and speculation - however plausible - began. The broadsheets were full of wild conjecture. Who was behind this? The ousted Lord Neverember? The Zhentarim, the Cult of the Dragon, or some other Outland Power? The Xanathar? Some cabal of guilds or nobles planning a coup?

The rumors would rage on whether the Open Lord Laeral Silverhand did something or not. That was the trouble with rumors: Once loosed, they roamed free like snarling, untamed beasts, with no simple way of stopping them. And all rumors aside, Waterdeep has become...

A city of murderers!

©2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Death Masks

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Ultimately not worth the slog

DM here. I came for the lore, but the few lore and personality tid bits weren't worth it in the end. You'll understand and be able to roleplay Laeral Silverhand, Elminster and Mirt after listening; that's about the best I can say.
The narrator was alright but some of the voices sound samey.
Not much insite into the City of Splendors either in the end.
If you absolutely must have the latest insite into Waterdeep and these characters be prepared for a slog. Otherwise search the wikis and read the old settings books.

P.S. For good relms books I recomend R. A. Salvator and Erin M. Evans, though Evan's can be rough around the edges they are ultimately worth it imo.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but has it's flaws

while it may be a great story and I understand there is a longer running story. I feel like this book could have taken it a little better to introduce characters.

the reader does have a handful of voices. but to often the important characters overlapped so it became confusing.
The chance of perspective changes at the drop of a hat, which if you arent dedicated 99% of your attention you'll miss who the story is focusing on. only made more of an issue when the voices sound so similar.

It's good, I just wish it was better at making clear when a scene ends or have a reader with a larger range of characters for a book with so many.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great background for anyone running D&D season 8.

This is the most up to date picture of the city of splendors.
It's a good mix of intrigue and action.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

boring and to get through.

you read about archmages and chosen of Mystra to read about powerful magic.
this is administration work... and a waste of money

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Exciting chaos in The Deep

There is great fun to be had with this book, experiencing so many character is varying layers of panic.

The occasional nods to the Adventures of 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons are also quite enjoyable.

I am personally not fan of the direction the state of the Chosen a Weave is going in, but that is hardly a fault with story itself or the storytelling.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Convoluted story. Too much yet too little.

Convoluted story, filled with old wizards that act like petulant teenagers filled with angst. There are so many characters in this story yet none of them are relatable. The "Open Lord" of Waterdeep is an edge-lord who constantly goes it alone and doesn't know how to delegate anything, leaving you wondering how she ever became a head of state in the first place. The same goes for the Black Staff. There's no real team to root for, nobody really works with each other, there are times where they might even kill one another. The ending is basically a deus ex machina, one the protagonists didn't really earn.

There are so many plot holes. The narrative structure is like a bad TV show, jumping from character to character mid chapter, which does not translate well as a novel. The narration is fine, too bad the material stinks.

I started reading this to gather some background on the Waterdeep setting and that's probably the only reason I finished it. If you're a Dungeon's and Dragon's nerd like me who is doing some research then maybe its worth reading. Never mind, its not even worth that because you won't get much out of it. There is no way the Waterdeep that is depicted in this book would last as its nearly anarchy when the 'Open Lord' can barely handle her own City Watch or a string of murders.

I'd recommend 'Blackstaff Tower' by Steven E. Schend and anything else in that series over this novel.

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Great story ruined.

Easy to tell where modern politics and sexuality are spliced into what might have been a great story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story about the city of waterdeep.

I'm very satisfied with this audiobook. It was quite enjoyable.

>Interesting plot
>Interesting characters and script.
>Good voice acting.

No complaints.

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Not into Ed Greenwood

The caricatures (for they are far from characters) of Mirt and Elminster define the entire story; sexist, over bloated, disgusting dribble. The story is all over the place with useless information cloaked as worldbuilding and characters who do not live up to their potentials. The glaring issues of this story are compounded by the fact that the official Dungeons and Dragons adventure Waterdeep: Dragon Heist are based on its setting and characters. So long is spent tearing down a nearly godlike female character while rising the main character, Elminster, into an overly competent and powerful being. They are in the same situation, but Larael must be saved, must weep at the memory of her long dead husband though the same affliction does not bother Mirt , who mentions his long dead wife once between whoring and belching and being entirely unlikable while being far more competent in skill and tact than his more powerful female counterpart. The story revolves around these three centuries old beings while focusing far too little to the more interesting characters of Jalester, Dunblade, and the assassins. There was potential in these characters, but they spend most of the story having sex and dealing with these godlike elders rather than detailing their conflict with one another. I cannot in good conscience recommend this dribble to anyone. It made me angry at every turn. Just when the story would seem to be going somewhere interesting or worthwhile, it’d devolve into detailed and unnecessary descriptions of unflattering caricatures of prostitutes, gross banquets of embarrassing attempts to replicate George R. R. Martin’s food porn, and deconstructions of what should have been powerful female characters in favor of their unworthy male counterparts.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tells the story of Waterdeep.The chaos of the City

Tell the story of Waterdeep. The chaos of the city. And allies are made and broken easy.
Great story. But what I really likes about it. Is how it captures the chaos of Waterdeep. The city never sleeps. And there is alwasy more then one problem to look out for.

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