• Elminster: The Making of a Mage

  • Forgotten Realms: Elminster, Book 1
  • By: Ed Greenwood
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,500 ratings)

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Elminster: The Making of a Mage  By  cover art

Elminster: The Making of a Mage

By: Ed Greenwood
Narrated by: John Pruden
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Publisher's Summary

In ancient days, sorcerers sought to learn the One True Spell that would give them power over all the world and understanding of all magic....

The One True Spell was a woman, and her name was Mystra - and her kisses were wonderful.

It is the time before Myth Drannor, when the Heartlands are home to barbarians, and wicked dragons rule the skies. In these ancient days, Elminster is but a shepherd boy, dreaming of adventure and heroics. When a dragon-riding magelord sweeps down upon him, though, the boy is thrust into a world of harsh realities, corrupt rulers, and evil sorcerers.

With patience and grit, Elminster sets about to change all that. The result of his labors is a world reborn and a mage made.

©2010 Wizards of the Coast LLC (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Elminster: The Making of a Mage

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Horrible Narrator

Any additional comments?

I bought this audiobook because I really like the paper version. However, the narrator makes it very difficult to listen to the story. I could not get through the first chapter before giving up. The narrator speaks mostly in a bored voice while reading the story. It is also very obvious that he is only reading the book, not trying to perform. From the way he reads, I have to assume he tried reading the book version and just found it too boring. Because that is what he brings to his performance.The main problem with this audiobook is that the overall quality of the audio performance is very bad. Even for a relatively unknown book the quality put into this audiobook is way below acceptable. Please save yourself the trouble and avoid this audiobook.

38 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, terrible performance

I loved this book as a child and it was just as fun reading it again years later. That said, the narrator was awful. It felt like it was being read by Ben Stein, dry and bland. There was no feeling in the performance, his reading cadence was cumbersome and he barely varied his tone to indicate different characters. It felt like someone ponderously reading a book to me instead of someone performing a story.

20 people found this helpful

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  • EC
  • 06-27-17

Great story, poor narration

I stuck through the first two chapters of this book but couldn't bring myself to spend any more time on it. While this is an amazing story, one that I've read multiple times in paper version, the narration was not good and, in my opinion, made it impossible to listen to. I like to listen to audio books while doing something else (house cleaning, driving, data entry, etc.) and the narration was done in such a flat voice, I couldn't easily discern the difference between dialogue and the narration between conversations without applying all of my concentration to listening to the story. Overall, the narrator sounded bored and did nothing to improve the story. If you're interested in Elminster, I recommend picking up a physical copy of this story instead.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Stands apart in the Forgotten Realms. Tremendous!

If you've read my reviews, you know I love some of the Forgotten Realms audiobooks, such as the Dragonlance and Drizzt series. I was holding onnto hope that the Elminster series would be part of what Amazon would bring to the table for Audible's listeners. Finally, they have done so, and it's well worth the wait.

I read the Elminster novels many years ago, when they first hit the shelves. Ed Greenwood is a prolific writer with an excellent style, and I absorbed each of his Elminster novels, soaking in the superb storytelling strengths this author brings to the table.

Every aspect of this novel and the subsequent novels in the first and additional series are exceptional listening. Wonderful broad plot strokes, deep story lines and character development.

Once again, no spoilers at all. It would only ruin the listening journey.

If you like high magic fantasy, this makes for an exciting listen. And as to the rest of the series, Greenwood does't disappoint. I love this series so much, i bought them all.

You owe it to yourself to listen to this, the very first in the series.

I'm betting you'll want the rest, as I did.

Enjoy!

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love El, Classic to me.

Story of El is always great.

Narrator needed to break up the different scenes better. Flows together and unless you can anticipate or pay close attention, you may miss where the break is. Though good.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Dislike

Not sure if it was the writing or the person reading it, but who talks like that?! The speech was all wooden and slow, like it was written by a 6 year old. I found that the speaking between characters ruined the whole story for me.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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the narrator sucked and the sound wasn't better

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator did a poor job with voices and names, and was hard to understand at times.

Any additional comments?

The audio quality was terrible!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Voice actor makes it completely unlistenable

I lasted maybe 10 minutes before I had to shut it off! Do not buy this unless you want to hear the most boring monotone voice ever. It could be good if you want to fall asleep

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun but... dated

I'm an avid D&D player and have read all of the Drizzt books. After finishing the most recent one, I was left wanting more Forgotten Realms and so I decided to try out the Elminster books.

Pros: This book is a fun adventure and revenge tale. It is fun, fast pace, and also segmented in to smaller "arcs" that keep the reading entertaining. Elminster is an entertaining protagonist who has certain anatomical features the size of small moons. The book has some decently funny scenes, and El is quite mischievous.

The narrator is good. Not extraordinary, but I was easily able to get enmeshed in the story and don't recall ever being distracted by the way he says or voices anything.

Cons: The story is not incredibly deep or complex. The characters aren't very detailed; I really had a lot of trouble keeping the minor characters separate. There are also a lot of unexplained things that bothered me.

The story is a little problematic when it comes to women. Don't get me wrong, the women are typically good guys and contribute meaningfully to the story, buuuut there is a lot of unnecessary sexual content. I feel like there was always someone sleeping with someone, a brothel makes a number of appearances, women are routinely depicted as being nude and, of course, "voluptuous", and women are often treated like property to be passed around (let alone willing for this to happen).

I think this line from the book might give you an idea of how much this reads like it was wrote by a horny teenager who has never even seen a naked woman: "her capacious bosom heaved and rolled like tied barrels on the docks in high winds."

Summary: A quick, fun read as long as you don't mind the perviness.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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First Forgotten Realms book that I want to forget

**SPOILERS** (maybe?)

I had just finished Hero by R. A. Salvatore and it was bittersweet. Best book that I've read(I mean listened to) in a while. I was on a non-stop Drizzt bender and loved all of the books in the series. Hero was the final book for Drizzt and I was left wanting more forgotten Realms...

I looked at all the stories and trilogies and remembered Elminster being mentioned, in the Drizzt books, every once in a while. He is supposedly the most powerful wizard ever... Oh, shoot! He has his own series? Sounds good to me.

I wish.

This book dragged on and on. There wasn't enough action for me and Elminster was so lame. Plus, he was turned into a woman for half the book and it was just all over the place. Then he became friends with a female wizard that taught him stuff and then he turned back into a man and fell in love with his teacher, who was the goddess of magic and they had sex flying around in the sky... WHAT?!?! The author was trying to show all of the trials that he had to go through to become this badass wizard of all wizards and I didn't get it.

He was crappy at magic forever and didn't know anything. Then the next page he is fighting a Dragon and an illithid and some other huge beast all at the same time O_o About time we got some magic action, but it felt too out of place.

Needless to say I didn't continue this series. I went back to R. A. Salvatore and am reading his first DemonWars Saga book. Infinitely better than Elminster... Too bad it doesn't take place in the Forgotten Realms :\

The narrator was okay. I've heard much better and much worse.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lukey
  • 01-10-19

Poorly read by actor - detracts from enjoying

The reader sounds like he's speaking words off a script, without understanding the underlying meaning. The quality of the audiobook suffers as a result.

4 people found this helpful

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  • marion
  • 07-18-20

Almost a comic book.

One of the worst audio books I have ever had, this book is both poorly written and poorly read. Though maybe the narrator was as board as I,
which is a shame as the story could have been a good one. The characters arrive with little introduction or depth and the world they inhabit suffers the same fate. There are occasional glimpses of good magical images but it lacks flow.
There are so many vastly superior fantasy books to choose from - keep looking.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark James
  • 11-28-17

Love it

I love Elminster, for me his D&D roots is the very thing that kept me going when i was playing the board versions of D&D, but i never really know his background story, these books gave me the chance to understand him and how he became the larger than life character he is, the story teller is hard to get used too as too many characters sound the same but the story is so good it worked for me.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard Prettyman
  • 01-18-21

Story was great

Story was great but the guy reading it is super monotone. I'll be listening to it again, for a while I was using it to fall asleep to due to the guys voice being so boring