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While this isn't a bad story, nothing in this book hits the high notes. Character never quiet come to life, the plot meanders, foes are under developed and the setting isn't used very well. The book lets too many hints around the mystery slip and most readers will figure out the mystery plot long before the characters do making the middle of this book painful to get through as you wait for the characters to get a clue. While I've certainly read worse genre fiction, it lacked a little something to really set it apart or tap into the wonderfully vibrate D&D energy leaving it very average.
However despite the books flaws, I don't regret picking it up. While I can only recommend this book on its own to hard core fans of the Forgotten Realms series it does set the stage for better stories down the line and really lets you get to know the leads. The characters events and relationships established here all are used to much better effect later in the series and while it slows down in the middle, the last 3rd of the book really picked up nicely once Airlyn finally figured out the score and stopped bumbling around clueless from point A to point B and goes to confront the villains in a great high adventure conclusion.
So, while Elfshadow has its fair share of flaws, I still recommend picking it up if you are a fan as it builds into some great stories down the line.
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