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Jeivar
2009-06-18, 02:35 PM
I'm looking for some good fantasy reading material to buy off amazon. Can someone suggest a good D&D novel, preferably Forgotten Realms, that I can enjoy without having read 20 others to know all the characters and situations?

And please don't say R.A. Salvatore. I hate his writing style.
I'll be thankful for any other suggestion. :smallsmile:

RTGoodman
2009-06-18, 02:57 PM
I'm not a huge FR fan, but I DO love a lot of the Dragonlance novels. If you haven't read those, I'd suggest grabbing the Chronicles trilogy (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning) and then going from there. There are a TON of DL novels, some good, some bad, but in general the ones by Weis & Hickman are good, as are most of the ones by Richard Knaak.

For Forgotten Realms, I'm reading the new(ish) "Swordmage" and it's pretty good. Not the best plot-wise, but enjoyable. I'll probably pick up the sequel when it hits paperback. Note, though, that it's set AFTER the 100+ year jump between 3rd Edition D&D and 4th Edition D&D, so most of Faerun has been pretty wildly changed.

Also, you said you don't like Salvatore, but if you haven't read the Cleric Quintet, you might could try the first in that series. It's a lot different than his Drizz't books, and I know a lot of folks that like that series better than all of the Drizz't ones.

Faulty
2009-06-18, 02:59 PM
The Starlight & Shadows books by (I believe) Elaine Cunningham.

Tam_OConnor
2009-06-18, 03:04 PM
Well, I can help if you're looking for series:

Paul Kemp's Erevis Cale trilogy was good, as I recall. I only read them once, which is why my memory is fuzzy, but they were pretty good as far as D&D intrigue goes.

The War of the Spider Queen had some serious, serious issues in the later books, but the first one (Dissolution, by Richard Lee Byers) was fun.

Paul Kidd's Greyhawk novels (Return to White Plume Mountain, Descent into the Depths of the Earth and Expedition to the Demonweb Pits) are about as typical D&D novels as you can get; maybe a bit too humorous for some, but there's no accounting for taste.

Elaine Cunningham had two series and a novel. The series were about Arilyn Moonblade (not bad, but certainly dropping off in quality as time went on) and Liriel Baenre (marred, in my opinion, by D&D's screwed up magic. The Dresden Files does it much better). The novel, Evermeet, is great if you love elves and historicals. Otherwise...not so much.

That's all that's springing to mind, for the non-Salvatore, non-continuity Forgotten Realms novels. If I think of another, I'll add it in.

Jeivar
2009-06-18, 03:12 PM
Also, you said you don't like Salvatore, but if you haven't read the Cleric Quintet, you might could try the first in that series. It's a lot different than his Drizz't books, and I know a lot of folks that like that series better than all of the Drizz't ones.

I did read the Dragonlance novels back in my college days, and the cleric series shortly after that. And what I mostly remember about the CQ is Salvatore's attempts at slapstick humor in prose form, and how incredibly painful I found the experience.

KIDS
2009-06-18, 03:20 PM
I was about to say 'Dark Elf Triology' until I saw your note. Oh well. I'm not a fan of Salvatore but I liked that series (and didn't like anything else).

I recommend War of the Spider Queen, which is both original and impressively well written. I find that the quality starts to diminish slowly from fourth book onwards (there are six, I believe), but if you've enjoyed the first tree, it will be barely noticeable.
Overall, the series stands out as some really good work that I am not used to finding in D&D novels (no offense to their writers).

mangosta71
2009-06-18, 03:22 PM
I enjoyed the Moonshae Isle trilogy, by (I think) Douglas Niles.

Morty
2009-06-18, 03:22 PM
I, too, recommend War of The Spider Queen. It's surprisingly good for a gaming-related novel, although the quality varies between the authors.

Jamin
2009-06-18, 03:23 PM
I'm not a huge FR fan, but I DO love a lot of the Dragonlance novels. If you haven't read those, I'd suggest grabbing the Chronicles trilogy (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning) and then going from there. There are a TON of DL novels, some good, some bad, but in general the ones by Weis & Hickman are good, as are most of the ones by Richard Knaak.



QFT man also pick the twin series

Tyrant
2009-06-18, 10:32 PM
I thought the Haunted Lands trilogy was alright. It takes place in Thay and works it's way from just before the spellplague to several years after and features Szass Tam as the primary villain.

The Knights of Myth Drannor trilogy was interesting, if somewhat chaotic at times. It does feature well known characters like Elminster and Manshoon, but their past deeds aren't critical to the story. It takes place well before the spellplague. It features lots and lots of magic (and descriptions of the impacts the spells should actually have) if you like that kind of thing.

I am on the second swordmage book and would give a similar recommendation as rtg0922.

For stand alones I thought Blackstaff was okay, but it does have some world changing events occur in it (which they give you the back story you need to understand them). Bloodwalk was interesting and featured a bloodmage which is the only one I have come across. The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel was decent (and long, in comparison to the majority of FR paperbacks) and gives you an inside look at some of the parts of the city.

In general, the stand alone books (The Wizards series, The Citadels, etc) seem to be decent and don't depend on mountains of back story.

Also, I echo the call to check out more DL books. The Twins Trilogy was the high point in my mind. The others by Weis and Hickman are all decent. The new ones filling in gaps in the original trilogy are good too. I thought the second one was the better of the two released so far.

Cheesegear
2009-06-18, 10:42 PM
I'm not a fan of FR Books in general, but, War of the Spider Queen is rather good. And it's follow-up The Lady Penitent is reasonable.
I also liked The Avatar Series, which dealt with the Time of Troubles. It was interesting to know what happened. Although, once you read it, you can't un-read it. I used to use my imagination for what happened in the ToT...Not anymore. But Mask is still awesome, and always will be.

My all-time favourite D&D books, are the DragonLance ones. And I heartily recommend you read those.


There are a TON of DL novels, some good, some bad, but in general the ones by Weis & Hickman are good, as are most of the ones by Richard Knaak.

My favourite set has to be The Minotaur Wars by Richard A. Knaak; it is awesome. Primarily because it's got minotaurs and it's got ogres...And they fight. A lot. :smallwink:

revolver kobold
2009-06-18, 10:53 PM
Seconding the Avatar series. Falls apart a bit in the fourth book, but I found the final book (The Trial of Cyric?) to be brilliant.

RTGoodman
2009-06-18, 11:07 PM
My favourite set has to be The Minotaur Wars by Richard A. Knaak; it is awesome. Primarily because it's got minotaurs and it's got ogres...And they fight. A lot. :smallwink:

Haven't read those, but I LOVED the Legends books about Huma and Kaz the Minotaur.


With the Avatar series, I probably wouldn't recommend it. Some people love it, but I personally hated it and couldn't get through the second book.

Mr. Scaly
2009-06-18, 11:13 PM
I'm not a huge FR fan, but I DO love a lot of the Dragonlance novels. If you haven't read those, I'd suggest grabbing the Chronicles trilogy (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning) and then going from there. There are a TON of DL novels, some good, some bad, but in general the ones by Weis & Hickman are good, as are most of the ones by Richard Knaak.

Douglas Niles has also written some gems among the series, my personal favourite being 'Puppet King.' Jeff Grubb is famous (I think) for his portrayal of gnomes, so 'Seige of Mount Nevermind' is worth a look too. And though the third one kind of annoyed me Margaret Weis' new 'Dark Acolyte' trilogy is gripping. I've also heard good things about Jean Rabe.

Rutskarn
2009-06-18, 11:22 PM
I can honestly say that I've never read a Dungeons and Dragons novel I'd recommend. Maybe I'm just picky about which ones I'm willing to suggest others read, or maybe I'm just picky in general, but so far I've been willing to label such novels as, at best, pretty good.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-06-19, 09:15 PM
Prince of Lies and Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad. Crucible is the sequel to Prince of Lies.

The basic plot of both novels involve a lot of pantheon politics. Gods striving against gods and you get a good look at Forgotten Realm's afterlife. Mostly about how Cyric wants to wrest power from the rest of the pantheon, as per usual.

I'm a sucker of stories involving flawed gods with almost human characteristics (e.g. Greek mythology) and it's rather interesting to see the gods as characters who have personalities and perceptions almost exclusively limited to their sphere of influence.

For example, Cyric is a god of madness and lies. So he'll entertain a lot of narcissistic delusions of his own power, perfection, generosity, righteousness etc. Crucible is itself recounted from the perspective of a reluctant prophet of Cyric, Malik, who was not particularly devout but was nonetheless sent on a suicidal mission by the god -- so it's interesting in that he's an unreliable narrator.

erikun
2009-06-19, 09:26 PM
I find R.A. Salvatore to be very hit-or-miss. The big war battles are well written, but his writing just feels awkward when the individual characters are out "adventuring" for some reason.

One book that I recently picked up and enjoyed was The Queen of Stone: Thorn of Breland (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/eberronnovel/218237400) by Keith Baker. It's more of a stealth-and-spy than a dragon hunt, and it's set in Eberron, but I found it a very nice read.

I haven't read anything else to recommend, though.

Yulian
2009-06-19, 09:49 PM
I absolutely adore some of the Ravenloft novels.

Carnival of Fear, I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire I Strahd: the War Against Azalin, Knight of the Black Rose, and Spectre of the Black Rose are all excellent.

- Yulian

Xenre
2009-06-20, 05:16 AM
Do not, do not, DO NOT!!! Read Soldiers of Ice by David Cook. It was the most horribly written Forgotten Realms novel in existence.

I understand the need to have a hero that does not always clean house with every enemy they face (such as the case with Arilyn Moonblade (although, I gotta say I love Elaine Cunningham's characters, with the possible exception of Danilo Thann. I am more of a fighter type anyway), but do not give me a hero that spends two thirds of the novel injured and in bed.

Azure Bonds, however was a pretty decent book. So was Crown of Fire. If you want a read that gives you a good history of the most prominent character in the realms, try reading Elminster: The Making of a Mage. It tells you a lot about his history.

Lady Tialait
2009-06-20, 08:38 AM
I'm not a big fan of Forgotten Realms.

The only D&D novels other then the Dragonlace twins series and the war of the lance that I enjoyed was The Dreaming Dark Series by Keith Baker (http://www.amazon.com/City-Towers-Eberron-Dreaming-Dark/dp/0786935847)

Then again...i'm an Eberron junky.

Rutskarn
2009-06-20, 11:29 AM
You know what the worst thing ever is?

Any collection of Dragonlance short stories ever.

One or two tolerable stories. A mountain of shuddering, pulsating dreck.

Elder Wraith
2009-06-20, 11:33 AM
You know what the worst thing ever is?

Any collection of Dragonlance short stories ever.

One or two tolerable stories. A mountain of shuddering, pulsating dreck.

Agreed.

Anyway, I'd recommend the FR moonshae trilogy by Douglas Niles - they've got a nice plot, even though the characters are, with the exception of Newt, generic.

Mr. Scaly
2009-06-20, 11:44 AM
You know what the worst thing ever is?

Any collection of Dragonlance short stories ever.

One or two tolerable stories. A mountain of shuddering, pulsating dreck.

Try Heroes and Fools then. It's the best of the bunch.

Blackjackg
2009-06-20, 04:37 PM
I'll second the Ravenloft books that Yulian mentioned, with the caveat that most of the Ravenloft books he didn't mention generally suck. Though if you're going to read The War Against Azalin, you should probably read the other Azalin book. I think it's called Lord of the Necropolis.

I always kind of dug the Dark Sun "Prism Pentad," whose author I can't think of off the top of my head. And the first couple of Spelljammer books from the Cloakmaster cycle were tolerable.

TheThan
2009-06-20, 06:05 PM
Agreed.

Anyway, I'd recommend the FR moonshae trilogy by Douglas Niles - they've got a nice plot, even though the characters are, with the exception of Newt, generic.

If I recall correctly isnít that the one where the most powerful character on the island is *drumroll* a bardÖ with a bow. and the party gets their butts kicked by a boar, (not even a razorboar, just a boar).

Closet_Skeleton
2009-06-20, 06:09 PM
If I recall correctly isnít that the one where the most powerful character on the island is *drumroll* a bardÖ with a bow. and the party gets their butts kicked by a boar, (not even a razorboar, just a boar).

Just because they're level one doesn't mean you have to make fun :smalltongue:

TRM
2009-06-20, 06:34 PM
I can honestly say that I've never read a Dungeons and Dragons novel I'd recommend. Maybe I'm just picky about which ones I'm willing to suggest others read, or maybe I'm just picky in general, but so far I've been willing to label such novels as, at best, pretty good.
Same, same, same here.

And I've used up my helpful and constructive post count for the day. Bye.

TheThan
2009-06-20, 07:13 PM
Just because they're level one doesn't mean you have to make fun :smalltongue:

Yeah, but it was one boar, a party of level ones should have been able to take it down. I mean they only have 25 hit points and AC 16. :smallwink:

Blackjackg
2009-06-20, 07:25 PM
I can honestly say that I've never read a Dungeons and Dragons novel I'd recommend. Maybe I'm just picky about which ones I'm willing to suggest others read, or maybe I'm just picky in general, but so far I've been willing to label such novels as, at best, pretty good.

Oh, were we supposed to be recommending books that are actually good? Yeah... there aren't any. I figured we were just looking for "relatively good, compared to others within the category."

Raenir Salazar
2009-06-20, 08:51 PM
Aisde from someone whom I really really liked dying in the end of the War of the Spider Queen novels what exactly were the problems?

Tam_OConnor
2009-06-25, 03:06 PM
If the War of the Spider Queen was a campaign, then the last few books would have had half the characters leave because they couldn't put up with the railroading/drama llamas, and the three characters left would have had a massive in-game and out of game fight, with the winner as the DM's girlfriend. That is why I don't care for it.

DarkEternal
2010-05-26, 06:00 PM
Thread ressurection I know, but similar question, about a good DnD novel. Something that won't shatter me with countless information about deities, wars between them, or heroes I never heard of. I don't even mind starting at some sort of a begining as long as the writing is enjoyable? I remember a few years ago I read the first book of the Elminster trilogy, that wasn't too shabby.

The Big Dice
2010-05-26, 07:20 PM
I'm going to buck the trend here. Most D&D novels aren't great, being written with a list of ingredients and by authrors trying to prove their worth so theycan get original material published.

I'd suggest a book that was inspired by D&D rather than being based on it: Magician by Raymond E Feist. For some reason in the US it's published in two volumes, but it's roots in D&D are pretty clear.

Roland St. Jude
2010-05-26, 10:36 PM
Thread ressurection I know, but...

Sheriff of Moddingham: No buts about it, don't violate the Forum Rules, particularly not intentionally.