Best D&D Novels- Of All TIme


As the tile says. My 1st D&D novel probably was one of the TSR Endless Quest books but if they do not count its probably Dragonlance the original trilogy which I liked at the time (1993) but I could not finish the 1st book trying it again recently. Most have been average to below average and as much flak RA Salvatore gets online he is one of the better D&D authors IMHO. ANyway my favorites.

The Iron Throne (Birthright)

No not Game of Thrones. I have not read this one since the 90's but even then it was a large book by D&D standards and it was a lot more gritty than most and even dealt with sex indirectly. It more or less felt like an adult book which was unusual for a D&D book. Probably an obscure book from D&Ds most obscure boxed set setting. Did anyone ever actually play Birthright or read one of its novels?

The "Hamanu Trilogy" (Darksun)
I liked the Prism Pentad for Darksun as a book to read for fun, I disliked it due to what it did to Darksun in terms of metaplot. However Lynn Abbeys "Hamanu Trilogy" (A Brazen Gambit, Cinnabar Shadows, Rise and Fall of a Dragon King Chronicles of Athas 1,4 and 5) blows it out of the water quality wise IMHO. The story is basically about a non Evil Templar of Hamanu dealing with being Templar in Urik although RaFoaDK puts Hamanu front and centre. I recently reread this series for about the 3rd or 4th time (90's, 2007/8 and last year) and not only are they among the best Darksun novels I think they are also some of the best D&D novels of all time.

Sojourn and A Silent Blade- RA Salvatore

Not a massive Drizzt fan and I got sick of the books around 15 years ago (the novels after A Silent Blade turned me off). Out of the better Drizzt novels I liked these 2 the best.

Almost Anything by Elaine Cunningham

I quite like Elfsong and Elfshadow or at least did and her Lirial Baenre books are some of the better Drow books and D&D books around IMHO.

Kaz the Minotaur (?)
I remember this as being one of my favourite Dragonlance books. They spammed out alot of bad FR and DL books back in the day.

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I can't claim to have read much D&D fiction (most of what I have read is pretty poor), but Dragonlance Legends wasn't bad. Considerably more mature than Chronicles, and Raistlin and Kitiara made compelling and believable villains.

For better or worse, I read a ton of D&D fiction when I was a kid. I’ve been going through and re-reading a bunch of them as before-bed reads.

While it’s hard for me to unpack it from the nostalgia, yeah, the first Dragonlance trilogy is not a great work. Enjoyable, yes, but it’s got plenty of flaws and melodrama. A lot of the characters are just plain unlikable. And yet, there's still something about it. The second trilogy, Dragonlance Legends, benefits from a smaller cast of characters and the greater experience of the authors when they wrote it.

I’ll agree, Elaine Cunningham is generally a cut above the rest. She has a talent for bringing her characters and the world they inhabit to life.

Salvatore comes up with some terrible names. And they've made their way into lore. Just recently, I found myself having to say the name “Queen Dagnabbet” in a recent adventure, and I’m still smarting from that.

A lot of the original D&D work pales on second reading.

The ones I've found that have aged best have been the Greyhawk novels by Paul Kidd (Descent into the Depths, White Plume Mountain, Demonsweb Pits). The Justicar and Escalla are pretty enjoyable characters.


Dont read much of D&D fiction, but here are some of the best fantasy books (outside of Leiber, Tolkien, Lewis, and Moorcock ;) ) that inspire my D&D narratives:

Glen Cook's Dread Empire series, as well as the Black Company saga (if you are into fantasy and have not read these, you must!)
Fred Saberhagan's Book(s) of Lost Swords
P.J. Farmer's Dungeon series
Tanith Lee's Flat Earth
Caiseal Mór's Wanderers series
Jack Chalker's Wellworld series


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I re-read Dragonlance (original trilogy) recently. Putting aside its weaknesses, of which many have written, I was surprised at how strong the female characters were. By "strong" I mean believable, fleshed out, and having equal stage time. Also, over all it was a fun read and I did care about the characters. The villans were weak, but then, in a way, Raistlin is the true villain of the series.


First Post
A lot of the original D&D work pales on second reading.
That matches my experience.
I had started to re-read the original Dragonlance series at some point but quickly decided I prefer my rose-tinted memories to what's actually written.

Reading the 'Prism Pentad' a second time wasn't as painful, but that was probably because I focused on making notes about what they tell of the setting for use in our RPG sessions.

So, it's a good thing I generally consider it a waste of time to read any novel a second time. I only make an exception for 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' by Philip K. Dick.


I was always fairly keen on the Eberron books. I seem to recall the Keith Baker and James Wyatt series were quite good. It has been a long time since I last read them though...


Yo, [MENTION=6716779]Zardnaar[/MENTION], I'ma let you finish, but Dragonlance Legends was one of the best D&D trilogies of all time! Of all time!!!


Mod Squad
Staff member
The best D&D novels of all time... are not officially D&D novels.

Villains by Necessity, by Eve Forward is set in a world in which Good has won. And what results from that. I have not seen a statement by Ms. Forward that this was built on D&D, but I find it difficult to think otherwise, as the character classes are pretty darned clear. Unfortunately, this one is currently out of print.

The Deed of Paksenarrion, by Elizabeth Moon, is the story of a paladin coming into her powers, and her career. It is a trilogy (Sheepfamer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold), and I'd recommend it to just about anyone interested in D&D novels.

Grunts by Mary Gentle... isn't gentle. It includes the line, "Pass me another elf, Sergeant. Mine's split." It isn't really about D&D. It is about orcs. But orcs are either Tolkien or D&D. And these orcs get assault rifles. So.. it ain't Tolkien. It also has what I feel is the absolute best cheesy opening sentence ever written in the fantasy genre.


In that vein, there's also Goblin Quest and its sequels by Jim C. Hines. A human knight and wizard, an elven thief and a dwarven priest enter a dungeon. They encounter a goblin. This is his story.

Deuce Traveler

None of the D&D books really stood out, though I do admit I preferred Dragonlance to the Forgotten Realms book. The first trilogies of Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance books do have some aspects to them that seem as if they could have happened in a tabletop session; more so than later books. I do like The Black Wing, only because the very faulty protagonist is a black dragon who messes up a lot throughout and I found it fresh in a way.

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