I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #33 Once Around the Realms... Gah!!!!

Don Durito

Explorer
#004 Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles (Moonshae Trilogy Book 1)

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Yeah, this is the one I should have read first- in some ways I'm glad I didn't. Set in the Moonshae Isles (obviously) which is home to the Celtic mythos style Ffolk and the marauding Viking-like Northmen. Our hero is a bit of a... I don't know, and neither does he, that might be the problem. The start of the novel gets my back up for a good long while, awfully contrived and a bit (whisper this) unbelievable- when Tristan meets Daryth (a bit Drizzt lite). Also, what's with the faithful side-kick cats/dogs (Guenhywvar vs Canthus) who had the hound/canine companion first Salvatore or Niles. Pawldo is very Halfling.

Read?
Niles was first. The resemblance between Daryth and Drizzt is not accidental. When Salvatore was first asked to write a Forgotten Realms novel he was a bit shaky on what they actually wanted them him to do.

Supposedly he pitched a kind of sequal to the Moonshae books with Daryth from the novels and the new character Wulfgar - but they said they said they wanted a novel set in a different place. Every place he chose, it turned out someone was already working on it, so he picked a place right off the edge of the map which became Icewind dale.

I think they also asked him who was going to be Wulfgar's sidekick in the novel - he'd been planning to use Daryth so he came up with a new character over the phone, Drizz't Do'Urden a Drow Ranger, pretty much on the spot.

(I'm remembering an interview I read with Salvatore in Dragon Magazine decades ago - so I can't be 100% sure all the details above are correct)
 
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GreyLord

Adventurer
Well, when you said there were 295 I decided to count up how many I have and have read. It looks like I only have around 142 of them (143 if one says Red Sands counts).

I think I have all the biggest and most important ones, but WOW...I don't even have half of all the novels written for the Forgotten Realms. Thought I had a pretty impressive collection.

(That's just part of my D&D novel collection, it becomes massive if you include all the others series such as Dragonlance, Greyhawk and other worlds (though DL and GH have the most outside of the FR).
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
You can probably give Spellfire a miss...
I love the Spellfire trilogy myself. I feel it actually has a place within FR lore that's important to know about if is interested in FR backgrounds...plus it's by Greenwood himself so there's that.

I'd put some of the later novels as ones to miss (for example, though finely written, my personal take on it is that I don't feel the Tiefling series actually adds much to the FR lore).
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
You might want to skip Rich Baker's The Shadow Stone. Despite being published as a Forgotten Realms novel, it was originally written for Birthright. But by the time it was set to be released, that campaign setting had been closed down, so Baker went back through and made some quick changes to turn it into an FR novel. Even today, the book makes much more sense if you place it in Cerilia rather than Faerun.
It does, but I still enjoyed it as a book, shoehorned into the FR or not.

There are some crackers...

I really liked the Drizzt prequels Homeland, Exile and Sojourn... a really fun trilogy for lovers of the Drow and far better than the Icewind dale books IMHO

The Return of the Archwizards series is great

Also loved the Last Mythal series.

Come to think of it, I was partial to Troy Dennings books set in Cormyr.
I read the Drizzt prequels as my first FR novels... they hold a special place in my heart.

Last Mythal is one of my favorites. I love the elves (Elves of Evermeet is great too), and their ancient history, so it's awesome to explore mythal lore and such in fiction

I love the Spellfire trilogy myself. I feel it actually has a place within FR lore that's important to know about if is interested in FR backgrounds...plus it's by Greenwood himself so there's that.
I like the Spellfire books, they're a bit of a non-stop avalanche of action, but again, I like the exploration of the spellfire power and the discovery and feeling of being overwhelmed that Shandril takes the reader through.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Did you really read all four of these books TODAY?
Nope, the dates I read them are in the second post of this thread- I started reading the Icewind Dale Trilogy on the 2nd of August 2019. I managed to buy all three books at the same time in a charity shop, I just thought I'd try to get through the series. Mid-way through the first book (The Crystal Shard) I thought- "I know I'll read all of the Forgotten Realms novels", because I'm a very foolish man.

So, I'm posting this stuff here so that I can keep a track of what I have done, and get some encouragement etc. from you lovely people.

I'll be posting a few more entries of the books that I've read between 2nd August and today, then when I've caught up the updates here will undoubtedly slow right down.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Just to make clear- if it says Forgotten Realms on the cover, and I can get a copy, then I'm reading it.

I'm not looking to reduce the number, in fact my list has more than 295 novels on it already- there's a few other TSR/Wotc novels I intend to have a look at on the way.

Perhaps at this point I should also point out that for the last 20 years or so I have been in training (on reflection) for this attempt (I am of course kidding). What I am saying is I read a lot- I read one book every week to ten days, that's my normal pace.

I think the issue is going to be getting hold of them all, that said I stated in the first post that I've already bought the first 40 novels, well that was a fib- I've just done a count- I've got the first 66 novels. I'm buying them up in the date order that they were published.

Cheers Goonalan
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
#005 Black Wizards by Douglas Niles (Moonshae Trilogy Book 2)
Read 1/9/19 to 6/9/19


Forgotten Realms Black Wizards (Moonshae 2) a 30.jpg

Book 2- and that's more like it, it helps that Tristan and Robyn set off on separate quests- the former to seek an audience with High King of the Ffolk in an attempt to settle his claim to his father's estate (and position). On the way we learn that the High King has been usurped- a pawn of the Black Wizards in the title. Robyn meanwhile is off to see the Druids, and along the way also discovering that the land (and the Moonwells/Earthmother) are under siege by the forces of darkness. Bhaal (apparently it's pronounced Bawl- I've been saying the Lord of Murder's name incorrectly for many years) has many servants- and they're all too cool for school. If you want to read the musing and machinations of an evil Cleric with a grudge (and an undead, and allied Sahuagin army) then Hobarth's your man.

It's the bad guys for me, again, in this novel that steal the show- don't get me wrong the home team (Tristan, Robyn, Canthus, Daryth, Pawldo etc.) get some great action along the way but the thing I'm taking away is the backstabbing, terrifying evil dudes, and especially the Cleric mentioned above. Also the Northmen get a chance for redemption (after a castle sails in to harbour, you read that right), and then there's the growing influence of Chauntea (Goddess of Life). Much more enjoyable because the romantic leads fret a bit about each other but it doesn't (for me) dampen the action or deflect from the ever increasing threat.

Lots of great action, lots of plot going on- a rip-roaring read, can you tell- I really liked this one.

Read!
 
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gyor

Hero
My personal favourites are The Brimstone Angels Series, Spellfire series, Broken Chain Series, Sembia/Everis Cale novels, The Reaver, The Sentinel, Key of Stars series, Evermeet, Daughter of the Drow, The Priests series, the Wizards series, the Griffin Brotherhood books, Timeless, Sandstorm, Venom in her veins, Simbul's Gift, Exile Series, Cormyr.
 

alienux

Explorer
#004 Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles (Moonshae Trilogy Book 1)
Read 27/8/19 to 1/9/19


View attachment 114678

Yeah, this is the one I should have read first- in some ways I'm glad I didn't. Set in the Moonshae Isles (obviously) which is home to the Celtic mythos style Ffolk and the marauding Viking-like Northmen. Our hero is a bit of a... I don't know, and neither does he, that might be the problem. The start of the novel gets my back up for a good long while, awfully contrived and a bit (whisper this) unbelievable- when Tristan meets Daryth (a bit Drizzt lite). Also, what's with the faithful side-kick cats/dogs (Guenhywvar vs Canthus) who had the hound/canine companion first Salvatore or Niles. Pawldo is very Halfling.

The above aside it's a cracking read- Kazgaroth (and his boss) versus the Earthmother, plenty of hot druid action (and even more in the later novels) and the Beast in his many forms. Oh, and you've got to shed a tear when the Leviathan goes under, although secretly I was rather rooting for the Northmen (who doesn't love a Viking?).

Still, I found myself rooting for the bad guys a little too often, the central character/s can be annoying (including Robyn) and this doesn't let up in the proceeding novels- just talk to each, tell him/her how you feel and stop bottling up your teenage style sexual frustration/angsty angst. Cut the moping and the self doubt and we'd have room in the novel for another hefty helping of combat action, and there are some supercool bad guys that'd love another scene.

Read?
This is actually the only one I've read, and I found it to be a little too drawn out for my tastes. It was a decent story, but it felt like a generic fantasy novel to me rather than a D&D book.

And to be fair, while I love D&D the game and play it far more, when it comes to lore, I'm the opposite with 40k. I don't play the 40k game much, but I love the lore and read it all the time. But with D&D, I love the game, but don't keep up much with the lore.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
ebay and other used book sites are going to be your friend.

I built my collection when ebay was still in its nascent stages, but even then I found lots of 40-60 FR books available.

I'd buy them, and then any that I already owned, I'd take to my local used bookstore and trade them in for credit to get something else I needed or just some random other books I wanted.

That might still work for you, not sure of your location or used bookstores thereabout.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
ebay and other used book sites are going to be your friend.

I built my collection when ebay was still in its nascent stages, but even then I found lots of 40-60 FR books available.

I'd buy them, and then any that I already owned, I'd take to my local used bookstore and trade them in for credit to get something else I needed or just some random other books I wanted.

That might still work for you, not sure of your location or used bookstores thereabout.
Alas I have been looking for FR books in the local charity shops, book shops et al since July- the first three I bought that kindled this enterprise are the only three I have found. I've even asked a few owners of the stores to put books aside for me, but nothing so far.

That said I'm not stuck for any books yet, as stated previously I have bought the first 66, so I'm going to read a chunk of them- 20 or so before restating my ebay/internet wanderings in search of the next batch on the list. Likewise I forewarned the Mrs and my brother that they will both be receiving a list of books for them to attempt to track down for me for Christmas.

If there's a particular issue I'll request some help here, but as of yet- the plan is working.

Cheers Goonalan
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I never liked the relationship between Catti-brie and Wulgar. If it'd been in a movie, I'd say the actors had zero chemistry, but this was a book so... maybe Salvatore just wasn't up to writing a believable romance at that stage in his career.

I still cannot think of the crystal shard without calling it Cren-cinnabon.
I don't think we we supposed to like it. Dating someone just because they are the only Human you interact with on a day to day basis was always bound for failure (or at least extremely unlikely to be compatible personalities given the small dating pool).

It ended just about the only way it could. With the realization that they we not right for eachother.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Do this search on eBay: forgotten realms book lot

I did it and there are like 40 different lots for sale right now. Just sell what you don’t want back on eBay or to those local shops.

Heck they’re cheap enough you could probably just donate them to those shops if you wanted.
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
Assuming you have hard time finding some of the books, you can always get the audiobooks. Audible has the majority of them I do believe. I have also started this journey. I've read all the Drizzt books and have followed them for a long time. I recently decided to read others and have quite enjoyed it.
If you have an ereader (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or others) most of the classic D&D novels are available as ebooks also. Sadly, not ALL of them, however. I'm actually building up my own digital collection of the classic D&D novels (not just the FR ones) because I don't want to rebuild my physical library, takes up too much space and is a pain to move! :)
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Well, when you said there were 295 I decided to count up how many I have and have read. It looks like I only have around 142 of them (143 if one says Red Sands counts).
Some checking suggests it doesn't. While it might be a "fantasy Arabia" novel, it doesn't seem to be set in Zakhara, and it's lack of a world logo to that effect seems purposeful rather than an oversight.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
If you have an ereader (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, or others) most of the classic D&D novels are available as ebooks also. Sadly, not ALL of them, however. I'm actually building up my own digital collection of the classic D&D novels (not just the FR ones) because I don't want to rebuild my physical library, takes up too much space and is a pain to move! :)
Alas no e-reader, I'm fairly tech free hence the time to read lots of books, gasp as I tell you I do not possess any of the following- clock/watch, laptop, TV, or mobile phone. Other than this cranky old PC the only item that requires power (save the lights) in my office, where I sit now, is a radio. I'm like a caveman, but very (very) content.

Oh, but hang on- there's a calculator in one of my drawers.

My tech stores are replete.

Cheers goonalan
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I've read about 30 of them.

And... it's an interesting project, but there are so many better books out there! Books that will inspire you, illuminate, amuse, fill you with dread... we only have so much time in life. Read better books.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
I've read about 30 of them.

And... it's an interesting project, but there are so many better books out there! Books that will inspire you, illuminate, amuse, fill you with dread... we only have so much time in life. Read better books.
It appears you have not read the premise for this endeavour, as made clear in the very first post. I always find the best place to start a book (although perhaps not a forum post) is on the first page.

So, let me explain again-

I'm a D&D GM, I've been DMing my players around the realms for a good long while and yet I've never read any of the background material. Save the stuff that appears in the various modules and handbooks, so... I'd really like to read about the Forgotten Realms, that's the entire idea (and purpose) of this thread.

Just for info, I am an ex-lecturer in English, I gave up teaching maybe four years ago- I still work in academia although only a couple of days a week and mostly behind the scenes. I read 50 or so books every year (or thereabouts- I aim for one a week). I've read fifty books a year (or thereabouts) every year, for the last 20 or so years.

Just for info I started reading the FR novels at the start of August, just over two months ago- I've read 14 books so far, I started the 15th this morning. I've even had time to read some other novels in between completing a few of the series, although not all- I'm enjoying the books so much. Most of the FR novels seem to be about 312 pages long, I read 50 pages an hour- a book therefore takes six hours to read.

I have lots of spare time, and while your concern is appreciated, I feel that I am doing something immensely interesting, and incredibly enjoyable, and useful with regard to my GMing.

There are, as you say, better books out there- but they're not the Forgotten Realms and so of no use to this project.

Cheers goonalan
 

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