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

jeremypowell

Explorer
It looks like I only have around 142 of them (143 if one says Red Sands counts).
Wait...why would Red Sands count? Was it supposed to be set in the Realms at some point?
Just to make clear- if it says Forgotten Realms on the cover, and I can get a copy, then I'm reading it.
Does that mean I can offload all my unwanted old fantasy novels to you at elevated prices by writing Forgotten Realms on their covers in crayon? (Please say yes, I need the money and I won't part with any of my actual Forgotten Realms collection...)
 

Dire Bare

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.
There are some stinkers in the Forgotten Realms line. There are also some great stories. In the larger fantasy genre, there are PLENTY of stinkers, and plenty of great stories.

The sadly persistent idea that slapping a D&D logo on a novel makes it inferior to non-shared world fiction is fantasy nerd elitism.

EDIT: I came on too strong in my initial post, and decided to tone it down. Sorry to those who caught the original. I just really, really hate this idea that shared world fiction is inferior to "real" fantasy stories.
 
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Goonalan

Adventurer
#006 Darkwell by Douglas Niles (Moonshae Trilogy Book 3)
Read 8/9/19 to 14/9/19


Forgotten Realms Darkwell (Moonshae 3) a 30.jpg

Book 3 of the series, and like book one there's a lot of the interminable angst filled wonderings of the romantic couple (Tristan and Robyn), particularly Tristan's inner voice- which nags at him constantly- I am not worthy. I wish, as in book one, they'd just talk to each other and get it sorted out. That aside there's shed loads of great D&D style(-ish) action here, and some superb bad guys (as always in this series). Oh and one of the good guys gets to take a dirt nap, bested by a Displacer Beast- the creature embodies pure terror- it's great. Also the final journey to save the land, ravaged by death and the darkness- the trek through the once green and lush now corrupted and dead land is great stuff, lots of nice images and ideas to take to the gaming table. The final battle is a suitable climax to the trilogy- Bhaal, in person (sorta) is coming to get you.

Read!
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
#007 Azure Bonds by Kate Novak & Jeff Grubb (Finder's Stone Trilogy Book 1)
Read 15/9/19 to 18/9/19


Forgotten Realms Azure Bonds (Finder's Stone 1) a 30.jpg

This one is just mad- crazy, I couldn't put it down- except every now and then to play out the action in my imagination. Alias (beautiful and tough) swordswoman wakes with amnesia (yeah, right- start guessing the real reason she can't remember who she is). She's also got herself a new tattoo, magical (natch) and now her life (such as it is/was) is no-longer her own. Soon after the team is complete, alongside Alias we have Dragonbait (the greatest Saurial Paladin- whoops, SPOILERS, the world has ever seen), Akabar Bel Akash (a wonderful Wizard with a code and a conscience) and Olive Ruskettle (the Halfling's Halfing- happy to play all sides of the fight) and then we're really on a roll.

There's a bit later on, after the characters have (not) had a chat with Elminster, when they get in to a scrap with Moander (known to his pals as the Darkbringer, an ancient God of Rot and Destruction). Moander takes the form of an undulating mass of rotting slimy goo (approx. a couple of hundred feet in diameter). Like a small sweaty hill of stink, apologies if the size is wrong but I'm doing this from memory. Anyway, game on- Alias is trapped inside Moander's body (in a stinking fleshy cell- of sorts). Akabar has been less fortunate- Moander is wearing the mage like a sock puppet, and speaking through him to Alias. While this madness is going on Olive (riding with Dragonbait? Memory fails me) on an Ancient Red Dragon (that the Halfling previously robbed/escaped from) is strafing the massive stinking evil deity as it ploughs a two hundred foot wide furrow towards Myth Drannor.

Later it gets really mad, with the final bad guy reveal- and... well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Note, Giogioni Wyvernspur gets a walk on part (or two), playing Posh Fool #1, we'll meet him again in the next book of the series.

Lastly- Oh Moander, where have you been all of my life? Remember the unkillable Bog Monster from Rappan Athuk, yeah- Moander is like his mega-dad.

Read! Loved it- still laughing about some of it now.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
#008 The Wyvern's Spur by Kate Novak & Jeff Grub (Finder's Stone Trilogy Book 2)
Read 18/9/19 to 20/9/19


Forgotten Realms The Wyvern's Spur (Finder's Stone 2) a 30.jpg

Book 2- Well, this is an odd one- although only (really) because it proceeds Azure Bonds (above), Giogioni Wyvernspur (bit part in the above) returns to his ancestral home. The Wyvern's Spur (get it- a Spur from a Wyvern- damn, SPOILERS) has gone missing- the Wyvernspur's talismanic artefact. The artefact allows the possessor to transform in to a Wuh.. Wuh… Wuh… yeah, you guessed it.

And so the mystery unfolds, Olive (Ruskettle) has a part to play- although the Halfling spends 50% of the novel polymorphed in to an ass- that'd be my favourite for the sequel- Donkey Detective!

The various riddles and mysteries explored can be pretty much unravelled if you just pay attention to the names of things.

So, the Finder's Stone, was made by, and therefore belongs to someone called Fuh… Fuh… Fuh… yeah, you guessed.

The Nameless Bard who manufactured Alias (and many other items- introduced in Azure Bonds) is no longer nameless, the wicked Harpers (!?) erased his name from history- only his family (sorta) remembers. So, he's called Fuh… Fuh… Fuh… Yep, Wuh… Wuh… Wuh… yeah, you guessed it.

There are some cracking fights here, obviously the climax (I'll not spoil it) but also an undead invasion of the Church of Selune- got to love the fight back, and the high priestess (or whatever her title is).

There is however a lot of mystery (and a romance, or two) to get through to finally arrive at the action. It's all good but the feeling I was left with was the writing duo clearly had two different ideas about how this trilogy should go. Book one doesn't (much) seem to follow neatly on to book two- book three on the other hand...

Moander! Moander! MOANDER!

That's all I'll say about that.

Read!
 
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GreyLord

Adventurer
I haven't counted them all, but are you guys including the Gamebooks in that count?

I didn't in my count of the FR novels I own (as gamebooks are not technically novels), but that adds quite a number to the total.

However, for lore reasons (if one is reading FR for that) there are some gems among the gamebooks that should not be missed.

(edit - Admittedly, more of them [at least those I have] seem to deal with Greyhawk, but there are those like Knight of the Living Dead that have a wealth of information in them).
 

Ruqiah

Villager
Hi!
Is the Sellsword trilogy (about Jarlaxle & Entrerei) in your list? I loved those!
And The War of the Spider Queen books? I enjoyed the rich complexity added to drow society in that series.

I've listened to all the Drizzt books thus far (shout-out to Victor Bevine's excellent accents) & am now relistening to all 47ish (Cleric Quintet + the aforementioned series included). I have been wanting to branch out into more of the forgotten realms storyline. Therefore I'm following this thread for new suggestions of great Forgotten Realm books!

Wow. I am incredibly envious of your reading speed... I take it that comes from years of teaching English? Mine is abysmal (hence audible so I can listen to books while doing everything!)
 

Count_Zero

Explorer
Also, if you're looking a way to get through some of these on your commute, a lot of the Forgotten Realms books are available from Audible, though they are something of a mixed bag. The Drizzt Do'Urden books are generally solid, whereas stuff like Darkwalker on Moonshae is... less so (Darkwalker on Moonshae has the problem with changing pronunciations of words mid-book, for example).
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
I haven't counted them all, but are you guys including the Gamebooks in that count?

I didn't in my count of the FR novels I own (as gamebooks are not technically novels), but that adds quite a number to the total.

However, for lore reasons (if one is reading FR for that) there are some gems among the gamebooks that should not be missed.

(edit - Admittedly, more of them [at least those I have] seem to deal with Greyhawk, but there are those like Knight of the Living Dead that have a wealth of information in them).
For now, just the novels.
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Hi!
Is the Sellsword trilogy (about Jarlaxle & Entrerei) in your list? I loved those!
And The War of the Spider Queen books? I enjoyed the rich complexity added to drow society in that series.

I've listened to all the Drizzt books thus far (shout-out to Victor Bevine's excellent accents) & am now relistening to all 47ish (Cleric Quintet + the aforementioned series included). I have been wanting to branch out into more of the forgotten realms storyline. Therefore I'm following this thread for new suggestions of great Forgotten Realm books!

Wow. I am incredibly envious of your reading speed... I take it that comes from years of teaching English? Mine is abysmal (hence audible so I can listen to books while doing everything!)
When I was a lecturer I had to do marking, lots of marking- so second semester that would be 10 or so dissertations (20,000 words each), and a hundred other assignments every semester (3,500 to 5,000 words each). Three weeks turn round, and then there's the second marking...

I'm reading these books quickly because, well... I'm in to them, they're almost universally (so far) very easy to read. Also, I have the time- I'm semi-retired, I work a couple of days a week.

I would do a multiple quote and answer all three respondents in one reply, but I can't figure out how to do that (I've tried and failed several times). So, reading lots of books (whatever the subject) is not a sure fire indication of intelligence.

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
Also, if you're looking a way to get through some of these on your commute, a lot of the Forgotten Realms books are available from Audible, though they are something of a mixed bag. The Drizzt Do'Urden books are generally solid, whereas stuff like Darkwalker on Moonshae is... less so (Darkwalker on Moonshae has the problem with changing pronunciations of words mid-book, for example).
I read my friend, that's what I do- I don't have a mobile phone, laptop, TV or indeed any other technological device that would allow me (save my ancient PC at home- the thing that I am sitting at now) to listen to audio books. Besides... as Bill Hicks once said- "We've got ourselves a reader..."

Cheers goonalan
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
#009 Song of the Saurials by Kate Novak & Jeff Grub (Finder's Stone Trilogy Book 3)
Read 20/9/19 to 22/9/19


Forgotten Realms Song of the Saurials (Finder's Stone 3) a 30.jpg

Book 3- the story of the Nameless Bard and the Harpers, and of course my favourite bad guy of all of the books so far- Moander, the original filth and the fury, the deity is clearly just misunderstood. This one is a twisty-turny book, with lots of lies, half-truths, followed by startling revelations. Basically the gang from book one are back together, and the chaos which is unleashed is another of Moander's cunning plans to get himself back to Faerun and on with his plot for world domination.

So mid-trial (of sorts) the bad guys make themselves known- whisk the Nameless Bard away (or cause him to be whisked away) and murderise some folk before leaving. Then the chase is on- a sprawling chase which seems to head in all directions at once. There's a lovely bit in which Olive and the Nameless Bard visit the latter's old magical labs, I'll not divulge the enemy they find there... but, it's a cracker. It seems Moander is missing his favourite sock-puppet mage Akabar (Akabar is the best- what a guy), the big guy is just lonely.

At the centre of the story is the Finder's Stone (of course) although more important is the quest to get Finder Wyvernspur (Damn, SPOILERS- the Nameless Bard) to finally admit his arrogance and in the process deny Moander a gateway back to the world.

In the end, of course, it all works out- Alias gets a voice- and a song to sing (and a life), Dragonbait saves his fellow Saurials from slavery (Oh and there's a new Saurial character to admire in this book- check out the cover), Akabar- well, he does the right thing, Olive is our guide to the action and the Nameless Bard (boo-hoo) learns to love someone other than himself (probably).

Read!
 

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
#009 Song of the Saurials by Kate Novak & Jeff Grub (Finder's Stone Trilogy Book 3)
Read 20/9/19 to 22/9/19


View attachment 114832

Book 3- the story of the Nameless Bard and the Harpers, and of course my favourite bad guy of all of the books so far- Moander, the original filth and the fury, the deity is clearly just misunderstood. This one is a twisty-turny book, with lots of lies, half-truths, followed by startling revelations. Basically the gang from book one are back together, and the chaos which is unleashed is another of Moander's cunning plans to get himself back to Faerun and on with his plot for world domination.

So mid-trial (of sorts) the bad guys make themselves known- whisk the Nameless Bard away (or cause him to be whisked away) and murderise some folk before leaving. Then the chase is on- a sprawling chase which seems to head in all directions at once. There's a lovely bit in which Olive and the Nameless Bard visit the latter's old magical labs, I'll not divulge the enemy they find there... but, it's a cracker. It seems Moander is missing his favourite sock-puppet mage Akabar (Akabar is the best- what a guy), the big guy is just lonely.

At the centre of the story is the Finder's Stone (of course) although more important is the quest to get Finder Wyvernspur (Damn, SPOILERS- the Nameless Bard) to finally admit his arrogance and in the process deny Moander a gateway back to the world.

In the end, of course, it all works out- Alias gets a voice- and a song to sing (and a life), Dragonbait saves his fellow Saurials from slavery (Oh and there's a new Saurial character to admire in this book- check out the cover), Akabar- well, he does the right thing, Olive is our guide to the action and the Nameless Bard (boo-hoo) learns to love someone other than himself (probably).

Read!
As much as I liked Azure Bonds, it felt a lot like a retread of the computer game, but with a different protagonist (even though, technically, it's a prequel novel--I played the game before I read the book). I don't have strong feelings about the second book, but man, did I love Song of the Saurials. I think I would rather have had saurials added as a core race to D&D than Dragonborn. Plus, thanks to Reaper Bones IV, I actually have quite selection of dino-folk minis (both fantasy and sci-fi).
 

Goonalan

Adventurer
As much as I liked Azure Bonds, it felt a lot like a retread of the computer game, but with a different protagonist (even though, technically, it's a prequel novel--I played the game before I read the book). I don't have strong feelings about the second book, but man, did I love Song of the Saurials. I think I would rather have had saurials added as a core race to D&D than Dragonborn. Plus, thanks to Reaper Bones IV, I actually have quite selection of dino-folk minis (both fantasy and sci-fi).
I've never played the computer game so I've no point of reference there.

But the Saurials- coolest kids on the block, in-built ethics compass, honour-bound and built to last, the trouble would be deciding when to stop handing out the bonuses- +2 Str, +2 Wis, +2 Cha, +2 AC etc.

Cheers goonalan
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Curse of the Azure Bonds was such a multimedia blitz - videogame, books, module. She appeared in the comics and the Forgotten Realms calendar. All it was lacking was a cartoon or movie. Okay, and a breakfast cereal (but let's not get too silly here).

It wasn't quite a Dragonlance-level campaign, but it had more of a push than any other of the FR properties back then.
 

Raunalyn

Adventurer
Not a review but... Drizzt is as cool as everyone says, I so wanted to dislike him but alas, I do however now really want to find out how he escaped to the surface- what came before. Thanks Salvatore, first book and I'm hooked. Learned a lot about Icewind Dale and the Ten Towns, also lots of other good stuff about- Barbarians and their honour bound crazy ways, also nice power mad Wizard (being manipulated by the Crystal Shard), and plenty of other good stuff to recommend. Loved Bruenor (I heart Dwarves, what can I say- they're dependable) superb enemy- Errtu (the Balor).

Read!
In the first trilogy, Drizzt wasn't a bad character. It wasn't until after this that he became the Gary Stu of all Gary Stu's. No weakness...the best at everything.
 

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