Top 5 Forgotten Realmslore Novels

Davinshe

Explorer
I've always been intimidated by the Forgotten Realms. It feels like there's just too much of it to really get a sense of what it's about. However, this last year I've been playing more Adventurer's League, and as that takes place in Forgotten Realms, I find myself wanting to give my characters more of a connection to the world rather than having generic background stories. With that in mind, for those of you who love the Realms, what would be your top 5 novels to recommend reading if I want to get a better sense of what the Forgotten realms is all about. Keep in mind I'm not asking for the best realms novels in terms of stories; I'm asking for the best novels in terms of learning about the forgotten realms.
 

aco175

Adventurer
There are many parts of the realms and books that go with them. Stories about Cormyr or Waterdeep may fill in areas you specifically play in.

I play along the Sword Coast and would recommend the Elfshadow books. They have a lot of history and travel along the coast. The first Drizzt books, specifically The Halfling's Gem takes the party along the whole coast and has a lot in it. I also liked the early series of drizzt books tht take place in the drow city of Menzobarrazan (sp). Only if you want to incorporate drow in your games.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
The 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide is actually 10,000 plot hooks disguised as a gazetteer of the world. Let your players look through that and see what strikes their interest.
Not quite the kind of book you were asking about, but it is one I have read cover to cover.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
The Halfling's Gem, because the characters travel along the Sword Coast and visit a lot of important locations.
Elfshadow, because you get a lot of Elven lore, plus Waterdeep and the Harpers.
The Pirate King, because it's set in Luskan, the City of Sails, and has a lot of interesting characters.
Canticle, for clerics, gods, and Dwarves.

You should probably read something mid- or post-Sundering/Spellplague too, but I struggle to think of anything worth reading. Maybe Gauntlgrym by Salvatore (since it features some of the same characters from The Pirate King).
 

Eltab

Adventurer
Maybe Gauntlgrym by Salvatore
I read that book. You reminded me of something:

4e Neverwinter Campaign Setting. A digestible-size chunk of FR and two-dozen things to do / people to meet / villains to thwart.

That book and the trilogy(?) it is part of, use the NCS characters.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
I find myself wanting to give my characters more of a connection to the world rather than having generic background stories. With that in mind, for those of you who love the Realms, what would be your top 5 novels to recommend reading if I want to get a better sense of what the Forgotten realms is all about.
OOOF! This is a monster request! The problem is that most focus on but a single aspect of the Realms, and picking only five is not really gonna work that well. I think that you might want to consider what part of the Realms you consider the most important and reading books based on those. I don't know how the AL is setup, so if you can get an idea of what might be coming up, you'd have time to read ahead and prepare. If not, you could read books on the region during the AL season, so while you might not be able to tie yourself as deeply in the region, at least you can be reading up on the area to get a better idea for roleplay.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
The 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide is actually 10,000 plot hooks disguised as a gazetteer of the world. Let your players look through that and see what strikes their interest.
Not quite the kind of book you were asking about, but it is one I have read cover to cover.
I would say that instead of Novels this is what you want if you want to learn more about the Realms in a broad sense.

Then, you will also want Grand History of the Realms.

Right now you can get the PDF of the campaign setting for $16

FRCS

and Grand History for $10

Grand History of the Realms PDF

If you want more, I'd probably get

City of Splendors Waterdeep PDF also around $10

then

Lost Empires of Faerun PDF which is running around $15 right now...and finally

Faiths and Pantheons PDF for FR also to be gotten around $15 right now.

None of them novels, but can make interesting reading and will probably give you a broader yet more concise picture of the realms and the information about them.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
I've always been intimidated by the Forgotten Realms. It feels like there's just too much of it to really get a sense of what it's about. However, this last year I've been playing more Adventurer's League, and as that takes place in Forgotten Realms, I find myself wanting to give my characters more of a connection to the world rather than having generic background stories. With that in mind, for those of you who love the Realms, what would be your top 5 novels to recommend reading if I want to get a better sense of what the Forgotten realms is all about. Keep in mind I'm not asking for the best realms novels in terms of stories; I'm asking for the best novels in terms of learning about the forgotten realms.
The first two or three books of the drizzt saga definitely, then there were some books around Cadderly some candle keep cleric which meet more todays depiction of the realms and there were also some nice Elminster books.
 

aco175

Adventurer
There is also a few great websites on the realms. Just google a location you plan to play in and there is every reference to that location and some sites list books that reference it as well. I also like the site with a timeline of the whole realms.
 

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