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tony2k
03-07-2010, 12:15 PM
Hi there,

I'm trying to learn about Forgotten Realms, and I am reading the Campaign guide and I'm playing LFR. But I'm trying to find a good novel to start off with so I can get the basics down. I know there's a history, with the spellplague and all, so I'm not sure.

I've been to bookstores that have so many FR books, it's really difficult for me to choose. I would love to read a novel that would be about the Patheons, or deities when things were starting.

But all in all, I would appreciate if anyone would point me to the right direction, if anyone can tell me which novel is good to start with.

Thank you.

JediSoth
03-08-2010, 09:03 AM
Opinions vary wildly on the quality of various FR novels, so take my advice with a grain of salt:

I really liked The Cleric Quintet (Canticle, In Sylvan Shadows, Night Masks, The Fallen Fortress, and The Chaos Curse), by R.A. Salvatore. They don't feature Drizzt, so you don't have to worry about the contractual immortality clause.

Some of the Drizzt books are quite good, particularly the early books (The Legacy and earlier are my picks, particularly Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn). I would avoid the Hunter's Blades Trilogy. Because nothing too much changes over three books (status quo maintained).

I really enjoyed Azure Bonds, Song of the Saurials, and Masquerades (by Jeff Grubb). The Wyvern's Spur is also part of that series (in between Azure Bonds and Song of the Saurials), but I think it's the weakest link, as it were.

Eventually, I stopped reading the FR books because there were too many, and I moved away from it as a Campaign Setting I enjoyed for a myriad of reasons. But I kept copies of all of the books I listed above and re-read the occasionally. Of the above, the Cleric Quintet is my favorite.

1958Fury
03-08-2010, 09:35 AM
Note that most of the Drizzt books take place in 3e's timeline, though the latest trilogy starts to bridge the gap into 4e's time. So they won't help you learn about the spellplague/etc unless you stick through the entire series.

There aren't as many 4e-era novels out there, simply because it hasn't been out as long as 3.x, but perhaps someone else in this thread will know which ones to look for. According to "D&D 4e For Dummies", the first FR novel set in 4e era is called "Swordmage", by Richard Baker.


If - and only if - you want to give Drizzt a try, start with the Icewind Dale trilogy, not the Dark Elf trilogy. (I say this because even though Icewind Dale was written and published first, but some people start with the Dark Elf trilogy because it's first chronologically.) It really does flow better if you read Icewind Dale first.

However, nobody will blame you if you just avoid Drizzt altogether. I enjoy them; if you can ignore all the emo and angst, they're reasonably entertaining, and a good way to learn about the Forgotten Realms universe. I still don't think Salvatore's a very good author, but it's a fun read.

Farcaster
03-08-2010, 12:30 PM
I strongly recommend the Avatar trilogy and the books that followed: Prince of Lies, and Crucible: The Trial of Cyric the Mad. It is set during the Time of Troubles, which was the last reset of the world when the system went from 1e to 2e, but it is a very good starting point to understanding the gods and how they interact (or used to) with the people of Faerun.

Arkhemedes
03-09-2010, 07:56 AM
I agree with Farcaster. There are well over 200 FR novels out there. But the books mentioned by Farcaster sound to be exactly what you're looking for.