Shadowdale by Scott Ciencin

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(Forgotten Realms #8, The Avatar Trilogy #1)(First published 1989) The Forgotten Realms are in a state of monumental upheaval. Cast out from the heavens by the Overgod Ao as punishment for the theft of the Tablets of Fate, the deities of Faerûn walk the earth. Thrust into the centre of this chaos are four heroes, one of whom carries a pendant containing the essence of the fallen goddess of magic. They must survive the machinations of the evil god Bane and seek the aid of the famed sage Elminster of Shadowdale before the Realms are lost to darkness and chaos for good.   Shadowdale is the first book in The Avatar Trilogy, which deals with the reshaping of the Faerûnian […]

Darkwell by Douglas Niles

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(Forgotten Realms #7, The Moonshae Trilogy #3)(First published 1989) Tristan Kendrick, the recently crowned High King of the Ffolk, must face his greatest challenge yet. The God of Murder himself, Bhaal, is threatening to cross into the mortal realm by means of a corrupted Moonwell. If he succeeds, the Moonshae Isles are surely doomed. As the last remaining druid of the Isles, Robyn must work with Tristan in countering this terrible threat, despite her own hurt at the betrayal he has dealt her.   The final volume in The Moonshae Trilogy is by and large a solid conclusion to the series. There’s a lot of narrative to get through here, and Niles does an admirable job of guiding to the […]

Dead Man’s Steel – July Kindle promotion

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Exciting news for anyone yet to get hold of a copy of the third book in The Grim Company trilogy – Dead Man’s Steel is available throughout July for £0.99 as part of a Kindle promotion. This offer is open to readers outside of the US & Canada. For my North American readers, fret not – I’ll be holding a special giveaway for you all soon!

Streams of Silver by R.A. Salvatore

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(Forgotten Realms #6, The Icewind Dale Trilogy #2)(First published 1989) Bruenor the dwarf and his companions Wulfgar the barbarian, Regis the halfling and Drizzt the renegade dark elf set forth from Icewind Dale on the most ambitious of quests: to rediscover the lost dwarven stronghold of Mithral Hall, birthplace of Bruenor and his clan. The road will be long and full of peril, for the Savage Frontier is a harsh place – and hot on their trail is the assassin Artemis Entreri, one of the most infamous killers in the Realms. The sequel to 1988’s The Crystal Shard is a fast-faced, action-packed entry into the Forgotten Realms canon that swaps the politicking and warfare of Icewind Dale for a classic […]

Azure Bonds by Kate Novak and Jeff Grub

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(Forgotten Realms #5, Finder’s Stone #1)(First published 1988)  The adventuress Alias awakens one morning having lost her memory. The only clue as to what has befallen her is the glowing blue tattoo on her arm: a series of sigils that react violently to magic. Determined to unravel the mystery of the azure bonds, Alias joins forces with a mute lizard warrior, an exotic mage and a greedy halfling bard on an adventure that pits her against assassins, dragons, and worse.   The first Forgotten Realms novel by married writer duo Jeff Grubb and Kate Novak was certainly one of the more influential in the setting’s early years. It would later be turned into both a pen and paper adventure and […]

Spellfire by Ed Greenwood

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(Forgotten Realms #4, Shandril’s Saga #1)(First published 1988) Shandril Shessair is an orphan girl who works as a kitchen hand in The Rising Moon inn in Deepingdale. Restless and wanting to see something of the world, she joins up with a passing group of adventurers and soon discovers that she possesses the rare and devastating ability known as spellfire. This immediately makes her a target for any number of evil organizations keen to use her powers for their own nefarious ends. It is up to the likes of Elminster of Shadowdale and the Knights of Myth Drannor to ensure that no harm comes to Shandril. As her journey unfolds, she meets a young apprentice wizard named Narm and the two […]

Black Wizards by Douglas Niles

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(Forgotten Realms #3, The Moonshae Trilogy #2)(First published 1988) A year has passed since the young prince Tristan inspired the Ffolk of the Moonshae Isles to victory over the forces of the evil entity Kazgoroth. Angered by the defeat of its powerful minion, the god of murder, Bhaal, plots a new scheme to bring death and destruction to the land of the Ffolk. An alliance is formed between Bhaal’s sinister high priest, Hobarth, and a council of manipulative wizards controlling the High King of the Moonshaes. Meanwhile, Tristan struggles to comes to terms with the responsibilities that accompany being a prince while Robyn seeks to master her druid powers under the tutelage of Genna Moonsinger. The sequel to Darkwalker on […]

The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore

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(Forgotten Realms #2, The Icewind Dale Trilogy #1) (First published 1988) The bumbling wizard apprentice Akar Kessel is transformed into a tyrant when he discovers a millennia-old artefact of incredible power. Crenshinibon – the Crystal Shard – is a sentient relic that grants huge power to its wielder even as it bends them to its will. The frozen tundra soon shakes beneath the feet of the goblinoid army raised by Akar Kessel as he prepares to conquer the Ten Towns of Icewind Dale. Only a small band of heroes stands in his way: The strange drow, Drizzt Do’Urden, who has rejected the evil ways of his kind; the exiled dwarven king, Bruenor Battlehammer; and Bruenor’s indentured ward, Wulfgar, a mighty […]

Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles

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(Forgotten Realms #1, The Moonshae Trilogy, #1) (First published 1987) In the kingdom of Moonshae, a terrible struggle is about to ensue. The evil beast Kazgoroth has awakened. Drawing power from a corrupted Moonwell – a source of power sacred to the Goddess – it roams the land, amassing its followers and spreading darkness throughout the isles. Prince Tristan must rally his people against the threat of this ancient evil even as the Goddess sends her own children to combat the threat. The first Forgotten Realms novel ever published, Darkwalker on Moonshae draws on Celtic-inspired mythology. Located a hundred miles off the western coast of the Forgotten Realms, the Moonshae isles have scant little to do with the mainland Forgotten […]

The Great Realms Read-through!

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As some of you may know, back in the early 2000s I created a series of popular modules for the PC roleplaying game Neverwinter Nights. A critical and commercial success, Neverwinter Nights empowered a legion of D&D fans to create their own digital adventures. For the younger me, it was an opportunity to create stories set in the fabled Forgotten Realms setting, which had first gripped me as a young teen. Though occasionally derided for its chaotic, grab-bag worldbuilding, that same one-size-fits-all approach infused the Realms with an incredible diversity of locales and characters that have fueled around 400 novels and short story collections, dozens of roleplaying books and accessories, and more than a score of video games. It would […]