DND Novels: Where to Start With Dungeons & Dragons

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This article will help you determine where to start reading when it comes to the many different DND novels available.

I started reading D&D novels (official and not) back in the 1980s. The Guardians of the Flame series by Joel Rosenberg was one of my favorites even though it didn’t specifically deal with Dungeons and Dragons. I also heavily read the Gord the Rogue books by Gary Gygax and, of course, the Dragonlance saga by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

Over the years, Wizards of the Coast and other publishers have put out many interesting novels that take place in the D&D universe. In many cases, the novels actually give a better description of certain kinds of adventures than what you find in the Dungeon Master’s Guide . In this article, I’ve attempted to help you find some of the best novels set in the D&D universe.

Best Books to Start Reading D&D

The following D&D books are listed in the best reading order (in our opinion) so you know where to start reading!

The Dark Elf Trilogy

(Forgotten Realms Books)

The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore is the first series of books that I’d recommend. The first novel, Homeland , was Salvatore’s first book in the D&D world. It is a classic story in which the main character, Drizzt Do’Urden, escapes his home village with his mother and his sister after dark elves killed his father. Drizzt is a drow—one of the evil elves who live in the underworld of the Underdark.

Drizzt grows up and becomes a Hunter, one of the elite warriors of his race. But he rejects the evil ways of the drow and makes a life for himself above ground. He lives in the forests as an outcast. This trilogy follows Drizzt as he fights battles against evil, befriends a dwarf, and falls in love. The trilogy also includes Homeland , The Exile , and Sojourn . The Dark Elf Trilogy is considered by many to be the best series of books by R.A. Salvatore.

Icewind Dale Trilogy

(Forgotten Realms Books)

The Icewind Dale Trilogy is the second excellent series of dark elf books by R.A. Salvatore. (I love the Icewind Dale trilogy!) Yes, Drizzt Do’urden is in the series. Drizzt Do’urden is a main part of the series.

The first book in the series, The Crystal Shard , follows the adventures of the a drow ranger and others who are traveling around the North to find their fortune when they get caught up in an army conflict.

Bruenor plans to form his own dwarven kingdom in the North. This fun and exciting adventure has new twists and turns at every page turn. It is a great book to set up the Icewind Dale trilogy.

The second book, Streams of Silver, continues the story. The main characters in this book are Drizzt, Brueonor, and Catti-Brie. They are all searching for the magical kingdom of Mithral Hall.

The third book, The Halfling’s Gem, continues the series of adventures and leads us toward the finale. In this third book, the heroes work to foil the plans of the evil assassin Artemis Entreri.

(SIDE QUEST: If you like this series, be sure to check out the Legend of Drizzt. The Legend of Drizzt is different than this older series, but it’s great in its own way. It’s a good way to contrast and compare early and later Salvatore. Dark elves make great reading! If you only read one of Icewind Dale, read the Crystal Shard, of course, but I recommend all three for the full effect.)

The Cleric Quintet

(Forgotten Realms Books)

The Cleric Quintet is another great series that takes place in the Forgotten Realms.

The books in the series are very different from the Drizzt books, but this is not a bad thing. In fact, this is what makes the series so enjoyable.

The first book in the series, Canticle, follows a young cleric named Cadderly. He was meant to be as far away from Drizzt as possible. Salvatore had written six Drizzt books at this time.

In the second book, In Sylvan Shadows, Cadderly must defeat the evil unleashed on the lands.

The third book, Night Masks, is the best book in the series. It is a classic story of good versus evil.

The fourth book, The Fallen Fortress, is the weakest book in the series. It is a bit of a disappointment after the third book.

The fifth book, The Chaos Curse, is a bit better than the fourth book. It is a fun story with a lot of action.

The Moonshae Trilogy

by Douglas Niles

The Moonshae Trilogy is another great series of Forgotten Realms books.
The first book in the series, Darkwalker on Moonshae, is a classic story of good versus evil. It is a fun and exciting adventure with new twists and turns at every page turn.

The second book, Black Wizards, is a bit of a disappointment after the first book. It is a bit slow and boring.

The third book, Darkwell, is the story of Legionnaires and native warriors fighting side by side in Maztica.

Overall, this is a strong series of D&D novels that do well to introduce readers to the world of Dungeons & Dragons albeit with a bit of a South American flavor.

The Chronicles Trilogy

(Dragons of Autumn Twilight, et al.)

The Chronicles Trilogy is the first series of books in the Dragonlance Chronicles saga. Written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the first in the series, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, is a tale of friendship and adventure. Once you start reading, it’s easy to see why this book is a bestseller.

The second book, Dragons of Winter Night, is a bit more political and is a bit harder to read than the first book.

The third book, Dragons of Spring Dawning, is the best book in the series. It is a classic story of good versus evil.

Overall, this series is considered must-read material by most D&D fans. The excellent writing skills of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the creative use of the Dragonlance (which is actually a magical spear) make these books a great read.

Return of the Archwizards

by Troy Denning

The Return of the Archwizards is a trilogy of novels by Troy Denning centered around the elf Galaeron Nihmedu, an Evereskan tomb guardian.
The first book in the series, The Summoning, deals with an ancient evil beneath the dune seas of Anauroch. It’s a rip-roaring adventure that helps build the lore of the Forgotten Realms.

In the second book, The Siege, the evil returns. (No spoilers!) The book continues the story from the first book, of course, and is just as good in my opinion. The Sorcerer is the third book and really brings it home with an epic climax that really sums up the D&D experience.

If you’re looking for a good D&D book to start with, this series is a great place in my opinion.

Voyage of the Mourning Dawn

(Heirs of Ash #1) by Rich Wulf

This book is amazing if you’ve ever wondered about the airships in D&D, this is a good tale. In it, the crew of the airship Mourning Dawn and Seren, a young street thief, learn about Ashrem’s Legacy. Why do they need to find it, you’ll have to read to find out!

In all seriousness, this isn’t a well-known D&D novel, but it’s one of my favorites. Personally, I love the Dungeons & Dragons books that feature a character who isn’t all powerful. That might be why I enjoy Voyage of the Mourning Dawn so much.

The Verdant Passage (Prism Pentad Book 1) by Troy Denning

This book is a classic D&D story that will thrill long time readers of the game. Troy Denning’s post-apocalyptic world of Athas remains one of the most talked-about settings in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. While brutal, it offers a bleak landscape fit for heroes seeking their place in an unforgiving world.

The first book in the series, The Verdant Passage, is an excellent example of what sets the novels in this world apart from other D&D books. The story starts with a revolution by a group of unlikely heroes. The book is set in the Dark Sun setting and really helped make that world even more popular in the D&D universe. (Wizards, if you’re listening, bring back Dark Sun!) Ahem.

Other Great DND Books

The thing about Dungeons and Dragons novels is that there are a lot of them, and most of them are absolutely great. You might find a few here and there that aren’t worth your time or money, but overall they’re pretty solid, especially Forgotten Realms books.


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When you take your time and invest in the right D&D novels, it’s not hard to get a truly incredible Dungeons & Dragons fantasy story. Of course, there’s more than one kind of Dungeons and Dragons story, so take a look at the novels above to start.

New D&D Movie 2023

Personally, with the new D&D movie coming out in 2023, I’m hoping that there’s a renewed interest in DND books and novels. You can never have too many great D&D stories to dive into. Over the years, these types of books have become some of my favorites.

A good DND novel can take you away to another world and make you feel like you’re a part of a fantasy that could be real. This is one of the reasons I love reading D&D books. Start with the ones I’ve listed above, and see where you go.

Overall, a good Dungeons and Dragons novel can take you on an epic adventure and give you characters, storylines, and settings you’ll remember forever. This is why I love reading D&D stories, and why so many other people do too.

The Magic of Dungeons & Dragons Books

If you can find a good Dungeons & Dragons fantasy story, it’s going to give you something special, and it’s going to stick with you forever. With such a large selection of books to choose from, though, it can be hard to find the right fantasy.

If you’re looking for D&D fantasy stories, you have several options. You could devour everything written by the same author or you could take the time to find a specific setting, character, or story that really speaks to you.

Personally, I love immersing myself in fresh and unique Dungeons & Dragons fantasy stories, and that’s exactly what the books I’ve listed above offer. Each one is different in its own way and will satisfy your need to dive into a fantasy novel.

One of the main reasons I love these kinds of books is because they’re so action-packed and fast-paced. Then again, not all of them are like this. Some are filled with action, but others are very much character-driven stories.

How to Choose the Best DND Books

Here’s a few tips for choosing the best books…

1 – Start with the same author

Sometimes, you’ll be able to start a DND novel series with the same author and authorial voice. For example, if you love R.A. Salvatore, you can pick up the beginning of his Drizzt series and dive right in.

This works in most cases, but there are a few times when an author who you really love will be writing a series in a different setting, world, or with a new protagonist. This is often the case with Dungeons & Dragons novels.

2 – Pick a specific setting

There are so many different settings in the DND universe, and you can choose to read books based on a specific setting that you’re into. For example, if you’re a fan of the world of Athas, you can easily find some Athasian novels to read. You might even find some good Spelljammer novels. (Hint, hint!)

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3 – Pick a specific character

One of the really neat things about D&D novels is that you can follow a specific character through his or her journey. A lot of the time, this is a character who you know from the games, so it’s easy to get into the story. Take, for instance, Gord the Rogue.

4 – Don’t Be Afraid to Skip Around

If you start a book and just aren’t getting into it, don’t be afraid to just stop. There are so many D&D novels that you might be able to find something totally different to read. There’s no reason to force yourself to read a book that you’re just not into. Take a look at what you have and find a new book to read!

5 – Check Out Audible

If you like listening to audiobooks, then you might like them for D&D books, too. Most D&D books are a bit too long for an audiobook, but a lot of them have audiobook versions. This is a great way to experience D&D stories, and it’s not just for fantasy novels.

Conclusion

I hope you have fun reading Dungeons & Dragons fantasy novels. They’re a great way to dive into a new world and escape into a fantasy world with different magic, different friends, and different enemies.

D&D novels are fun and exciting for any Dungeons & Dragons fan, and there’s a slew of them for you to choose from. The books I’ve mentioned above are just a few that are amazing and that every D&D fan should check out.

Once you’re done reading them, you might want to pass them along to a friend. We all read great D&D books and then pass them along to our friends, so why not start with the ones I’ve listed above.

If you search around this site, you’ll find other lists like best D&D books with rogues and best D&D books with wizards. Good luck on your quest finding the best DND novels for your leisure reading.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to bookmark the site, so you can come back soon. I’m always adding new content for gamers, especially those that love Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinders, and MERPs.

Paul Bellow

LitRPG Author Paul Bellow

Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author, gamer, RPG game developer, and publisher of several online communities. In other words, an old school webmaster. He also developed and runs LitRPG Adventures, a set of advanced RPG generators powered by GPT-3 AI. Here at LitRPG Reads, he publishes articles about LitRPG books, tabletop RPG books, and all sorts of DND content that's free to use in your personal tabletop campaign - i.e. non-commercial use. Enjoy your stay and reach out on Twitter or Discord if you want to make contact.
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