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dast9
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2018 :  15:23:55  Show Profile Send dast9 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic

I am slowly reading my way through the FR library and was wondering which to read first, "The Harpers" series or the "Songs and Swords" series? Since S&S is contained w/in the Harpers, I'm thinking that's the way to go. But do I miss anything, i.e. the details in the intervening novels, if I read S&S separately?

Thanks!

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31390 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2018 :  17:48:23  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dast9


I am slowly reading my way through the FR library and was wondering which to read first, "The Harpers" series or the "Songs and Swords" series? Since S&S is contained w/in the Harpers, I'm thinking that's the way to go. But do I miss anything, i.e. the details in the intervening novels, if I read S&S separately?

Thanks!



The Harpers books are, for the most part, standalone -- though there are a couple sequels to earlier books, within the series.

If you start with the Songs and Swords series, you'll not be missing anything from not having read the other Harpers novels.

There are some real gems in the Harpers books, but there are also some I tend to avoid when I feel like re-reading FR books.

My personal recommendation would be to do the Songs & Swords, first, because those are some of the best Realms books we've had.

A fave of mine from the Harpers books is book 5, The Ring of Winter.

Also, for further info...

Crown of Fire is the sequel to an originally standalone novel, Spellfire. It later became part of the Shandril's Saga trilogy

Masquerades is the sequel to the Finder's Stone trilogy, the only FR books, aside from Elaine Cunningham's stuff, that I routinely recommend.

Finder's Bane was later labeled as book 1 of the Lost Gods trilogy. The second book, Fistandantilus Reborn is a Dragonlance novel that rather much did not work for me. The third book, Tymora's Luck, returns to the authors and characters of Finder's Bane.

Finder's Bane and Tymora's Luck aren't really sequels of the Finder's Stone books, but do build heavily on them. The two books can be read without reading Fistandantilus Reborn; all the second book does for the series is intro a character for the third book. And since that character is a kender, his backstory is not all that important.

All of this is my opinion, offered with the occasional attempt at being humble.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
563 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2018 :  01:44:13  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Favorite FR book of all time, "The Simbul's Gift," bar none.
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2251 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2018 :  00:08:15  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kind of what Wooly said; the Harper books are mostly stand-alones, with a few being sequels to each other, or connected to other series, such as the Finder's Stone. Despite being part of the Harpers series, Thornhold is also very much a part of S&S.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 28 Feb 2018 00:08:43
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3542 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2018 :  00:29:01  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
+100 for Ring of Winter

But to reply to original question.... go with Song and Swords series first.

Arguably some of the realms best characters by arguably the Realms best Author.....the incomparable Elaine Cunningham.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3542 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2018 :  00:29:42  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
+100 for Ring of Winter

But to reply to original question.... go with Song and Swords series first.

Arguably some of the realms best characters by arguably the Realms best Author.....the incomparable Elaine Cunningham.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1960 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2018 :  07:59:02  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As anyone who's read my responses to other such questions can attest I am hugely in favor of the Harpers series, and Elaines SOS contribution

Today I opened up Spellfire for the first time since the 90s...

It really is hard to believe how perfect the first chapter of that novel is all these years later as an introduction to the Forgotten Realms... The main character and the reader are one and the same - straining to see the wider Realms for the first time but tied down to more mundane tasks of life. Left only with yearning and imagination and secondhand tales of the adventures that lie beyond.

The book will also introduce you to other major Realms characters: Storm Silverhand, The Knights of Myth Drannor, Elminster, Manshoon, The Cult of the Dragon, etc. All this makes Spellfire my new go to answer for the question "which FR novel should I read first."

So, while neither Harpers nor Songs and Swords I recommend you turn and read Ed's Spellfire, and then its Harpers sequel mentioned by Wooly earlier.

Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31390 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2018 :  15:47:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage



Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P




The Ring of Winter also has a minor connection to the Empires trilogy... You find out at the end of the book that Artus was renting a room from one of the characters in Crusade.

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cliven
Acolyte

2 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2018 :  00:03:11  Show Profile Send cliven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello,

Iíve been getting my D&D novel fix mostly through Audible the last several years. Iíve just gotten into the earlier stuff, and I appreciate the primer on the Harper series, since I had similar questions as those discussed in this thread.

My remaining question is in regards to Red Magic. It seems to be the only Harper novel that doesnít have an audiobook version (at least on audible). Does anyone know why that is?

Thanks.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1960 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2018 :  08:20:00  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't say for sure but I assume it has to do with the nature of the contract Jean Rabe had and how it stands now.
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cliven
Acolyte

2 Posts

Posted - 02 Mar 2018 :  16:53:36  Show Profile Send cliven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mage, I assumed it was a royalties dispute as well. My hope is that it will eventually sort itself out. I could have sworn that for some period of time Escape from Undermountain was the only Nobles series book available on Audible, but all six are available now. Either I got better searching, their algorithm improved, or a similar dispute was resolved.
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3542 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2018 :  04:58:38  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

As anyone who's read my responses to other such questions can attest I am hugely in favor of the Harpers series, and Elaines SOS contribution

Today I opened up Spellfire for the first time since the 90s...

It really is hard to believe how perfect the first chapter of that novel is all these years later as an introduction to the Forgotten Realms... The main character and the reader are one and the same - straining to see the wider Realms for the first time but tied down to more mundane tasks of life. Left only with yearning and imagination and secondhand tales of the adventures that lie beyond.

The book will also introduce you to other major Realms characters: Storm Silverhand, The Knights of Myth Drannor, Elminster, Manshoon, The Cult of the Dragon, etc. All this makes Spellfire my new go to answer for the question "which FR novel should I read first."

So, while neither Harpers nor Songs and Swords I recommend you turn and read Ed's Spellfire, and then its Harpers sequel mentioned by Wooly earlier.

Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P




Since my novels are in storage.....who is the minke character tied to Dan?

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31390 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2018 :  15:39:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

As anyone who's read my responses to other such questions can attest I am hugely in favor of the Harpers series, and Elaines SOS contribution

Today I opened up Spellfire for the first time since the 90s...

It really is hard to believe how perfect the first chapter of that novel is all these years later as an introduction to the Forgotten Realms... The main character and the reader are one and the same - straining to see the wider Realms for the first time but tied down to more mundane tasks of life. Left only with yearning and imagination and secondhand tales of the adventures that lie beyond.

The book will also introduce you to other major Realms characters: Storm Silverhand, The Knights of Myth Drannor, Elminster, Manshoon, The Cult of the Dragon, etc. All this makes Spellfire my new go to answer for the question "which FR novel should I read first."

So, while neither Harpers nor Songs and Swords I recommend you turn and read Ed's Spellfire, and then its Harpers sequel mentioned by Wooly earlier.

Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P




Since my novels are in storage.....who is the minke character tied to Dan?



The butler for the Stalwart Adventurers. Danilo is the reason he has the permanently devilish appearance.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3542 Posts

Posted - 10 Mar 2018 :  23:58:56  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

As anyone who's read my responses to other such questions can attest I am hugely in favor of the Harpers series, and Elaines SOS contribution

Today I opened up Spellfire for the first time since the 90s...

It really is hard to believe how perfect the first chapter of that novel is all these years later as an introduction to the Forgotten Realms... The main character and the reader are one and the same - straining to see the wider Realms for the first time but tied down to more mundane tasks of life. Left only with yearning and imagination and secondhand tales of the adventures that lie beyond.

The book will also introduce you to other major Realms characters: Storm Silverhand, The Knights of Myth Drannor, Elminster, Manshoon, The Cult of the Dragon, etc. All this makes Spellfire my new go to answer for the question "which FR novel should I read first."

So, while neither Harpers nor Songs and Swords I recommend you turn and read Ed's Spellfire, and then its Harpers sequel mentioned by Wooly earlier.

Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P




Since my novels are in storage.....who is the minke character tied to Dan?



The butler for the Stalwart Adventurers. Danilo is the reason he has the permanently devilish appearance.



A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3542 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2018 :  00:00:41  Show Profile  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by The Red Walker

quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

As anyone who's read my responses to other such questions can attest I am hugely in favor of the Harpers series, and Elaines SOS contribution

Today I opened up Spellfire for the first time since the 90s...

It really is hard to believe how perfect the first chapter of that novel is all these years later as an introduction to the Forgotten Realms... The main character and the reader are one and the same - straining to see the wider Realms for the first time but tied down to more mundane tasks of life. Left only with yearning and imagination and secondhand tales of the adventures that lie beyond.

The book will also introduce you to other major Realms characters: Storm Silverhand, The Knights of Myth Drannor, Elminster, Manshoon, The Cult of the Dragon, etc. All this makes Spellfire my new go to answer for the question "which FR novel should I read first."

So, while neither Harpers nor Songs and Swords I recommend you turn and read Ed's Spellfire, and then its Harpers sequel mentioned by Wooly earlier.

Then I second the endorsements of our wise and learned scribes of Elaine's works as well as The Ring of Winter, which I've read half a dozen times and always enjoy. It is fun to note that there is an admitedly minor character in the Ring of Winter that has a lifelong tie to Danilo from Elaine's novels. Threads tying the Harpers novels together. Look for him when you read it - he's quite distinctive and so hard to miss :P




Since my novels are in storage.....who is the minke character tied to Dan?



The butler for the Stalwart Adventurers. Danilo is the reason he has the permanently devilish appearance.




Oh ho!,, I forgot all about that dude!

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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