30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

Dungeons and Dragons, popularly referred to as DnD or D&D, is regaining popularity. This tabletop role-playing game (RPG), first released in 1974, is a lasting example of collaborative storytelling. Players form groups and, guided by a Dungeon Master (DM), these characters go on exciting adventures determined entirely by a throw of the dice.

Which Dungeons & Dragons novels are the best? There is a near-infinite amount of options available, and the game’s library is huge. That is why, regardless matter whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a newbie to the world of D&D, we’ve compiled some tips on what you should prioritize. Therefore, if you like playing D&D, consuming actual play D&D content, or simply want to read about them, here are some of the top 30 d&d books to get you started. 

1. Homeland- R.A. Salvatore

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

Homeland is the first installment of R. A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy, published in 1990. The Dark Elf Trilogy is a precursor to Salvatore’s original Icewind Dale Trilogy.

Drizzt Do’Urden, the drow ranger featured in The Icewind Dale Trilogy, immediately established himself as a prominent figure in the fantasy genre. However, Homeland begins by revealing the astounding story of how this lone drow emerged from the gloomy depths of the Underdark, leaving behind a wicked civilization and a family hell-bent on his demise. This is where the incredible dark elf’s story began.

2. Canticle- R.A. Salvatore

This is the first installment of Salvatore’s Cleric Quintet. Cadderly, a scholar-priest, is threatened by an evil power, and when his brothers get imprisoned in the catacombs, he must battle with himself to preserve both his brothers and his soul.

In this story, the magician Aballister Bonaduce concocts the Chaos Curse, a heinous elixir that compels individuals to act on their most primal and personal desires regardless of the consequences. Barjin, a Talona priest, steals the potion from Aballister and delivers it to the Edificant Library, an adversary of Castle Trinity, where Aballister and Barjin both work. 

Barjin makes his way to the library, slips into the building’s cellar, and with the unwitting assistance of the priest Cadderly can unleash the ever-smoking potion into the library. 

The library descends into anarchy, until Cadderly, his dear friend Danica Maupoissant, the two dwarven brothers Ivan and Pikel Bouldershoulder, and a druid called Newander descend to the altar of Barjin and slay him, so reclaiming the library for the time being.

3. Here There Be Gerblins-  Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch

The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, based on the blockbuster podcast in which the McElroy brothers and their father play a tabletop RPG, and illustrated by cartooning superstar Carey Pietsch, takes this #1 New York Times bestselling series to terrifying new heights.

Here There Be Gerblins is The Balance Arc’s and The Adventure Zone’s first narrative arc. It chronicles the first adventure of the Tres Horny Boys, which involves goblins, jack-hammer robots, and the devastation of a whole village.

We began by following the adventure book’s instructions. You three were required to demonstrate your saltiness. You have been contracted to carry Gundren Rockseeker’s possessions from Neverwinter to Phandalin. Barry Bluejeans was his ward. You discovered that they had been assaulted and taken by gerblins. You arrived in the cave where the gerblins assaulted them and encountered Klarg, the band’s Bugbear leader, and Yeemick, his second in command.

4. Vampire of the Mists- Christie Golden

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

Vampire of the Mists is the first novel in the gothic horror series Ravenloft Books. It is situated in both Waterdeep, a city in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe, and more significantly, the Demiplane of Dread, the site of the Ravenloft campaign setting.

Jander Sunstar is an elf vampire who strives to be as wonderful as possible despite his condition. Jander falls in love with an inmate named Anna while on a journey to Waterdeep to consume the blood of patients at a mental institution there. For almost one hundred years, the immortal vampire paid regular visits to Anna, and Anna seemed to be equally ageless. 

Anna becomes sick, and Jander, fearful of losing her, attempts to transform her into a vampire. Anna declines. When Jander asks her what damaged her mind in her final moments, she responds, “Barovia.”

Jander, in a fit of anger, murders every inmate of the asylum and is sent to the Demiplane of Dread. There, he meets Count Strahd Von Zarovich and gets his fate read by a Vistani gypsy. The fortune-predictions teller’s all come true later in the novel, sometimes in various ways.

5. The Verdant Passage- Troy Denning

A band of heroes, each with their agenda, get together to stop the wicked sorcerer-king Kalak of Tyr from transforming himself into a lethal and immortal dragon. Kalak: an eternal sorcerer-king whose malevolent sorcery has turned Tyr’s magnificent metropolis into a barren wasteland of dust, blood, and terror.

His thousand-year reign of terror is drawing to a close.

A maverick statesman, a charming half-elf slave girl, and a man-dwarf gladiator trained for the arenas are banding together to start a revolution. However, if the populace is to be liberated, the mismatched trio of tenacious rebels must confront horror and choose between love and life.

6. Gauntlgrym- R.A. Salvatore

Drizzt joins Bruenor on his mission to discover the mythical dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym, whose remains are supposed to be teeming with old riches and arcane wisdom. However, they are thwarted by another drow and dwarf pair: 

Jarlaxle and Athrogate. Jarlaxle and Athrogate, in their pursuit of riches and magic, unintentionally set in motion a calamity that threatens the unsuspecting citizens of Neverwinter—a catastrophe large enough to entice even the mercenary Jarlaxle into risking his fortune and skin to avert it. 

Unfortunately, the more they learn about Gauntlgrym’s secret, the more it appears as though they will be powerless to stop it on their own. They’re going to need assistance, and it’s going to come from the last people they ever imagined fighting with again: Drizzt and Bruenor.

7. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord- Sarah J. Maas

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is one of five prequel novellas to Throne of Glass. Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has arrived on a secluded island in a tropical sea seeking vengeance. She has been dispatched by the Assassin’s Guild to collect a debt due to them by the Lord of the Pirates. 

Celaena’s purpose, however, alters dramatically when she discovers that the promised payment will be made in slaves rather than money—and she will risk everything to rectify the evil she has been sent to bring about.

8. The Crystal Shard- R.A. Salvatore

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

The Crystal Shard is the first novel of American author R. A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale Trilogy, published in 1988. Drizzt Do’Urden, a drow ranger who has left the Underdark behind, establishes roots in the windswept Ten-Towns of Icewind Dale. Ten-Towns, a harsh and forgiving land, is on the verge of a cataclysmic conflict, threatened by the barbaric tribes to the north.

A teenage barbarian called Wulfgar is caught and becomes the ward of Bruenor, a grizzled dwarf chieftain, and Drizzt’s friend. Wulfgar will develop from a wild youngster to a man with the heart of a dwarf, the instincts of a barbarian, and the spirit of a hero with Drizzt’s assistance. However, defeating the wicked wizard who possesses the demonic power of Crenshininbon—the mythical Crystal Shard—will require far more than that.

9. Saga of Old City- Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax’s 1985 fantasy novel Saga of Old City is set in the Greyhawk universe, which is based on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Enter Greyhawk’s Old City, a wondrous world where dreams—and nightmares—come true. 

Travel around the realm of Oerth with Gord, the kid who grows into a man as he struggles for life in a world filled with strange magicians, frightening creatures, dour dwarfs, and beautiful ladies. For Oerth is a world in which a man’s eyes are perpetually fixed on the shadows…and his hand is perpetually on the hilt of his blade.

Finally, adventure sufficient to last a lifetime—or possibly a very brief existence!

10. Exile- R.A. Salvatore

Exile is the second novel in American author R. A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy. Hostile in ways that a surface dweller may never comprehend, the Underdark’s tunnel mazes present a challenge to all who enter. Drizzt Do’Urden and his magical cat, Guenhwyvar, are among these spirits.

Drizzt, exiled from his drow country, must battle for survival in the endless maze. Meanwhile, he must keep an eye out for signals of pursuit – because the dark elves are not an easily offended species.

11. Nimona- Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is a fantasy webcomic created by Noelle Stevenson, an American comics writer, and artist. Nimona is a rash young shapeshifter with an uncanny ability for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a vengeful villain. Nimona and Lord Blackheart are poised to unleash havoc in their dual roles as sidekick and supervillain. Their mission: to demonstrate to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his cohorts at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics are not the heroes they claim to be.

However, when little acts of mischief develop into a fierce struggle, Lord Blackheart discovers that Nimona’s abilities are as enigmatic and murky as her history. And her unpredictable wild side may present a greater risk than he is ready to acknowledge.

12. Dragons of Autumn Twilight-  Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

It was the first Dragonlance novel and the first of the Chronicles trilogy, which, along with the Dragonlance Legends trilogy, are widely considered as the Dragonlance world’s core novels. They parted ways as lifelong friends. They are now reunited, albeit each of them has secrets about the other. They talk about a world overshadowed by war rumors. 

They speak of weird beasts, mythical creatures, and creatures of folklore. They keep their secrets to themselves. That is not the case. Not until a fortuitous meeting with a beautiful, melancholy lady wielding a powerful crystal staff drags the companions deeper into the shadow, forever altering their lives and influencing the world’s fate. They were not supposed to be heroes. Not the least of which is themselves.

13. The Finder’s Stone Trilogy- Kate Novak, Jeff Grubb

The Finder’s Stone trilogy follows Alias, Dragonbait, Olive Ruskettle, and Finder Wyvernspur on their travels across the Dalelands. Alias is her name, and she is in danger. She is a hire-a-warrior, an adventurer, and a sell-sword. She awakened with her arms engraved with a sequence of twisting, mystical blue sigils and no recollection of how she obtained them.

Alias joins up with an unexpected collection of friends to discover the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo: the halfling bard Ruskettle, the southern magician Akabar, and the strangely quiet lizard-man Dragonbait. She finds, with their assistance, that the symbols contain the secret to her existence.

However, people in charge of the sigils are not keen on Alias’s continuing health. And if the five wicked overlords uncover her first, she may learn their horrible secret much too soon.

14. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows is a 2015 fantasy novel written by Leigh Bardugo and published by Henry Holt and Co. The plot centers on a thieving gang and is set largely in the city of Ketterdam, which is roughly modeled after Amsterdam under the Dutch Republic. The narrative is narrated in the third person by seven distinct individuals.

Ketterdam is a thriving international trading hub where everything is possible at the right price—a fact than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is well aware of. Kaz is offered the opportunity to participate in a dangerous robbery that has the potential to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. 

However, he cannot accomplish this feat alone… Six perilous outcasts A single improbable robbery. Kaz’s crew may be the only thing standing between the planet and destruction—that is if they don’t first murder each other.

15. Alanna: The First Adventure- Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce’s fantasy book Alanna: The First Adventure. It is the first book of a four-volume series titled The Song of the Lioness, which was originally released in 1983.

As a result, young Alanna of Trebond embarks on her path to knighthood. Alanna, despite her gender, has always desired the adventure and bravery that are reserved for guys; her twin brother, Thom, aspires to acquire the skill of magic. Thus, they decide to swap places one day: Thom travels to the convent to study magic; Alanna, posing as a boy, is on her way to King Roald’s castle to begin her training as a page.

However, the path to knighthood is not simple. While Alanna is honing her combat skills, she must also learn to manage her emotions and distinguish her adversaries from her allies.

Alanna’s first journey starts, filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil. It is an adventure that will lead to the fulfillment of her aspirations and the magical destiny that would make her a legend in her nation.

16. Streams of Silver- R.A. Salvatore

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

Streams of Silver is the second installment of R.A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale Trilogy, which is set in the fantasy world of the forgotten realms.

Bruenor the dwarf, Wulfgar the barbarian, Regis the halfling, and Drizzt the dark elf battle creatures and spells en route to Mithril Hall, Bruenor and his dwarven ancestors’ centuries-old origin.

Drizzt considers returning to the lightless subterranean city and deadly lifestyle he abandoned in the face of bigotry. Wulfgar gradually overcomes his tribe’s antipathy toward magic. 

And Regis flees from a lethal assassin who, along with wicked wizards, is hell-bent on annihilating the companions. All of Bruenor’s ambitions, as well as the future of his party, are dependent on the acts of one courageous young woman.

17. Brimstone Angels- Erin M. Evans

Farideh is expecting a life without friends, love, or control over her fate after being rejected at birth and reared in a hamlet of tiefling misfits. Then she strikes a deal with Lorcan, the demon, and everything changes.

Lorcan promises her everything she has ever desired and asks for nothing in return. Farideh’s twin sister Havilar implores her to avoid the devil’s influence. Farideh, on the other hand, is not so certain. Lorcan may be lethal, but the power he has is enthralling.

Farideh’s suspicions become entangled in a six-layer diabolical trap among the ruins of Neverwinter. A succubus using humans as pawns against an otherworldly adversary views the twins as roadblocks. 

Lorcan’s monster sisters, meanwhile, have their sights set on the city—and specifically on Farideh. There is no time to reconsider her deal with Lorcan—it will require every ounce of Farideh’s newly acquired abilities to survive in Neverwinter.

18. Lesser Evils- Erin M. Evans

Lesser Evils is Erin M. Evans’s second novel in the Brimstone Angels series. Farideh’s nightmares are still tormented by Lorcan, the cambion demon whose strength feeds her own. Farideh has no regrets about her bargain with the devil, as one of just four known descendants of the original Brimstone Angel. 

However, no one in the Hells is aware that she has a twin—an impatient, impetuous sister who is just waiting to be corrupted. At the very least as long as Lorcan can maintain her secrecy.

Farideh seeks a ritual that would summon Lorcan from the Hells, determined to defend her sister. However, she is lured into an assignment for the secret society the Harpers, which takes her and a motley crew of companions to an old Netherese library deep below. 

While the party is sifting through the site, avoiding ghosts and magical traps, Farideh discovers a magical book whose statements cast doubt on everything she believed about herself and her sister. As the Book reveals more of its horrific mysteries, one thing becomes clear—a traitor is among them.

19. Elfshadow- Elaine Cunningham

The Harpers of Faerûn, a semi-secret organization committed to upholding justice and harmony in the Realms, are stalked by silent death. The Harpers are falling victim to a mysterious killer one by one—and each victim has ties to Arilyn Moonblade.

Arilyn, a half-elf fighter, and Harper agent are named for the magical blade she wields. However, even when she is charged with locating the killer, many assume she is the actual perpetrator. Danilo Thann, a bard that Arilyn meets in Waterdeep, accompanies Arilyn on her journey. Though Danilo plays the fool, he is a skilled Harper operative and wizard tasked with establishing Arilyn’s innocence and unraveling the mysteries surrounding her strong moonblade.

Together, the odd pair sets out to rescue the Harpers, going on a spectacular, action-packed adventure that ushers in an exciting new era of the Forgotten Realms realm.

20. The Binding Stone- Don Bassingthwaite

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

The first installment of a dark fantasy and high adventure series set in the Eberron campaign setting. As an ancient evil reawakens in the realms of Eberron, two warriors set out on a quest for vengeance, ignorant of the terrible horrors that await them in the Shadow Marches. 

The Binding Stone introduces brand-new races designed just for the Eberron campaign setting. Additionally, it is the first Eberron novel to take readers on a tour of the setting’s numerous unknown areas.

21. Darkwalker on Moonshae- Douglas Niles

Darkwalker on Moonshae is the first novel created for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game’s Forgotten Realms campaign setting.

Will the Kazgaroth ruin the Goddess’s balance and the Ffolk’s peace? Only Tristan Kendrick, the troubled heir to the High Kings’ inheritance, is capable of uniting the varied people and animals of the Isles of Moonshae to put an end to the spread of darkness.

On the side of Evil is a ruthless army of gigantic Firbolgs, terrifying Bloodriders, and supernatural manifestations of the Beast.

On the Good’s side: an uneasy coalition of halflings and dwarves, sister knights, bards and druids, and the Goddess’s mighty children—the Leviathan, the Unicorn, and the Pack.

22. The Dragonlance Legends Trilogy- Margaret Weis

This slip-covered gift box includes three essential Dragonlance novels: Time of the Twins, War of the Twins, and Test of the Twins, all written by New York Times bestselling writers Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. These are three of Dragonlance’s best-selling backlist titles.

In Time of the Twins, Tasslehoff, Raistlin, Caramon, and the priestess Crysania journey back in time to the city of Istar before the Cataclysm in an attempt to prevent tragedy, while Raistlin schemes to take the old wizard Fistandantilus’ magical power. 

Raistlin uses a mystical ritual to open a portal to the Abyss in Test of the Twins. Simultaneously, his brother Caramon activates a mystical contraption that transports both Caramon and Tasslehoff to an unexpected location. And in War of the Twins, Raistlin prepares to enter the Abyss and confront the Dark Queen directly, only to find himself trapped in a temporal loop from which there appears to be no way out.

23. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien, an English novelist, and scholar. The Elven-smiths fashioned the Rings of Strength in ancient times, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, made the One Ring, filling it with his power to reign over all others. 

However, the One Ring was snatched from him, and despite his searching across Middle-earth, he was unable to locate it. After many eons, it slipped into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins by happenstance.

Sauron’s power extended far and wide from his fortress in Mordor’s Dark Tower. Sauron collected all the Great Rings to himself, yet he was always on the lookout for the One Ring capable of completing his rule.

When Bilbo was eleventy-one, he vanished, leaving the Ruling Ring and a hazardous task for his young cousin Frodo: to go across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by tossing it into the Cracks of Doom.

24. Pool of Radiance- James Ward and Anne K. Brown

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

In this action-packed fantasy tale based on the Dungeons & Dragons computer game of the same name, three heroes band together to defend Phlan.

A possessed dragon leads the Valhingen Graveyard’s undead army and the creatures from Phlan’s ruins. Three heroes stood amid this mayhem: Shal Bal, a spellcaster, wants to avenge her wizard master’s death, while Ren, a ranger thief, embarks on his revenge mission, determined to balance the score with the assassin who murdered his beloved Tempest. 

And then there’s Tarl Desanea, a cleric-warrior who has witnessed the destruction that the army of Valhingen Graveyard is capable of inflicting. He has lost far too many pals to the zombie horde.

When fate reunites the trio at the Laughing Goblin Inn, they are taken before the Council of Ten’s leader. They go on perilous missions around the kingdom under the command of Porphyrys Cadorna, only to learn that their newfound advisor is not who they thought he was. Now it is up to Shal, Ren, and Tarl to free Phlan—and the whole of Moonsea—from the clutches of the evil reincarnate Tyranthraxus.

25. Pools of Darkness- James Ward and Anne K. Brown

With Phlan once again in danger, Ren must depend on unusual allies to locate his missing companions and save the city from evil’s grasp.

Phlan’s entirety has disappeared, torn from Toril’s surface by dreadful monsters and magical powers. While the wicked deity Bane’s minions quarrel over the riches, the valiant inhabitants of Phlan stage a tenacious resistance.

Ren, a ranger-thief, is on the lookout for his lost companions, Shal Bal and Tarl Desanea, who are unmatched spellcasters. Ren must, however, team up with a mysterious sorceress and her intrepid shapeshifter cat, as well as a pair of funny druids and a frightened knight who is certainly, positively dead, to do this.

Taking place 10 years after the events of Pool of Radiance, this Forgotten Realms classic reintroduces the heroes of Phlan.

26. The Parched Sea- Troy Denning

Troy Denning’s The Parched Sea is the first installment in The Harpers series. Determined to establish a trade route via Anauroch, the Zhentarim have dispatched an army to enslave the immense desert’s ferocious nomads. As tribe after tribe falls to the intruders, only one woman, Rhua, recognizes the actual danger—but what sheik will listen to an outcast witch?

Ruha receives assistance from an unexpected source. The Harpers, the Realms’ defenders of liberty, have dispatched an agent to oppose the Zhentarim. If she can assist this stranger in gaining the sheiks’ trust, he may be able to transcend the tribes’ traditional conflicts and drive the invaders from the desert. 

27. The City of Towers- Keith Baker

The City of Towers is the first novel of a brand-new series set in the realm of Eberron, Wizards of the Coast’s newest D&D(R) campaign setting.

Four warriors, hardened by the Last War, have arrived in Sharn—the fabled City of Towers, capital of adventure, and home to the finest and worst of Eberron. After a lifetime of combat, they have become used to battle. Kingdoms have been shattered, armies have been destroyed, and a whole country has been razed to the ground. Now, amid an uneasy peace, they must fight for survival.

However, people begin to mysteriously vanish. The battle-weary heroes—Daine, Jode, Lei, and Pierce—soon become entangled in a plan that will take them from the highest heights of power to the city of wonder, darkness, and adventure’s most filthy depths.

28. The Stolen Throne- David Gaider

30 Best D&D Books of All Time You Need to Read (2021 Update)

The Stolen Throne is a riveting prequel to Dragon Age: Origins, the award-winning role-playing computer game by BioWare.

After his mother, the adored Rebel Queen, is betrayed and killed by her faithless lords, young Maric leads a rebel army to liberate his country from the rule of a foreign dictator.

His people dread him; his commanders see him as inexperienced; and his only friends are Loghain, a brazen young bandit who saved his life, and Rowan, the beautiful warrior lady he has been promised since childhood. 

Surrounded by spies and traitors, Maric must not only live but also accomplish his ultimate goal: the liberation of Ferelden and the restoration of his family to the stolen throne.

29. The Legacy- R.A. Salvatore

R. A. Salvatore’s 1992 fantasy book The Legacy is a work of science fiction. It is the first installment in his Legacy of the Drow trilogy.

Drizzt Do’Urden’s life is better than it has ever been. His closest buddy, the dwarf Bruenor, has regained his kingdom, and his adventuring companions, Wulfgar and Catti-brie, are set to marry in the spring. Regis, the halfling, has also returned. All the friends are together in Mithril Hall’s safety and wealth, where streams of silver mithril flow deep and dwarven hammers pound out the somber rhythms of old and endless melodies.

However, Drizzt could not attain this condition of peace without leaving behind strong adversaries. Lloth, the feared Spider Queen goddess of the wicked dark elves, is one among them and has sworn to put an end to the drow’s happy days of security.

30. Sojourn- R.A. Salvatore

Sojourn is the third novel in American author R. A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy.

Drizzt Do’Urden has escaped from the harsh confines of the Underdark to begin a new life. Drizzt starts exploring the surface of Faerûn, a place unlike any he has ever known, accompanied by his faithful panther. Faerûn is teeming with strange races and new perils, which Drizzt must better comprehend if he is to live.

While Drizzt acts with the greatest of intentions, many surface people dread and mistrust him. Can he find trustworthy friends in this strange land—or is he destined to remain an isolated outcast, just as he was in the Underdark?

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.