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Darkwalker on Moonshae (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy #1)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  1,776 ratings  ·  51 reviews
The first Forgotten Realms title ever published, now available as an eBook!
Darkwalker on Moonshae was the very first novel ever published in the Forgotten Realms setting. Appearing in 1987, this title launched what has now become a robust and ever-expanding land of adventure for millions of readers.
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Wizards of the Coast (first published May 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,850)
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Jason Taylor
This book takes a lot of abuse from people I know who've read it. I think it's because I build it up too much. "Darkwalker" is a simple read with an uncomplicated plot and shallow character developments.

That said, it's a really good story. It has all of the elements of classic fantasy, and it moves very well. It has two of the great battle scenes in fantasy. Admittedly, the ending is kind of weak as it is anticlimactic. The climatic battle at the keep is much more interesting.

I think that Darkw
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Brian
Darkwalker on Moonshae, although it is a D&D book in the Forgotten Realms world, stands out as a brilliant modern re-imagining of Celtic myth and legend.

The Moonshaes are an archipelago populated by two human civilizations: the Fflolk who resemble an amalgamation of ancient Irish, Scottish, and Welsh cultures; and the northmen, who are basically Vikings. The book focuses entirely on this region, specifically one country on one of the larger islands. As such, it reads much more like a stand-
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Elizabeth
No, it's not fine literature... but if you're reading Forgotten Realms novels, that's not what you're looking for anyway. Chances are you're looking for high fantasy set in a familiar setting, with characters who fill a designated role in an adventure where their very familiar abilities matter more than their motives. I'd wager that most people who read Forgotten Realms novels are gamers, either of the traditional tabletop variety where this campaign began, or of the videogamer sort who cut thei ...more
Silas
This book definitely shows its age. It's much slower paced than I'm accustomed to, which made it hard to get invested in the characters at first. The plot was somewhat transparent, but well conceived. I particularly liked the celtic flavor of the setting, and druids are always a good time. It was good enough that I'll eventually pick up the next book, but I wouldn't rank it among the best books I've ever read.
Danno
My first D&D novel and it was worth every night I stayed up past midnight to read it. The story takes place on the island of Moonshae loosely based on Ireland/Scotland in the world of Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons most popular gaming world.

I was hooked on the story from the start: good vs. evil; nature magic/religion long abandoned by modern people vs. abomination. The author does a great job with description immersing us into his world instead of just displaying it in front of us.
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Dan
This was an exceedingly fun book to read the first time I read it *mumble* *cough* years ago. Rereading it now all these years later I have to admit: it's still a fun story. Sure it's loaded with all the typical high fantasy tropes and the plot is by and large formulaic... but, SFW, it's an entertaining read. I'm glad I reread it because I'd forgotten quite a few of the details, and I decided to give it another go because I never read the other two books in the trilogy and I'm going back to read ...more
David
This was a so-so trilogy, although it should be noted that that I never bothered to get book 3. The characters weren't very interesting - yes, there are some delving into their characters but it wasn't in a complex or interesting way that would make me relate better. They just feel very typical. The plot was a classic one about good versus evil, about an ancient corrupting evil. It was revolves around druids - I'm not entirely a fan of druids so that could've contributed to the lack of enthusias ...more
Fco. V. Salvador
La serie nos sitúa en unas islas con claro trasfondo céltico (nombres, aspecto, cultura), donde los aspectos mágicos y clericales típicos de D&D parecen no haberse desarrollado, siendo en cierta forma amalgamados en una religión druídica de veneración a la Madre Tierra. Todo eso está destinado a cambiar a lo largo de la serie de novelas, aunque la trama central se aleja de ello para mostrarnos los avances de un noble de una de las islas y de una aprendiz de druida, junto con un bardo y algun ...more
Rhonda
Very well written, easy to follow storyline. A treat.
Chad
I liked this book. It was a fun and quick fantasy read. As other reviewers have noted, it is the first book written in the Forgotten Realms setting for Dungeons & Dragons. There were lots of good fight scenes and some pretty good action throughout the story. I'll say that if you are a fan of firbolgs, you won't be disappointed. The story and characters were interesting and there was also a good mix of different races, creatures and personalities.
Vali
In between more serious reading I enjoy a good dose of junk food fiction. This is the first Forgotten Realms book I read since I was a kid, and the first Forgotten Realms novel ever. I wish I could give the book more stars but I just can't. I wasn't expecting Tolkien here, or even David Eddings, but the writing is terrible. It's as if the publisher gave the author a week to bang out a book because the pacing is furious. This results in poor character development and clunky transitions between sc ...more
Kathy
The plot is overly simplistic and predictable. The only thing that makes this book worth reading is that it is the first of the Forgotten Realms novels.
Chris Conley
More than anything, this book made me nostalgic for the time I spent years ago playing on a Neverwinter Nights server based on the trilogy. Overall, the writing didn't impress me all that much, but it's a good story, even if I found the execution a little slower than I'd have liked. It did pick up during the last third of the book, so I'll definitely read the rest of the trilogy.

I found the book's habit of retelling recent events through different viewpoints both jarring and annoying. The setti
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David Sarkies
Jul 15, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really
Recommended to David by: Some guy at the State Library
Shelves: fantasy
The first of the Forgotten Realms novels
29 May 2012

This was, I believe, the first Forgotten Realms novel that I read, but I guess the reason for that was that it was the first Forgotten Realms novel that was released. I remember a guy from the State Library of South Australia lending it to me because he simply surrounded himself with everything Dungeons & Dragons, and was regularly promoting the Forgotten Realms. Whenever something new came out, he would have already pre-ordered it, and own
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Karmakosmik
"Darkwalker On Moonshae", scritto da uno dei papa di Dungeons & Dragons, è il primo romanzo scritto ed ambientato nella fortunata ambientazione di D&D "Forgotten Realms". In particolare, questa prima trilogia viene ambientata nell'arcipelago delle isole Moonshae, che vede contrapposti i tranquilli e bucolici Ffolk ai più esagitati e combattivi Northmen, i quali vivono nelle isole più a nord. Le altre razze sono invece per lo più limitate all'interno di una vallata, Myrloch Vale, nel qual ...more
Peter
This was my first venture into D&D fiction, having resolved to read the Forgotten Realms in publication order. I have to admit, it was better than I anticipated. Granted, it is not a perfect story and the writing isn't particularly strong in some areas, but the story in general was entertaining and some of the characters were complex enough to keep the story engaging. It's all entertainment, so I'm not looking for anything deep. Fun read all in all.
h
read this oh-so-long ago and reread now. i never knew before that this was the very first forgotten realms series but can't say i'm surprised. niles writes here in an odd mishmashy style that isn't quite oral nor quite textual storytelling. he heavily prioritizes action and world-building over character and story development. nothing particularly earthshatteringly interesting here, but it's solid. if you know what to expect from these d&d sorts of books, it's satisfying enough. if you're aft ...more
Scott
It was a quick D&D book. I did not hate it, and found some fun parts, lots of battles and interesting adventures, but for the relative length not a lot of character development or world building. What I mean is that I did not get a feel for any history of this world or what had caused these events to occur. I found it hard to root for the main character, and felt the revolving door of secondary characters pulled me through the book more so than any of the main group.

There are parts in the b
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Michael
I'm not surprised that this was the first in a new line of rpg novels by a first time novelist. It's full of interesting ideas that never seem to develop beyong the point of ”oh, that could have been a good idea.”

It does pick up quite a bit at about the halfway mark, though the main characters remain rather dull and flat throughout. It's saving grace is the constant introduction of secondary characters who manage to be more entertaining than the main trio, which isn't saying a whole lot, but at
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Chad Hoblitz
I have read quite a bit of D&D fiction but not sure what to think of this one. I was bored a 100 pages in and it felt like Scandinavian and Celtic overlay in a Forgotten realms setting. I knew what I was getting into just didn't expect it to be so jilted, slow and boring. Put it down and didn't finish it.
Shannon Appelcline
My biggest problem with this book was that I found it painfully slow. It really drags, especially in the numerous villain viewpoints, which rarely moved the plot. I also found it to be very generic fantasy. I remember when it came out there was a lot of attention to its Celtic influences — the hounds, druids, bards, Firbolg, and such. 25 years later, that just hasn't aged well, and it no longer seems that unique.
Becky
Looking for a bit of old-fashioned, deliciously clichéd quest fantasy? Don't want to be hindered by too much deep thought? Want a fast read that's just plain fun? Look no further.
Scott Taylor
I will say, that although Douglas Niles came out of the TSR staff writers room, that doesn't mean he didn't deserve to headline the release of the first Forgotten Realms fiction. Darkwalker on Moonshae [covered with an incredible work by Keith Parkinson] is a very solid read in the genre of adventure fiction. Even strapped with the mechanics of the D&D system, the story content, character relationships, and setting are extremely well done, and I give Niles great props for being able to grab ...more
Greg Strandberg
I don't remember this book that well since I read it way back in high school or something.

I'm pretty sure I didn't much care for it, however, and that's because I didn't read Books 2 and 3. I was reading a lot of Forgotten Realms back then, especially trilogies, so this one must not have been too memorable, as I've said.

Still, I don't think it warrants 1-star, which I had it as. I'm going to bump it up to 2-stars because I think it was just OK.
Lenny
Read these 20 years ago. Frickin' loved them.

Sweet ass bad guy.
Druids and all they conjure up for you (it should be good).
Straight up Legendary creatures that are lovely and awesome.
at some point, a giant panther monster with hook laden tentacles...and he is a BASTARD!

If you are 18 and dig fantasy and 16,342 other Forgotten Realms books haven't been written yet and you can find a copy, then I would say:

Read this/these books.
Mike
Beyond Excellent! A fun adventure with genuine characters that is perfectly paced. it will have you turning pages in the wee hours of the night.
The first of the Forgotten Realms books, its no wonder the world of Faerun is one of the most loved and often visited in all of fantasy.
Mary
Pretty terribad but had some truly fantastic battle scenes. Hardcore d&d fans or those who enjoy deep genre delving need apply. Of note that it is the first book in gaming powerhouse dungeons and dragons' long history.
Bluebehir
I enjoyed reading about Tristan, Robyn and Daryth as they developed as characters and as a party.
The story of the Darkwalker was interesting, and an enjoyable aspect was seeing the game through the eyes of a few of the gods of Forgotten Realms.
The Darkwalker war, and how it came together at Caer Corwell was quite memorable.
A good start to the trilogy.
Steen
It was alright. At first it was sort of hard to get into it but it might have been only because I was reading it on the computer and not in book form. I always was confusing PRince Tristan with another Prince Tristan from another series. But near the end I really got into the book and finally kept him straight.
Chris
not at all impressive, but not quite a disappointment: i knew what i was getting into. i thought i wanted to read the forgotten realms series, but i think i might change my mind if they're all like this. i hear they're not, so i'll keep going.

easy to lose interest in this book. there's about 290 unnecessary pages.
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Douglas Niles is a fantasy author and game designer. Niles was one of the creators of the Dragonlance world and the author of the first three Forgotten Realms novels, and the Top Secret S/I espionage role-playing game. He currently resides in Delavan, Wisconsin with his wife, Christine, and two Bouviets, Reggie and Stella. He enjoys playing his guitar, cooking, and visiting with family.

More about Douglas Niles...

Other Books in the Series

Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy (4 books)
  • Black Wizards (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy, #2)
  • Darkwell (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy, #3)
  • Den nye gudinde (Forgotten Realms: Moonshae # 6)
The Kinslayer Wars (Dragonlance: Elven Nations, #2) The Kagonesti (Dragonlance: Lost Histories, #1) Darkwell (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy, #3) The Dragons (Dragonlance: Lost Histories, #6) Black Wizards (Forgotten Realms: The Moonshae Trilogy, #2)

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