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Baldur's Gate

(Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate #1)

2.73  ·  Rating details ·  970 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Bhaal must be stopped!

Someone is sabotaging the iron mines of the Sword Coast, pushing powerful realms toward a bloody war, and a young mercenary toward an unimaginable secret.

Evil gods, giant spiders, murderous doppelgangers, flesh-eating ghouls, and wicked Zhentarim come to life in the action-packed novelization of the Baldur's Gate computer game form BioWare and Interpl
mass_market, 256 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by TSR (first published May 1998)
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Average rating 2.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  970 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Start your review of Baldur's Gate (Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate, #1)
Dec 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: guys who loved 50 shades and Alchemist.
Shelves: fantasy, pc-games
This one is so bad, that at some moment reading it actually gets funny. You just start wondering, what more "tremendous revelations" will you find in this book, if Mr. Athans knows anything about Baldur's Gate and if he bothered at all. But now I've started remembering this book more and, well, no, it's not funny. It's an utter crap, an insult for all fans of THE Baldur's gate - Original one - and it is so bad, that one star rating is just much too much. Some 0,06 stars would be a fair evaluatio ...more
Queen of France
Dec 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book is complete shit. I love it.
It's so bad it's brilliant, so unintentionally hilarious that it makes you cry tears of laughter at the author's attempts at plot, characterization or sentence structure. Read while drunk/high, I guarantee you will lose it.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
This is, quite possibly, the worst book I've ever read.

I ran across this book in a pre-loved books store. With the Forgotten Realms tag, an author I know from the War of the Spider Queen, toss in the game "Baldur's Gate", I figured I might as well give it a go for two dollars. I wasn't horribly disappointed since I had such low expectations - what book based on a video game has ever been fantastic? It took great effort to get to the last page, and some scenes were more grotesque then I would ha
Zoe Sommers
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
I am honestly unsure whether to rate this a one or three. This is a terrible book. This is the second worst book I have ever read. And yet, on some level, I actually kind of enjoy it simply because it is SO HILARIOUSLY BAD.
The characterization of...well, everyone, was a complete 180 degree turn from their canon in-game personalities, not to mention Athans has a bad habit of killing off characters as soon as they are no longer useful for his purposes. The story really doesn't make much sense, it
Piotr Suwała
Aug 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I knew where I was going with this. I read lots of reviews. Yet still I could not believe it was so terrible. I thought many people were just repeating what they'd heard. I was wrong. According to my Kindle I read 51% of this book and was so fed up I could not continue reading and deleted it.

I played the game many times and enjoyed it. The book seemed to be written by some sick-minded child. From the beginning to the point where I stopped reading there's only extremely shallow characters, lots o
Jamie Fessenden
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Although I wouldn't say that this novel is badly written, the writing style is somewhat juvenile. The author describes decapitations and eviscerations in loving detail, like an immature teenager drooling over porn. (It doesn't help that the actor reading it in the audio version is somewhat melodramatic himself.)

And speaking of porn, how many female characters do we have who aren't either helpless, screaming women in need of constant rescuing or sex toys of the villain? I count...none. Jaheira,
Aug 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned
I must say that I picked up this book assuming that it would be bad, but I had hope that maybe, just maybe, it might surprise me. Unfortunately, it didn't.

It's been a little while since I played the game, but this book wasn't even accurate to my memory. This is not really a novelization of Baldur's Gate, but rather a story quite loosely based on the game that we love. Sadly, in telling us this story, it also twists around the personalities of several characters that we love.

I found the main

Dave Matney
Aug 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
This is easily the worst book I've ever read. The author takes the amazing plot from the game and rapes it. Minsc has hair, Jahiera is a ditz, Kahlid dies and gives the arrogant bastard Abdel his blessing to have a relationship with his widowed wife. Major plot points are skipped, Abdel is unbeatable, unlikeable, but somehow still beds one of the hardest characters to keep happy.

If you have played Baldur's Gate, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. If you haven't, don't read this book, and play the game.

One s
I knew it was going to be terrible, I knew it was going to murder my favourite character, both in characterization and physically speaking (goodbye, Xan's doppelganger), and yet I read it because I wanted to experience just how bad it could be...

I deeply regret it.

Excuse me, I need to go and start BG:EE to clean my poor brain.
Iliyan Iliev
Feb 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
How to make a forgettable book from an unforgettable game.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
The book completely mutilates the original story. I was incredibly excited upon aquiring the book but after around 10 pages I was devastated. The game and it's sequels are incredible, I hoped maybe the book would have more to do with the actual events in game, rather than 'invented' situations, but I was dead wrong. Also, characters in the book all have a personality redesign which is annoying, and the main character is the worst of the lot.

I liked some fight descriptions, and at times the book
Jun 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I read this about 10 years ago, and it has withstood the test of the time as the worst book I've ever read. The main character is boring and unlikable and none of the colorful cast of the game is well realized, the plot is pretty nonsensical even after having played the game, the book just stops at an inappropriate point rather than ending...

Play the game instead.
Heiki Eesmaa
Jul 17, 2016 rated it did not like it
Appalling writing. Truly horrible what was done to a great PC game.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The story from start to finish felt rushed and broken. A story that could have been so much more. The characters traveled through forests and nothing happens until they've reached the destination. In a world filled with Bandits, ghouls, and other ravenous creatures, so why did nothing happen on their journey? I wanted more detail, something, just something to happen. Yes there were deaths, and gruesome scene, but it all felt meaningless as there was no attachment to anyone. Hardly any character ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
May 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
On its own it would be hilariously bad, one of those so-bad-it's-good romps, that you could read while drunk - like a literature answer to Plan 9 From Outer Space. I might even have given the sequels a look, if this were the case.

Unfortunately, I also happen to think that the game it's based on is one of the finest roleplaying games ever made. In that context, its defilement of the story and the characters is simply depressing, insulting, and baffling. Couldn't they have at least given it an hon
Adam Zomparelli
I played the entire series on PC in the mid-'90s and all of the rest when they came out since I'm a big Baldurs Gate fan and I also loved the book series. they changed minor things in the books but for the most part, I enjoyed it and liked the author's written style which was very easy and straight to the point. As for the book, if you played the games then you know what to expect but if you haven't you'll enjoy the story as it has good character depth design and twists and turns to keep you eng ...more
Scott Vout
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I played the computer game as a teenager.
I used to read every Forgotten Realms book i could get my hands on.
I got the board game for xmas this year. That is why i went looking for this book.
The Realms were like a friend from your youth who you lost contact with after college.

The reunion was not great.

This is my first conscious encounter with Philip Athans. Probably my last.

It left me wanting and expecting more. Seemed very simple. Did not have a comfortable flow for me.

Dave Foss
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about this one, the story was pretty solid but at parts it would jump forward to a scene without explain how or why the characters got there. Also going into fairly Gorey detail about death's but using childish terms to describe other things. Not to mention the way it ended was horrible, way to abrupt.
Ryein Goddard
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book because the setting and the fact I played the game and I am obsessed with it. The book is poorly written though and doesn't even really follow any details.

Either this book is meant for 12 year olds, or it was written by one. Sorry to be so harsh, but it was just really disappointing.
Sarah Ehinger
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really hated the writing style. It read more as excerpts from a d&d session, with random gaps of time missing in the story. Lots of detail in the fight scenes, but then almost none at key character deaths. ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Some of the story bounced around too much. I felt like it was when an drunk rambles. Overall I enjoyed it. Abrupt ending though. Did Abdel ever find out that Jaheria was alive? What about Angelo, does he become Duke of the Gate? Etc...
Feb 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Worst book ever.
Not much else to say.

if you have played the game forget it, this is NOT related to it.
The author never did so he only took character names and some (very few) ideas from the game.

A big loss of time
Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I gave it a try.
I read like 3 chapters and I did not enjoy it a lot.
I went to read the reviews and I agree with most of it. The game was great, the book is not. Not one bit!
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
this book is an insult to fans and a wonderful game. I do not even know where to start ... eh ... you should be ashamed Mr. Athans!!!!
Sep 17, 2019 added it
only if you haven't play the games and want to acquaint yourself with what has happened before Larian's game "Baldur's Gate 3"...
Mar 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Hilariously awful.
Leah Markum
DNF: read 10%, skimmed 20%. Extremely shallow fantasy archetypes of character and events, and the plot immediately side quests rather than follows what it set up.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Not great, but not as bad as Salvatore
Don Brown
May 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I've read Baldur's Gate twice and it's okay. It's not the worst book ever. I like the characters and do wish we had more development of them. I think this book's biggest problem is that it's too short. Another fifty to one hundred pages would have allowed for better character development. And the ending is so abrupt I thought pages were missing from my book on my first read - it suddenly ends.

I never played the video game and cannot comment on the book's relationship, or lack thereof. So, with
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: forgotten-realms
I've never played the game, but this book was not good.

It's a shame because I thought I really liked this author (as far as Forgotten realms authors go).

The story is about a orphaned mercenary. It starts when his adopted father is killed on the road by other mercearies. Abdel, the main character, decides to fufill his father's last wishes and go to a town to meet up with some other adventures. There is a silly love triangle, there are a bunch of characters that move in and out of the story, inc
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I wear a mask in public spaces, and I give every book 5 stars in protest against the concept of star ratings in general and the ever-unfolding algorithm dystopia!

Philip Athans is the founding partner of Athans & Associates Creative Consulting, and the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and more than a dozen other fantasy and horror books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy & Sci

Other books in the series

Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate (3 books)
  • Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate, #2)
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal (Forgotten Realms: Baldur's Gate, #3)

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