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Monday, October 16, 2023

News: Another Novel is Coming

 On October 11, 2023 a new Forgotten Realms novel was announced. It is Dungeons & Dragons: The Fallbacks: Bound for Ruin by Jaleigh Johnson. It is set to be released on March 5, 2024. See the listing here

Here is the blurb:

Meet the newest Dungeons & Dragons party in the first epic adventure of The Fallbacks. To become renowned adventurers, this party needs to survive their first job. Tessalynde is an ambitious young rogue who dreams of leading Faerûn’s foremost adventuring party. While the crew she’s gathered isn’t the stuff of legend yet, she’s confident her guidance can get them there. The team: Anson, a fighter too stubborn to stay down, even when the odds are stacked against him. Cazrin, a self-taught wizard determined to test her theoretical mettle against the real world. Baldric, a cleric who refuses to tie himself to a single deity when he can trade favors with them all. Lark, a bard with as many secrets as songs. And, of course, Uggie, a monstrous pet otyugh who loves giving hugs and eating trash. Their first job: recovering a mysterious spellbook from a lost temple for a hefty payout. Tess hopes this assignment can turn her group of fledgling freelancers into a true team. But when their client is killed, their coin and his murderer both vanish, leaving the party to take the fall. Stuck with a sentient, bloodthirsty grimoire and pursued by mercenaries and the undead, this is hardly the mission Tess envisioned. Her crew must save the day, get the gold, and clear the party’s name—which they haven’t even agreed upon yet! With the threats against them mounting, a single mistake will see this party over before it even begins. Can this band of mismatched misfits stay together in the face of danger? Or are they bound for ruin?

As has been discussed previously, the novel line ended in 2016. Since then any publication has been through third party publishers, and has drastically limited the number of releases. We have gotten several Drizzt books, because of their continued popularity. We also have gotten the two Honor Among Thieves novels, of which Johnson wrote one: The Road to Neverwinter. That is it.

From the Realms novels I have read by Johnson, I'm not super excited. While not a bad writer, the new Realms feeling comes from a place of unsympathetic corporate overlords. I want the Forgotten Realms logo. I want Elminster or something recognizable beyond Sword Coast props. I will still read the novel to let you know if it is worth reading, but looking at the blurb, maybe cozy fantasy fans (or comedy) rather than heroic fantasy fans should note this announcement. I will remain cautiously optimistic and hope that since Johnson is somewhat of a Realms veteran that we will get more from someone like Greenwood, Cunningham, Kemp, or others some day.

You can track my current progress here.

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