Books

FANTASY NOVELS


Forgotten Realms

Songs & Swords series

Elfshadow Elfsong Silver Shadows

Thornhold

Dream Spheres

Starlight & Shadows trilogy

Daughter of the Drow

Tangled Webs

Windwalker

Counselors & Kings trilogy

The Magehound

The Floodgate

The Wizardwar 

Other Forgotten Realms books

Evermeet

City of Splendors (with Ed Greenwood)

Best of the Realms Book 3:  The Stories of Elaine Cunningham


Other Shared-world Settings

EverQuest:  The Blood Red Harp                               

Pathfinder Tales: Winter Witch (with Dave Gross)                    

StarWars: Dark Journey

First Quest:  The Unicorn Hunt                               

Spelljammer: The Radiant Dragon


URBAN FANTASY NOVELS

Changeling Detective Agency:

Shadows in the Darkness

Shadows in the Starlight  


SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS

Best of the Realms Book 3:  The Stories of Elaine Cunningham


73 thoughts on “Books

  1. Just got done reading both of the books in the Changeling Detective Series and was wondering if there is anymore or going to be anymore? I really enjoyed them but felt that the Shadows in the Starlight ending was left wide open for another.

    1. Hi, Alex_Elf. I did have a third book in mind, but unfortuntely, it doesn’t seem likely that all the stars will align. The situation is ridiculously complicated. I share the copyright for this series with The Literary Agency. They came up with the basic concept and sold a two-book deal to Tor via acquiring editor Brian Thomsen, who brough me onboard to write the novels. So I can’t shop a third book without the approval of the TLA, and they’re not interested in continuing the series. It is frustrating–I really hate leaving readers hanging. Perhaps if Tor releases the first two books as ebooks, I might be able to work out some sort of arrangement with TLA that will permit me to wrap up the story with a direct-to-ebook novel, similar to what I’m doing with the Tales of Sevrin.

        1. Hi, Dirk. Glad to hear you enjoyed Sevrin.

          I would like to return to Sevrin, but I needed to rethink the direction it was going. I put the project on a back burner and unpublished the first two novels until I decided what to do with it.

          One major deterrent in moving forward, to be very frank, is piracy. The books didn’t earn enough to pay for editing and art, yet I found one torrent site that had over 20,000 downloads. That gets discouraging. So at this point, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with the series.

          Sorry I don’t have more positive news at this time!

          Best,
          ec

      1. That company is crazy! I loved the books and really wanted to see where it went. Hope you are with a different agent now!

    2. I just finished the Changeling Detective Series today & went looking for more. When I found this I mentally dropped to my knees & yelled whyyyyy! Ok so a little dramatic, (lol) but still I was really disappointed.

        1. It’s been a few years since getting permission to continue the series any chance of book 3 in the near future. Love the Changeling Detective Series and am anxiously awaiting the next book.

          1. Hi, John. Not at present, no. I’ve been working on other things and have not yet scheduled time to revisit Gwen’s story. If I’m going to do it, though, sooner is better than later….

  2. I red three books of Counselors & Kings serie and they were fantastic (literally). I think the most interesting thing was the changing profiles of characters. Matteo at the beginning was Tzigone in the end, they kind of changed places. And the slight emotional relationship between them was never more than enough.

    I’m planning to read Songs & Swords next but I couldn’t find the first book yet (in Turkey). Thank you for such masterpieces. I think in many ways you are better than Salvatore or Weis&Hickman but they are so popular while you are not. Maybe it is better this way 🙂

    We await new works, we always do.

    1. Hi, Anil. Glad to hear you enjohyed the Counselors & Kings trilogy. It’s always a little unnerving to know that books with your name on them are being read in another language, your stories told in words chosen by another writer. So it’s reassuring to know that they stories are coming through in enjoyable fashion.

      I’m not sure what plans Wizards of the Coast has for Turkish translations of other titles. If I hear news, I’ll pass it along.

  3. I love all of your novels / series in the Forgotten Realms. ‘Starlight & Shadows’ trilogy is so beautifully written. So much better than Salvatore…just my opinion. Right now I’m reading ‘Counselors and Kings’ trilogy…fantastic. Whatever happened to the book ‘Reclamation’ I guess that would have been book 6 in the ‘Songs and Swords’ series. You’ve probably been asked that question alot….sorry.
    Thank You for so much pleasureable reading through the years.
    Cheri

    1. Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying my FR tales. 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t say they’re better than Bob Salvatore’s, but they do have a different style and sensibility. There’s lots of variety is the Realms, which is one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed writing in the setting for so many years. Reclamation was cancelled because I was unable to finish it. Long story, details personal and, frankly, not very interesting.

      Thanks for the kind words, and for taking time to post! 🙂

      1. Hi,
        Hope you don’t mind me piggybackriding on that previous comment, but I just sort of wanted to say that if you eeeever feel like revisiting, or restarting on Reclamation (or some ending to the Arilyn/Dann/Elaith and co) story… I really, really, really, REALLY (well, you get the picture) would love it if that were to happen.

        I’m not really saying this to burden you or bore you or upset you but… how to say this.
        I think I was about 13 when I stole the original Elfshadow novel off my father’s bookshelf. I never returned it. I was 27 when, while browsing for books with my husband, I came across Silver Shadows. I remember going “but wait… that’s Arilyn… wait, there’s MORE?” And then I caught up. I never thought there would be more, silly me.
        …And, well, I kind of think… hope… wish… dream… that someday there will be EVEN more. For totally selfish reasons, such as that I find your writing to be great; I think… that a novel/series that can stay with its reader(s) through 20-odd years (spanning 4 country changes, going from teenage years to new motherhood)…. well, that is as great an achievement as I can say of any writer. I mean, there’s only ONE other writer who’s stayed with me like that: that would be Tolkien, which is saying something.
        Not yet bored of the thought of sequels (but your other works are some consolation to me as well).

        I hope you take this in the best of ways (which is how it’s meant). Thanks for giving us those stories you’ve got in print.

        1. Nenya, you just made my day.

          I would love to return to Arilyn and Dan’s story, but in all candor, it doesn’t seem likely. The Realms has moved on, and the timeline has been jumped over 100 years into the future. Since the publisher likes to keep fiction in “current time,” I would have to concoct some major shenanigans to explain why a half-elf and a (mostly) human are still roaming the Realms. But who knows? Stranger things have happened, and other songs from the same album.

          1. I also have fond memories from my teenage years of your writing. My oldest brother’s friend gave me his copy of Daughter of the Drow, and that was my first foray into the Realms. To be honest, Liriel has always had a special place in my heart since then. When I finished Windwalker, I was disheartened. That’s when I discovered Arilyn’s story. It was a wonderful road that convinces me you have so much more to tell! Every time I read Salvatore and Greenwood books that lightly touch on an element that connects with Arilyn or Liriel, I really lament the lack of story. Even with the 100 year jump, their legacies may still continue. Arilyn’s moonblade, Elaith and his daughter, the elves of Tethyr. And of course Liriel – and Danilo for that matter – were spellcasters and we aren’t sure what happened to them in the Spellplague. Well, I apologize. I don’t need to tell you these things, as I am confident that you have considered all of this. I’ve got my own writing, and I love guessing at unknown storylines regarding favorite characters. I just want to thank you for inspiring me and to let you know I would gladly spam Wizards to remind them of these beautifully written characters that deserve to have closure. I follow you on twitter just waiting for the call to arms!

          2. Thanks, Nathan.

            I agree that there are many stories left to tell. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the upcoming D&D movie set in the Forgotten Realms will have on WotC’s commitment to fiction.

            ec

  4. I still have a hope that one day I will see that you will write Blood Oath and tell the real story of what happened to Zekk. I so wanted to read that book.

  5. Mrs Cunningham,

    I look forward to reading the third and hopefully not the final story in this series, I have enjoyed many of your novels but keep hoping to read more of this one. I enjoy Gwen ‘s strength and your novels drew me to authors such as Kelley Armstrong and Laurell K. Hamilton.

    I hope all is well,
    Jacob

  6. I was pleased to see that you will write a third book in the Changeling Detective Agency series. They are really, really excellent.

  7. I love your books about Arilyn i will buy the last book The Dream Spheres from Amazon or Ebay. Really good stuff. I will read your other work to. 😀 Try to write my self hehe.

    /greets from Sweden

  8. Sorry I’m sure this has been asked in the past, but are you planning on continuing the story with Danilo? I would love to see how every thing comes out in the end. What of Isabeu and such, so much left in the air. I would climg a cliff to see the end of this story.

    1. Hi, Chuck. There are no plans at present to revist Danilo’s story, but I’d certainly welcome the opportunity. As you pointed out, there are a lot of answered questions. 🙂

      1. Hi

        I am sure I am not the only one out here who would love to see more about Danilo and Arilyn; of all the FR characters I have read these two, particularly Danilo are far and away the most entertaining and the storyline tying the two together has remained compelling and wonderful from beginning to end.

        What will it take to get more about these two?

        J

        1. Thanks, Jim! I’m delighted to hear that you’ve enjoyed Dan and Arilyn’s story. Now that the Songs & Swords novels are back in print as eBooks, perhaps there will be enough reader interest to warrant revisiting these old friends.

  9. I’m a big time Forgotten realms reader and one of my favourite trilogies is ‘Councilors & Kings’. I admit I’ve read it quite a few times. Fantastic story line & characters so absorbing that you want to know more about what happens next in their lives.
    Which is the whole point of my letter. Is there a chance another book or even trilogy will be somewhere on the horizen involving Tzigone & Matteo and their adventures in Halruaa? Please let it be yes. I’m not too proud to beg.

    1. Hi, Mal. Thanks for the kind word. 🙂

      Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that Matteo and Tzigone’s adventures will continue. As you may know, the fourth edition D&D rules reboot brought a lot of changes to the Forgotten Realms, including the catastrophic magical “Spellplague” destroyed most of Halruaa–and by destroyed, I mean the land mass is no longer there. Also, the timeline was advanced by a century. Since both characters are human, it’s unlikely that they would have survived either, much as both, of those events.

      Wish I had better news!

      1. I second Mal’s opinion, Councelors and Kings were one of my favorites in FG, it’s a tragedy that the reboot closes the door on so many of our favorite human characters, but isn’t there a possibility of writing a story set before, or during the timeskip?
        Or is that strictly verboten?

        1. At this point, WotC prefers to keep stories in the present time. Perhaps at some point this will change. The StarWars extended universe has certainly proved that fans can keep track of stories written in many different time periods.

  10. Hi

    I wondered if any of your books are ever likely to be released in Audiobook format. I do an awful lot of travelling (driving) so my AB collection is growing rapidly but is sadly lacking any of your books.

    Jim

    1. Jim, I believe that Dark Journey, my Star Wars novel, is the only book available in audiobook format. I’m not aware of any plans to release my Forgotten Realms novels as audiobooks, but one of my goals for 2013 is to release my Sevrin stories in audio.

  11. I totally loved evermeet and the elfshadow series. Was chatting with some of my D&D group and they mentioned it as required reading for learning about elves.

  12. I red elfshodow-elfsong-silver shodow and torn hold and i want to say that they were perfect. Thank you for writing such good books.

  13. Hi Elaine!

    I really enjoy your Forgotten Realms novels and have most of them in my vast book collection. I especially love how you portray Khelben Arunsun as he is one of my favorite characters in the Realms. You certainly know how to make characters come to life beyond the pages (e.g. Elaith). They have such amazing journeys and history! I was wondering… do you plan to write any more novels for FR? I would love to see how Elaith has turned out since the Spellplague.

    Thanks for the great reads!

  14. I started by reading the dark elf trilogy by bob Salvatore. Then I found your trilogy and what a difference. I have been writing my own book about the Underdark, but sadly I do not think it will ever get into print. My goal I guess would be to have just one copy of it in print. Sadly publishers do not come cheaply. Until then I will continue to write as I enjoy it. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Rachael. There’s nothing wrong with writing in a setting you enjoy just for the fun of it. It’s great practice, and you’ve probably heard Malcolm Gladwell’s claim that 10,000 hours of practice is necessary to master a skill. Yes, publishing a single copy of a manuscript can be pricey, but rather than focusing on publication, enjoy writing Underdark stories and hone your craft, and you may find that publisher will pay YOU to publish your stories, rather than the other way around. 🙂

  15. Hi dear Elaine!

    I’m Pauliina, 13 years old girl from Finland. (by the way, I don’t speak Eglish so much, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.) I just read your book Elfshadow and I totally love it! It is so magical and wonderful. But what is the point with that Forgotten realms thing? I tried to find out something about it, but it didn’t work out very well. Is it some kind of fantasy world? And who created it? Anyway, I think your books are unbelievable great, thanks for writing them!

    Best wishes, Pauliina

    1. Hi, Pauliina. Thanks for your note, and for your kind words. The Forgotten Realms is a fantasy world created by Ed Greenwood. It was purchased by a company called TSR (which is now owned by Wizards of the Coast) as a setting for the Dungeons & Dragons game. If you’re interested in learning more about this fantasy world, stop by http://www.wizards.com, the company’s website, or visit the fan forum Candlekeep at http://www.candlekeep.com.

      Best,
      ec

  16. Elaine,

    Looking forward to seeing you speak at Unicorn Writers’ Conference in March. I’m very curious to know how you got into writing for Forgotten Realms and Star Wars. I know that someone can’t just write a novel and submit it, that there’s additional complications with copyright, permissions, etc. I’m sure there is a process that is a bit different than traditional querying. I’m also curious to know how writing for a franchise with an established fan base differs from writing in a world completely your own.

    Best,
    Catherine Grant

    1. Hi, Catherine.

      The conference is right around the corner, isn’t it? Glad to hear you’re interested in this topic, as writing for licensed settings is one of the topics I plan to cover.

      Best,

      ec

  17. I greatly enjoyed the changling detective novels you made. Any plans on doing anything with that storyline in the near future?

    Also are there any plans for the character Liriel Baenre? I know Wizards of the coast shook things up a bit for The Forgotten Realms, but it seemed like there was more that you could do with that character. I didn’t know if you had permanently retired her.

    1. Hi, Matthew. Whether or not Liriel returns is almost entirely up to WotC. If they expressed an interest in continuing her story, I would give the project very serious consideration.

      As for the Changeling books, I have approval from the copyright co-owner to write a third book, but I have not yet scheduled writing time for it. More news in the near further!

      ec

  18. Hello Elaine, just a little note that I’m thrilled that the collection of faerie stories features both you and Ed, the both of you played a huge role in my earlier book reading adventures and you both wrote or were involved with my favorite Forgotten Realms novels — I have fond memories of those books and most of them I read over and over, cover to cover through the years and I still have them all.

    Thank you so much for what you’ve done over the years.

    – Jeremy Zerfoss

    1. Hi, Jeremy! Thanks for the note. I enjoyed my time in the Forgotten Realms, and it’s fun to reunite with the Old Gang on projects of this nature. 🙂

      Loved the covers for the fairy anthology! I must admit that I didn’t send the signed copy until yesterday. It’s coming to you via Media Mail, so it could take a week or more.

      Best,

      ec

  19. Thank you for this website!!! I love your books they were the first Forgotten Realm books me or my mother ever read!!! They are still our favorites!!! I got all the Song and Sword books from HPB (Half Price Books) same for the Starlight & Shadows Trilogy. I really hope that one day u will return to the Forgotten Realms and write more for them even if it might not be with those characters. Thank you for introducing me and my mother to the world of the Forgotten Realms and PLEASE PLEASE RETURN!!!!

    1. Thanks for the lovely note, Jessica. I’m delighted to hear that you’ve enjoyed these tales.

      There are times when I’d love to return to the Realms. It was my first and favorite fantasy “home,” and I’m optimistic about the narrative directions that the new RPG edition is taking. That said, I have no plans to return in the near future. I’m currently working on a very different project, one that’s absorbing most of my time. But, stranger things have happened, and I never like to rule out any possibility.

  20. Just finished reading the Changeling Detective series and I can’t wait for the third novel you’ve got planned! Thanks for creating and writing this series! The characters are fantastic!

  21. Dear Elaine,

    I must admit I recently found your work. By finding a copy of Winter Witch on my book shelf that I had no idea was even there. So like any new fantasy book I devoured it within 2 days. I loved the story and the interplay between all the characters. So I googled you to find out what else you’ve worked on. And here I find you’ve been a long time author of many of the Forgotten Realms books, and now I must admit to feeling like a complete snob. Until now, I’ve only read R.A’s contributions to that fantasy world. But rest assured, I will rectify this posthaste!

    Your style is wonderful and your ability to show far more detail and inner monologue really grabbed hold of me. I thoroughly look forward to starting on the rest of your novels. I also secretly hope to know more about Declan and Ellasif, ha but I suppose I’ll just have to let my imagination run rampant on that thought.

    Thank you, very very much for the wonderful stories, and helping me escape from my own reality for awhile.

    1. Hi, Seth. Thanks for the note. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed WINTER WITCH, and will pass your comments along to co-author Dave Gross. 🙂

  22. Dear Elaine,

    While I was Googling fanart of Arilyn Moonblade, I came across a book cover that surprised me. After searching your list of books written and Amazon, I must conclude this was a book that was scrapped by the publisher. Can you confirm? Will we ever see this book finished and in print? Will you ever be able to revisit Arilyn and Danilo in some past story?

    The link to the book cover I found is here: http://www.fictiondb.com/author/elaine-cunningham~reclamation~219324~b.htm

    1. Hi, Esther.

      Reclamation was supposed to be the 6th book of the Songs & Swords series. It wrapped up several story lines and suggested new directions. Unfortunately, I hit a long patch of poor health and I wasn’t able to finish the book. The Realms moved on, the timeline jumped ahead 100 years, and this story seemed destined to remain untold.

      There’s an interesting new project, however, that might make it possible for older stories to see the light of day. The Dungeon Master’s Guild is an online publishing resource that enables people to post (not officially sanctioned) Forgotten Realms lore. I’m not sure how well this will work, but I’ll be watching it with interest.

      Thanks for writing! If anything new develops, I’ll post a note here, or I’d be happy to add your name to the newsletter I send to announce new projects and releases.

      Best,
      ec

  23. Dear Elaine,
    is there any hope of the Changeling-series being continues? I really had my hopes up when you anounced a third book a while ago, but now things don’t seem to look so good… Do you have plans to write the third book?
    Best, Stephanie.

  24. The Windwalker trilogy is a favorite. Having just read it for … Well … I don’t know how many times I’ve re-read it … I think Liriel’s fans would love to see how her story continues. Perhaps you and Mr. Salvatore could co-author a cross-over with Drizzt and Liriel sharing an adventure. Or maybe Liriel could be brought to the big screen.

    Thank you for your work.

    1. Hi, Steve. Thanks for the note. I’d love to continue Liriel’s story, but I don’t see this happening any time soon. One thing I can say for certain, however, is that a cross-over story with Liriel and Drizzt isn’t going to happen–unless WotC, for some reason, decided to get a third writer to do it. Bob Salvatore and I are in agreement on this issue. We’re both sociable people, but solitary writers. 🙂

      Perhaps the new D&D movie, assuming it’s far better than its predecessors, will increase interest in the Realms and jumpstart the fiction line. It will be interesting to see what happens.

      Best,
      ec

  25. I have read & re-read the “starlight & shadows” series more times than i can count! Being disabled, there isnt much else i can do. I wanted to thank you & bob for such a wonderful world where people who are judged for their appearance are able to rise above the prejudice others put on them. Between Liriel & Drizzit, it has given me the courage to go out & be more than i ever thought i could be, having a large part of my body being burn scars that bother people. Hopefully one day you will be in south-west Missouri sometime & i can get you to sign my copy of windwalker. I miss reading about Liriel & how she has done since Fyodor’s passing, how much of an effect he still has on her 100 yrs later. Thank you so much for the wonderful stories! You never know how much they affect the ones who read them!

    1. Thanks for sharing those thoughts, Kenneth. I haven’t been writing much fiction recently, but I have a short story due and need to finish it today. Your post gave me a much-neeed boost. Everything is easier to do if you have a good reason for doing it, and it helps to be reminded that such reasons do exist.

      Coincidentally, the protagonist of this story, whose magical abilities are similar to the psionics of earlier editions of D&D, has severe burn scars from a youthful attempt to subdue a fire-breathing, dragon-like creature. The focus of the story is the effect this “failure” had on the trajectory of her life and her ability to respond to the challenges in this story’s plot.

      It has been a while since I’ve been to conventions, but I hope to start traveling more in 2017. I’ve never been to Missouri and would like to see that corner of the USA, so I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

      Thanks again for taking tim to write. Your kind words mean a great deal. Stories sustain us all, including–perhaps especially–the people who attempt to tell them.

      ec

  26. Hi Elaine,

    I think it has been 20 years now from the time I first started reading FR setting.. I’m 33 winters now so those many years ago when attention spans are very short it seems quite the feat I made it through a whole novel! To that my FR book collection now is extensive and naturally I have all of Ed’s, Bob, Paul, Erin, Richard, Troy and of course you in there. FR is my sole source for reading material outside textbooks, self help and astrology. Perhaps you could say a guilty pleasure with great life lessons?

    Here’s a little nothing story for you..After I proposed to my wife I started working on a project that took me out to Calgary (We are in Canada/On). Being newly engaged and using fancy titles like fiance and other sweet nothings it was difficult to keep that all important emotional connection alive being so far apart for 6 months. So my secret weapon every night I would read to her from Starlight & Shadows and the story of Lariel. I chose this particular series because I knew she would relate to Lariel.. I wanted it to be a good impression as this was her first intro into Faerun and the fantasy genre as a whole. So thank you!

    I have really enjoyed your work and look forward to see more titles hopefully coming soon! Any plans for travel to Ontario? I know a certain Sage skulks about the region… 🙂

    C

    1. Hi, Chris. Thanks for sharing that story! 🙂
      We don’t have specific plans to visit Ontario, but most likely we’ll be heading up some time this year. My husband was born in Weston, and we still have family in the area and are OMG SO LONG OVERDUE for a visit.

      ec

    1. Hi, Diego.

      The Unicorn Hunt was part of a short-lived series called First Quest. Once the publisher decided not to continue the line, the possibility for sequels vanished. That’s one of the down sides of written in established settings–writers don’t always get to say whether or not a story will continue.

      Best,
      ec

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