All Drizzt Books by R.A. Salvatore in Order

The first book I read by R.A. Salvatore actually wasn’t one of this famed Drizzt books, but was The Woods Out Back, and I enjoyed it so much I started randomly buying other Salvatore books, which inevitably brought me into the many books featuring Drizzt Do’Urden in the Forgotten Realms land of Faerun. These are names that will be familiar to almost any D&D player, but that wasn’t me when I picked up my first copy of The Legacy.

Good book – but admittedly not the one I would recommend for people starting out learning about Drizzt, these books, or the D&D style fantasy world from which he dwells. Especially since it’s the 7th book following Drizzt and the adventures of him and his friend, though it is the first of The Legacy of the Drow trilogy.

The books were still very enjoyable and stood as standalone books, but obviously I missed a lot of the greater context of these worlds. Still, this should be seen as encouraging for new readers since you can jump in and enjoy these stories and don’t need to be intimidated by the sheer number of books out there.

QUICK ANSWER: What Order Should You Read the Drizzt Do’Urden Books In? Most fans of the series fall into one of two camps: the camp that thinks you should read them in chronological order, and the camp that thinks you should read The Icewind Dale Trilogy first, which were the first books that R.A. Salvatore wrote about Drizzt & friends, but are the second trilogy chronologically. Personally, I think you can go either way without missing out but I do feel like going with the order they were published provides a slightly smoother transition as you do notice the writing growth and character growth.

As of 2023 there are 39 Drizzt novels as well as multiple short stories and some related novels that don’t involve the famous dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden directly, but do further expand and give context to the fantasy world these stories take place in.

I’m going to cover every one of these books, what order to read them in, where the supplemental books come in the timeline, and more. Let’s dive in so you know where to jump into this awesome fictional world!

Drizzt Do Urden Drow Ranger
Drizzt Do’Urden – 4th Edition D&D art on the famous Drow Ranger.

All Drizzt Books in Chronological Order

Each of these trilogies can stand alone but it makes sense to start at the beginning to understand all of the backstory as you’re moving through the books. Don’t start like I did with The Legacy then The Crystal Shard…that’s a way to get confused. Reading all these books in chronological order is the right way to fully understand each story in-depth and avoids any confusion from wondering about conversations or interactions that happen in a different book that was published earlier or later, but takes place during a different part of the timeline.

These are going to be organized by series, since all but one book are a part of a trilogy or multiple book series.

Those are all the current books featuring Drizzt, with more likely to continue in the future. It is worth noting that like many authors, Salvatore likes to balance multiple projects or books at once, meaning the order that they appear chronologically wasn’t the order that these books were published in.

There’s also the fact that The Icewind Dale Trilogy was actually the first set of books about Drizzt and this part of the Forgotten Realms world. These books were so popular and the demand from readers to learn more about the Drow (Dark Elf) Ranger that the author then wrote The Dark Elf Trilogy, which chronologically explains where Drizzt came from but chronologically takes place before the Icewind Dale Trilogy.

Important: While reading chronologically is always a solid bet, there is some debate whether or not that’s the best way to read these books. I’ll go into all the various points of view but there are two main camps: those saying to read in chronological order and those saying to read Icewind Dale Trilogy first and THEN go to the Dark Elf Trilogy and read everything chronologically.

That’s the order of all Drizzt Do’Urden books by R.A. Salvatore, although it is worth noting there were also supplemental books that are also considered canon. These include short stories, novels co-written with his son in which Drizzt appears, and a few others of note that you would need to fully round out your library with the complete works of, about, and featuring Drizzt Do’Urden.

Group of RA Salvatore paperbacks
These popular novels have been reprinted many times, meaning building out your collection of mass market paperbacks of the Forgotten Realms is easier than ever!

Supplemental Books Featuring Drizzt Do’Urdern

Aside from the main series of books by R.A. Salvatore where Drizzt is clearly the focus, there are also other related Drizzt books that don’t belong to any of those trilogies or quartets but they still have Drizzt appear and are considered canon in part of the larger expanded Faerun universe in the Forgotten Realms.

These are the additional books you should take a look at if you want to have the complete collection of Drizzt books.

The Collected Stories: The Legend of Drizzt

There have been multiple short stories that expanded the background of Drizzt Do’Urden and gave details on past adventures prior to the major novels as well as individual adventures or stories in between the major events of the novels. These short stories were all pulled together for the short story collection: The Collected Stories: The Legend of Drizzt.

This one book contains all the Drizzt based short stories including:

  • “The First Notch”
  • “Dark Mirror”
  • “The Third Level”
  • “Guenhwyvar”
  • “That Curious Sword”
  • “Wickless in the Nether”
  • “The Dowry”
  • “Comrades at Odds”
  • “If They Ever Happened Upon My Lair”
  • “Bones and Stones”
  • “Iruladoon”
  • “To Legend He Goes”

This is a very good read and for those times where you prefer bite-sized stories or are just in the mood for something shorter versus normal novel-length fare, The Collected Stories can provide everything that you want.

The Dao of Drizzt

The Dao of Drizzt is an interesting practice because it’s recreating the full journal of a fictional character. With R.A. Salvatore’s writing style you’ve probably noticed that in the Drizzt books there is always a series of italicized thoughts at the beginning of each section. These are the actual thoughts, journal entries, or writings of Drizzt himself before diving fully into the story itself, back in 3rd person POV.

The Dao is collecting every single one of these thoughts and journal entries by Drizzt from every single book and short story to date and pulling them altogether in one place, in chronological order, to create the living journal of this main character, allowing you to see the world through the Drow Ranger’s eyes and further understand the character, his life, and the way he sees the world he is a part of.

For huge fans of Drizzt Do’Urden this is a welcome edition to the canon of books featuring this character.

The Legend of Drizzt Visual Dictionary

I think Encyclopedia would technically be a better description of this book, but however you view that argument there’s no question that The Legend of Drizzt Visual Dictionary has stunning artwork and it is a great in-depth guide about the characters, factions, creatures, magical items, and other important details about this world.

The art alone is worth the price as this book is just full of stunning illustrations and artwork that really does a great job of showcasing the world in a stunningly beautiful and in-depth, detailed way that would put many decent Dungeons & Dragons books to shame.

This can also be a way to get into the universe before reading all the books by understanding various aspects of the world, but keep in mind there will be some spoilers with things that happen in the books as they matter in the greater world here.

legend of Drizzt visual dictionary art
Shot from marketing on the book – but it does a great job of showcasing some great art without coming close to giving away the best pictures and illustrations in the book.

The Stone of Tymora (3 Books)

This was a young adult series of books that R.A. Salvatore wrote with his son Geno and the first one features a decent “cameo” by Drizzt, and other familiar character will appear.

These are canon for the world and although his role isn’t major, as in he’s not the featured character, he shows up in all of these books enough, and has influence on the events, that they are part of the greater canon of books that surround this character and fully fleshes out the world that all these characters dwell in.

  • The Stowaway
  • The Shadowmask
  • The Sentinels

This is a great, well-written trilogy and it’s clear the younger Salvatore has some writing chops of his own as this father-son trilogy is entertaining, in line with the world of the Forgotten Realms, and a great addition to this canon of books.

All Drizzt Books in Order of Year of Publication

Reading them in order of publication is another way to go, and it’s one that a lot of people think is the best way to go because you can watch the author as they mature and develop the world and the characters that readers enjoy. This does throw a bit of a loop in the beginning because of the chronological order of these books, but it is an enjoyable way to tackle the books.

All Drizzt Books in Order of Year Published

  1. The Crystal Shard (1988)
  2. Streams of Silver (1989)
  3. The Halfling’s Gem (1990)
  4. Exile (1990)
  5. Sojourn (1991)
  6. Canticle (1991)
  7. In Sylvan Shadows (1992)
  8. Night Masks (1992)
  9. The Legacy (1992)
  10. Starless Night (1993)
  11. The Fallen Fortress (1993)
  12. Siege of Darkness (1994)
  13. The Chaos Curse (1994)
  14. Passage to Dawn (1996)
  15. The Silent Blade (1998)
  16. The Spine of the World (1999)
  17. The Servant of the Shard (2000)
  18. Sea of Swords (2001)
  19. The Thousand Orcs (2002)
  20. The Lone Drow (2003)
  21. The Two Swords (2004)
  22. Promise of the Witch King (2005)
  23. Road of the Patriarch (2006)
  24. The Orc King (2007)
  25. The Pirate King (2008)
  26. The Stowaway (2008) w/ Geno Salvatore (The Stone of Tymora Trilogy)
  27. The Ghost King (2009)
  28. The Shadowmask (2009) w/ Geno Salvatore
  29. Gauntlgrym (2010)
  30. The Sentinels (2010) w/ Geno Salvatore
  31. Neverwinter (2011)
  32. Charon’s Claw (2012)
  33. The Last Theshhold (2013)
  34. The Companions (2013)
  35. Night of the Hunter (2014)
  36. Rise of the King (2014)
  37. Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf (2015)
  38. Archmage (2015)
  39. Maestro (2016)
  40. Hero (2016)
  41. Timeless (2018)
  42. Boundless (2019)
  43. Relentless (2020)
  44. Starlight Enclave (2021)
  45. Glacier’s Ege (2022)
  46. Lolth’s Warrior (2023 release date)

That’s all of them as of 2023 and shows just how wide and expansive the world of Drizzt Do’Urden really is.

What Order Should I Read the Drizzt Books In?

As stated earlier there are two main camps when it comes to answering this question, and neither one is necessarily wrong it’s just opinion and preference, but both have good arguments to make on their behalf.

Option 1: Read in Chronological Order

This is never a bad way to go. Since this is the order that events happened in this fictional world, it makes it much easier to keep things straight and to follow the storyline in the way the characters in-world would understand the progression of things. The majority of the time the chronological order and publication order are pretty much the same, which makes it easy to answer the question of what order to read them in, but that’s not the case with R.A. Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms books.

The chronological order puts The Dark Elf Trilogy before The Icewind Dale Trilogy, but after that it’s more or less the same.

Going this direction is a great way to read the books and probably what most readers will appreciate the most.

Option 2: Read in Publication Order

This basically means read The Icewind Dale Trilogy first, and THEN read all the others in chronological order. This is because The Icewind Dale Trilogy was actually the first series of books that Salvatore wrote on this character and what made the world and Drizzt so popular. The Dark Elf Trilogy was written after, when it was clear the character of Drizzt Do’Urden was going to be so wildly popular among fans.

So the second trilogy was all about the backstory, where he came from, how he came to be a good Drow in a universe not really familiar with that concept, and it was a smart move. It also means the first three books chronologically were actually the fourth through sixth books in order of publication.

I do like this because you can see the author’s growth from book one to book six, how the character continued to grow and evolve in their minds and through the story – and reading them in chronological order in this case can be a bit startling since the writer knows more about the character, the world, the writing style he chooses to use.

At the end of the day neither way is wrong.

You can enjoy the books going with either reading style. The most important thing is to dive deeply into this amazing fictional world and enjoy it. Don’t be intimidated as the writing style is fantastic, the stories are easy to follow once you dive in, and whether you go chronological or order of publication, you will enjoy diving deep into this high fantasy world.

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