The transition from third edition to fourth edition D&D consisted of many changes in the game. For Forgotten Realms the change in editions also heralded changes in the world of Faerûn mostly in the form of the Spellplague. The story told in the three books of the Abolethic Sovereignty follows a group of adventurers several years after the Spellplague has washed through the land, changing magic and generally disrupting the world. Raidon Kane is a half-elf monk who spends most of his life hunting aberrations. As the story begins he is heading home to his daughter after an adventure hunting and fighting these strange creatures when the Spellplague bursts forth and turns his life on its head.
Raidon awakens about ten years later to find Faerûn much changed and that his former life, including his daughter, has been lost. There is truly no rest for the weary however as Kane soon finds himself embroiled in a fight against those who would awaken the Abolethic Sovereignty and unleash the horrors of the Far Realm upon not only the Forgotten Realms, but all worlds.
I have read several books by Bruce Cordell but I think that the books in this trilogy might be my favorites. From the beginning the Lovecraftian vibe these books bring to Faerûn captured my attention and didn’t release it until the story was complete. Being a confessed Lovecraft fan and Cthulhu junkie however, there was probably little doubt that this would be the case.
The story told throughout the three novels though stands up well as a work of fiction, even if you knew nothing about Forgotten Realms or Lovecraft before picking them up. The characters are three-dimensional and the heroes struggle with not only the villains but also with themselves and their own motivations. Each of them is unique as well and although several of them fit firmly into normal
character race/class combinations they are all tweaked to one degree or another and the backgrounds given to them are interesting and important to the overall story. In particular the background of the warlock is very well done and his relationship with the patron that gives him his powers really brings the warlock class into sharp focus and makes it stand out.
If you are like me and you enjoy a good bit of mystery/thriller added into your fantasy novels, you should give this trilogy a chance. The bonus here is that all three books are already out and are available either in paper back or as ebooks. Also for those Drizzt fans out there the Abolethic Sovereignty made a cameo in the last book, Neverwinter, and might become more important in the future, so these books would give you some background on these strange Far Realm denizens.