How to Read The ‘Wheel of Time’ Books in Order Before Season 2

We’re fresh off the success of Dune’s second film adaptation, and since the sequel to the sci-fi epic just got pushed to 2024, we need to get our fix. That’s where Robert Jordan’s popular fantasy series Wheel of Time comes in.

Beginning with The Eye of the World in 1990, Wheel of Time spans fourteen books, and now has its first television adaptation thanks to Amazon Prime Video. Starring Rosamund Pike, if successful, the series could become a crossover hit, akin to Game of Thrones.

The series’ plot centers on a member of the magical Aes Sedai (Pike) who is tasked with finding the prophesied “Dragon”, a person with immense power who will one day save humanity from the Dark One, an evil god. The books are epic in every sense of the word, from their incredible world-building to an extensive cast of characters.


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Amazon released its first season of Wheel of Time in 2021, and while critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the show an 81%, audiences didn’t enjoy the show much at all. But with tons of material left to cover throughout the series–seriously, each book is a door-stopper–Amazon’s Prime Video still has time to convince diehard fans and newcomers their Wheel of Time is worth watching, as the second season is set to premiere on September 1.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the show, if you’re intrigued by the premise, Wheel of Time is a classic fantasy series you’ll likely enjoy. Unlike the Dune books, the chronology is actually fairly easy to follow. Jordan wrote all but the last 3 books in the main series, and author Brandon Sanderson finished the books using Jordan’s notes. Jordan also wrote a prequel in 2004, which delves into backstory leading up to the series main plot.

Here’s how to read all of Wheel of Time in chronological order. And for more information about the books, check out the vast community for the books over at Dragonmount.

The Wheel of Time Series, In Chronological Order

(* denotes the novels written by Sanderson)

New Spring (2004)

The Eye of the World (1990)

The Great Hunt (1990)

The Dragon Reborn (1991)

The Shadow Rising (1992)

The Fires of Heaven (1993)

Lord of Chaos (1994)

A Crown of Swords (1996)

The Path of Daggers (1998)

Winter’s Heart (2000)

Crossroads of Twilight (2003)

Knife of Dreams (2005)

The Gathering Storm* (2009)

Towers of Midnight* (2010)

A Memory of Light* (2013)

Short Stories (For True Fans), And Advice on the Prequel

Okay, so there are a few short stories by both Sanderson and Jordan. Jordan published two stories in the 1990s, The Strike at Shayol Ghul, predating the original series by thousands of years, and New Spring, which later became his full prequel novel of the same name.

For anyone approaching the books for the first time, New Spring (the novel) isn’t a required text. In fact, it may be better to read up to Crossroads of Twilight and then return to the prequel once you have a better grasp of all the world’s moving parts. Plus, the emotional weight of how characters made it to the beginning of the original series won’t truly be felt until you return to New Spring later on.

Sanderson also wrote two short stories while working on Wheel of Time. River of Souls was published in a 2013 anthology called Unfettered: Tales by Masters of Fantasy. His second short story, A Fire Within the Ways, was published in the 2019 edition in the same anthology, but Sanderson has said he doesn’t consider the story part of the canon.

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Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.

This article was originally posted here.

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