The Wheel of Time is a series of fantasy novels written by American writer Robert Jordan. The first novel was published in 1990 by the publisher Tor Books. The author died in 2007 without completing the series, but left enough notes for another writer to complete his work.
Brandon Sanderson was chosen for this task and the series was completed in 2013. The work consists of fourteen novels, three of which were written by Brandon Sanderson, as well as a preliminary novel (“prequel”) titled New Spring.
In this article, we are going to give you the ultimate reading order of The Wheel of Time books. Thanks to Amazon, more people get to enjoy the vast universe Jordan created and we are going to help you understand the source material behind the series.
How Many The Wheel of Time Books Are There?
Robert Jordan’s magnum opus, the fantasy series The Wheel of Time, was published between 1990 and 2013, with the final three books written by Brandon Sanderson, due to Jordan dying in 2007. A total of 15 books have been published in that time, and they are:
|0||New Spring||6 January 2004||334pp (PB) / 334pp (HB)|
|Prequel set 20 years before the events of the first novel.|
|1||The Eye of the World||15 January 1990||782pp (PB) / 702pp (HB)|
|2||The Great Hunt||15 November 1990||681pp (PB) / 599pp (HB)|
|3||The Dragon Reborn||15 October 1991||675pp (PB) / 545pp (HB)|
|4||The Shadow Rising||15 September 1992||981pp (PB) / 891pp (HB)|
|5||The Fires of Heaven||15 October 1993||963pp (PB) / 684pp (HB)|
|6||Lord of Chaos||15 October 1994||987pp (PB) / 699pp (HB)|
|7||A Crown of Swords||15 May 1996||856pp (PB) / 635pp (HB)|
|8||The Path of Daggers||20 October 1998||672pp (PB) / 591pp (HB)|
|9||Winter’s Heart||7 November 2000||766pp (PB) / 533pp (HB)|
|10||Crossroads of Twilight||7 January 2003||822pp (PB) / 681pp (HB)|
|11||Knife of Dreams||11 October 2005||837pp (PB) / 761pp (HB)|
|12||The Gathering Storm||27 October 2009||766pp (PB) / 766pp (HB)|
|Completed by Brandon Sanderson.|
|13||Towers of Midnight||2 November 2010||864pp (PB) / 843pp (HB)|
|Completed by Brandon Sanderson.|
|14||A Memory of Light||8 January 2013||912pp (PB) / 909pp (HB)|
|Completed by Brandon Sanderson, epilogue by Robert Jordan.|
|–||Totals||11,898pp (PB) / 10,173pp (HB)|
So, as you can see, there are 15 books in the series, 12 of which were written by Jordan himself, and three of which have been completed by Sanderson via Jordan’s extensive notes.
The Wheel of Time Books in Chronological Order
In this section, we are going to bring you the 15 books in chronological order. A good thing here is that, save for New Spring, which is a prequel novel, the chronological order is identical to the original publication order, which makes it easier to follow.
It is the dawn of a cold and snowy day and while beyond the Shining Walls of Tar Valon the battle rages that will lead to the conclusion of the so-called Aiel War, inside the White Tower, Moiraine and Siuan, who are still two Allowed, assistants at Amyrlin Seat Tamra Ospenya and her Annals Keeper, Gitara Moroso, both from the Blue Ajah.
Gitara, gifted with the talent of prediction, at a certain moment jumps to her feet and announces out of breath that the Dragon is Reborn on the slopes of Montedrago, fulfilling an ancient prophecy of three thousand and four hundred years; the elderly Aes Sedai then dies from the emotion of the event.
The Amyrlin Seat, Tamra Ospenia, orders the two young women not to speak to anyone about what they have just heard. Meanwhile, on the battlefield, al’Lan Mandragoran, titular king of Malkier, a nation engulfed by the Great Spot, is about to face off against the Aiel, in command of a few troops and is stoically convinced that he will eventually have to die in the face of the overwhelming number of opponents.
At the last moment, however, not only the Aiel withdraw, but even, passing in front of Lan, they shout in homage to him the name they have given him…
The Eye of the World
The prologue introduces the characters of Lews Therin Telamon, the Dragon of what was later called the Legendary Age, the victorious commander of the Forces of Light, and his main antagonist, the Forsaken Ishamael.
Lews Therin Telamon, struck by the madness for the Contamination of Saidin has exterminated his entire family (therefore he will be remembered as Kinslayer: “exterminator of his own blood”) and in a moment of clarity induced by Ishamael, he realizes what he has done. So in desperation, he commits suicide with the One Power, creating the very high peak of Montedrago and the nearby island of Tar Valon.
This second additional prologue was published in the split edition of “The Eye of the World”; it has not yet been published in Italy. It is set in the Twin Rivers and centers on the very young Egwene al’Vere who commutes between the river and the sheep shearing field, to bring water to the shearers…
The Great Hunt
Following the events of the previous volume (The Eye of the World), the book opens with the group of protagonists gathered in the fortress-city of Fal Dara in Shienar, towards which the Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche is heading.
Shortly after his arrival, the fortress is attacked by Trolloc and Myrddraal, and the prisoner Padan Fain is evacuated; also Mat’s tainted dagger, whose curse would kill him if he were to be separated from it for too long, and the Horn of Valere, are taken by the enemies. After the attack, Rand al’Thor is summoned by the Amyrlin Seat and is told that he is the Dragon Reborn, which Rand persistently denies (although it is unquestionably correct).
However, the Amyrlin convinces Rand that if he wants to save his friend Mat, he must go after the one who stole the contaminated dagger, namely a band of Trollocs, Myrddraal, and Darkfriends, led by the fugitive Padan Fain…
The Dragon Reborn
Rand al’Thor, declared Dragon Reborn by Aes Sedai Moiraine Damodred at the end of the previous book (The Great Hunt), is attacked by the Trollocs in his refuge in the Mountains of Mist. Later Rand secretly leaves the refuge, to go to Tear to prove both himself and the world that he really is the Dragon Reborn.
In fact, according to a prophecy, only the true Dragon Reborn could be able to wield Callandor and conquer the fortress of the city, the Stone of Tear. Along the way Friends of the Darkness and Black Hounds chase him in vain. Moiraine, her Keeper Lan Mandragoran, Perrin Aybara, and Loial pursue Rand.
They manage to reconstruct Rand’s path by following the trail of unlikely events that, as a mighty ta’veren, he leaves behind. Along the way they also meet a Hornhuntress, Faile Bashere, they fight a Gray Man, the Black Hounds, and also discover that the Forsaken Sammael rules the kingdom and the city of Illian, from which they must therefore escape...
The Shadow Rising
At the beginning of the book, all the main characters are found in the Stone of Tear (the fortress of the city), where Rand al’Thor has just proved to the world, in the finale of the previous book, that he is truly the Dragon Reborn, fulfilling the prophecy which claimed that only he could wield Callandor (a mighty sa’angreal) and take the Stone.
During the time inside the Stone, Rand breaks up with Egwene and starts flirting with Elayne. Perrin deepens her interest in Faile but eventually argues with her, while Berelain tries to seduce him. Mat, on the other hand, indulges in gambling and drinking.
Moiraine and the girls interrogate the captured Black Sisters to try and figure out their plans. Suddenly bubbles of Male hit the fortress, seriously endangering the lives of the three Ta’veren…
The Fires of Heaven
At the beginning of the book, the Dragon Reborn and his friends (Mat, Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, Aviendha) are still in the Rhuidean city; over there they are attacked by black hounds and then informed that the Shaido are moving in force against the Wetlands, leaving a trail of death.
Pursuing the Aiel Shaido, who have crossed the Spine of the World and are sacking Cairhien, Rand al’Thor (Dragon Reborn and Car’a’carn) also leads the four Aiel clans who have recognized and are loyal to him beyond the Spine. The two Aiel-formed armies clash in the Second Battle of Cairhien, by far the largest pitched battle in all of Randland since Artur Hawkwing, some 1000 years earlier.
Meanwhile, from an observation tower, Rand, Egwene, and Aviendha strike the Shaido with the One Power, until a Forsaken knocks down the tower. Also, at the beginning of the battle Mat Cauthon, with his knowledge of military tactics derived from his journey beyond the threshold of the Eelfinn in The Shadow Rising…
Lord of Chaos
In the prologue of the book, it is revealed that the Dark One wants to sow chaos, blaming the Dragon Reborn; in addition, two of the previously dead Forsaken were reincarnated in Aran’gar and Osan’gar. The deposed Queen of Andor, Morgase Trakand, arrives in Amadicia to seek help to recover the throne.
However, the Lord Captain Commander of the Children of Light, Pedron Niall, with the excuse of hosting her in her palace, treats her as if she were her prisoner. In response to Rand al’Thor’s amnesty for all men capable of channeling, Mazrim Taim (a man who had previously been a False Dragon and had wreaked havoc in the Borderlands) introduces himself to him.
Taim forms an alliance with the Dragon Reborn and the latter has him train a group of men capable of channeling, who will later be called Asha’man, and will find their home in the Black Tower…
A Crown of Swords
The first subplot is about the Dragon Reborn. Rand al’Thor, is carefully preparing to attack the Forsaken Sammael who has taken over the kingdom of Illian; in the meantime, he pleasantly entertains with one of his companions, Min Farshaw, who helps him to recover from the dark moments, brought by his role as Dragon Reborn and his condition as a channeler destined for madness.
During this period of preparation, he gets acquainted with the legendary Aes Sedai Cadsuane, who helps to make him nervous. He also has Merana and Rafela Sedai stipulate a treaty with the People of the Sea.
Finally, taken by a moment of overconfidence about being ta’veren, he goes with Min to the camp of the rebel nobles Caraline Damodred, Toram Riatin, and Darlin Sisnera, who have gathered in a wood near Cairhien…
The Path of Daggers
Elayne Trakand, Nynaeve al’Meara, Aviendha and the other numerous channelers following them (Aes Sedai, Windseeker, Women of the Family) travel to the Altara countryside and finally use the Cup of the Winds, the ter’angreal able to fix the climate maddened by the touch of the Dark One.
Then they flee to Andor, facing the advance of the Seanchan. Along the way, a Black Sister, remained unknown, assassinates Adeleas Namelle and Ispan Shefar. Finally arriving in Caemlyn Elayne claims the Throne of the Lion, as the legitimate heir of Morgase. Perrin Aybara from Cairhien moves to Ghealdan, in the south of the continent, with a large and varied following, including Berelain.
He was tasked by the Dragon Reborn to curb the excesses of the self-proclaimed Dragon Prophet, Masema Dagar…
Most of the events described in this book occur simultaneously with those that will be described in the next book: Crossroads of Twilight.
Perrin Aybara and his followers find themselves in the south of the continent, in pursuit of the Shaido Aiel, who have kidnapped Faile and other women. Elayne Trakand, grappling with the conquest of the throne of Andor, consolidates her sisterhood with Aviendha through a ceremony of mutual adoption, according to the customs of the Aiel.
She later receives a visit from Rand al’Thor and her friend Min Farshaw; shortly before finally consuming their love and becoming pregnant, Elayne binds Rand to her as her Keeper, eventually extending the bond to Aviendha and Min Farshaw as well…
Crossroads of Twilight
Most of the events described in this book take place at the same time as those described in the previous book: Winter’s Heart.
Perrin Aybara in the south of the continent continues to chase the Shaido who have kidnapped his wife, Faile, and other women in his entourage.
Faced with the pain of separation from his beloved woman, Perrin’s character hardens and he becomes more determined, to the point of personally mutilating a Shaido prisoner in an attempt to obtain information.
However, this also leads him to reach a new awareness, which is symbolically represented by the abandonment of his bloody ax in the middle of a forest. Perrin also declares himself willing to enter into negotiations even with the Seanchan, in order to succeed in the enterprise of freeing Faile…
Knife of Dreams
The Dragon Reborn, Rand al’Thor, is still found on the Pendaloan estate in east Tear, where he and his entourage are regaining strength after the Battle for the Cleanup of Saidin.
He knows that Tarmon Gai’don is very close and realizes that he cannot deal with her, while she is also at war with the Seanchan, so he has arranged a meeting with the enemy commanders, to try to negotiate a truce. Meanwhile, the estate is run over by a huge horde of Trollocs led by Myrddraal.
However, thanks to the fortuitous presence of numerous Asha’man and Aes Sedai, the horde is repelled, even if disaster is at risk, when the personality of Lews Therin Telamon dangerously takes over Rand’s mind and uses Saidin with powerful textures so far. unknown, to repel enemies…
The Gathering Storm
The plot concerning the Dragon Reborn begins with his move to Arad Doman, to try to restore order there, after that country has fallen prey to chaos and civil war, spread by Graendal. He also intends to obtain peace, or at least a truce, even with the Seanchan (and it is precisely to put an end to the unrest in the Domanese that is offered to the Seanchan as further proof of good faith).
To achieve these results, Rand brings several Aiel clans into Arad Doman, plus numerous Soldier troops under the command of Lord Davram Bashere, who begin to impose peace by force and seek out the members of the Council of Merchants, the ruling elite of the Domanese. that is found to have escaped or disappeared.
Rand also brings in various Cairhienese soldiers, under the command of Lord Dobraine, who occupies the capital Bandar Eban, into which thousands of desperate refugees have converged…
Towers of Midnight
After a series of strange incidents and Bubbles of Evil, which slow their path to Andor, Perrin Aybara and his followers meet the Children of Light, as they are traveling through Ghealdan; the Sons recently elected Galad Damodred as their commander, following a rebellion against the Inquisitors.
Faced with Galad, Jareth Byar and Dain Bornhald accuse Perrin of killing two Sons of Light, Lathin and Yamwick, in an accident in Andor in an episode of The Eye of the World and therefore incite Galad to go to war against him, to punish him. However, both Galad and Perrin would like to avoid a battle, and enter into negotiations and then camp for postponements.
While Galad discovers that his adoptive mother Morgase Trakand is alive and is among those who have taken refuge under the protection of Perrin, so the latter agrees to undergo a trial, as long as there is the former queen Morgase as a judge, according to the Andoran law…
A Memory of Light
In the prologue, the armies of the Light, as well as the forces of the Shadow, prepare themselves for Tarmon Gai’don.
The outcast Demandred, leader of the armies of the Shadow, organizes a surprise attack on the city of Caemlyn, the capital of Andor, and sends Trolloc to take possession of the first cannons in the world, called Dragons, jointly developed by Matrim Cauthon, the queen. Elayne Trakand and the illuminator Aludra.
Talmanes Delovinde and the Gang of the Red Hand launch their counterattack and successfully bring the Dragons to safety, out of the city, which is completely conquered by the enemies…
Do You Need to Read The Wheel of Time Books in Chronological Order?
Well, personally, we don’t think you do. Namely, the only novel whose publication date doesn’t match the narrative chronology is New Spring, which is a prequel to the first book but was published in 2004 as the eleventh title.
Now, New Spring was published so far into the narrative that you already knew all the important aspects of the story, so you could follow it easily, as it is not a true introductory novel.
That is why you can simply read the books in the order of publication, or you can just read New Spring whenever you want to after the first book; simply start with The Eye of the World and see where that leads you.
Will There Be More The Wheel of Time books?
As things stand now, The Wheel of Time is over. Robert Jordan died in 2007 before completing his series, but thanks to his meticulous style, Brandon Sanderson had enough material from his notes to complete the stories and tell the story that Jordan intended to tell.
Jordan himself had plans for additional prequels and a sequel trilogy, but there are little notes on these works so we won’t be seeing them published. An occasional short story might pop up here or there, but the franchise is over.