Thursday, June 26, 2008

Order of the Riftwar Cycle Books

So, as I mentioned yesterday, the order you should read Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar books is a very hot debate among his fans.

Am I missing something here? Am I not a big enough fan? I guess maybe I'm not emotionally involved enough in the question to cover multiple forums with debates about in what order the books should be read.

I did find a list I thought made quite a bit of sense, so I decided to copy it for my future reference. Unfortunately, I have now forgotten just where I found it (among those multiple forum postings), so you'll just have to take my word that a good number of fans seemed to agree that it was a good order to read the books, so things would follow the storyline more or less correctly.

I say more or less because there are minor details that can vary. Most of the Riftwar Cycle (as Feist calls it), is written in trilogies that deal with the lives of one or two major characters at a time, and then the next trilogy advances the storyline, but also covers maybe the next generation. But sometimes he skips around in time.

Like, x series was written before y series, but y series actually covers a time period before x series. So it can get a bit confusing. and it you accidentally skip y series (like I did), then you get hints (or spoilers) about what happened in the series you accidentally skipped. Also, because x series was written before y series, but y series actually occurs first in the time line, you can get small discrepancies in details. Mostly these are minor, and can be passed off as the differences in points of view, the same way two people will observe an event but never tell the exact same story about what happened.

So, with that long introduction, here's the list of books, as they fit into the story line, followed by their year of publication in parentheses:

The Riftwar Saga
Magician: Apprentice (1982)
Magician: Master (1982)
Silverthorn (1985)
A Darkness at Sethanon (1986)

Legends of the Riftwar (take place during the events of Magician)
Honored Enemy (2001)
Murder in LaMut (2002)
Jimmy the Hand (2003)

The Empire Trilogy (takes place during the events of The Riftwar Saga)
Daughter of the Empire (1987)
Servant of the Empire (1990)
Mistress of the Empire (1992)

The Riftwar Legacy (takes place 10 years after The Riftwar Saga)
Krondor: the Betrayal (1998) (based on the PC game Betrayal at Krondor)
Krondor: the Assassins (1999)
Krondor: Tear of the Gods (2000) (based on the PC game Return to Krondor)

Krondor's Sons
Prince of the Blood (1989) (takes place 20 years after The Riftwar Saga)
The King's Buccaneer (1992) (takes place 30 years after The Riftwar Saga)

The Serpentwar Saga (takes place 55 years after The Riftwar Saga)
Shadow of a Dark Queen (1993)
Rise of a Merchant Prince (1995)
Rage of a Demon King (1997)
Shards of a Broken Crown (1998)

The Conclave of Shadows (begins 85 years after The Riftwar Saga)
Talon of the Silver Hawk (2002)
King of Foxes (2003)
Exile's Return (2004)

The Darkwar Saga (follows on from the end of Conclave of Shadows)
Flight of the Nighthawks (2005)
Into a Dark Realm (2006)
Wrath of a Mad God (2008)

The Demonwar Saga
2 books forthcoming, presumably in 2009 and 2010

The Godswar Saga
3 books forthcoming, presumably in 2011-2013

So, as you can see by the publication date, there is a bit of jumping around. The original Riftwar Saga books were published from 1982 through 1986. Then it's followed by the Legends of the Riftwar books published in 2001 through 2003, which is followed in the story line by the Riftwar Legacy books published, in 1998 through 2000, then the Krondor Sons books written in 1989 and 1992. Yeah, there's a bit of jumping around going on.

What's even more fun? Originally the Riftwar Legacy stories were not novels - they were computer RPG games, which were then turned into the novels.

If you are one of those forum posters, please send me the link and I'll correct my post to give you proper credit!


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Thanks! I was poring over the wikipedia entry for Feist's books and I had trouble (to say the least) finding any relevant information as to how the books related to each other.

It's good to know that I can read further events in Midkemia from the end of A Darkness at Sethanon!

Anonymous said...

Most of the information you can want can be found at including the title of the last series which is actually The Chaoswar Saga

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. This is so helpful!

hysbyrd said...

Its truly amazing to find other people who love this series and books in general as much as I do. Thanks again for the great info, there are just so many hints throughout the series that allude to events that have yet to be seen that makes me wonder if I have missed a book here or there ;) Thanks again

Jon.S said...

Actually that order you have them in is correct. But the Last Series is called The Chaos war saga, not the Gods war, and the first books are named, The Demon war, Book1: Rides a Dread Legion, Book2: AT the Gates of Darkness, so its a 2 book series. The Chaos War: A Kingdom Besieged, A Crown Imperiled, Magicans End. so its a 3 book series. I am a huge Feist fan, and i just got Rides a Dread Legion and finished it. Also the The Riftwar Legacy there a 2 more books, but they are not published. they are Kronfor: The Crawler and Krondor: The Dark Mage.