How To Read The Wheel Of Time Books In Order

New TV show got you hyped? Here’s how to dig into the source material.

Rosamund Pike stars in the new 'Wheel of Time' series.
Jan Thijs/ Amazon Content Services LLC and Sony Pictures Televsion Inc.

Now that Robert Jordan’s expansive book series finally hitting the small screen, courtesy of Prime Video, fantasy fans are eager to delve into the original novels. But it can be hard to know where to start: With 14 main-series titles — and an average 826 pages per book — reading the Wheel of Time series is nothing short of an endurance race. Don’t worry, though. Your route is clearly marked on the list below. Spoilers for Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series follow.

Jordan’s fantasy series revolves around a prophesied fight between good and evil, the groundwork for which was laid long ago. Millennia before the events of the first book in the series, Eye of the World, the Creator locked away the Dark One to prevent him from taking over the Wheel of Time: a cosmological device, powered by magic (aka the One Power) that pushes the world through waves of cyclical time. The channelers of the One Power, known as the Aes Sedai, inadvertently freed the Dark One and allowed him to mount an assault on the Creator. In the hopes of balancing power, the Wheel created the Dragon, Lews Therin Telamon: a channeler capable of defeating the Dark One. Unfortunately for the Dragon, the Dark One placed a curse on male channelers — including Telamon himself — guaranteeing that they would be driven to suicide if they practiced their craft. Following Telamon’s death, a prophecy arises indicating that the Dark One will rally his forces and the Dragon will channel the One Power once more, in a cataclysmic battle for the end of the world ... And that’s just the backstory.

Here’s a brief explanation of the Wheel of Time books, in in-world order.

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New Spring

Published in 2004 as a standalone novel — and with less than half the page count of the average Wheel of Time book — New Spring is a prequel set 20 years before the events of Eye of the World and the rest of Jordan’s series. The story here follows a small band of Aes Sedai as they seek out the reincarnated Dragon, who is rumored to have just been born.


Eye of the World

The Aes Sedai have narrowed their search for the new Dragon down to three candidates from the same small village: Rand al’Thor, Matrim Cauthon, and Perrin Aybara. Just as channeler Moiraine Damodred arrives in town with Al’Lan Mandragoran, soldiers who serve the Shadow attack, forcing them to flee with the three young men and two young women: Egwene al’Vere and Nynaeve al’Meara.


The Great Hunt

A servant of the Shadow steals a priceless artifact, which prophecy foretells the Dragon will need. Meanwhile, the adventurers’ last outing has left Mat Cauthon psychologically damaged, and Rand and Perrin find themselves separated from two potential Aes Sedai, Egwene and Nynaeve.


The Dragon Reborn

As The Dragon Reborn opens, Rand has set off on his own, with Moiraine, Lan Mandragoran, and Perrin following close behind. Meanwhile, Egwene and Nynaeve escort Mat toward the city-state of Tar Valon, where they hope to find a cure for his magical ailment.


The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising sees Rand and Moiraine reunited with Egwene and Mat on their journey to the Aiel Waste. For his part, Perrin heads home to Two Rivers, and Nynaeve leaves on her own quest to sniff out Aes Sedai who have aligned themselves with the Dark One.


The Fires of Heaven

Rand struggles to convince the Aiel clans to unite under his banner — an endeavor that leads to a war against the Dark One’s forces. Meanwhile, Moiraine fights to maintain her old alliances, and Nynaeve’s search for the Black Ajah turns up a plant capable of cutting channelers off from the One Power.


Lord of Chaos

Lord of Chaos revolves around Rand’s establishment of the Black Tower: the male counterpart to the White Tower, which serves as the training ground for Aes Sedai. With the White Tower split into two major factions, each following different Aes Sedai leaders, Rand must play a diplomatic game to protect the male channelers’ futures.


A Crown of Swords

In A Crown of Swords, Rand continues his conquest of Ilian, Egwene chooses sides in the White Tower Schism, and Nynaeve and Mat seek out another artifact — an item that will reverse the Dark One’s effects on the climate.


The Path of Daggers

The political intrigue continues in The Path of Daggers. Rand’s lover, Elayne Trakand, gathers support in her bid for her homeland’s throne, while Egwene plans an attack on the White Tower.


Winter’s Heart

Perrin, Mat, and Rand take center stage once more in Winter’s Heart, which finds one man working to quell a rebellion, another seeking his kidnapped love, and the third capturing a woman who may be his prophesied bride.


Crossroads of Twilight

In Crossroads of Twilight, Rand joins Perrin’s fight to rescue his wife, while Elayne’s grip on the throne of Andor grows weaker


Knife of Dreams

The last Wheel of Time book Jordan authored before his untimely death, Knife of Dreams sees Mat’s union with Tuon formalized and Perrin’s wife rescued. Unfortunately, Rand’s attempt to forge an alliance with Tuon is interrupted by a massive battle against the Dark One’s armies.


The Gathering Storm

The first Wheel of Time book co-authored by Brandon Sanderson, The Gathering Storm closely follows Rand and Egwene’s attempts to unite their respective parties. To fulfill the prophecy ahead of the Last Battle, Rand must bring the world beneath his banner — but he risks succumbing to the same curse that plagued the first Dragon. Meanwhile, Egwene makes a play at reunifying the Aes Sedai of the White Tower.


Towers of Midnight

The series’ major players must ferret out treasonous parties in their ranks, but Egwene’s personal inquest is interrupted by Rand’s rash plan to unlock the Dark One’s prison.


A Memory of Light

The Last Battle falls upon the world in this stunning conclusion to Jordan’s epic fantasy series. Rand’s allies, new and longstanding, join him for his final assault on the Dark One — an undertaking that will require him to channel more magic than he ever has before.