I'm about to start my journey into the world of Malazan and to my despair I've found that the series consists of the following series:

  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen (10 books)
  • The Tales of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach (5 books)
  • Novels of the Malazan Empire (6 books)
  • The Kharkanas Trilogy (2 -so far- books)

I want to read them all but I've heard that the Malazan books are quite complicated. So, what's the best order to read them all without having spoilers and keep track of things?

  • honestly, reading each series separately in publication order is plenty; they overlap chronologically, but there are only very marginal overlap in the stories themselves.
    – KutuluMike
    Aug 28, 2015 at 14:58
  • such a great series. dont forget ICE's new trilogy Path to Ascendancy. Book 1 is out now. Book 2 is out this october I believe. And supposedly Ericson is doing a trilogy about Karsa Orlong after he finishes Kharkanas that explains what happens to Karsa after the book of the fallen books!! Aug 29, 2017 at 20:02

4 Answers 4


Word of god is

I spoke with Ian about this. It seems that a few years back we worked out a sequential timeline for the Malazan history we were exploring. This is that list, supplied to Tor.com by Ian. That said, I don't think it applies as an actual reading order. Rather, it was the two of us hashing stuff out. Both Ian and I would recommend the basic publication order.


Its important to know that the 10 books that make up the Malazan book of the fallen series, follow 1 complete story line. Because of this, the suggested reading order would be like this.

The Malazan Book of the Fallen

Gardens of the Moon (1999)

Deadhouse Gates (2000)

Memories of Ice (2001)

House of Chains (2002)

Midnight Tides (2004)

The Bonehunters (2006)

Reaper's Gale (2007)

Toll the Hounds (2008)

Dust of Dreams (2009)

The Crippled God (2011)

Both the the Tales, and Novels are side stories which may have some overlap but are not essential. There suggested reading order is as follows

Its important to note that the novels, happen during the main events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, however each book is essentially its own story, with only minor overlap and continuation into the next novel, or non at all.

Novels of the Malazan Empire

Night of Knives (2005)

Return of the Crimson Guard (2008)

Stonewielder (2010)

Orb Sceptre Throne (2012)

Blood and Bone (2012)

Assail (2013)

The Bauchelain & Korbal are almost entirely non-important in regards to the overall scope of this world, they make a cameo in one book and thats about it. There story is entirely self sufficient and can be read whenever.

Bauchelain & Korbal Broach

Blood Follows (2002)

The Healthy Dead (2004)

The Lees of Laughter's End (2007)

Crack'd Pot Trail (2009)

The Wurms of Blearmouth (2012)

Finally the prequels These should be read at least after the original 10 are finished, as they are based heavily on those books.

The Kharkanas Trilogy

Forge of Darkness (2012)

Fall of Light (2015)

Walk in Shadow (tbc)

  • @Thaddeus the other "answer" has you switch between all 3 series, which is quite confusing. this is the intended reading order, now that they are all completed, originally the reading order would have been chronological between the main 2 series as they came out but since they are now completed this is the logical reading order, its 2 distinct series. with a 3rd as a prequel, and the 4th as a side story with almost no crossover.
    – Himarm
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:10
  • 2
    His listing has changed. Originally he was just listing them in the chronological order. Now he has changed it to his preference. Such things make so little sense to me, personally. I read them the way they wrote them. You can't spoil what you haven't written. Aug 28, 2015 at 15:13
  • exactly, he linked the "member forum community reading order" this is the "authors" reading order, aka as they were published.
    – Himarm
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:17

As much as I dislike straight linking to a Wiki, this suggested reading order is very thorough and any recommendation I would make would be almost the same. The ultimate reading order suggested by members of the Malazan Empire Forum at the bottom is what I would go with if I were to reread the series.

  1. Gardens of the Moon
  2. Deadhouse Gates
  3. Blood Follows
  4. The Lees of Laughter's End
  5. The Wurms of Blearmouth
  6. Memories of Ice
  7. House of Chains
  8. The Healthy Dead
  9. Midnight Tides
  10. Night of Knives
  11. The Bonehunters
  12. Reaper's Gale
  13. Crack'd Pot Trail
  14. Return of the Crimson Guard
  15. Toll the Hounds
  16. Stonewielder
  17. Goats of Glory
  18. Dust of Dreams
  19. Orb, Sceptre, Throne
  20. The Crippled God
  21. Blood and Bone
  22. Assail
  23. Forge of Darkness
  24. Fall of Light
  25. Walk in Shadow
  • following this reading order the reader will constantly be "leaving" the main story line, and as complex as these books are, its not suggested to break from the story, otherwise you might need to constantly be going back a book to refresh yourself.
    – Himarm
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:04
  • essentially do you want to take 2-3 thousand page break from a concurrent story? if so follow the above list... lol
    – Himarm
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:06
  • @Himarm Yes and no. This order has you reading the Novellas that go with the main storyline alon with the 10 major books in an order that makes sense. Instead of just reading all o them in one go which would not work with the storyline as well. The characters revealed also make more sense to read them this way.
    – Firebat
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:09
  • have you read the series, because the novels really have 0 impact on the main story line of the crippled god. the novels are a distraction from finishing the 1 completed story, while the novels themselves have there own plot line and characters that continue between them.
    – Himarm
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:16
  • @Himarm No where close to 2 or 3 thousand. The books that are listed to be read between the main story are small, maybe 120-140 pages each. The author wrote them in between the main books to add more depth to the series, and to keep up reader interest while waiting on the main books.
    – Firebat
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:25

I started out the series with a Memory of Ice (MBoF 3) on a whim, from a mistake, sent by the Science Fiction Book Club... best mistake that decade... came across the Esselmont books just as I finished the Chained God and I was amused, pleased and happily surprised at how they took place before, after and during the main series.... now, on my first re-read, I have pieced together a very similar timeline to the one above... best way to go... I would suggest the prequel books first, a true chronological read... as straight as the timeline can get...

  • 2
    Welcome to the site! Please could you edit this answer to be a little clearer about exactly which reading order you're recommending? (In case you aren't aware, Stack Exchange isn't a normal discussion forum, and answers are expected to properly address the question asked - you can take our short site tour to learn more.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 11, 2018 at 1:55

Do not listen to Himarm. It is way way better, to leave the main series and read the side stories. I deeply regret not reading about Korbal Broach before memories of ice and It is crucial to read night of knives and the crimson guard novels in the order mentioned above. I am in the crimson guard now and I assume that orb, scepter, thrown will be just as important.

  • 1. Himarm is not saying it's worse to read the side stories, merely that they're not Essential. Some people may just be going for a read through the main series and not feel the need to get invested in the whole universe. 2. Your post is very difficult to follow, you should consider editing it.
    – Edlothiad
    Oct 13, 2017 at 7:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.