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Chronologically, the books released in this order (from Wikipedia) :

Main Sequence

  • A Shadow of All Night Falling (1979)
  • October's Baby (1980)
  • All Darkness Met (1980)

Prequels

  • The Fire in His Hands (1984)
  • With Mercy Toward None (1985)

Sequels

  • Reap the East Wind (1987)
  • An Ill Fate Marshalling (1988)
  • A Path to Coldness of Heart (2012)

Should I start by the first released (A Shadow of All Night Falling and so on) or should I read them chronologically (starting by The Fire in His Hands) ?

  • For what it's worth, I read them in that order last year, and it worked out well. – LAK Dec 19 '16 at 22:30
  • I looked through about 10 interviews with glen cook and hes never been asked/answered on an intended reading order. – Himarm Dec 29 '16 at 14:39
  • so funny story, if you accept this for a day, i get a hat :P – Himarm Dec 31 '16 at 6:22
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I went digging around for interviews from him to see if he had offered a suggested reading order and found nothing from Glen Cook on the issue. Typically that means they intend for you to read the books as they published them, as they will most likely drop hints or reference previously published books.

Without official word the reading order is really up to you the reader, but from personal experience the Authors who write prequels after the fact and intend for you to read them first typically make that known to their readers.

So to repost the list you provided, this, without author indicating otherwise, is most likely the intended reading order.

Main Sequence

  • A Shadow of All Night Falling (1979)
  • October's Baby (1980)
  • All Darkness Met (1980)

Prequels

  • The Fire in His Hands (1984)
  • With Mercy Toward None (1985)

Sequels

  • Reap the East Wind (1987)
  • An Ill Fate Marshalling (1988)
  • A Path to Coldness of Heart (2012)
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  • This is how I read them in the end and it works well. I think reading the prequels before may be ok too. It prevents the time jumps and gives a lot of background for some main characters. Though that may be too much background as it can distract from the main plot since the topic of the prequels is less important in the main trilogy. – Autar Jan 2 '17 at 8:59

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