This question covered the reading order of main Ender books (EG, Shadows and Lusitaina).

But the "word of god" authoritative answer cited there from Card FAQ does NOT take into account the new Formic Wars prequel series, as it was written after the FAQ which was never updated to reflect it.

As such, did Card give his official opinion on what he recommends as far as reading order of Formic Wars prequels relative to the other books in Enderverse; for new readers who haven't read any of the books?

Just to be clear, general "order" statements that were made before (and not mentioning) Formic Wars are NOT what I'm interesting in.

  • I tried searching on hatrack but didn't find anything useful. Commented Feb 2, 2014 at 13:43
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    I'd say you must read Ender's Game first. Starting with anything else may spoil Ender's Game (though it's hard to say how much of a spoiler it would be before the last book of that trilogy is published). After that it doesn't matter if you proceed to "Formic Wars" or Shadow series or Speaker (except for speaker being the only one as good as Ender's Game, and even better, but that's just my opinion).
    – Eran
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 1:24
  • @Eran - thank you for your opinion, but the question is only about Card's official view :) Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 1:30
  • I don't see how there's anything specific to the books already written in that FAQ. He recommends you read them in whatever order you want because all his books contain all the information you need to understand what's in them.
    – Paul
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 3:10
  • @Paul - are we reading the same FAQ? hatrack.com/faq/003.shtml explicitly lists the books. Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


According to Orson Scott Card, they could be read in any order you want assuming that you don't mind massive spoilers.

What is the best order to read the Ender saga in (i.e., the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card)?

Every book was designed to stand alone, with the exception that Children of the Mind is the second half of Xenocide. No matter where you start, each book will give you information that will act as a bit of a spoiler in reading some of the others. But since people have been known to reread some of them, they really don't depend on surprise for their effectiveness.

You could read them in the order I wrote them, starting with Enders Game and then Speaker. Or time order, which starts you with the first Formic War trilogy. Or read them conceptually, starting with EG and then Enders Shadow and all the Shadow books before you go back to Ender in Exile and only then Speaker.

Aaron Johnston, the author of the Formic War novels, recommends reading them after one has read Ender's Game, but not necessarily after the other books

Hi, do you think the Formic War novels are best read before or after one has read Ender's Game?
Anyone who hasn't read Ender's Game should read it immediately. If you enjoy it, come back for the Formic Wars. :)
How about the Ender's Game sequels? Also before the Formic Wars or does the reading order no longer matter at that point?
All of Ender's Game's sequels are great. Speaker for the Dead is one of my all-time favorite novels of any genre.
So one should preferably read them all before starting Formic Wars?
No. You need not read the sequels first before tackling Formic Wars.


Word of God on the subject of reading order is listed below;

Although Card doesn't specifically mention the new prequel "Formic Wars" series, he does identify that all prequels that predate "Ender's Game" in the chronology should be read after reading the original series of books.

QUESTION: What's the "preferred" order of reading the Ender series?

OSC REPLIES: - October 2, 2009

*The "preferred order" depends on what you mean by "preferred," and who's doing the preferring.

There are two main story threads. One begins with Ender's Game, and proceeds to Ender in Exile (which overlaps with EG) and then on to Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind.

The other story thread begins with Ender's Shadow (which is parallel to Ender's Game), and proceeds to Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant.

Eventually the two threads come together with the book Shadows in Flight.

The short stories make things even more complicated. They should NOT be read in chronological order because even though many are prequels, they only take on their full significance if you have already read either EG or ES.

etc etc etc......

He's also pretty blasé about reading order in general and seems to contradict himself a bit here.

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    Sorry, this is NOT talking about the same prequels that the question asks about (which were not even planned in 2009). It's quite plausible that Formic Wars have different rules, featuring completely different characters (aside from Mazer) and being complete arc as opposed to merely clarifying stories. I'm explicitly looking for WoG that includes Formic Wars. Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 1:58
  • @DVK - I find it incredibly difficult to believe that he would say to read the new prequels before EG when his policy over the previous prequels has been to ignore the chronological order.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 5:35
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    I find it easy. I consider fill-in-the-holes stories showing character backgrounds to be very different beastie than a full on prequel. Mind you, he may disagree, but as I noted in the question, what I seek is very explicitly a post by him mentioning order of Formic Wars vs EG Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:12
  • I'm not so sure. He's never given any indication that the prequels are intended to precede the original series. Does a lack of a positive prove a negative?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:57
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    nope. NULL!=false in SQL Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 17:24

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