This page serves as a guideline to the order in which to read all of the novels, novellas and short stories of the Malazan World.
Several different options are listed.

Malazan Book of the Fallen - Main series by Steven Erikson Edit

Published Order:

Chronological Order:

Recommendation: The published order of the Malazan Book of the Fallen is the author's intended order and the best order in which to read this series for the first time.

Novels of the Malazan Empire - Main Series by Ian C. Esslemont Edit

Published Order and Chronological Order:

Recommendation: The published order of the Novels of the Malazan Empire is the author's intended order and the best order in which to read this series for the first time.

Bauchelain & Korbal Broach novellas by Steven Erikson Edit

Published Order:

Chronological Order:

Recommendation: Chronological Order

Due to their haphazard publishing schedule and individually contained stories, these novellas' publishing order is vastly different from chronological order. Either way, Blood Follows serves as the first novella and is the best introduction to the novella series. Readers may find the story flows much more naturally if the novellas are read in chronological order rather than published order.

There are no major spoilers from any B&KB novella to any other. However, Crack'd Pot Trail is best read after The Lees of Laughter's End and The Healthy Dead due to the reappearance of some characters and concepts.

Bauchelain and Korbal Broach also appear in Memories of Ice and in Orb Sceptre Throne. For chronological order, Memories of Ice should be read after The Wurms of Blearmouth and before The Healthy Dead. It is unclear when exactly The Healthy Dead and Crack'd Pot Trail occur in relation to Orb Sceptre Throne, but as long as The Wurms of Blearmouth is read before Orb Sceptre Throne it doesn't matter.

Kharkanas Trilogy - prequels, take place thousands of years before events in either main series - by Steven EriksonEdit

Published Order:

Recommendation: The published order is the best order in which to read this series for the first time. The series is written in a style very different from the main series and spoilers go both ways.

Path to Ascendancy - prequels, take place many decades prior to events in either main series - by Ian C. EsslemontEdit

Published Order:

Recommendation: The published order is the best order in which to read this series for the first time. We currently do not have a definite recommendation where to slot this trilogy into the overall reading order of the books. Dancer's Lament could be used as an alternate entry point into the Malazan universe for those who find Gardens of the Moon too much of a challenge as it does not spoil major plot developments for the main series although it does contain some spoilers. The same however applies the other way round in about equal measure.

To read both authors concurrently in order of publicationEdit

Ultimate reading order suggested by members of the Malazan Empire ForumEdit

There are numerous ways that all the series of the Malazan World can be combined into a single read order. For first-time readers, care must be taken to avoid reading things too far out of chronological order such that events do not make sense, as well as avoiding any events being spoiled before reading through them happening.

There are two main discussion threads on the Malazan Empire forums for discussing possible read orders:

  1. One is a spoiler free thread summarizing the result of the discussion about what to read first and providing a visual guide of what major spoilers exist between books (without revealing what those spoilers are) so new readers can devise their own read orders, if desired.
  2. There is also a discussion thread with spoilers where members who have read all the books discuss what spoilers exist and what read orders are possible (both for new readers and re-reads).

For readers who want a single, sensible read order without going into discussion threads, the below is a read order recommended by many knowledgeable forum members which:

  • Includes all existing Malazan World books apart from Path to Ascendancy novels
  • Is in a sensible and logical order for first-time readers
  • Does not contain any spoilers being revealed before the events occur
  • Follows chronological order except where the authors intended not to
  • Doesn't go into novellas too early, so you have some time to immerse yourself in Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates

↓Main 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

Reading order recommendations by the authorsEdit

In November 2017, Erikson and Esslemont's North American publisher Tor posted an article entitled "The Malazan Authors' Suggested Reading Order for the Series Is Not What You Would Expect". The list is strictly chronological by storyline. Although said to be approved by the authors, neither is quoted in the article. Fans have been skeptical over the list, considering it places two unfinished prequel trilogies at its start. One fan on claimed to have contacted Erikson about the article. In the response posted by the fan, Erikson said the article likely spawned from a chronological listing he and Esslemont had put together for Tor several years earlier.[1]

In a December 2017 interview (scroll down for English translation), Erikson preferred an order based on publishing date.

"I have seen a number of projected orders. For myself, I would take it in the basic order of publication dates. Why? Well, thematically, the internal timeline is less important than the meta-reality of when we, as writers, wrote the books. Even in our flashback works, we cannot help but be aware of what we’ve written before, and how the two forces resonate with one another. It would, in my humble opinion, be a mistake to ignore that element."
―Steven Erikson[[src]]

Reading order diagramEdit

A diagram showing the interaction between the varying books, devised by D'rek from the Malazan Empire Forum. You could use this to make up your own reading order.

Reading order diagram

Notes and referencesEdit

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