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The Wheel of Time Books in Order of Publication (Paperbacks)

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The Wheel of Time book series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. With that in mind, don’t feel alone in taking up the challenge of completing this epic fantasy series by Robert Jordan.

I’ve listed The Wheel of Time books in order of publication, which means the prequel, New Spring, is nestled amongst the 14 books that make up the main series. This is deliberate, as I believe the books are best read in the order of their release (though I tend to read New Spring after the fifth book nowadays).

Old editions of The Wheel of Time paperbacks, with text reading "The Wheel of Time Paperbacks: The Wheel of Time Books in Order of Publication."

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A Brief Word About The Wheel of Time Books

The Wheel of Time has a massive place in the hearts of fantasy fans. With over 2,000 named characters and 15 books, including the prequel, the journey for readers is challenging but rewarding. Many return to reread the series or their companion books, discovering more about The Wheel of Time world each time

The fan community is large and welcoming and will only grow following the launch of The Wheel of Time TV series. I hope you dive in and experience the world for yourself, perhaps discover 7 great reasons to read The Wheel of Time if you’re still undecided.

The Wheel of Time Books in Order of Publication

Before you charge ahead, I’ve provided my own home-written book blurb for each entry, so please be wary if you want to avoid spoilers from later in the series.

These are The Wheel of Time books in order of publication:

Book 1: The Eye of the World (1990)

The Eye of the World paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts trees in the foreground and misty mountains beyond.

The Dark One’s servants hunt for the Dragon Reborn, a man hailed by prophecy as the world’s savior and destroyer. Their search ranges into the sheltered village of Emond’s Field, where Rand al’Thor and his friends appear to be the targets of savage monsters.

They flee for their lives under the guidance of a powerful woman and her Warder, seeking a place of safety. But can they outrun the Shadow?

The Wheel of Time turns and weaves as it wills in a world of myths and legends. What was, what may be, and what is may yet succumb to darkness.

Books on a blue background. Blue and white text reads “The Wheel of Time Book 1: The Eye of the World Book Review.”
Books on a blue background. Blue and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 1: The Eye of the World Paperback.”

Book 2: The Great Hunt (1990)

The Great Hunt paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts tall trees and bracken in a forest.

The Forsaken walk the world again, freed from the Dark One’s prison, and the Shadow strengthens.

Though the nation of Illian calls on adventurers to find the Horn of Valere, it has already been retrieved. The fabled horn will raise dead heroes from their sleep, and they will serve whoever sounds it.

But the Horn of Valere is in the hands of Darkfriends.

The forerunners of a forgotten dynasty land their ships to reclaim what is theirs, an invasion that will upset the world’s order and the free will of its people. The Aes Sedai have prescribed a fate that the shepherd Rand al’Thor is desperate to deny, but can he escape his destiny? The Wheel continues to weave without compassion, and the Pattern demands a Dragon.

Old books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 2: The Great Hunt Paperback.”

Book 3: The Dragon Reborn (1991)

The Dragon Reborn paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts the tops of trees with a stone fortress in the distance.

The Dragon Reborn has proclaimed himself and intends to see the prophecies fulfilled. He plans to claim “the sword that is not a sword” from the impregnable stone fortress that holds it. The Forsaken will do anything to stop him.

Rand al’Thor travels alone, but Moiraine and her party are in desperate pursuit. They encounter Darkhounds, strangeness, and new companions on the way.

The Forsaken have rooted themselves in the Westlands, and the seals on the Dark One’s prison weaken. The winds of time are blowing a darkening storm.

Books on a green background. Green and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 3: The Dragon Reborn Paperback.”

Book 4: The Shadow Rising (1992)

The Shadow Rising paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts dark clouds hanging over a rocky desert.

The Stone of Tear has been taken, and the People of the Dragon have declared themselves. Prophecies are spoken of in fear by those living to see them fulfilled. The Light has its champion… Rand al’Thor.

Rand must prove himself to his decriers in the harsh deserts of the Aiel Waste and learn how to control his magic.

What he can’t avoid, though, is the madness that comes to all men who wield the One Power. As Rand struggles with his identity crisis, the Forsaken conspire to win favor from their Great Lord of the Dark.

Books on a gray background. Gray and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 4: The Shadow Rising Paperback.”

Book 5: The Fires of Heaven (1993)

The Fires of Heaven paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a wooden door with a stone border.

The seals that bind the Dark One to its prison are failing, and the immortal Forsaken lay their traps in anticipation of the Great Lord’s freedom.

Rand al’Thor knows he must strike a blow against his enemies, but the forces he leads are fractured by ambition and treachery.

News of murder strikes at Rand’s heart. He is ready to unleash his fiery vengeance on the perpetrator, but everything comes at a price.

Books on a red background. Red and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 5: The Fires of Heaven Paperback.”

Book 6: Lord of Chaos (1994)

Lord of Chaos paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a twisted tree and a blazing orange sky.

Rand al’Thor must unite the nations if his forces of the Light are to be ready for Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle. He makes unlikely allies and calls an amnesty so dangerous the world will shake in fear.

The arrogance is not lost on the fractured Aes Sedai petitioning the Dragon Reborn, but Rand does not care for their manipulation.

In the White Tower, Elaida commissions a trap to snare the Dragon while the rebel Aes Sedai plan to unseat her with an Amyrlin of their own. The whole world must suffer the consequences, and plans unravel. Who will command the war against the Shadow?

Of course, the Forsaken and their Darkfriends will want an influence over all the squabbling powers in the world. And the Great Lord of the Dark has decreed… let the Lord of Chaos rule.

Books on a white background. White typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 6: Lord of Chaos Paperback.”

Book 7: A Crown of Swords (1996)

A Crown of Swords paperback, June 2013 edition from Tor Books. The cover features Cadsuane greeting Rand al'Thor.

Free at last from the White Tower’s insipid plot to subdue him, Rand can bear his rage on the Forsaken Sammael, who wears the crown of Illian.

Elsewhere, in the roughest district of Ebou Dar, Elayne, Nynaeve, and Aviendha begin their search for the Bowl of the Winds, a ter’angreal that may repel the Dark One’s growing control of the weather.

Mat is there to support them, but perhaps the most petrifying of Shadowspawn also stalks the city.

In the outlying village of Salidar, Egwene gathers an army and uses her subtle tenacity to engage the rebels. She hopes to reclaim Tar Valon and reunite the Aes Sedai.

Books on a yellow background. Yellow and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 7: A Crown of Swords Paperback.”

Book 8: The Path of Daggers (1998)

The Path of Daggers paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts the portcullis gate of a city wall, and the choppy water that rolls against it.

Rand takes drastic measures to end the Seanchan invasion in Ebou Dar, but has he gone too far? On the heights, the paths are paved with daggers, as the Seanchan saying goes.

The Bowl of the Winds has been found, but it will take a large circle of channelers to avert the unnatural weather parching the land. Elayne can put forward her claim to the Lion throne but may be opposed. Meanwhile, Egwene asserts herself and prepares for a siege.

Perrin hopes to silence the Prophet in Ghealdan but suffers a loss that cuts deeper than any knife. The daggers at Rand’s disposal are turned on him and taste of betrayal. The winds of time are cruel.

Books on a brown background. Brown and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 8: The Path of Daggers Paperback.”

Book 9: Winter’s Heart (2000)

Winter's Heart paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a snow covered mountain and the tops of trees.

Winter has come to the Westlands as Perrin hunts down those who have taken his heart. Elayne must deal with scheming nobles who plan to thwart her claim, and Mat will face his destiny in a bid for freedom.

Rand’s grip on sanity loosens, as do the minds of his Asha’man, affected by the Dark One’s taint. All may be lost and the world destroyed if madness takes them all.

It will take an ancient power, so strong it may cause another breaking, to cleanse saidin of its corruption. This is the first time anyone has dared to use it, but these are the end of days, and there are no easy choices.

A row of books on a white background. White typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 9: Winter’s Heart Paperback.”

Book 10: Crossroads of Twilight (2003)

Crossroads of Twilight paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a twilight haze in a forest with tall trees.

The Seanchan invaders may yet be the force that damns any chance for the Light at the Last Battle. For Egwene, it means unifying the White Tower once again as bloodlessly as possible while Rand must call a truce with these enemies, but at what cost?

Duty is heavier than a mountain, and trust is not a friend to the Dragon Reborn.

Perrin makes choices that might shame him were his cause not so desperate, and Mat’s courting of the Daughter of the Nine Moons has the dice rattling.

A row of books on a green background. Green and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 10: Crossroads of Twilight Paperback.”

Prequel: New Spring (2004)

New Spring paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a grassy plain with mountains on the horizon.

Moiraine is a young and powerful Aes Sedai, new to the shawl but already burdened by a terrible Foretelling. It’s not just in search of a Warder that she leaves the White Tower – a far more dangerous quest lies ahead for Moiraine Damodred Sedai.

Following the last days of the Aiel War, al’Lan Mandragoran, the uncrowned king of lost Malkier, returns to the Borderlands.

The city of Canluum should be a refuge from the Dark One’s servants, but the Shadow is growing stronger, and its reach stretches further than the desolated Blight. The lives and destinies of Lan and Moiraine are bonded together by events in Canluum, and they find a common cause in a darkening world.

Books on a yellow background. Yellow and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Prequel: New Spring Paperback.”

Book 11: Knife of Dreams (2005)

Knife of Dreams paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts snow-tipped mountains and a silvery sky.

All signs suggest that Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, is imminent, and Rand must prepare himself. He has his own turmoil to fight first and enemies that must be sated if the Light can prevail. Brokering peace is the thread of hope he hangs on now.

The winds of time have battered against Caemlyn, where Elayne’s rule is threatened by civil war and powerful Darkfriends.

The Pattern has unraveled stability in the White Tower, and Egwene must find influence though bereft of rank and station. The Wheel’s weaves are brewing a storm; even the Seanchan know the taste of betrayal.

Books on a red background. Red and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 11: Knife of Dreams Paperback.”

Book 12: The Gathering Storm (2009)

The Gathering Storm paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a raging ocean.

Rand’s mood is darkening, and the Forsaken continue to thwart his carefully laid plans. The gathering storm is a rage that the Dragon Reborn cannot mute, and his friends fear his wrath. The Last Battle is coming, and the world is not ready.

An accusation derails Egwene and her warnings about the Seanchan fall on deaf ears. She must prevail if the Aes Sedai are to play their part in these final days.

Trust is shattered, and blood spills as evil falls heavily on the lands.

Books on a stormy gray background. Gray and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 12: The Gathering Storm Paperback.”

Book 13: Towers of Midnight (2010)

Towers of Midnight paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a dark sky making shadows of six stone towers.

The seals on the Dark One’s prison crumble, the Forsaken take control in the World of Dreams, and the invincible gholam approaches Caemlyn. Shadowspawn spill from the Blight, Darkfriends muster, and the Pattern unravels.

The Last Battle has begun, and the world trembles.

Perrin must master the Wolf Dream to survive while Mat plays a game that cannot be won. The world’s fate hangs on the decisions of Rand and Egwene, but they are at odds with the plan. May the Light protect them all!

Books on a blue background. Blue and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 13: Towers of Midnight Paperback.”

Book 14: A Memory of Light (2013)

A Memory of Light paperback, Orbit's September 2021 edition. The cover depicts a blast of light at the top of a dark mountain.

The nations gather at the Field of Merrilor to decide how the forces of the Light should act. The Dark has mustered, too, and souls are being broken.

The Last Battle brings horror and devastation and seems set to be decided in Shayol Ghul as the Dark One breaks free of his prison.

The Forsaken rain terror on the desperate armies fighting them, and forces of Shadowspawn, Darkfriends, and Dreadlords defile all.

The Last Battle is fought in the Dreamworld, too. The Pattern trembles, the Wheel creaks, and the world needs its Dragon. An Age is ending, but will it be the last? Will the Wheel of Time be broken?

The Last Battle will decide everyone’s fate. May the Creator shelter them all.

Books on a black background. Gray and white typography reads “The Wheel of Time Book 14: A Memory of Light Paperback.”

I hope you enjoyed discovering The Wheel of Time books in order of publication. Perhaps this post might help you decide if you’re ready to tackle them all yet:

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TAP FOR MY TOP 7 REASONS FOR READING THE SERIES

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!

Russell

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TAP TO EXPLORE THE HARDCOVERS IN PUBLICATION ORDER
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TAP TO EXPLORE THE COMPLETE AUDIOBOOK SERIES
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TAP TO EXPLORE ROSAMUND PIKE’S AUDIOBOOKS
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TAP TO VIEW THE COMPLETE SERIES OF E-BOOKS

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