Malazan Empire: The Be-All and End-All Read Order Thread - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

  • 4 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

The Be-All and End-All Read Order Thread SPOILERS!!!

#1 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 17 September 2014 - 04:05 PM

I think asking what order they should read the books in has become by far the most common question asked by newcomers to the forum. The answer is not necessarily very easy to find for those unfamiliar with the forum layout/search options. Furthermore, many read-order threads have spoilers in them (often because they are re-read order threads!).

So, in order to provide this answer to newcomers looking for it in a simple and spoiler-free way, I am going to create and sticky a thread in the Braven Tooth's Recruiting Yard sub-forum that outlines the recommended reading order with absolutely no spoilers in the OP or the rest of the thread.

Of course, we need to decide collectively what that order is. We've all discussed this before in a multitude of other threads, but some of those are very old. As more books have been released and as discussions have gone on, I'm sure people's opinions have shifted to various degrees (mine certainly have changed). So, regardless of what anyone has said before in other threads, let's discuss the read-order in totality in this thread, with all spoiler discussion encouraged! The results here I will use for the spoiler-free newbie thread.




MAJOR SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS!

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.




{{I will edit this section with updates as new points are brought up}}


GotM
--Original starting point
--Technically the big ST/C = Kel/Dancer reveal is heavily hinted at here, but almost no one catches this on their first read


NoK
--Both NoK and DG make a big reveal of ST/C = Kel/Dancer - either one can go first but will spoil the other a bit
--Both NoK and MoI make a big reveal of Artan[thos] = Tayschrenn - either one can go first but will spoil the other a bit {D'rek: I think the MoI reveal is a "bigger" mystery so NoK *can* be read before MoI but should usually be recommended to go after MoI)
--Works as a starting point into the series


DG
--Chronology: after GotM
--Continuation of story: Fiddler/Crokus/Kalam/Apsalar from GotM
--Both NoK and DG make a big reveal of ST/C = Kel/Dancer - either one can go first but will spoil the other a bit
--Some people have read DG before GotM and survived the experience


MoI
--Chronology: after GotM, approximately equal to DG
--Continuation of story: everything from GotM
--Both NoK and MoI make a big reveal of Artan[thos] = Tayschrenn - either one can go first but will spoil the other a bit {D'rek: I think the MoI reveal is a "bigger" mystery so NoK *can* be read before MoI but should usually be recommended to go after MoI)
--Some people have read GotM>>MoI>>DG>>HoC. Duiker's story in the epilogue then is sort of a through-line to DG.


HoC
--Chronology: Karsa's section is around/before GotM. The rest is after DG and overlaps a bit with MoI (end of MoI is about halfway through HoC)
--Continuation of story: many elements/characters from both DG and MoI


MT
--Chronology: before GotM
--Continuation of story: none, though MT is the tale begun by Trull at the end of HoC
--Some people have read MT first. This works in many sense because MT is a fair bit standalone.


tBH
--Chronology: after HoC
--Continuation of story: many elements/chars from MoI, HoC and MT
--Cameos of Kiska and Temper, who so far have only been seen in NoK - NoK should probably be read before tBH, the more recently the better for these cameos to be noticed.


RG
--Chronology: after tBH
--Continuation of story: MoI, MT, tBH



RotCG
--Chronology: after RG (Toc the Elder is still alive)
--Continuation of story: mostly just tBH


TtH
--Chronology/Continuation: after MoI, RG (Karsa), RotCG (Dassem)
--Moon breaking is a major reference for chronology of other stuff


DoD
-references Laseen's death, so huge spoiler for RotCG


TCG
-


SW
-references the death of Hood/Rake, so big spoiler for TtH


OST
-


B&B
-shows the fallout of TCG, so big spoiler/continuity for TCG


Assail
-continued fallout from TCG


Bauchelain & Korbal Broach novellas
--BF, tLoLE, WoBM are in that chronological order and all occur before MoI
--tHD sometime after MoI
--CPT sometime after tHD
--no major spoilers from any of these to MBotF or NotME


Goats of Glory
--Chronologically: sometime after at least tBH, more likely TtH due to the moon being broken
--refers to some western 7C continent places indirectly, so proably best read not too long after tBH?

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
3

#2 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 17 September 2014 - 04:13 PM

To start, I think we can all agree that we recommend reading the MBotF novels in their normal order. However, I think we can note that MoI/DG *can* be flipped and that MT *can* be read first (but that this is not the recommended order).

Likewise, I think we would recommend all the NotME be read in their normal order, too, right?

As for where to interleave NotME and MBotF, I'd like to hear some thoughts about NoK - I think everyone will agree that sometime before tBH is good but opinions on just how early might vary.

RotCG after RG should be a no-brainer at this point, right? I know this was debated a while back due to publishing order or something, but the Toc bits definitely should put RotCG after RG, and the Dassem plotline flowing from RotCG into TtH works really well, too. Plus it's good to have a sense of time having passed since tBH when we get back to the situations with the Wickans or with Mallick Rel and they are quite farther advanced than they were in tBH.

Then TtH. Honestly, after TtH I kinda feel like any order of SW, DoD, OST and TCG would work (as long as DoD is before TCG). Not sure what we would recommend most... I guess SW >> OST >> DoD >> TCG ... but I feel like there aren't any significant spoilers between any of these and it works any which way, no? I almost put B&B in there, but I remember a good point from a previous discussion about how the B&B ending kinda points out that the good guys won in TCG and the jade strangers are leaving.

So then, I guess that means definitely B&B >> Assail last.


Discuss!!!

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#3 User is offline   blackzoid 

  • Mortal Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Joined: 13-September 07

Posted 17 September 2014 - 04:53 PM

I'd put SW before TTH. While no mention is ever made in any other book of the moon exploding, Hood is clearly stated to be still the God of Death in SW.
Though that then ruins the Hounds of Light reveal in TTH. Don't know really.

NoK just before TBH works best for me. An ease back to the Malazan main world after Letheras in MT.

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 17 September 2014 - 04:53 PM

0

#4 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 17 September 2014 - 05:05 PM

 blackzoid, on 17 September 2014 - 04:53 PM, said:

I'd put SW before TTH. While no mention is ever made in any other book of the moon exploding, Hood is clearly stated to be still the God of Death in SW.
Though that then ruins the Hounds of Light reveal in TTH. Don't know really.


The Hound of Light is a very good point.

Hood as God of Death isn't *too* bad, I think. It's not a spoiler, just a chronology issue. Even if people have read TtH first, they would hopefully just recognize that SW is happening before TtH and not be too put off by it. Personally, I think the spoiler would trump the chronology and we should recommend TtH before SW in that case.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#5 User is offline   Kanubis 

  • Captain of Team Quick Ben
  • Group: Team Quick Ben
  • Posts: 762
  • Joined: 21-October 09
  • Location:Copenhagen

Posted 17 September 2014 - 06:30 PM

I think I might be alone in this but while I agree about RotCG before TTH, I would honestly then suggest to a first time reader to finished the BotF books and then the rest of the NotME books.

There are bits here and there in ICE's novels that technically 'work better' read in the right place, but in all honesty I think these are bits that only a re-reader is going to give a shit about.

A lot of us here that love this series (and now rank TTH as one of the best parts) found TTH and DoD heavy going and occasionally an effort. New readers seem to find the same. I think a first time reader needs the momentum of ploughing through the three in a row. Can you imagine ever suggesting to a new reader who has just finished DoD that they flit back to Genebackis for a while book before finding out what happens to the Bonehunters? So maybe you can push it one book earlier, but that's a huge gap between RG and DoD for a first time reader.


I think we have a skewed perception. Of course we're happy to chill with Picker and co for a bit more before reading the finale again... because we know what happens. Mostly, we love what happens and it's a tasty treat we can wait for, but only because we know it's coming.

So yeah, for me after RG it's TTH, DoD, TCG, SW, OST, B&B, Assail.
Captain of Team Quick Ben. Also teaboy.

0

#6 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 17 September 2014 - 07:32 PM

 Kanubis, on 17 September 2014 - 06:30 PM, said:

I think I might be alone in this but while I agree about RotCG before TTH, I would honestly then suggest to a first time reader to finished the BotF books and then the rest of the NotME books.

There are bits here and there in ICE's novels that technically 'work better' read in the right place, but in all honesty I think these are bits that only a re-reader is going to give a shit about.

A lot of us here that love this series (and now rank TTH as one of the best parts) found TTH and DoD heavy going and occasionally an effort. New readers seem to find the same. I think a first time reader needs the momentum of ploughing through the three in a row. Can you imagine ever suggesting to a new reader who has just finished DoD that they flit back to Genebackis for a while book before finding out what happens to the Bonehunters? So maybe you can push it one book earlier, but that's a huge gap between RG and DoD for a first time reader.


I think we have a skewed perception. Of course we're happy to chill with Picker and co for a bit more before reading the finale again... because we know what happens. Mostly, we love what happens and it's a tasty treat we can wait for, but only because we know it's coming.

So yeah, for me after RG it's TTH, DoD, TCG, SW, OST, B&B, Assail.


But... but... those of us who read the books as they were published had to wait over a WHOLE YEAR between DoD and TCG!!!


(waits for "Yeah, and see what happened to you!" responses)

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#7 User is offline   amphibian 

  • Ribbit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 7,119
  • Joined: 28-September 06
  • Location:Upstate NY
  • Interests:Hopping around

Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:08 PM

I also think it's wisest to have the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach books to be read as apertifs AFTER Memories of Ice in the order of their publication at pretty much any time the reader wants to read about a murderous pair of sorcerers.

It's okay if we hop backwards at some point to follow interesting characters. We do not need to start at the earliest point of everything and then proceed forwards. Backwards and sideways hops, trips and warren jaunts are plenty fun to go through.
I survived the Permian and all I got was this t-shirt.
0

#8 User is offline   blackzoid 

  • Mortal Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Joined: 13-September 07

Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:17 PM

There are 2 orders of reads.
1: First time readers
2: Re-readers


This is the order I am going to follow on my next reread (Its not mine, maybe D'reks I think)

1: Blood Follows
2: Gardens of the Moon
3: The Lees of Laughter's End
4: Deadhouse Gates
5: 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: Return of the Crimson Guard
13: Reaper's Gale
14: Stonewielder
15: Toll the Hounds
16: Orb Sceptre Throne
17: Goats of Glory (could be a nice cooldown before DoD-TCG)
18: Dust of Dreams
19: The Crippled God
20: Blood and Bone
21: Assail
22: Crack'd Pot Trail (is it not a fitting epilogue to everything?)

23: Forge of Darkness
24: Fall of Light
25: Walk in Shadow

26: Dancer's Lament
27: ICE Early Empire 2
28: ICE Early Empire 3

29: Karsa Trilogy 1
29: Karsa Trilogy 2
29: Karsa Trilogy 3

So, up until MT you alternate novels and B&KB novellas, and then after MT you alternate SE/ICE.



But if I was to recommend to a First time reader, to intermix ICE with SE without any fear of spoilers (Chronology be damned) then it would be
in publication order, with the reminder that the PS Publishing of RoTCG did come before TTH and that SW can be included between DoD and TCG to break it up if the first time reader wants a break from the DoD/TCG heavy going.

Gardens of the Moon
Deadhouse Gates
Memories of Ice
House of Chains
Midnight Tides
Night of Knives
The Bonehunters
Reaper's Gale
Return of the Crimson Guard
Toll the Hounds
Dust of Dreams
The Crippled God
Stonewielder, maybe between DoD/TCG as that was where it was published and Cotillion mentions the "whorl" in TCG
Orb, Spectre, Throne
Blood and Bone
Assail
0

#9 User is offline   Kanubis 

  • Captain of Team Quick Ben
  • Group: Team Quick Ben
  • Posts: 762
  • Joined: 21-October 09
  • Location:Copenhagen

Posted 18 September 2014 - 12:28 PM

 D, on 17 September 2014 - 07:32 PM, said:

But... but... those of us who read the books as they were published had to wait over a WHOLE YEAR between DoD and TCG!!!

(waits for "Yeah, and see what happened to you!" responses)


Yeah, and see wh...

Nah, it's a fair point.

But c'mooon, if you'd just finished DoD for the first time and someone held up TCG and SW and said "well, now you can find out what happened to the Bonehunters or instea...." that's as far as they'd get. You'd have grabbed TCG and bludgeoned them to unconsciousness with it in horror at the very notion of doing anything else.
Captain of Team Quick Ben. Also teaboy.

0

#10 User is offline   blackzoid 

  • Mortal Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Joined: 13-September 07

Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:06 PM

I'm not sure, I think I might have picked SW. I know TCG would be good, I would not know if SW would be great.
I'd pick the certainty of something being awesome for second, so I can come up in enjoyment rather then down over two books as SW would be an unknown quantity.
And I would need a break after DoD.
0

#11 User is offline   Egwene 

  • Emperor
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 793
  • Joined: 09-July 08

Posted 18 September 2014 - 01:42 PM

Maybe the answer depends on the reader. If like me you tend to have one book on the go and finish it before going onto the next one, then I suggest all of the main series in publication order first, then ICE, then back to FoD and the rest. To me tMBotF is one continuous large story and I read it like that.

If, however, you are like my other half and always have several books on the go at the same time, then you probably won't mind switching between different styles of writing. In that case I think reading SE and ICE mixed in order of publication is ok. I would agree though that nothing should come between DoD and tCG as the suspense was rotten!

The other recommendation I always make is that reading GotM twice before going on to the next book is incredibly rewarding and will make so much more sense of everything that follows. Dare them to just re-read the first chapter and see...
0

#12 User is offline   Abyss 

  • abyssus abyssum invocat
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 19,846
  • Joined: 22-May 03
  • Location:The call is coming from inside the house!!!!
  • Interests:Interesting.

Posted 18 September 2014 - 02:08 PM

Thoughts... there are any number of variations, but i tend to fall on publication order first, with what the authors intended as equally weighty...


DG before MoI because that's how SE wrote them.
MT as #5 for the same reason.
So NoK before TB because Kiska, Hettar and Temper are actual characters, not random names that way. Also that was the published order, albeit NoK was a ltd ed.
DoD then TCG because they're one book. The only reason to read SW in the middle is because it physically arrived before TCG.
The B&KB books after MoI, because MoI is such a perfect intro to the characters but also because they were all written AFTER MoI, thus the reader is intended to have met them there.

The only point i flex on is going all the way to Assail before starting the FoD trilo, simply because FoD does start a new and separate series while Assail concludes an ongoing one.

Goats... since it was written in 2012 after TCG i put it there.

Thus, my vote for reading order...

GotM
DG
MoI
(B&KB novellas at any point after MoI)
HoC
MT
NoK
TB
RG
RotCG
TtH
DoD
TCG
(Goats)
SW
OST
BnB
Assail

FoD
THIS IS YOUR REMINDER THAT THERE IS A
'VIEW NEW CONTENT' BUTTON THAT
ALLOWS YOU TO VIEW NEW CONTENT
1

#13 User is offline   Salt-Man Z 

  • My pen halts, though I do not
  • View gallery
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 3,989
  • Joined: 07-February 08
  • Location:Apple Valley, MN

Posted 19 September 2014 - 03:11 AM

As for the B&KB stories, do we recommend publication order?

Blood Follows
The Healthy Dead
The Lees of Laughter's End
Crack'd Pot Trail
The Wurms of Blearmouth

Or do we go chronologically?

Blood Follows
The Lees of Laughter's End
The Wurms of Blearmouth
The Healthy Dead
Crack'd Pot Trail

(And is that the correct chronological order?)

Personally I'd vote for chronological, as I don't think it particularly matters one way or the other, and they just make more sense that way.
"Here is light. You will say that it is not a living entity, but you miss the point that it is more, not less. Without occupying space, it fills the universe. It nourishes everything, yet itself feeds upon destruction. We claim to control it, but does it not perhaps cultivate us as a source of food? May it not be that all wood grows so that it can be set ablaze, and that men and women are born to kindle fires?"
―Gene Wolfe, The Citadel of the Autarch
0

#14 User is offline   Abyss 

  • abyssus abyssum invocat
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 19,846
  • Joined: 22-May 03
  • Location:The call is coming from inside the house!!!!
  • Interests:Interesting.

Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:14 AM

Pretty certain Wurms is last, after Trail.
THIS IS YOUR REMINDER THAT THERE IS A
'VIEW NEW CONTENT' BUTTON THAT
ALLOWS YOU TO VIEW NEW CONTENT
0

#15 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:21 PM

 Abyss, on 19 September 2014 - 04:14 AM, said:

Pretty certain Wurms is last, after Trail.


Isn't Wurms when B&KB's ship from tLoLE lands on the west coast of Genebackis? I thought B&KB chronologically would be:

BF
tLoLE
WoBM
[MoI]
tHD
CPT

with their appearnce and OST before, after, or in the middle of tHD >> CPT (since we never learn what continent Quaint or the plains of CPT (I forget the name) are on.

I would lean towards chronological on the B&KB books, especially if we intermingle them with other books, so that it makes a bit more sense each time a reader goes back to them.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#16 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

  • Reaper's Fail
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Joined: 10-May 10
  • Location:Westchester, NY

Posted 24 September 2014 - 03:06 PM

Can we sticky this?
0

#17 User is offline   Abyss 

  • abyssus abyssum invocat
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 19,846
  • Joined: 22-May 03
  • Location:The call is coming from inside the house!!!!
  • Interests:Interesting.

Posted 24 September 2014 - 04:41 PM

 Whisperzzzzzzz, on 24 September 2014 - 03:06 PM, said:

Can we sticky this?


It's loaded with spoilers. If we get to something somewhat conclusive we can repost that to a pin'd thread, but i wouldn't direct newcomers here.
THIS IS YOUR REMINDER THAT THERE IS A
'VIEW NEW CONTENT' BUTTON THAT
ALLOWS YOU TO VIEW NEW CONTENT
0

#18 User is offline   blackzoid 

  • Mortal Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,049
  • Joined: 13-September 07

Posted 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM

But we are pretty close to it, if all we are doing is talking about the B&KB Novellas
Excluding the Novellas as a list for Newcomers (not rereaders) can we all universally recommend Abysses's list:

GotM
DG
MoI
HoC
MT
NoK (I like it here, but remember Ash? He appears as a ghost in HoC. We could put this before HoC as a result.)
TB
RG
RotCG
TtH
DoD
TCG
SW ( I still think this one can be up for debate. Can we put it after TTH and before DoD? Just to ease off on the ICE-slog a bit.)
OST
BnB (This does use the Azathani term originated in FoD but its not a big deal.)
Assail
FoD

4 ICE books in a row is a bit too much for me.

This post has been edited by blackzoid: 25 September 2014 - 11:43 AM

0

#19 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 12,212
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 25 September 2014 - 02:44 PM

 blackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

NoK (I like it here, but remember Ash? He appears as a ghost in HoC. We could put this before HoC as a result.)


Well, we don't know for sure that that was in fact Ash...

 blackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

SW ( I still think this one can be up for debate. Can we put it after TTH and before DoD? Just to ease off on the ICE-slog a bit.)


Yeah, I kinda like that, too. The only downside is it makes a big gap between SW and BnB which sorta happen at the same time and have that one scene that is viewed from a different side ine ach book.


 blackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

BnB (This does use the Azathani term originated in FoD but its not a big deal.)


IIRC, TCG uses that term, too. Not a big deal, I think.


 blackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

4 ICE books in a row is a bit too much for me.


No guarantee that a given new reader would feel the same, though.

---

I will try and find some time to make a prototype big chart that puts this info all together in a handy visual form, post it here, we can discuss that, I can make some modifications, and then I will make the Braven Tooth thread.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#20 User is offline   Gorefest 

  • Witness
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 2,415
  • Joined: 29-May 14

Posted 25 September 2014 - 03:08 PM

 D, on 25 September 2014 - 02:44 PM, said:

 blackzoid, on 25 September 2014 - 11:39 AM, said:

SW ( I still think this one can be up for debate. Can we put it after TTH and before DoD? Just to ease off on the ICE-slog a bit.)


Yeah, I kinda like that, too. The only downside is it makes a big gap between SW and BnB which sorta happen at the same time and have that one scene that is viewed from a different side ine ach book.


I'm still leaning towards DoD -SW-B&B-TCG, even though it does put a bit of a gap between DoD and TCG. I originally read all SE first and then ICE, and I seem to recall thinking when reading SW and B&B "damn, wish I'd known that before ending MBotF". Seems to be a bit of (albeit non-vital) info in those books that do somewhat clarify certain events in TCG.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
0

Share this topic:


  • 4 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users