Malazan Empire: Spoiler-free Read Order Thread - Malazan Empire

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Spoiler-free Read Order Thread A thread for new members to learn what order to read the books in

#1 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 02:45 AM

One of the most common questions asked by new readers is what order the books should be read in. Since there are two intertwined main series by two authors, plus a series of companion short stories, a prequel trilogy and another upcoming trilogy after that, it is definitely not as straightforward as most fantasy series! There is no one order, and you don't need to read every book

Of course, new readers want to learn what order to read without being spoiled for any of the events in the books themselves!

So, with input from the forum, I prepared this horrifyingly complicated-looking graph. It is completely spoiler-free!


Attached File  Malaz Recommended Read Order Chart v2.jpg (1.14MB)
Number of downloads: 284


I hope that new members will find it useful!

This thread can be used to discuss or ask questions about the read order of the series. However, all discussion in this thread should be absolutely and completely spoiler-free.

Any read order discussion which does contain spoilers should be done in this thread (which includes tons of HUGE SPOILERS for the entire series, you've been warned!).

 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.
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#2 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 04:48 AM

How come there's no arrow from DG to MoI?
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#3 User is offline   Luv2B_Sassy 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 06:34 AM

There is, but it's white. To represent, uh, ice.
They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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#4 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 01:50 PM

 Whisperzzzzzzz, on 28 October 2014 - 04:48 AM, said:

How come there's no arrow from DG to MoI?


Because there aren't any storylines which go directly from DG to MoI.

It is still recommended to read DG before MoI, as that is the proper MBotF series order and publishing order (as denoted by DG being leftwards of MoI) but there aren't really any ill effects from reading MoI first (as some people on these forums who did so have attested).

 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.
-1

#5 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 05:40 PM

Ah, okay. I just went back to read the text in the upper left of the image, and that explained it more clearly.
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#6 User is offline   Tru 

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 07:23 PM

I read through the other thread on this first to see if my question was addressed there, and accidentally read one spoiler I wish I had not, but oh well..I just hate asking redundant questions that have been addressed 100 times already. Anyway, there is another site whic shall remain nameless that puts RG after RotCG for this reason, which I quote from that site:

Quote

Return of the Crimson Guard picks up shortly after The Bonehunters, whilst Reaper's Gale tells us explicitly that a year has passed since the events of TBH.


I see they are going on time frame, but since this chart, and all other posts here clearly put RG first, I was wondering why? This is the "fork in the road" I am currently at in the series, so would like to choose wisely. thanks.
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#7 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 08:14 PM

 Tru, on 08 November 2014 - 07:23 PM, said:

I read through the other thread on this first to see if my question was addressed there, and accidentally read one spoiler I wish I had not, but oh well..I just hate asking redundant questions that have been addressed 100 times already.


Noooooooooo, that was the whole point of this thread!!!


 Tru, on 08 November 2014 - 07:23 PM, said:

Anyway, there is another site whic shall remain nameless that puts RG after RotCG for this reason, which I quote from that site:

Quote

Return of the Crimson Guard picks up shortly after The Bonehunters, whilst Reaper's Gale tells us explicitly that a year has passed since the events of TBH.


I see they are going on time frame, but since this chart, and all other posts here clearly put RG first, I was wondering why? This is the "fork in the road" I am currently at in the series, so would like to choose wisely. thanks.




There is not too much difference in reading RotCG before RG or vice-versa. There is one little revelation near the end of RG, that if you read after RotCG will be a bit non-sensical (ie you will already know that revelation, and it won't make a whole lot of sense anymore either). But there's no big spoilers in RG for RotCG, nor any big spoilers in RotCG for RG.

Basically, you are 'safe' to read either one first, but things will make a bit more sense to read RG first.

 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

#8 User is offline   Tru 

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 04:40 PM

Quote

Noooooooooo, that was the whole point of this thread!!!


Yeah I know. *sigh* I'd assumed this sticky thread was not one to be commented on since there is a link you added for the main thread to discuss the topic. I'm new so I get confuzzled easily you see. At any rate, the spoiler wasn't huge, the true identity of a character going by a different name.

Looks like I have a decision to make then. Currently reading another shorter book so I've got a few days to decide. Thanks for the clarification.

This post has been edited by Tru: 09 November 2014 - 04:41 PM

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#9 User is offline   Math2 

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:31 AM

Few questions about your order. I've gotten recommendations not to read anything between DoD and tCG. So I was unsure of where to place OST, either before DoD, between DoD and tCG or after tCG.

I'd also gotten recommendations to put FoD at the very end of my readthrough, or after tCG (or OST depending on where you think that should be placed) but before BAB. Thoughts?

This post has been edited by Math2: 08 December 2014 - 02:31 AM

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#10 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 06:35 PM

 Math2, on 08 December 2014 - 02:31 AM, said:

Few questions about your order. I've gotten recommendations not to read anything between DoD and tCG. So I was unsure of where to place OST, either before DoD, between DoD and tCG or after tCG.


This is probably the toughest decision aside from DG vs NoK, and like that one there isn't really a 'right' answer.

First off, any of the three possibilities you listed are all fine - OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG, and vice versa.

Chronologically, TCG and OST take place at right about the same time, and each of them has vague call-outs to events going on in the other book. In that sense, it would almost be best to read both at the same time, swapping chapters :D

However, TCG has the bigger, more momentous finale to it because it is ending the 10 MBotF, and OST in some ways deliberately keeps things a bit smaller in scale so that it doesn't steal any of TCG's thunder.

The other issue is that DoD and TCG are sometimes said to be one big book, but this is only true in a vague sense. Yes, DoD has no epilogue and TCG has no prologue, but there are many storylines that are only prominent in one or the other, there are noticeable differences in themes and both books do their own independent { catch-up-on-missed-recent-events >> set-scene >> minor-action-piece >> drill-home-theme >> build-up >> convergence } structure rather than having such spread over the two books combined.


So, if you put OST before DoD and TCG {1}, you keep DoD/TCG together and end those 3 on TCG, but the call-outs from OST to TCG will be kinda weird when you have to wait through all of DoD for them to resolve.

If you put OST between DoD and TCG {2}, the call-outs between TCG and OST will line up much better, and TCG will still be the last of the 3, but you won't have DoD and TCG together.

If you pust OST after DoD and TCG {3}, you keep DoD/TCG together and the call-outs will still make sense, but OST may in some ways steal TCG's thunder a bit.


Personally, I think option {2} is the best, as the call-outs then serve in OST to hype up the later-read events of TCG and I don't find splitting DoD/TCG to be a big deal, but yours and anyone else's mileage may vary.



 Math2, on 08 December 2014 - 02:31 AM, said:

I'd also gotten recommendations to put FoD at the very end of my readthrough, or after tCG (or OST depending on where you think that should be placed) but before BAB. Thoughts?


There is one word that is used a couple times in BAB, but the meaning is only really revealed in FoD. In fact, the word is even used once in DoD, too. Arguably, you could want to read FoD before BAB because of that one word, but it's *really* not that important at all.

Also, there is a side character who shows up for about 4 pages in BAB, who some people speculate is the same character as another side character who shows up for about 2 pages in FoD. Again, it really doesn't matter all that much and you'll be fine with either order (no major spoilers either way). ^_^

I think it is more important to put FoD where you think it will fit your preferences best - some people might really not want to jump into the prequel trilogy until after they've finished the main sequences.

 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.
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#11 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of.... <spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion> ........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!

This post has been edited by D'rek: 09 December 2014 - 05:17 AM

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#12 User is offline   Tru 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 03:45 AM

 Andorion, on 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM, said:

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of....<spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion>........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!


*expletive*

so it's one of those..."trust me on this because if I tell you I'll have to kill you" things...but then it's also a "kind of" which means this may bother some but not others..and I have no way of knowing if I am part of the "some" group or the "others" group.....bleh...

This post has been edited by D'rek: 09 December 2014 - 05:17 AM

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#13 User is offline   Grief 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 04:11 AM

As regards the above, I would pretty strongly recommend reading DoD before OST.

Not sure how important reading DoD and TCG together really is. Either go with OST between DoD and TCG or after TCG.

Or OST after DoD after TCG, that's the proper spoiler free order :D

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Grief, FFS will you do something with your sig, it's bloody awful
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#14 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 05:20 AM

 Andorion, on 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM, said:

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of.... <spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion> ........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!


 Grief, on 09 December 2014 - 04:11 AM, said:

As regards the above, I would pretty strongly recommend reading DoD before OST.

Not sure how important reading DoD and TCG together really is. Either go with OST between DoD and TCG or after TCG.

Or OST after DoD after TCG, that's the proper spoiler free order :D



Not sure I agree. You're suggesting that Hint > Reveal > Unnecessary post-Hint is a better order than Hint > More Hint > Reveal when now that you mention it I think that would be the opposite of the case!

I posted more about this in the spoiler discussion thread. Take a look and see if you agree.

 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

#15 User is offline   Tru 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 08:47 PM

 D, on 09 December 2014 - 05:20 AM, said:

 Andorion, on 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM, said:

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of.... <spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion> ........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!


 Grief, on 09 December 2014 - 04:11 AM, said:

As regards the above, I would pretty strongly recommend reading DoD before OST.

Not sure how important reading DoD and TCG together really is. Either go with OST between DoD and TCG or after TCG.

Or OST after DoD after TCG, that's the proper spoiler free order :rolleyes:



Not sure I agree. You're suggesting that Hint > Reveal > Unnecessary post-Hint is a better order than Hint > More Hint > Reveal when now that you mention it I think that would be the opposite of the case!

I posted more about this in the spoiler discussion thread. Take a look and see if you agree.


It occurs to me now that a spoiler free read order thread might not serve it's purpose when the read order is in debate over things that cannot be spoiled for those who are really wanting the best read order. Luckily I'm still midway through Reapers Gale, but if/when you guys settle upon a consensus (I know this may be impossible) can you post the result of that debate here so people like me can decide which way to go without fear of horrible elder magic.
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#16 User is offline   Luv2B_Sassy 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:00 PM

There's plenty of spoiler-ful read order threads to go around. This thread is distinctly pro lack of debate.
They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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#17 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 10:26 PM

 Tru, on 09 December 2014 - 08:47 PM, said:

 D, on 09 December 2014 - 05:20 AM, said:

 Andorion, on 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM, said:

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of.... <spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion> ........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!


 Grief, on 09 December 2014 - 04:11 AM, said:

As regards the above, I would pretty strongly recommend reading DoD before OST.

Not sure how important reading DoD and TCG together really is. Either go with OST between DoD and TCG or after TCG.

Or OST after DoD after TCG, that's the proper spoiler free order :rolleyes:



Not sure I agree. You're suggesting that Hint > Reveal > Unnecessary post-Hint is a better order than Hint > More Hint > Reveal when now that you mention it I think that would be the opposite of the case!

I posted more about this in the spoiler discussion thread. Take a look and see if you agree.


It occurs to me now that a spoiler free read order thread might not serve it's purpose when the read order is in debate over things that cannot be spoiled for those who are really wanting the best read order. Luckily I'm still midway through Reapers Gale, but if/when you guys settle upon a consensus (I know this may be impossible) can you post the result of that debate here so people like me can decide which way to go without fear of horrible elder magic.


Of course!

 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.
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#18 User is offline   Tru 

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 05:01 PM

 D, on 09 December 2014 - 10:26 PM, said:

 Tru, on 09 December 2014 - 08:47 PM, said:

 D, on 09 December 2014 - 05:20 AM, said:

 Andorion, on 09 December 2014 - 01:51 AM, said:

Quote

OST won't spoil anything in DoD+TCG


Ahem.....yes it does.. kind of.... <spoiler box removed by D'rek - there's a separate thread for spoilers discussion> ........Cant say anymore its the new members thread!


 Grief, on 09 December 2014 - 04:11 AM, said:

As regards the above, I would pretty strongly recommend reading DoD before OST.

Not sure how important reading DoD and TCG together really is. Either go with OST between DoD and TCG or after TCG.

Or OST after DoD after TCG, that's the proper spoiler free order :crybaby:



Not sure I agree. You're suggesting that Hint > Reveal > Unnecessary post-Hint is a better order than Hint > More Hint > Reveal when now that you mention it I think that would be the opposite of the case!

I posted more about this in the spoiler discussion thread. Take a look and see if you agree.


It occurs to me now that a spoiler free read order thread might not serve it's purpose when the read order is in debate over things that cannot be spoiled for those who are really wanting the best read order. Luckily I'm still midway through Reapers Gale, but if/when you guys settle upon a consensus (I know this may be impossible) can you post the result of that debate here so people like me can decide which way to go without fear of horrible elder magic.


Of course!


You are awesome! It can be as simple as: "ok we bitched at each other in that other thread for a month and have decided that GotM should be read dead last...etc."
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#19 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 08:40 PM

 Tru, on 10 December 2014 - 05:01 PM, said:

 D, on 09 December 2014 - 10:26 PM, said:

Of course!


You are awesome! It can be as simple as: "ok we bitched at each other in that other thread for a month and have decided that GotM should be read dead last...etc."


Nah, it's more like "ok, I explained my reasoning and no one else showed up to reply or discuss it, so I am going to haughtily assume that means I'm right???" :crybaby:

 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.
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#20 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 02:32 PM

There was eventually some more discussion about DoD, TCG and OST in the spoiler thread. What Andorion was referring to up-thread was not so much a spoiler as a sense of impact. Basically there's something in TtH that reverberates in both DoD and OST, and one could argue that the emotional impact is better if the DoD one is experienced first. I think you'll be fine either way.

No confirmed assertions of any spoilers between DoD and OST, nor between OST and TCG.

So the best order is probably still DoD -> OST -> TCG in my opinion, and any combination of these 3 should still be fine as long as DoD is before TCG.

 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.
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