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How to read 'The Wheel of Time' books in order

The Wheel Of Time.
The cast of The Wheel of Time on Prime Video. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Want to read The Wheel of Time books in order? Here's how you can get up to speed with the latest fantasy series to be adapted for TV.

The Wheel of Time is a legendary series of high fantasy novels penned by American author, Robert Jordan. Jordan wrote his best-selling novels from 1990-2005, with fellow fantasy magnate, Brandon Sanderson, brought in as the co-author for the final three books due to Jordan’s death in 2007.

Not content with developing a Lord of the Rings TV series, Amazon has turned to Jordan's novels to bring a second, world-spanning saga to the screen similar to Game of Thrones or Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher

With Amazon reportedly spending more than $10 million on every episode, a second season already in production, and huge stars like Rosamund Pike attached, they're betting on this becoming a huge success.

If you've decided you want to read the Wheel of Time books in order, we've put together this guide to help you find the best prices and follow the story in the easiest way possible.

How to read the 'Wheel of Time' books in order

If you just want to jump right into Robert Jordan's world, the reading order we'd recommend is:

The only problem you'll encounter when discussing the Wheel of Time reading order is when to read New Spring, the prequel novel that was published in 2004.

Although it's a prequel, New Spring is not designed to introduce you to the world in the same way that the first full novel, The Eye of the World is. Although New Spring is set 20 years prior to the events of the main saga, the book is quite lore-heavy and it will presume you are familiar with the events of the earlier books; if you read it first, you're going to spoil some of the events in the first few novels.

The problem here is that there's a fair bit of disagreement over when the best time to read New Spring is. Some fans would suggest reading the books in publishing order in order to break up the main narrative (meaning you'd read New Spring after Crossroads of Twilight), but others believe you shouldn't pick it up until you've read the final novel, A Memory of Light

At the earliest, you can comfortably read New Spring after you've finished The Fires of Heaven if it's your first time reading through Jordan's novels. At this point, the prequel won't spoil anything that's yet to happen in the main story, and it will offer some interesting context for future events in the saga. That's why we've placed it where it is in the list above.

Apart from deciding when to read New Spring, the Wheel of Time books order is very simple. You can just follow the books by release date as the story unfolds chronologically.

If you'd prefer to pick up the series digitally, you can pick the ebooks up at the Amazon Kindle Store. The whole series is also available as audiobooks; Audible has recently released a version of the first book narrated by Rosamund Pike.

There are also two additional books worth mentioning if you become a die-hard fan: The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, and The Wheel of Time Companion. Although neither book is fundamental to understanding the main story, they're definitely worth picking up if can't get enough of Robert Jordan's world.

Both will expand the world even more. Jordan kept meticulous notes whilst writing the books, and these companion books expand on what happens across the saga by revealing unknown people, lands, and legends that will deepen your understanding of the Wheel of Time.

Rosamund Pike as magical heroine Moiraine in The Wheel Of Time.

Rosamund Pike stars in the TV adaptation as Moiraine Damodred. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

How long will it take to read the 'Wheel of Time'?

There's no easy way around this: the Wheel of Time is a pretty big task. The paperbacks average out at 826 pages apiece. 

The shortest book is the prequel, New Spring, which is 334 pages; the shortest main novel is The Path of Daggers, which is still 672 pages long.  

To put that into perspective, listening to all fifteen audiobooks will take you about 461 hours, or a few hours over 19 full days. Basically, if you sit down to read or listen to the Wheel of Time books in order, expect to get deeply immersed.

Why should you read the 'Wheel of Time' books?

Jordan's novels come very highly recommended and have sold more than 80 million copies to date, and it's easy to see why. If you're a fantasy fan already, they offer so much for you to get your teeth into. 

To try and summarise the basic premise, the Wheel of Time is a struggle between good and evil. According to prophecy, a reincarnation of The Dragon is set to appear. The Dragon is the leader of the Light, a champion who will be able to unite the many kingdoms and peoples of the world against the forces of the Dark One, an evil entity bent on breaking free of his prison and devastating the world. 

The nameless world in which The Wheel of Time is set is richly developed, as Jordan brings his universe to life in painstaking detail. Plus, there's a huge range of characters to fall in love with, and plenty of magic and monsters to meet along the way. 

If you enjoy classic high fantasy such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and you're looking to become completely obsessed with a new and incredibly rich fantasy universe, you'll feel right at home with Robert Jordan's books.

When is 'The Wheel of Time' on Prime Video?

The first three episodes of Amazon's Wheel of Time series premieres on Friday, Nov. 19, with a new episode dropping each Friday. The season finale airs on Friday, Dec. 24.