‘The Wheel of Time’: How Many Books Are in Robert Jordan’s Fantasy Series and What Order Should You Read Them In?

The Wheel of Time premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 19, and the TV series is already attracting fantasy lovers looking for the next big thing. Of course, not everyone tuning in for the show is familiar with the source material. The Wheel of Time is based on Robert Jordan’s best-selling book series of the same name. And Jordan’s novels are likely to see an uptick in interest as the adaptation finds new fans. But how many books are in The Wheel of Time, and what order should you read them in?

‘The Wheel of Time’ consists of 14 books, plus companions

Josha Stradowski (Rand al’Thor), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin Aybara), and Barney Harris (Mat Cauthon) in Amazon Prime Video's 'The Wheel of Time' series, based on the best-selling books by Robert Jordan. The three are sitting around a table and drinking.
Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Barney Harris | Amazon Content Services LLC and Sony Pictures Television Inc./Jan Thijs

In total, The Wheel of Time is made up of 14 novels, all of which make for a lengthy read. Those planning on catching up to the show — or staying ahead — will want to get an early start. Jordan’s first book, The Eye of the World, hit shelves back in 1990. The series concluded as recently as 2013.

The 14 books that make up the main series are accompanied by a prequel and two companions. The prequel, New Spring, takes place 20 years ahead of Moraiane’s arrival in the Two Rivers. It tackles the Aes Sedai’s backstory, but it’s better to read it after meeting the character in the Wheel of Time books.

The companions delve deeper into the world created by Jordan, but they aren’t necessary to understand the overall story. So, if you’re hoping to tackle all the main books, which order should you read them in?

What order should fans read Robert Jordan’s books in?

With 14 main books and one prequel, what’s the best reading order for The Wheel of Time? Some longtime fans have their own preferences, but most recommend tackling them in the order they were released:

  • The Eye of the World
  • The Great Hunt
  • The Dragon Reborn
  • The Shadow Rising
  • The Fires of Heaven
  • Lord of Chaos
  • A Crown of Swords
  • The Path of Daggers
  • Winter’s Heart
  • Crossroads of Twilight
  • New Spring
  • Knife of Dreams
  • The Gathering Storm
  • Towers of Midnight
  • A Memory of Light

The prequel, New Spring, fits best toward the end. However, those reading in chronological order will want to move it to the very top of the list. And it seems the show will reveal details of Moiraine’s history. But what books from Jordan’s main series will season 1 cover?

‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 1 covers events from the first 3 books

With just eight episodes in The Wheel of Time Season 1, there’s not much time to catch up on Jordan’s novels before the initial outing is through. However, there’s no word on when season 2 might arrive. That leaves fans an opportunity to power through the novels between seasons if they choose.

As for which books the first outing will adapt, it will reportedly include events from the first three installments. During a Twitter Q&A with showrunner Rafe Judkins and Moiraine actress Rosamund Pike, Judkins revealed the initial eight episodes will showcase events from The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, and The Dragon Reborn:

“Season One will cover Book One, plus some of Book Two and even Book Three. But also not all of Book One, as some of it is in Season Two. Cryptic enough?”

Of course, Judkin’s words imply they won’t cover everything that happens in the first three Wheel of Time books. That means some material will be saved for future seasons — or excluded from the adaptation entirely. Fans of Jordan’s series will have to watch the show to see what makes the cut.

The Wheel of Time is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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