Jennifer A. Nielsen Books in Order (The Ascendance, Traitor’s Game, Mark of the Thief)

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Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order

All of the Books!

Who is Jennifer A. Nielsen?

Jennifer Anne Nielsen is an American author known primarily for young adult fiction published by Scholastic. Her professional writing career started in 2010 with the Underworld Chronicles, the story of young Elliot in a fantasy world.

After that trilogy, Nielsen started writing The Ascendance series, a YA fantasy series, then The Mark of the Thief series, the Traitor’s Game Series, and standalone historical novels for young readers.

Jennifer A. Nielsen Books in Order:

Underworld Chronicles in Order

Elliot and the Goblin War Underworld Chronicles Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order Elliot and the Pixie Plot The Underworld Chronicles Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order Elliot and the Last Underworld War The Underworld Chronicles Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order

  1. Elliot and the Goblin War (2010) – For most kids, accidentally starting an interspecies war would be the biggest event of their lives. But for Elliot Penster, it was only the beginning. When the Brownies, who are on the hopelessly losing end of that war against the Goblins, make Elliot their King, there’s one Brownie who isn’t celebrating. And he’s just made a deal with the Goblins to get rid of Elliot.
  2. Elliot and the Pixie Plot (2011) – The mischievous Pixies kidnap Elliot to the Underworld in a plot to ransom Grissel the Goblin from the Brownie prison. Things go from bad to catastrophic when in his escape, Elliot accidentally awakens Kovol the Demon, who now plans to destroy the human race. If that wasn’t bad enough, Elliot hasn’t finished his science project yet.
  3. Elliot and the Last Underworld War (2012) – As King of the Brownies, Elliot has battled Goblins, tricked Pixies, and trapped a Demon named Kovol. But now, Kovol has escaped and he’s ready for revenge – by destroying planet earth! Elliot will face a challenge unlike anything he’s seen before. Because the magic he receives from the Pixies is tricky and unreliable. And the “great wizard” who defeated Kovol in the first war was really only a goat herder who got lucky. Luck won’t be enough for Elliot this time. He will need to unite all Underworld creatures and find a strength inside himself greater than ever. The Last Underworld War is about to begin.

The Ascendance Series in Order

The False Prince The Ascendance Series Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Runaway King The Ascendance Series Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Shadow Throne The Ascendance Series Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  1. The False Prince (2012) – In a discontented kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. 
  2. The Runaway King (2013) – Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. 
  3. The Shadow Throne (2014) – War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

The Captive Kingdom The Ascendance Series Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Shattered Castle The Ascendance Series Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  1. The Captive Kingdom (2020) – In a peaceful Carthya, Jaron leads as the Ascendant King with Imogen beside him — but the peace he fought so long for is not destined to last. On a routine sea voyage, Jaron’s ship is brutally attacked, and he is taken hostage. The mysterious captors and their leader, Jane Strick, accuse Jaron of unthinkable acts.
  2. The Shattered Castle (2021) – King Jaron has outwitted the Prozarians and returned to his own kingdom with one secret in his pocket that not even his friends know about. He’s hoping that secret will help him finally bring stability to Carthya. But a surprise attack on his own land — on the castle itself — reminds Jaron that nothing is easy.

Traitor’s Game Series in Order

The Traitor's Game Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Deceiver's Heart The Traitor's Game, Book Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Warrior's Curse The Traitor's Game Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  1. The Traitor’s Game (2018) – Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s second-in-command to the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this — and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home. The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected.
  2. The Deceiver’s Heart (2019) – Kestra Dallisor has finally gained possession of the Olden Blade. With the dagger in her control, she attempts to destroy the tyrannical Lord Endrick. But when Kestra fails, the king strips her of her memory, and leaves her weak and uncertain, bound to obey him. Heartbroken, Simon is desperate to return Kestra to the rebel she was, but refuses to use magic to heal her. 
  3. The Warrior’s Curse (2020) – Simon and Kestra are hurtling down paths ever farther from each other as the battle for control of Antora rages. Simon, newly king of the Halderians, is pressed on all sides by royal duties. Harlyn Mindell is his betrothed and intended queen, but Simon can’t give up hope for a life with Kestra. Kestra, exiled, feels her magic growing — and despite everyone’s warnings, she knows she must embrace it. That power is the key to the kingdom’s future. Both still strive to defeat the evil Lord Endrick, but danger awaits them on the murky road forward.

Mark of the Thief Series in Order

Mark of the Thief Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order Rise of the Wolf Mark of the Thief Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order Wrath of the Storm Mark of the Thief Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  1. Mark of the Thief (2015) – When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for. Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free.
  2. Rise of the Wolf (2016) – Nic may have escaped enslavement in the mines outside of Rome, but his troubles are far from over. The Praetor War — the battle to destroy Rome from within — is in full force, and Nic is caught in the crossfire. The secretive Praetors are determined to unlock a powerful amulet — one sure to bring the empire to its knees. Worse, the Praetors believe Nic holds the key to finding this amulet, and they will stop at nothing to steal it, even if that means harming the people Nic holds most dear. 
  3. Wrath of the Storm (2017) – Trouble has a way of seeking out Nicolas Calva, and it’s not likely to leave him alone any time soon. With Caesar’s magic bulla, the Malice of Mars, and the possibility of a Jupiter Stone in play, all the powers of Rome are circling Nic. He’ll have to maneuver his way through scheming government officials and reawakened magical beasts to save the Empire. Can he manage to keep his friends and family safe, claim his own freedom once and for all, and rescue the Empire — before the magic gets the better of him?

Contributions to other series

Behind Enemy Lines Infinity Ring Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order Deadzone Horizon Jennifer A Nielsen Reading Order

  • Behind Enemy Lines (2013) from the Infinity Ring series. World War II is raging across Europe, and the Axis and Allied powers are in a stalemate. Dak, Sera, and Riq can tip the scales in the Allies’ favor… if they can pull off the most daring spy mission of all time. But even if they succeed, are they playing into the SQ’s hands?
  • Deadzone (2017) from the Horizon series. The survivors have made it out of the jungle, but they may be sorry they ever left when they stumble upon a whole new ecosystem, populated with entirely new threats. And the greatest threat of all may come from within. Because one of the kids is changing…

Other Jennifer A. Nielsen’s standalone novels

A Night Divided Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order The Scourge Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order Resistance Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  • A Night Divided (2015) – With the rise of the Berlin Wall, Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, yet she can’t help herself. One day on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Gerta concludes that her father wants her and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted.
  • The Scourge (2016) – As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.
  • Resistance (2018) – Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis’ supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya’s network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Words on Fire Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order Rescue Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order Lines of Courage Jennifer A Nielsen Books in Order

  • Words on Fire (2019) – Danger is never far from Audra’s family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous. In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra’s parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate. As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement.
  • Rescue (2021) – Six hundred and fifty-seven days ago, Meg Kenyon’s father left their home in France to fight for the Allies in World War II, and that was the last time Meg saw him. Recently, she heard he was being held prisoner by the Nazis. All she has left of him are the codes he placed in a jar for her to decipher, an affectionate game the two of them shared. But the codes are running low, and soon there’ll be nothing left of Papa for Meg to hold on to at all. Suddenly, an impossible chance to save her father falls into Meg’s lap.
  • Lines of Courage (2022) – World War I stretches its cruel fingers across Europe, where five young people, each from different backgrounds and nations, face the terror of battle, the deprivations of hunger, and all the awful challenges of war. None of them will find exactly what they want. But the winds of fate may cross their paths to give each of them just what they need.

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