The Riftwar Cycle is a huge literary saga composed of multiple series of books authored or co-authored by Raymond E. Feist. It revolves around the fantasy worlds of Midkemia and Kelewan.
On these two planets, there are human magicians and other creatures who can create rifts through dimensionless space that can connect planets in different solar systems. The Riftwar Cycle tells the adventures of various people in these different worlds.
How to Read The Riftwar Cycle Books in Order?
The Riftwar Cycle is composed of multiple series. Here, the books are grouped into their respective series. This is one possible reading order. If you want the publication order, I put it at the end of this article.
Follow The Riftwar Saga Reading Order
- Magician – To the forest on the shore of the Kingdom of the Isles, the orphan Pug came to study with the master magician Kulgan. But though his courage won him a place at court and the heart of a lovely Princess, he was ill at ease with the normal ways of wizardry. Yet Pug’s strange sort of magic would one day change forever the fates of two worlds. This book was also published in two parts as Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master.
- Silverthorn – A poisoned bolt has struck down the Princess Anita on the day of her wedding to Prince Arutha of Krondor. To save his beloved, Arutha sets out in search of the mytics herb called Silverthorn that only grows in the dark and forbidding land of the Spellweavers. Accompanied by a mercenary, a minstrel, and a clever young thief, he will confront an ancient evil and do battle with the dark powers that threaten the enchanted realm of Midkemia.
- A Darkness at Sethanon – An evil wind blows through Midkemia. Dark legions have risen up to crush the Kingdom of the Isles and enslave it to dire magics. The final battle between Order and Chaos is about to begin in the ruins of the city called Sethanon. Now Pug, the master magician sometimes known as Milamber, must undertake an awesome and perilous quest to the dawn of time to grapple with an ancient and terrible Enemy for the fate of a thousand worlds.
The Empire Trilogy in Order
The Empire Trilogy (written with Janny Wurts) starts during the events taking place in “Magician” and concludes after “A Darkness at Sethanon”.
- Daughter of the Empire – Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival. But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja, and marry the son of a hated enemy. Only then can Mara face her most dangerous foe of all-in his own impregnable stronghold.
- Servant of the Empire – Nobody knows how to play the Game of the Council better than Mara of the Acoma. Through bloody political manoeuvring she has become a powerful force within the Empire; but surrounded by deadly rivals, Mara has to be the best simply to stay alive. But Lady Mara must contend with battles on two fronts: in the hotbed of intrigue and treachery that is the court of Tsurani; and in her heart, where her affection for a barbarian slave from the enemy world of Midkemia leads her to question the principles by which she lives.
- Mistress of the Empire – Welcome to the final play of the game. Now revered as the Servant of the Empire, Mara of the Acoma is in more danger than ever before. Not only does she face threats from the brotherhood of assassins and the cunning spies of rival ruling houses, but she has attracted the attention of the awesome Assembly of Magicians, who see her as a threat to their power. But Mara has not reached her position through luck or accident of fate. Surrounded on all sides by enemies determined to bring her down, Mara must draw on her deepest resources to secure her place as Mistress of the Empire once and for all.
Legends of the Riftwar Books in Order
The Legends of the Riftwar takes place between Magician and Silverthorn.
- Honoured Enemy – Written with William R. Forstchen. It is nine long, bloody years into the ongoing Riftwar that is tearing Midkemia asunder. Having survived a disastrous encounter with their sworn enemy, the Tsurani, Dennis Hartraft’s cold, hungry, and exhausted Marauders arrive at a frontier garrison-at the same time as a Tsurani patrol. But a more devastating threat resides within the stronghold.
- Murder in LaMut – Written with Joel Rosenberg. For twenty years the mercenaries Durine, Kethol, and Pirojil have fought other people’s battles. Having already defeated the Tsurani, the Bugs, and the goblins, it seems there are no more enemies for them to vanquish-even as the Riftwar rages on in the west. What lies ahead for the able trio are a few welcomed months of restful garrison duty.
- Jimmy the Hand – Written with S. M. Stirling. Though gifted beyond his peers, Jimmy is merely a pickpocket with potential-until he aids Prince Arutha in the rescue of Princess Anita from Duke Guy du Bas-Tyra, and runs afoul of “Black Guy’s” secret police. Facing a choice between disappearing on his own or in a weighted barrel at the bottom of Krondor’s harbor, Jimmy chooses the former.
The Riftwar Legacy Books in Order
The Riftwar Legacy takes place between The Riftwar Saga and Krondor’s Sons.
- Krondor: The Betrayal – It is nine years on from the aftermath of Sethanon. There has been peace awhile and it’s been needed. But news is feeding through to the people of the Kingdom of the Isles that deadly forces are stirring on the horizon. The bringer of the latest tidings is Gorath, a moredhel (dark elf). The bloodletting has started. Nighthawks are murdering again.
- Krondor: The Assassins – Fresh back from the front, another foe defeated, Prince Arutha arrives to find all is not well in Krondor. A series of apparently random murders has brought an eerie quiet to the city. Where normally the streets are bustling with merchants and tricksters, good life and night life, now there seems to be a self-imposed curfew at sundown. Mutilated bodies have been turning up in the sewers.
- Krondor: Tear of the Gods – A raid upon the high seas signals an attack of unprecedented magnitude by the forces of darkness. For the holiest of holies, the Tear of the Gods has been lost to the Temple of Ishap. After a raid planned by Bear, one of the most brutal pirates to sail the Bitter Sea, goes dramatically wrong, the colossal gems sink below the waves.
- Jimmy and the Crawler – a novella replacing the canceled novels Krondor: The Crawler and Krondor: The Dark Mage. In the crime-ridden back alleys of Krondor a rival gang has sprung up to threaten the Upright Man’s Mockers. Does the Crawler control the rival gang? Where does his power come from? And does it threaten the peace of the Kingdom?
Krondor’s Sons Books in Order
Set twenty years after the events in The Riftwar Saga.
- Prince of the Blood – When a group of powerful nobles attempt to overthrow the Empress of Kesh, bitterly dividing the court. In the centre of the conflict are the two princes of Krondor, Borric and Erland. Borric escapes and makes a desperate journey back to the court to warn of the traitor’s plans – which if they were to succeed, would start a war that would twar the Empire apart.
- The King’s Buccaneer – Nicholas, the youngest son of Prince Arutha, is intelligent and gifted but vastly inexperienced. In hopes of hardening him, his father sends him and his irreverent squire, Harry, to live at Rustic Castle Crydee to learn of life beyond the halls of privilege. But within weeks of Nicholas and Harry’s arrival, Crydee is viciously attacked by unknown assailants, resulting in murder, massive destruction, and the abduction of two young noblewomen.
The Serpentwar Saga in Order
- Shadow of a Dark Queen – Ancient powers are readying themselves for a devastating confrontation, and a dark queen has raised a standard, gathering armies of unmatched might. A band of desperate men are forced into this battleground of good and evil, and their only hope for survival is to face this ancient power and discover its true nature.
- Rise of a Merchant Prince – Roo rises to power as a ruthless businessman who takes on cutthroat bankers as well as two gorgeous, jealous women, in an adventure set in the tumultuous universe called Midkemia.
- Rage of a Demon King – When the evil Emerald Queen sets sail for Krondor, a terrible land-and-sea battle ensues, causing a brave trio of magicians to undertake a harrowing journey into the demon world to seal off the Rift that allows evil to enter Midkemia.
- Shards of a Broken Crown – Winter’s icy grasp is loosening on the world. The Emerald Queen’s vanquished army has its broken back to the Bitter Sea. And treachery is its only recourse. A lackey has declared himself Lord of the defeated, amassing the still fearsome remnants of a ruthless fighting force together for one final assault on a weakened, vulnerable realm.
Conclave of Shadows Books in Order
- Talon of the Silver Hawk – Evil has come to a distant land high among the snow-capped mountains of Midkemia, as anexterminating army wearing the colors of the Duke of Olasko razes village after village, slaughtering men, women, and children without mercy. And when the carnage is done, only one survivor remains: a young boy named Kieli. A youth no longer, there is now but one road for him to travel: the path of vengeance.
- King of Foxes – An exceptionally skilled swordsman, young Tal Hawkins was the only survivor of the massacre of his village – rescued, recruited, and trained by the mysterious order of magicians and spies, the Conclave of Shadows. Now one of the secret society’s mostvaluable agents, he gains entrance into the court of Duke Olasko, the bloodthirsty and powerful despot whose armies put Tal’s village to the sword, by posing as a nobleman from the distant Kingdom of the Isles.
- Exile’s Return – Merciless deserts, forbidding mountains, and vast oceans now separate the once powerful despot from his former seat of power. But there is a larger drama that will entangle the broken dictator. An evil devastating and deadly seeks entrance to the land and Kaspar has inadvertently discovered the key. Suddenly, Midkemia’s last hope is a disgraced and exiled duke whose history is written in blood.
The Darkwar Saga Books in Order
The Darkwar Saga picks up two years after Exile’s Return as Pug, the powerful sorcerer, awakens from a nightmare that portends destruction for all of Midkemia. Disturbed by his dream, Pug calls for a convening of the Conclave of Shadows.
- Flight of the Nighthawks – A portent of annihilation awakens the powerful sorcerer Pug in the dead of night-a dread vision warning of a vast and terrible army descending upon the exposed heart of Midkemia. Even the formidable might of the Tsurani Empire will not beat back the alien invaders. And in far Stardock town, two boys will be called upon by the mysterious Conclave of Shadows to confront a sinister plot that implicates even the highest-ranking nobles in the land.
- Into a Dark Realm – The dread plot to destroy the Empire of Great Kesh has failed. The Conclave of Shadows has ended the murderous Nighthawk brotherhood’s horrific reign of terror and death. But the mad sorcerer, Leso Varen, has fled, taking refuge among the most powerful men and women on Kelewan. The great sorcerer Pug knows of no power that will vanquish these invaders.
- Wrath of a Mad God – The Darkwar rages, bringing bleak days of destruction and despair to Midkemia and Kelewan. To save both worlds, the powerful sorcerer Pug and select members of the mysterious Conclave of Shadows must journey deep into the dangerous realm of the bloodthirsty Dasati on an audacious mission that has little, if any, chance to succeed.
The Demonwar Saga in Order
“The remnants of the Clan of the Seven Stars are returning to their long abandoned homeworld . . . but not as friends. The elves, led by the conjurer Laromendis, flee the relentless demon hordes sweeping through their galaxy-and the conquest of war-weary Midkemia is the Clan’s sole hope for survival . . . if the Dread Legion does not pursue them through the rift.”
- Rides a Dread Legion – The magician Pug knows what horrors will surely follow the elven invasion, for slaughter alone will sate Demon King Maarg’s minions. For the death tide to be turned, Midkemia’s constant defender must somehow unite bitter foes and vengeful former lovers-because failure to do so will mean annihilation.
- At the Gates of Darkness – Ten years after the terrible Darkwar finally ended, catastrophe once again threatens to engulf Midkemia and Kelewan, as the demon hordes continue their relentless quest to infiltrate this realm of magic and wonder… To protect their world from the savage demon hordes,Pug and Midkemia’s clandestine protectors, the Conclave of Shadows, forged an uneasy alliance of formidable magical talents.
The Chaoswar Saga in Order
Discover the fate of the original black Magician, Pug, and his motley crew of agents who safeguard the world of Trigia, as prophecy becomes truth in the Midkemian trilogy.
- A Kingdom Besieged – The Darkness is coming…The Kingdom is plagued by rumor and instability. Kingdom spies in Kesh have been disappearing – either murdered or turned to the enemy side. Information has become scant and unreliable, but one thing appears clear. Dark forces are on the move…Since Pug and the Conclave of Shadows enforced peace after the last Keshian invasion, the Empire has offered no threat. But now factions are rising and Jim Dasher reports mobilizations of large forces in the Keshian Confederacy.
- A Crown Imperiled – War rages in Midkemia but behind the chaos there is disquieting evidence of dark forces at work. Jim Dasher’s usually infallible intelligence network has been cleverly dismantled; nowhere is safe. He feels that the world is coming apart at the seams and is helpless to protect his nation. Quiet palace coups are underway in Roldem and Rillanon; and King Gregory of the Isles has yet to produce an heir. In each kingdom, a single petty noble has risen from obscurity to threaten the throne.
- Magician’s End – The dragons are calling… Civil war is tearing apart the Kingdom of the Isles, for the throne lies empty and rivals are converging. Having spirited his beloved Princess Stephané safely out of Roldem, Hal – now Duke of Crydee – must turn his attention to the defense of the ancient realm so that a king can be anointed by the Congress of Lords, rather than by right of might. But the greatest threat may well lie out of the hands of men.
The Riftwar Cycle Publication Order :
This part is the Riftwar Cycle Reading Order following the date of publication of the books.
- A Darkness at Sethanon
- Daughter of the Empire
- Prince of the Blood
- Servant of the Empire
- Mistress of the Empire
- The King’s Buccaneer
- Shadow of a Dark Queen
- Rise of a Merchant Prince
- Rage of a Demon King
- Shards of a Broken Crown
- Krondor: The Betrayal
- Krondor: The Assassins
- Krondor: Tear of the Gods
- Honoured Enemy
- Murder in LaMut
- Talon of the Silver Hawk
- Jimmy the Hand
- King of Foxes
- Exile’s Return
- Flight of the Nighthawks
- Into a Dark Realm
- Wrath of a Mad God
- Rides a Dread Legion
- At the Gates of Darkness
- A Kingdom Besieged
- A Crown Imperiled
- Jimmy and the Crawler
- Magician’s End
If you like our article about The Riftwar Cycle series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! And for more Fantasy series, visit our reading guide for the Realm of the Elderlings series, the Shannara Chronicles, or A Song of Ice and Fire.