I always reply that I wrote them in chronological order, not just according to my years, but also according to the history of the Realm of the Elderlings.
So, to recap, the order is:
The Farseer Trilogy
The Tawny Man Trilogy
The Rain Wilds Chronicles
And my work in progress, The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy.
But many readers skip both the Liveship Traders trilogy and The Rain Wilds Chronicles.
The reasons I’ve heard are many and diverse. Some people don’t think they will like a tale that often has scenes on board ships. Others say they simply want to get back to Fitz and the Fool as quickly as possible. Some felt the Rain Wild Chronicles was more of a Young Adult series because so many of the characters are younger people.
Well, I am charging toward writing the ending of Assassin’s Fate. And if you are waiting anxiously for that book, and are wondering what to read in the meantime, I strongly urge you to go back and pick up the pieces of the history that you have missed.
How can I persuade you to do that? Well, I can tell you that events in those books greatly affect everything that happens to Fitz and the Fool in the following books. I can tell you that Fitz will be interacting with some of the characters that are first introduced to the reader in those books. I can even add that some readers tell me that the Liveship books are actually their favorites, and I can point out that they can be read as a stand-alone trilogy even if you’ve never read any of the Fitz tales.
But instead I think I’ll talk a bit about what seems to matter a great deal to my readers. Characters. Characters that I hope you can come to care about as much as you’ve cared about Fitz and the Fool. Headstrong Althea, determined to captain the family’s liveship. Reckless Brashen Trell, an excellent first mate, when he’s sober. Kyle Haven, who has plans to convert the Liveship Vivacia to a slaver and save the family fortune. Kyle’s son Wintrow, dragged from a peaceful and contemplative life as an acolyte of Sa to serve aboard the ship, while his sister Malta is experimenting with both the pleasures and powers of being a young woman And the Liveship Vivacia herself, awakened to sentience in a time of family chaos and dwindling fortune. Has she any right to a life of her own?
There is Kennit. A liveship for the taking might tempt any pirate, but for Kennit, it’s an obsession. Amoral as a cat, Kennit is capable of idealism and heroism . . . and just as capable of murder and pillaging. Etta, a whore since childhood, has no greater ambition than to be Kennit’s whore, until fate steps in to sweep her in an entirely different direction.