Let’s rank all 14 books in The Wheel of Time series

Image: The Wheel of Time/Amazon
Image: The Wheel of Time/Amazon /
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The Wheel of Time is one of the longest epic fantasy series around, at 14 door-stopping volumes. Before Amazon adapts it for TV, let’s take a closer look.

One of the biggest fantasy series on the horizon is Amazon’s The Wheel of Time, based on the book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. It’s an extraordinary story that follows the lives of young farm villagers thrown on a path woven by destiny. It’s a long tale, spanning 14 novels that average around 900 pages each. From the most recent statistics, Jordan’s series has sold over 80 million copies worldwide.

And if Amazon’s show does for The Wheel of Time books what Game of Thrones did for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (or what Netflix’s Witcher series did for Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels), Jordan’s work could soon be back on top of the charts. With so many new readers on the horizon, and so many old experienced ones perhaps considering a reread ahead of Amazon’s show, we figured it’d be a good time to have a little fun and rank all 14 books of the series, “best” to “worst.”

Searching through Wheel of Time forums and resources such as Dragonmount.com, there are several fan polls and rankings to help us get a better understanding of how the community feels about each individual books in the series. With these rankings, we want to reflect the general consensus, as well as throwing in our two cents. Each individual books has its ups and downs, and there’s always something worthwhile. But some of the books do drag on longer than others, and drive the plot the forward to differing degrees. At the end of the day, the series is more than the sum of its parts, but that doesn’t mean the parts can’t be evaluated on their own.

For reference, here is a list of The Wheel of Time books in their release order:

  1. The Eye of the World (1990)
  2. The Great Hunt (1990)
  3. The Dragon Reborn (1991)
  4. The Shadow Rising (1992)
  5. The Fires of Heaven (1993)
  6. The Lord of Chaos (1994)
  7. The Crown of Swords (1996)
  8. The Path of Daggers (1998)
  9. Winter’s Heart (2000)
  10. Crossroads of Twilight (2003)
  11. Knife of Dreams (2005)
  12. The Gathering Storm (2009)
  13. Towers of Midnight (2010)
  14. A Memory of Light (2013)

Thank you to @rogueAelfinn for the resources!

As you may have noticed, we’re not including the prequel novel New Spring on this list, since it’s not considered part of the mean Wheel of Time storyline. Also, a word of caution for newbies before we start: although we’re not going to dive into exacting details, we are going to be talking about the series in broad strokes, so beware of minor SPOILERS. With that, let’s begin!