The Standalone Principle: Should I read the books in order?
Among the questions we receive frequently are ones such as:
- "Is the Forsaken Isles series being written chronologically?"
- "Do I have to read the books in order?
- "Will the later books make sense to me if I don't read the early ones first?"
The short answer is: You can enjoy these books in any order, whether you read one or all of them. In fact, the Forsaken Isles books have not been written in chronological order. Looking at the timeline below, while the books are 1-2-3-4-5 from left to right chronologically, they are actually 1-4-2-3-5 in order of publication.
The Forsaken Isles books feature a carefully constructed continuity of events, people, and places. As you can see from the timeline, there is a gap of nearly two millennia between Dar Tania and Set's Dream, and Malcor's Story, Bomoki's Gate, and Khalla's Play. By the time of the newer trilogy, the empire of Morbatten has grown from a ragtag assortment of barbarian tribes newly united under Dar Tania, to the main military and cultural force on the Isle of Tsora. Characters from the time of Dar are myth and legend by the time of Malcor, with a few notable (and long lived!) exceptions. There is a overarching story at play here, the long fulfillment of the Prophecy of the Spear.
However, these novels have also been written to be perfectly readable and enjoyable as standalone stories. No matter which novel you read first, you shouldn't find yourself "lost" or lacking backstory. It is our hope that this "best of both worlds" approach offers something to both of the main types of fantasy reader: if you love deep, immersive, epic worlds and storylines, start from the beginning and enjoy the ride. If you're just looking for a great new book, grab whichever you like - they're all good jumping-in points, and we hope you'll be back to read the rest.
published January 2018
When the Jade God of Necromancy dies, Taysor and Tania’s smugglers and thieves turn on each other to control the black market and powers to be gained by harvesting the god’s body parts. Set against this serpentine street war, the Tanian Thieves Guild ‘Perdition’ rallies behind Khalla as their new leader. The former leader, Ash, just wants to cash in on the map given him as payment by the dragons. That map points him to Merakor. The ancient civilization has sat ripe and untouched for 3,000 years, until now.
The fighting stirs an ancient evil lying dormant below the templed streets of Taysor. The Dark Legion guild, specialized in human trafficking, craves the blood of the Jade God. Without a god controlling Necromancy, undead powers run amok and the Dark Legion realizes it may just have the power to take all that it craves. Syand, the vampire, wants more. Powerful heroes are set in play against her.
As allies turn on friends, orc armies march, and the gods themselves fight for control over necromancy, join Khalla as she makes ready to depart for Merakor. She needs a team of heroes strong enough to fight the dark elves and their minions but wise enough to stay on course. Strength and wisdom… these do not describe Khalla. It’s okay, Khalla: your friends have your back.
Join the heroes of Tania and Sora as they sort out the aftermath of Orcus’ fall, and make ready to depart for the ancient civilization of Merakor.
published October 2016
Thousands of years have passed with the dragon god Alerius watching over his many tribes of barbarians eastward on the Forsaken Isles. Waiting for just one of them to hear his mother’s voice, he has guided and driven his people to be worthy of their name – Morbat, children of dragons. Dar Tania, daughter of the Tribe of Horses is the first to face her Coming of Age test, pray to the Mother, and have that prayer answered. She becomes the first priestess of Tiamat and joins herself to Alerius’ dream of building an empire of divine warriors.
This book sets the stage for the rest of the Forsaken Isles series. Dar Tania is followed by Malcor’s Story, set 1,800 years after this one.
published November 2016
Malcor Kell’Tayris experiences Time as flashes of brilliance that help him enter the paladin trials. His dreams of knighthood along with this genius gift set him on a quest of legend. Seeing Time murder him, killing those he cares for, everyone he knows, he struggles to become a divine warrior. Watching Time’s flow, he learns how to wield it to join the mightiest of Tania’s paladin orders, to fight the strongest foes, to face the greatest of challenges.
Trials of pain, dragon fear, and a quest to slay a mighty foe take him into a head-on collision with necromantic gods that threatens the shadow dragons’ return back from darkness and heresy. Malcor’s passion and his allure to the shadow dragons threaten the straight path of faith and force a choice: will he remain true or fall to the shadows? When gods rage and Time slays, Malcor’s choices and dreams drive his quest beyond even prophecy and faith.
published April 2017
Bomoki, the hellhound of a necromantic god, has waited centuries to open a gate large enough for his master, the abyssal god Orcus, to enter our world. Though Bomoki barely remembers his life as a person and mage of Tania, he knows Tania will fight to stop this from happening, to end him. With plans well set, he needs just one more thing to affix the gate and allow Orcus to enter our world. Soon, the valley high in the mountains of Bloodstone will shake and tremble with the marching tread of gods, demons, and the undead who would claim all creation as their own. Malcor Kell’tayris joins the Nineteenth Legion in Bloodstone as the final plans fall into place. With shadow dragons behind him, and the eternal warriors of undeath waiting ahead, Malcor must choose his fate – to be part of the coming cascade of war, or to go his own way. The destiny of a king calls, but his heart sings for battle.
Dar Tania II: Set’s Dream
published August 2017
An immortal medusa falls in love with a human ranger on the cusp of Morbatten becoming an actual empire. Part of Dar Tania’s dream is that a mighty empire of human races and their allies shall fill the valleys of Morbatten. Priestesses and the paladins serving them will rise up under war banners and march with the heavy tread of battle for Tiamat’s glory.
For five years, Syliri and Bruce have been exploring the area the dragons consider to be part of Morbatten. More interesting monsters are petrified and brought back for Dar Tania and her fighters to study. During another routine scouting mission, they find a death cult of hill giants and goblins extracting gold from the eastern mountains. The true nature of their enemy rears its demonic head. But, will the true nature of medusa or the true nature of humankind shine brightest in the trials that lie ahead?
Join Syliri and the love of her life, Bruce, as they confront the power of this dark nightmare. With her petrifying gaze and his mastery of the bow and sword, they begin to unravel a creature of such dark purpose that even the god emperor himself gives pause.