2 Ways to Read Terry Goodkind Books in Order | The Sword of Truth

I’ve never read a Sword of Truth novel. In fact, I’d never heard of Terry Goodkind at all until the cover fiasco a few years ago. But I am a prolific researcher, so don’t worry, this list of Terry Goodkind books in order will be complete and accurate.

Writing reading guides is sort of my thing. It began with my list of the Throne of Glass books in order and spiraled from there.

I’m a voracious fantasy reader, having read every book from both Brandon Sanderson and R.A. Salvatore.

I’ve had The Sword of Truth on my radar since the bad publicity in 2018. I don’t mind bad publicity. Some readers swore to never read another Terry Goodkind book again, but I imagine you can’t be one of them or you would be here looking for a list of The Sword of Truth books in order.

What is The Sword of Truth?

Before we take a look the two ways you can read Terry Goodkind books in order, it would be helpful to learn more about The Sword of Truth.

The Sword of Truth is a series of stand-alone novels that were all written following a singular timeline. You might think that sounds like a series, but all it means is that each novel is full and complete without reliance upon other books in a series to tell a story (with the exception of the last three novels: Chainfire, Phantom, and Confessor which is a 3-book trilogy).

This is kind of like reading the Jack Reacher books in order. Each book is it’s own contained story, but the overall timeline moves forward in each novel.

In typical fantasy, you’d expect a story to stretch out over 3-4 novels before reaching it’s ultimate conclusion. That is not the case with The Sword of Truth.

This will either excite some people who don’t want to make a huge investment or may disappoint others who hate having to dissect a new plot in every novel.

Terry Goodkind Books in Order

#1 The Sword of Truth Books in Order of Publication

Technically, the Sword of Truth only refers to the first thirteen books. However, since the subsequent series all feature characters from the Sword of Truth, we’re going to lump them all together under this heading while drawing distinctions below.

Keep reading for a list of Terry Goodkind books in order that have nothing to do with The Sword of Truth. We’ll cover them as well.

The Sword of Truth

  1. Wizard’s First Rule (1994)
  2. Stone of Tears (1995)
  3. Blood of the Fold (1996)
  4. Temple of the Winds (1998)
  5. Debt of Bones (1998) (Prequel Novella)
  6. Soul of the Fire (1999)
  7. Faith of the Fallen (2000)
  8. The Pillars of Creation (2001)
  9. Naked Empire (2003)
  10. Chainfire (2004)
  11. Phantom (2006)
  12. Confessor (2007)
  13. The First Confessor (2012) (Prequel Novel)

Richard & Kahlan

  1. The Omen Machine (2011)
  2. The Third Kingdom (2012)
  3. Severed Souls (2014)
  4. Warheart (2015)

The Nicci Chronicles

  1. Death’s Mistress (2017)
  2. Shroud of Eternity (2018)
  3. Siege of Stone (2018)
  4. Heart of Black Ice (2020)

The Children of D’Hara (Novella Series)

  1. The Scribbly Man (2019)
  2. Hateful Things (2019)
  3. Wasteland (2019)
  4. Witch’s Oath (2020)
  5. Into Darkness (2020)
  6. Children of D’Hara Omnibus (2021)

#2 The Sword of Truth Books in Chronological Order

This list of Terry Goodkind books in order lumps all the series above together. That means you’ll be jumping around between “series” on occasion. Read the books in an aggregate publication order with two noticeable changes for the first two books listed below.

Be aware, that it is not recommended for new readers to follow chronological order. There may be spoilers in the prequels, or assumptions made that you know what’s going on. Often the first book published is always the best starting point in any series.

  1. The First Confessor (2012)
  2. Debt of Bones (1998)
  3. Wizard’s First Rule (1994)
  4. Stone of Tears (1995)
  5. Blood of the Fold (1996)
  6. Temple of the Winds (1998)
  7. Soul of the Fire (1999)
  8. Faith of the Fallen (2000)
  9. The Pillars of Creation (2001)
  10. Naked Empire (2003)
  11. Chainfire (2004)
  12. Phantom (2006)
  13. Confessor (2007)
  14. The Omen Machine (2011)
  15. The Third Kingdom (2012)
  16. Severed Souls (2014)
  17. Warheart (2015)
  18. Death’s Mistress (2017)
  19. Shroud of Eternity (2018)
  20. Siege of Stone (2018)
  21. The Scribbly Man (2019) (Novella)
  22. Hateful Things (2019) (Novella)
  23. Wasteland (2019) (Novella)
  24. Witch’s Oath (2020) (Novella)
  25. Heart of Black Ice (2020)
  26. Into Darkness (2020)

Other Terry Goodkind Books in Order

The following is a list of other Terry Goodkind books in order that have nothing to do with The Sword of Truth.

Jack Raines & Angela Constantine Books in Order

  1. Nest (2016)
  2. Trouble’s Child (2018) (Novella)
  3. The Girl in the Moon (2018)
  4. Crazy Wanda (2018) (Novella)

Standalone Novels

  1. The Law of Nines (2009)
  2. The Sky People (2019) (Novella)

Summary of The Sword of Truth Books in Order

Now that we’ve listed out all the Terry Goodkind books in order, let’s take a closer look at the 11 books in the main Sword of Truth series.

Wizard's First Rule Terry Goodkind Books in Order

1. Wizard’s First Rule

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help … and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword– to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed … or that their time has run out.

Stone of Tears Terry Goodkind

2. Stone of Tears

Kahlan has at last gained the one goal she had always thought was beyond her grasp … love. Against all odds, the ancient bonds of secret oaths, and the dark talents of men long dead, Richard has won her heart.

Amid sudden and disastrous events, Richard’s life is called due to satisfy those treacherous oaths. To save his life, Kahlan must forsake Richard’s love and cast him into the chains of slavery, knowing there could be no sin worse than such a betrayal.

Richard is determined to unlock the secrets bound in the magic of ancient oaths and to again be free. Kahlan, alone with the terrible truth of what she has done, must set about altering the course of a world thrown into war. But even that may be easier than ever winning back the heart of the only man she will ever love.

War, suffering, torture, and deceit lie in their paths, and nothing will save them from a destiny of violent death, unless their courage and faith are joined with luck and they find the elusive…Stone of Tears.

Blood of the Fold Sword of Truth Books in Order

3. Blood of the Fold

In a world as rich and real as our own, Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell stand against the ancient forces which besiege the New World– forces so terrible that when last they threatened, they could only be withstood by sealing off the Old World from whence they came. Now the barrier has been breached, and the New World is again beset by their evil power.

War and treachery plague the world, and only Richard and Kahlan can save it from an armageddon of unimaginable savagery and destruction.

4. Temple of the Winds

On the red moon will come the firestorm…

Wielding the Sword of Truth, Richard Rahl has battled death itself and come to the defense of the D’Haran people. But now the power-mad Emperor Jagang confronts Richard with a swift and inexorable foe: a mystical plague cutting a deadly swath across the land and slaying thousands of innocent victims.

To quench the inferno, he must seek remedy in the wind…

To fight it Richard and his beloved Kahlan Amnell will risk everything to uncover the source of the terrible plague-the magic sealed away for three millennia in the Temple of the Winds.

Lightning will find him on that path…

But when prophecy throws the shadow of betrayal across their mission and threatens to destroy them, Richard must accept the Truth and find a way to pay the price the winds demand…or he and his world will perish.

Soul of the Fire Terry Goodkind Books in Order

5. Soul of the Fire

Richard Rahl has traveled far from his roots as a simple woods guide. Emperor of the D’Haran Empire, war wizard, the Seeker of Truth–none of these roles mean as much to him as his newest: husband to his beloved Kahlan Amnell, Mother Confessor of the Midlands.

But their wedding day is the key that unlocks a spell sealed away long ago in a faraway country. Now a deadly power pours forth that threatens to turn the world into a lifeless waste.

Separated from the Sword of Truth and stripped of their magic, Richard and Kahlan must journey across the Midlands to discover a dark secret from the past and a trap that could tear them apart forever. For their fate has become inextricably entwined with that of the Midlands–and there’s no place so dangerous as a world without magic…in Terry Goodkind’s spellbinding Soul of the Fire.

Faith of the Fallen Terry Goodkind

6. Faith of the Fallen

Terry Goodkind author of the enormously popular Sword of Truth novels, has forged perhaps his best novel yet in Faith of the Fallen, pitting Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell against threats to the freedom of the world that will take them to opposite ends of the world to defeat the forces of chaos and anarchy.

Emperor Jagang is rising once again in the Old World and Richard must face him, on his own turf. Richard heads into the Old World with Cara, the Mord-Sith, while his beloved Kahlan remains behind. Unwilling to heed an ancient prophecy, Kahlan raises an army and goes into battle against forces threatening armed insurrection in the Midlands.

Separated and fighting for their lives, Richard and Kahlan will be tested to the utmost.

The Pillars of Creation Sword of Truth Books in Order

7. The Pillars of Creation

Tormented her entire life by inhuman voices, a young woman named Lauren seeks to end her intolerable agony. She at last discovers a way to silence the voices. For everyone else, the torment is about to begin.

With winter descending and the paralyzing dread of an army of annihilation occupying their homeland, Richard Rahl and his wife Kahlan must venture deep into a strange and desolate land. Their quest turns to terror when they find themselves the helpless prey of a tireless hunter.

Meanwhile, Lauren finds herself drawn into the center of a struggle for conquest and revenge. Worse yet, she finds her will seized by forces more abhorrent than anything she ever envisioned. Only then does she come to realize that the voices were real.

Staggered by loss and increasingly isolated, Richard and Kahlan must stop the relentless, unearthly threat which has come out of the darkest night of the human soul. To do so, Richard will be called upon to face the demons stalking among the Pillars of Creation.

Naked Empire Sword of Truth

8. Naked Empire

Richard Rahl has been poisoned. Saving an empire from annihilation is the price of the antidote. With the shadow of death looming near, the empire crumbling before the invading hordes, and time running out, Richard is offered not only his own life but the salvation of a people, in exchange for delivering his wife, Kahlan, into bondage to the enemy.

Chainfire Terry Goodkind Books in Order

9. Chainfire

After being gravely injured in battle, Richard awakes to discover Kahlan missing. To his disbelief, no one remembers the woman he is frantically trying to find. Worse, no one believes that she really exists, or that he was ever married. Alone as never before, he must find the woman he loves more than life itself….if she is even still alive. If she was ever even real.

Phantom Terry Goodkind

10. Phantom

On the day she awoke remembering nothing but her name, Kahlan Amnell became the most dangerous woman alive. For everyone else, that was the day that the world began to end.

As her husband, Richard, desperately searches for his beloved, whom only he remembers, he knows that if she doesn’t soon discover who she really is, she will unwittingly become the instrument that will unleash annihilation. But Kahlan learns that if she ever were to unlock the truth of her lost identity, then evil itself would finally possess her, body and soul.

If she is to survive in a murky world of deception and betrayal, where life is not only cheap but fleeting, Kahlan must find out why she is such a central figure in the war-torn world swirling around her. What she uncovers are secrets darker than she could ever have imagined.

Confessor Sword of Truth Books in Order

11. Confessor

Descending into darkness, about to be overwhelmed by evil, those people still free are powerless to stop the coming dawn of a savage new world, while Richard faces the guilt of knowing that he must let it happen. Alone, he must bear the weight of a sin he dare not confess to the one person he loves…and has lost.

Join Richard and Kahlan in the concluding novel of one of the most remarkable and memorable journeys ever written. It started with one rule, and will end with the rule of all rules, the rule unwritten, the rule unspoken since the dawn of history.

When next the sun rises, the world will be forever changed.

Final Thoughts on Terry Goodkind Books in Order

Which of the Terry Goodkind books in order is your favorite? And how did you feel about the cover fiasco back in 2018? Did it affect your personal decision to read the Sword of Truth books?

Let us know down in the comments

Looking for more like The Sword of Truth books in order?

Check out this list of Terry Pratchett books in order.

5 thoughts on “2 Ways to Read Terry Goodkind Books in Order | The Sword of Truth

  1. Your list has left me rather confused. According to your “list in order of publication”, “Debt of Bones” is #5. Your “Summary of the Sword of Truth Books in Order” numbers 11 volumes but doesn’t mention “Debt of Bones” at all. (nor do you mention “The First Confessor” in any list) The publisher’s list at the fronts of the books “Chainfire”, “Phantom” and “Confessor”, places “Debt of Bones” as #9, right between “Naked Empire” and “Chainfire”. What the ???

    1. I don’t include novellas in my summary lists at the end, only full novels. As most readers skip novellas. And I couldn’t tell you why the publisher lists it as #9 because Debt of Bones is neither #9 in chronological order (it’s a prequel) or publication order as you see where it falls.

      1. I can provide a bit of context for you: Debt of Bones was released twice. First, it was printed in the Legends anthology in 1998, but as far as publishers are concerned, Debt of Bones is the 9th bound book and was released as a standalone short novel in 2001.

  2. I’ve read, (by publication order), First Rule-Warheart. I’m about to start on the rest. I’m a BIG reader and I love these books. Actually found the first book in the back corner of an old thrift shop and the title caught my attention. There’s a lesson to be learned in each book. Great detailed writing. If you like a story where the little guy becomes the big hero, then you’ll love these books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *