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Realm of the Elderlings Reading Order: In what order to read Robin Hobb’s Book series?

The Realm of the Elderlings Reading Order: In what order to read Robin Hobb’s Book series?

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“Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.”


Welcome to Realm of the Elderlings, the world of Robin Hobb, also known as the World of Eda and El. It is the setting of multiple trilogies, a tetralogy, and few short stories. It’s a world where magic can be used to murder and danger lies all around, friendship can be a saving grace.

Even though these stories take place in different parts of the Realms and have different point of view characters, one of the most important characters in that universe is FitzChivalry Farseer, the bastard son of the ruling family of the Six Duchies, trained as an assassin in service of his King. He is the sole narrator S of the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies and narrates some parts of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. He possesses a strong bond with his wolf Nighteyes, and the Fool, an albino with a mysterious past who believes Fitz is the Catalyst destined to transform the world.

The Liveship Traders Trilogy focuses on the lives of Bingtown Trader families and their magical “liveships,” and The Rain Wild Chronicles continues to explore the lives of the Liveship Traders and take us on a journey along the Rain Wild River.


Realm of the Elderlings main novels in order

The chronological order of the main novels is the same as the publishing order. The books form one gigantic story, but with different viewpoints.

The Farseer trilogy

Cover for Assassin's Apprentice - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb Cover for Royal Assassin - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb Cover for Assassin's Quest - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb


Assassin’s Apprentice — The kingdom of the Six Duchies is on the brink of civil war when news breaks that the crown prince has fathered a bastard son and is shamed into abdication. The child’s name is Fitz, and he is despised. Raised in the castle stables, only the company of the king’s fool, the ragged children of the lower city, and his unusual affinity with animals provide Fitz with any comfort. To be useful to the crown, Fitz is trained as an assassin; and to use the traditional magic of the Farseer family. But his tutor, allied to another political faction, is determined to discredit, even kill him. Fitz must survive: for he may be destined to save the kingdom.

Royal Assassin — Honesty is the bedrock for any relationship. But how can Fitz – royal bastard, trainee assassin, holder of secrets crucial to the security of the kingdom – bare his soul to his beloved Molly? Danger lies all around him – from the raiders savaging the coastal towns, and from within the court. The king has been struck down by a mystery illness and his eldest son, Verity, is bound up in the defense of the realm. When Verity leaves the court in search of the mythical Elderlings, Fitz finds himself friendless apart from his wolf, Nighteyes, and the king’s strange, motley-clad fool, exposed to Prince Regal’s malign ambitions. He will be asked to sacrifice everything – his heart, his hope, even his life – for the sake of the realm.

Assassin’s Quest — With the king no longer living and the heir, Verity, missing and declared dead, Prince Regal has treacherously seized the throne. Regal’s torture has left Fitz more dead than alive, and more closely than ever bonded with his wolf. All who once loved him believe him dead: even Molly, now pregnant with his child. But he cannot go to her without placing her in terrible danger. With nothing to lose, Fitz sets out for Tradeford, where Regal has withdrawn, having heartlessly abandoned the north of the kingdom to the Red-Ship Raiders. His quest: to assassinate the man who has destroyed his world.


The Liveship Traders trilogy

Cover for Ship of Magic - The Liveship Traders trilogy - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb Cover for The Mad Ship - The Liveship Traders trilogy - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb Cover for Ship of Destiny - The Liveship Traders trilogy - Realms of Elderings by Robin Hobb


Ship of Magic — Wizardwood, the most precious commodity in the world, comes only from the Rain Wilds. But only a liveship can negotiate the perilous waters of the Rain Wild River, and liveships are hard to come by. They quicken only when three family members from successive generations have died upon their deck. The liveship Vivacia is about to undergo her quickening: Althea Vestrit waits for the ship that she loves more than anything in the world to awaken. But her dream of taking her father’s place at Vivacia’s helm is not to be, for her family have other plans. . . And the dark, charming pirate Kennit also lusts after such a ship: he well knows the power of wizardwood and has plans of his own . . .

The Mad Ship — The Vestrit family’s liveship, Vivacia, has been taken by the pirate king, Kennit. Held captive on board, Wintrow Vestrit finds himself competing with Kennit for Vivacia’s love as the ship slowly acquires her own bloodlust. Leagues away, Althea Vestrit has found a new home aboard the liveship Ophelia, but she lives only to reclaim the Vivacia and with her friend, Brashen, she plans a dangerous rescue. Meanwhile in Bingtown, the fading fortunes of the Vestrit family lead Malta deeper into the magical secrets of the Rain Wild Traders. And just outside Bingtown, Amber dreams of relaunching Paragon, the mad liveship . . .

Ship of Destiny — The dragon, Tintaglia, released from her wizardwood coffin, flies high over the Rain Wild River. Below her, Reyn and Selden have been left to drown, while Malta and the Satrap attempt to navigate the acid flow of the river in a decomposing boat. Althea and Brashen are sailing the liveship Paragon into pirate waters in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the Vestrit family liveship, Vivacia, who was stolen by the pirate king, Kennit; but there is mutiny brewing amongst their ragtag crew, and in the mind of the mad ship itself. And all the while the waters around the Vivacia are seething with giant serpents, following the liveship as she sails to her destiny . . .


The Tawny Man trilogy


Fool’s Errand — For fifteen years FitzChivalry Farseer has lived in self-imposed exile, assumed to be dead by almost all who once cared about him. But now, into his isolated life, visitors begin to arrive: Fitz’s mentor from his assassin days; a hedge-witch who foresees the return of a long-lost love; and the Fool, the former White Prophet, who beckons Fitz to fulfill his destiny.

Then comes the summons he cannot ignore. Prince Dutiful, the young heir to the Farseer throne, has vanished. Fitz, possessed of magical skills both royal and profane, is the only one who can retrieve him in time for his betrothal ceremony, thus sparing the Six Duchies profound political embarrassment . . . or worse. But even Fitz does not suspect the web of treachery that awaits him—or how his loyalties will be tested to the breaking point.

Golden Fool — Fitz has been persuaded back to court, posing as a servant to the decadent Lord Golden (who is the Fool in disguise). In secret, he will train Prince Dutiful in the magic known as the Skill.

The peace remains fragile, so the diplomatic wedding between Dutiful and the Outislander princess is a crucial alliance. But when Elliania arrives she challenges the prince to undertake an impossible quest before she will accept him. He must kill Icefyre, one of the last true dragons. And Fitz and the Fool must go with him…

Fool’s Fate — Prince Dutiful has been charged with a quest to the Outisland to take the head of the black dragon Icefyre. Only then will his betrothed marry him and cement the alliance between their warring kingdoms.

But is Icefyre just a legend? Or does he truly slumber beneath the glaciers? Fitz has prevented his friend the Fool from accompanying them the Fool has foreseen his own death if he ever sets foot on the isle of the black dragon. But as their ship draws in towards Aslevjal a lone figure awaits them…


The Rain Wild Chronicles


The Dragon Keeper — Guided by the dragon Tintaglia, the serpents came from the sea to fight their way up the Rain Wild River to their ancestral hatching grounds.

But the fledglings that emerge from the cocoons are a travesty of the dragons of old. Flightless and fractious, they soon become a danger to all and must be moved. Thymara, a Rain Wilder born with scales and claws, answers the call to become one of the dragon keepers to accompany the creatures upriver. Their target is the legendary Elderling city of Kelsingra. But no one knows if it even exists; and no one expects the dragon keepers to return, or even survive…

Dragon Haven — As the fledgling dragons and their keepers forge a passage through the uncharted waters of the Rain Wild River, they are supported by the liveship Tarman, its captain, Leftrin, and Alise Finbok, who has escaped her cruel marriage in Bingtown.

A vial of dragon blood can earn a man enough gold to last a lifetime: there may be some in the party who see the dragons as more valuable as body parts than whole and alive. But it is the Rain Wilds themselves – mysterious, unstable and ever perilous – that may provide the deadliest danger as they make their way towards the mythical haven of Kelsingra. The hazards of that journey will push them all to the very brink of survival.

City of Dragons — The Tarman expedition has at last found Kelsingra, a city filled with ancient treasures. Rumours of the city have floated down the Rain Wild River. Adventurers, pirates and fortune hunters will soon be coming to pillage what they can. Among them, Hest Finbok, determined to claim back his errant wife, Alise. Meanwhile, Selden Vestrit finds himself a prisoner of the ailing Duke of Chalced, who believes the ‘dragon man’s’ flesh and blood may cure him.

Where is Tintaglia, greatest of dragons, when there is need of her? She holds the memories that will unlock the mysteries of Kelsingra, and the power to defend it, and dragonkind. Without her, all may be lost.

Blood of Dragons — Attacked by hunters, Tintaglia is dying of her wounds. If she perishes, her ancestral memories will die with her and the dragons in the ancient city of Kelsingra will lose the secret knowledge they need to survive.

The dragon keepers immerse themselves in the dangerously addictive memory-stone records of the city in the hope of recovering the lost Elderling magic that once allowed humans and dragons to co-exist. But war is coming: war between dragons and those who would destroy them…


The Fitz and the Fool trilogy


Fool’s Assassin — As far as the rest of the world knows, FitzChivalry Farseer is dead and buried. Masquerading as Tom Badgerlock, Fitz is now married to his childhood sweetheart, Molly, and leading the quiet life of a country squire.

Though Fitz is haunted by the disappearance of the Fool, who did so much to shape Fitz into the man he has become, such private hurts are put aside in the business of daily life, at least until the appearance of menacing, pale-skinned strangers casts a sinister shadow over Fitz’s past…and his future. Now, to protect his new life, the former assassin must once again take up his old one….

Fool’s Quest — Betrayed by his own people and broken by torment, the Fool has made his way back to the Six Duchies. But as Fitz attempts to heal his old friend in Buckkeep Castle, his young daughter Bee is abducted from Withywoods by pale and mysterious raiders. But can Fitz bear to take up the tools of his old trade again, even to avenge his dearest friend and save his child?

Assassin’s Fate — Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee has been abducted by Servants of the Four, the rulers of Clerres, in their search for the Unexpected Son. With Fitz in pursuit, the kidnappers fled through a Skillpillar with their prize, leaving no trace. Fitz and the Fool set out for Clerres on a mission for revenge that becomes a voyage of discovery, reunions, transformations and mysteries revealed. But they are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring the unlikely allies. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool must make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.


All The Realm of the Elderlings in chronological order

All short stories and novellas can be read at any time.


Realm of the Elderlings Quotes

“Don’t do what you can’t undo, until you’ve considered what you can’t do once you’ve done it.”
― Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Apprentice

“The man who must brag for himself knows that no one else will”
― Robin Hobb, Royal Assassin

“Stop thinking of what you intend to do. Stop thinking of what you have just done. Then, stop thinking that you have stopped thinking of those things. Then you will find the Now, the time that stretches eternal, and is really the only time there is.”
― Robin Hobb, Royal Assassin

“I healed. Not completely. A scar is never the same as good flesh, but it stops the bleeding.”
― Robin Hobb, Assassin’s Quest

“What you are born to be, you will be, whether it be priest or sailor. So step up and be it. Let them do nothing to you. Be the one who shapes yourself. Be who you are, and eventually all will have to recognize who you are, whether they are willing to admit it or not.”
― Robin Hobb, Ship of Magic

“Everyone thinks that courage is about facing death without flinching. But almost anyone can do that. Almost anyone can hold their breath and not scream for as long as it takes to die.

True courage is about facing life without flinching. I don’t mean the times when the right path is hard, but glorious at the end. I’m talking about enduring the boredom, the messiness, and the inconvenience of doing what is right.”
― Robin Hobb, The Mad Ship

“Tomorrow owes you the sum of your yesterdays. No more than that. And no less.”
― Robin Hobb, The Mad Ship

“When you fear to fail, you fear something that has not happened yet. You predict your own failure, and by inaction, lock yourself into it.”
― Robin Hobb, Ship of Destiny

“Death is always less painful and easier than life! You speak true. And yet we do not, day to day, choose death. Because ultimately, death is not the opposite of life, but the opposite of choice. Death is what you get when there are no choices left to make.”
― Robin Hobb, Fool’s Errand

“if love doesnt come first and linger after, if love can’t wait and endure disappointment and separation, then it’s not love.”
― Robin Hobb, Golden Fool

“We are the sum of all we have done added to the sum of all that has been done to us.”
― Robin Hobb, Golden Fool

“That is true. I could not prevent what was done to me, nor can I change what people made of me. But I know what I am and have decided to continue being what I am.”
― Robin Hobb, The Dragon Keeper

“Humans lived and died in a ridiculously short amount of time. Perhaps that was why they made so much noise when they were alive. Perhaps it was the only way they could convince one another of their significance.”
― Robin Hobb, Dragon Haven

“He longed for cleanliness and tidiness: it was hard to find peace in the middle of disorder.”
― Robin Hobb, City of Dragons

“Axes bit wood into pieces and hammers nailed it back together. Humans could never accept the world as it was and live in it. They were always breaking it and living amongst the shattered pieces.”
― Robin Hobb, Blood of Dragons

“Time is an unkind teacher, delivering lessons that we learn far too late for them to be useful. Years after I could have benefited from them, the insights come to me.”
― Robin Hobb, Fool’s Assassin

“If you don’t decide what you will do with the rest of your life, someone else will decide it for you.”
― Robin Hobb, Fool’s Quest

“Sometimes it seems unfair that events so old can reach forward through the years, sinking claws into one’s life and twisting all that follows it. Yet perhaps that is the ultimate justice: we are the sum of all we have done added to the sum of all that has been done to us. There is no escaping that, not for any of us.”
― Robin Hobb, Fool’s Fate

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