When I first found out there are over 50 different Magic The Gathering books and stories to read, I had no idea where to start. I wanted to gain a better understanding of Magic’s story, but at the time what order I should read the books in was a mystery to me. If you are interested in getting started with all of the stories and novels that Magic The Gathering has to offer, this should point you in the write direction.
As a general rule, the order to read Magic The Gathering books is chronological. Reading the books chronologically presents a clear timeline of events within the Magic The Gathering’s multiverse. However, reading the books in release order offers a more character-focused narrative.
One of the main advantages of starting to read the Magic The Gathering books now is that you don’t have to read them in release order!
I personally don’t recommend you try to read through all the novels and short stories in release order at this point, as new stories have been added that go back and fill in gaps of information that were missing.
Reading the stories in chronological order of when they took place in the timeline of the Magic The Gathering’s universe leads to a lot less confusion and a better reading experience. Not only that, but reading the stories in chronological order adds another layer of foreshadowing to some novels that were written as prequels to events that happen later on in Magic’s timeline.
Over 50 stories is a lot though! I have tried my best to list the chronological order of all the Magic The Gathering stories and I recommend you use the table of contents below to navigate this page if you are looking for a specific story.
If you are looking to go through the entire Magic The Gathering series of stories, I suggest that you bookmark this page in your browser.
You can always come back to this page later after you have finished a story and want to know which one you should read next – Trust me, having to google this question every time you finish a story gets annoying very quickly.
Some of the Magic The Gathering stories are free to read online and so, whenever possible, I have tried to include direct links to where you can not only read any of these Magic’s stories, but also listen to the free audiobook versions available online.
As a story addict and writer myself, I hope the list below is helpful to those of you that have been looking to get into Magic’s story but didn’t know where to start. Happy reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Thran
- 2 The Brothers’ War
- 3 The Colors of Magic
- 4 The Gathering Dark
- 5 The Eternal Ice
- 6 The Shattered Alliance
- 7 Outlaw
- 8 Heretic
- 9 Guardian
- 10 Planeswalker
- 11 Time Streams
- 12 Johan
- 13 Jedit
- 14 Hazezon
- 15 Assassin’s Blade
- 16 Emperor’s Fist
- 17 Champion’s Trial
- 18 Bloodlines
- 19 Rath and Storm
- 20 Mercadian Masques
- 21 Nemesis
- 22 Prophecy
- 23 Invasion
- 24 Planeshift
- 25 Apocalypse
- 26 Odyssey
- 27 Chainer’s Torment
- 28 Judgment
- 29 Onslaught
- 30 Legions
- 31 Scourge
- 32 The Moons of Mirrodin
- 33 The Darksteel Eye
- 34 The Fifth Dawn
- 35 Ravnica
- 36 Guildpact
- 37 Dissension
- 38 Time Spiral
- 39 Planar Chaos
- 40 Future Sight
- 41 Lorwyn
- 42 Morningtide
- 43 Shadowmoor
- 44 Eventide
- 45 Agents of Artifice
- 46 Alara Unbroken
- 47 The Purifying Fire
- 48 Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum
- 49 Test of Metal
- 50 Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn
- 51 Return to Ravnica
- 52 Gatecrash
- 53 Dragon’s Maze
- 54 Theros: Godsend
- 55 Journey into Nyx:
- 56 Magic Story (Online Publications)
- 57 Children of the Nameless
- 58 Magic Story (Online Publications)
- 59 The Gathering Storm
- 60 War of the Spark: Ravnica
- 61 War of the Spark: Forsaken
- 62 Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest
- 63 Ikoria: Lair of the Beasts: Sundered Bond
The first book you should read is arguable the most important story when trying to get an understanding of the Magic The Gathering universe – which is a great thing if you are just getting started with Magic’s lore.
The Thran provides some essential backstory that you are going to need as you continue to read more of Magic’s stories as it sets the foundation for all other stories after it in the timeline.
The back is set entire millennia before the events of some of the other books in this list and is written by, arguable, one of the best writers to contribute to Magic’s stories, J. Robert King. I highly recommend if you just getting started on this journey that you start with this story.
The Brothers’ War
Artifacts Cycle, Book 1. If you have been playing Magic The Gathering for long enough, at some point you have probably heard someone reference The Brother’s War.
Even if by some chance that you haven’t, you’ll definitely know the names Urza and Mishra. The Brother’s War tells the story of Magic’s most famous siblings and their war for the plane “Dominaira”.
Excellently written by Jeff Grubb and one of the longest Magic The Gathering novels, this story is excellent for any Magic The Gathering player wanting to finally understand all of the references they see on card names and why they are so important to Magic’s lore and history.
The Colors of Magic
Time for some world-building! The Colors of Magic is an anthology of dependent short stories set in the world of Dominaria and follows the lives of individuals living on the plane.
These short stories take place after the events of the previous novel in this list and how the aftermath of Urza and Mishra’s battle has affected the lives of the people living on the Dominaria, for better or worse.
This collection of stories is great for adding another level of depth to the world of Magic The Gathering as you’ll get to see the lives of people that inhabit Magic’s universe and catch up with previous characters like Feldon. A fantastic follow-on for anyone that read The Brothers’ War.
The Gathering Dark
Ice Age Cycle, Book 1. Following on from the events of The Brother’s War, we are introduced to the character Jodah and through him, we are given a better insight into the magic system that exists within Magic’s universe.
The system of magic that this novel introduces into the Magic The Gathering timeline will be more familiar to players of the card game and will help to ground all of the magic that readers will come across in other stories moving forward.
Some of the later Magic stories don’t do a good job of explaining how the Magic system works and some writers will occasionally introduce some inconsistencies in Magic’s magic lore. Besides being a great book to read, it also helps ground you in the universe’s magic system as you continue to read more stories.
The Eternal Ice
Ice Age Cycle, Book 2. The Eternal Ice continues the story of Jodah and focuses more on him as a character rather than the Magic The Gathering universe as a whole.
Since this is a direct squeal to the previous book, I’ll try not to mention any spoilers related to the narrative, however, in this novel you’ll start to encounter some Planeswalkers that you may be familiar with from the trading card game.
Getting to meet and read about some of the Planeswalkers we see printed on cards is always a real treat for me as they will continue to be mentioned throughout all of Magic’s media.
Although this story doesn’t add much to Magic’s universe as a whole, it’s still worth a read if you enjoy the character Jodah and want to meet some of Magic’s Planeswalkers.
The Shattered Alliance
Ice Age Cycle, Book 3. This is a great read for those looking for some closure on the events surrounding the life of our main character Jodah while also leading us deeper into the world of Magic.
The events of this story will help to better add more content around the stories surrounding Urza and help to set the stage for important stories to come in this list involving the Wetherlight – more on that later.
A part of feels that book 2 and 3 of these series could have somehow been combined into a single book as, by the end of book 2, I was starting to want the story to move along a bit quicker of a pass.
However, book 3 does a decent job of wrapping up this storyline and allowing us to interact with more of Magic’s famous characters like Jaya and Gerda – Always a pleasure!
Note: It’s cheaper and easier to get this novel second-hand on eBay – Here is a link for the paperback version.
Kamigawa Cycle, Book 1. Outlaw is the first of a Japanese-inspired series that takes place in a new setting on the plane of “Kamigawa“. The book does a great job of introducing you to the new setting and all of the major characters, so you soon feel at home again when coming from the other Magic novels.
I found this book starts to really flex some of Magic’s potential worldbuilding prowess that you’ll come across even more in later stories with the introduction of various races and well-developed characters.
The Kamigawa block in the Magic The Gathering card game is easily one of the most talked-about sets by older players and it’s great to see the story behind Kamigawa and how it starts to tie into Magic’s story as a whole.
Warning: When reading the paperback version of this book, I noticed a lot more spelling/grammar mistakes than I am used to seeing from a published novel. I may have picked up on these due to being a writer, or maybe the author was going for the truly authentic “Engrish” approach (you might not get that joke if you haven’t lived in Japan), but either way, some errors were present.
This may have been addressed in the digital/kindle version of the story, but I’m uncertain. I recommend getting that digital version just in case though if that kind of thing really bothers you. Otherwise, it’s still a great read!
Kamigawa Cycle, Book 2. Normally squeals struggle to outshine what came before them, but I’m happy to say that isn’t the case for the second book in the series!
Even though I enjoyed the first book, I can confidently say that Heretic is even better than Outlaw. Regardless of the fact that there are far fewer grammar/spelling issues present in Heretic and I have little issue with recommending the paperback version, the story continues to improve upon what came before it.
Due to the introduction of a new plane in the first novel, a lot of time was spent allowing the reader to come to grips with the new environment and characters – but that’s not the case in Heretic. The story is action-packed and a fun read!
Kamigawa Cycle, Book 3. The final book in the Kamigawa series and it doesn’t disappoint.
People may think I am bias due to the fact that I live in Japan, but even if that wasn’t the case, this would still be one of my favorite series from the Magic The Gathering line of stories. Guardian ends the series off well and is one of the storylines within Magic that I would be surprised if we see some sort of TV series based on the books.
Every Magic player should read this series as I’m fairly confident that it is only a matter of time before card game revisits the plane of Kamigawa, so it’s good to know your history.
If you happen to be curious about how Japan views Magic The Gathering you can check out this article: “Is Magic The Gathering Popular In Japan? (Expat’s Answer)”
Artifacts Cycle, Book 2. And so we return back to Urza and see what has befallen him after the events of The Brothers’ War.
If you wondering we didn’t continue straight on to this book after The Brother’s War, remember this list is the chronological order of stories. While certain events are happening in one corner of Magic’s multiverse, other important stories are being told at the same time – reading the novels this way helps to keep the timeline for readers consistent and makes the story way less confusing as we jump from plane to plane.
In fact, this couldn’t be more true for this novel – not only do we get to see what happened to Urza after the war, but as you might have guessed from the title, there is a whole lot of planeswalking in this novel!
Artifacts Cycle, Book 3. Where the previous book appears to be a lot of setup and laying the groundwork for what was to come, Time Streams is a real step up in terms of storytelling.
Picking up where the last book ended, the story focuses on Urza’s conflict with Phyrexia. Whether you are an old or new Magic The Gathering player, I find it hard to believe that you haven’t heard the name “Phyrexia” before.
Not only did the card set based around Phyrexia have a huge impact on the card game, across many of Magic’s formats – so much so that a fair few Phyrexian cards ended up getting banned, but the impact that Phyrexia has on the Magic story can’t be understated.
This novel is action PACKED – lots of battle scenes and a seemly never-ending supply of attacking mutants from Phyrexia. But better than all that, in this book, we meet Jhoira, Barrin, and Teferi!
Legends Cycle, Book 1. Clayton Emery is arguably one of the better writers that have penned a Magic The Gathering story.
Johan steps away from the larger-than-life stories involving Urza and dives into the land of Jammuar and the madman named Johan that is trying to conquer it. The story focuses on a cast of characters that aren’t your typical heroes and have some of the better character development seen in Magic stories.
The story is fast, fun and a fantastic introduction for what more there is to come from this Magic storyline.
Legends Cycle, Book 2. Picking up where we left off in the previous story, this story focuses on the son of Jaeger, Jedit.
The story follows Jedit as he tries to seek revenge against Johan and discover the fate of his father. The story is full of good characters, fast-paced fight scenes, and is a good leisurely read.
Truthfully, it’s unlikely that this novel will end up being your favorite Magic story to read as there are just more compelling narratives in the world of Magic. However, if you are a fan of Magic The Gathering this story should be a decent read for most people as we continue along the multiverses timeline.
Legends Cycle, Book 3. If you felt like the second book’s narrative somewhat lacked focus and are worried it would be more of the same in the 3rd book, don’t worry – it’s a solid book with a solid conclusion to the Legends Cycle.
The final entry into the trilogy is a good plot-driven experience that is far more reminiscent of book 1 in the series. Unlike many of the other Magic stories, Hazezon’s ending doesn’t leave you with many unanswered questions and most readers will be happy with the conclusion that the story gives us.
Definitely one of the better conclusions we get from Magic stories.
Note: It’s cheaper and easier to get this story second-hand on eBay – Here is a link for the paperback version.
Legends Cycle Two, Book 1.
Legends Cycle Two, Book 2.
Note: It’s cheaper and easier to get this story second-hand on eBay – Here is a link for the paperback version.
Legends Cycle Two, Book 3.
Artifacts Cycle, Book 4.
Rath and Storm
Masquerade Cycle, Book 1.
Masquerade Cycle, Book 2.
Masquerade Cycle, Book 3.
Invasion Cycle, Book 1.
Invasion Cycle, Book 2.
Invasion Cycle, Book 3.
Odyssey Cycle, Book 1
Odyssey Cycle, Book 2.
Odyssey Cycle, Book 3.
Onslaught Cycle, Book 1.
Onslaught Cycle, Book 2.
Onslaught Cycle, Book 3.
The Moons of Mirrodin
Mirrodin Cycle, Book 1.
The Darksteel Eye
Mirrodin Cycle, Book 2.
The Fifth Dawn
Mirrodin Cycle, Book 3.
Ravnica Cycle, Book 1.
Ravnica Cycle, Book 2.
Ravnica Cycle, Book 3.
Time Spiral Cycle, Book 1.
Time Spiral Cycle, Book 2.
Time Spiral Cycle, Book 3.
Lorwyn Cycle, Book 1.
Lorwyn Cycle, Book 2.
Shadowmoor Cycle, Book 1.
Shadowmoor Cycle, Book 2.
Agents of Artifice
Planeswalker, Book 1.
The Purifying Fire
Planeswalker, Book 2.
Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum
Test of Metal
Planeswalker, Book 3.
Scars of Mirrodin: The Quest for Karn
Return to Ravnica
The Secretist, Book 1.
The Secretist, Book 2.
Godsend, Book 1.
Journey into Nyx:
Godsend, Book 2.
Magic Story (Online Publications)
Children of the Nameless
Magic Story (Online Publications)
The Gathering Storm
The Gathering Storm acts as a free 20 part short story prequel to the upcoming novel in this list, “War of the Spark: Ravnica”. The short stories set the stage for the huge Planeswalker war that is about to take place on the planes of Ravnica.
War of the Spark: Ravnica
War of the Spark: Ravnica is arguably one of the most awkward reading experiences that you will come across in Magic storytelling.
The reason for that is the novel doesn’t include some of the side stories that are taking place simultaneously on the planes of Ravnica that were published on Magic The Gathering’s official website.
To get the best reading experience from this novel, you have to jump back and forth between reading the novel and the short stories that were published online. Thankfully the online short stories tell you which chapters of the book that you need to read first to avoid any of the online stories spoiling parts of the novel.
I link to both the novel and the short stories below, just remember to only read a short story after the specified novel chapter.
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—Old Friends and New (Read After Chapter 18)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—The Path to Opulent (Read After Chapter 29)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—Rallying the Reluctant (Read After Chapter 32)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—Desperate Operatives (Read After Chapter 42)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—Operation Desperation (Read After Chapter 49)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
|War of the Spark: Ravnica—Ashes (Read After Chapter 67)||Free Audio Version||Ravnica|
War of the Spark: Forsaken
Throne of Eldraine: The Wildered Quest
Ikoria: Lair of the Beasts: Sundered Bond
Hope some of you have found this resource guide useful when it comes to reading and keeping up with the story of Magic The Gathering.
The list above still isn’t perfect and I need to reorder some of the free online publications so that they better fit into Magic’s chronological timeline of events.
I’ll continue to work on this list and update it as time goes by – So remember to bookmark this webpage in your web browser if you are interested in keeping up with Magic’s huge story as new cards are released!