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The Tales of Goldstone Wood series is notorious for non-chronological writing, and the publication order doesn't at all reflect "in-universe" time.

What is the proper chronological order of the books in the series? Is there any reason to read them in publication order (rather than chronological order)?

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General Review of The Tales of Goldstone Wood

This is a wonderful book series. It's Christian fantasy allegory, so if you liked Narnia, you'll probably like this. However, two caveats:

  • Most of the book covers aren't accurate to the content of the books. Just ignore them completely.

  • The books are published out of chronological order, to the detriment of the reader's understanding and enjoyment. The author herself has stated that she believes Heartless is the best introduction to the series, but I completely disagree (for many reasons outlined in my Goodreads review of that book). Here is the order in which these beautiful novels sit upon my bookshelf.

The Tales of Goldstone Wood Chronological Order

  1. Draven's Light (novella, publishing order #9)
  2. Starflower (publishing order #4)
  3. Dragonwitch (publishing order #5)
  4. Golden Daughter (publishing order #8)
  5. Fallen Star (short story, publishing order #10)
  6. Veiled Rose(publishing order #2)
  7. Goddess Tithe (novella, publishing order #7)
  8. Heartless (publishing order #1)
  9. Moonblood(publishing order #3)
  10. Shadow Hand (publishing order #6)
  11. Poison Crown (not yet released)

The Tales of Goldstone Wood Reading Guide

I recommend everyone to begin with Starflower. It is chronologically the first (and quite possibly the best) full-fledged novel of the series. This book is a fantastic, memorable introduction to the world and some of its key characters, and reading it first will cement a strong foundation in the reader's mind for the rest of the series to be built on. Finally, it can actually stand alone very well if the reader does not have the time or interest to continue with the series.

After reading Starflower, gauge your interest. Are you 100% invested, with all the time in the world and all the dedication you need to get through the whole series? Then I recommend the following reading order, which is the chronological order except for the swap of Starflower and Draven's Light (for reasons previously stated), AND moving the short story "Fallen Star" after Moonblood(imperative because there are major spoilers in the short story).

  1. Starflower
  2. Draven's Light (novella)
  3. Dragonwitch
  4. Golden Daughter
  5. Veiled Rose
  6. Goddess Tithe (novella)
  7. Heartless
  8. Moonblood
  9. Fallen Star (short story)
  10. Shadow Hand
  11. Poison Crown (not yet released)

HOWEVER, if you enjoyed Starflower but aren't ready to commit to a huge series, I recommend following up Starflower with:

  1. Veiled Rose
  2. Heartless
  3. Moonblood

These three are the first books the author wrote and they stand as a kind of trilogy. Reading these alone would be akin to just reading the Pevensie books in the Narnia series, or only watching the original Star Wars trilogy. The important work of the series is in these books. If you finish these three books and feel that you would like to read more, I recommend Shadow Hand next, as it continues on with the same characters, before going back into the earlier books of the series (which you may consider supplementary material, like the "prequel" Star Wars movies).

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    What an excellent first answer on our site! Welcome to Lit.SE, and don't forget to take the Tour :-) – Chappo Nov 24 '18 at 4:02
  • Agreed, great answer! We also have a couple of other unanswered Goldstone Wood questions on the site, in case you want to help out some more in this tag. – Rand al'Thor Nov 24 '18 at 12:32
  • Thanks, excellent answer. Welcome to the site! – EJoshuaS Nov 24 '18 at 16:22
  • There is also "Tree of Silver Tree of Gold" this was the first book of hers that I read – Coline Harmon Jan 18 at 18:18

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