One of the questions I get asked fairly often is what order I would recommend reading the various books and novellas in The Song of the Shattered Sands. I had an old post that was lost when I migrated, so here it is once more with the latest novella, The Last Days of Old Sharakhai, included.
For those who simply enjoy the world, my purpose in writing the novellas was to share more about the history of the desert, the vast set of characters, and the various unexplored corners of Sharakhai. I don't consider it necessary to read the novellas (Books 1 through 6 in the main series tell a full arc and it needs no embellishment to enjoy it fully). That said, the two shorter works that come closest to required reading are Of Sand & Malice Made and The Tattered Prince and the Demon Veiled. Those two in particular give insight into Brama, a thiefy acquaintance of Çeda's, and Rümayesh, a vicious, djinn-like being. Since both Brama and Rümayesh play such large parts in the later books, reading those two will give you insight into who they are and how their stories became entwined with Çeda's.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are a few novellas that tell stories about the near or distant past (i.e. before Twelve Kings in Sharakhai opens). As such, they really could be read at any time. I tried my best to put them in close proximity to the places where the characters were introduced or were most important to the main story.
All that said, here's my recommended reading order (with novellas indented):
- Twelve Kings in Sharakhai
- Of Sand & Malice Made (a triptych of three novellas that tell a single arc)
- The Tattered Prince and the Demon Veiled (novella)
- A Wasteland of My God's Own Making (novella)
- With Blood Upon the Sand
- A Veil of Spears
- The Doors at Dusk and Dawn (novella)
- The Village Where Brightwine Flows (novella)
- Beneath the Twisted Trees
- The Flight of the Whisper King (novella)
- When Jackals Storm the Walls
- A Desert Torn Asunder
- The Last Days of Old Sharakhai (novella)
Happy reading, everyone!