Book Series and Recommended Reading Orders
So if you've been around here for a while, you probably know that when I first starting writing and publishing I had no idea what I was doing, and quite frankly had no real direction. I just knew that I wanted to write a big fantasy epic.
For the sake of brevity and time, I'll try to make a really long story short.
If you want the TL;DR just scroll to the bottom.
After I'd finished writing Dragon's Fire and moved into writing The Halls of the Fallen King, I realized that I had nothing to offer new potential readers and that THotFK would take a while before it would be ready. I needed to get something out to not only existing but to potential new readers as well. So, I decided that I'd write a prequel that would not only provide some historical context to the world of Aurion. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to introduce the readers to the magic of the world of Aurion, which you don't get in Dragon's Fire—because those characters are unaware that it even actually exists outside of myth and legend. Thus The Chronicles of Aurion was born.
I wrote a fun little novella that I am actually quite proud of. It's a very unique look at the world's history and is framed as a story within a story. I took a chance on the delivery of the narrative, but readers love it. I guess it worked out.
But I digress (often), TCoA did serve to provide historical context to the world as well as giving readers a solid introduction to the world's magic. However, the one common piece of feedback that I've gotten from most readers is that they actually thought it was best read after Dragon's Fire. Go figure.
I think in many ways they are right. It's a different cast of characters, so it can be read whenever, but reading it right before diving into THotFK can certainly be good, but I think it's fine either way.
So why the blog article and not just number them 1 through 4?
Ah, and therein lies the rub. Apparently Amazon's series naming and numbering policy have strict limitations on what you can and cannot do. You can only use whole numbers, and those numbers cannot be contradicted anywhere on the cover or descriptions, etc. That's completely reasonable, but it totally prevents me from having a prequel as anything other than Book #1, which means I would have to redo the covers of all my books, because Dragon's Fire would then need to be Book #2, etc. I looked at a number of different ways of trying to solve the naming/numbering dilemma, but there was really only one solution I felt comfortable with.
That was to split the books into two different series, though the storylines are interwoven. Plenty of other authors do it, so it's not some groundbreaking idea or anything.
So from this point forward the Beating Back the Darkness series is reserved for the novels that make up the core storyline: Dragon's Fire, The Halls of the Fallen King, Book 3, and Book 4.
The side stories, novellas, etc., would now be given their own series name, which is Chronicles of Darkness, paying homage to the two books that created the whole dilemma in the first place. ;) In the future, I think I'll just plan these things out ahead of time.
So without further adieu, here is my own personal recommended reading order. Dragon's Fire
Book 3 (Coming 2020)
Book 4 (Coming 2021) Then, of course, there's also...