Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Books in Order (Abhorsen Series)

The Old Kingdom is a fantasy book series by Australian author Garth Nix, also known as Abhorsen in North America.

Reading the Old Kingdom Series in Order

The Old Kingdom series includes several novels, a few short stories, novellas and other texts. There are different ways to read the series, from the classic publication order to the internal chronology.

The Old Kingdom Books in Publication Order

If you new to the Old Kingdom, the best way is naturally to follow the publication order, and you should first focus on the books, consisting of the main trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen), two prequel novels (Clariel, Terciel & Elinor), and a sequel novel (Goldenhand).

Sabriel (1995)
Lirael (2001)
Abhorsen (2003)
Clariel (2014)
Goldenhand (2016)
Terciel and Elinor (2021)

The Old Kingdom Novellas and short stories

After reading the novels, you can explore the short stories, novellas, and extra material

– “Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case” (2005, novella), published in the anthology Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories.
– “An Extract of the Journal of Idrach the Lesser Necromancer” (2005, short story), released on the Old Kingdom Website.
– “A Guide to the Necromancer Bells”, released on the Old Kingdom Website.
– “An Essay on Free Magic”, released on the Old Kingdom Website.
– “To Hold the Bridge” (2010, novella), published in the Anthology To Hold the Bridge.
– “Doctor Crake Crosses the Wall” (2016, short story), released on the Old Kingdom Website.

The Old Kingdom Novels and Short Stories in Chronological Order

This is the complete reading order, with every story Garth Nix wrote taking place in this universe, following the internal chronological order.

To Hold the Bridge (novella)
Clariel (novel)
– An Extract of the Journal of Idrach the Lesser Necromancer (short story)
– An Essay on Free Magic (short story)
Terciel and Elinor (novel)
– A Guide to the Necromancer Bells (short story)
Sabriel (novel)
Lirael (novel)
Abhorsen (novel)
Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case (novella)
Goldenhand (novel)
– Doctor Crake Crosses the Wall (short story)

More about the Old Kingdom series

The Story of the Old Kingdom

To preserve life, the Abhorsen must enter death.

The story begins with Sabriel. As a child, she was sent across the Wall to Ancelstierre to safety. Now eighteen years old, she receives a cryptic and desperate message from her father, the Abhorsen—the magical protector whose task it is to bind and send back to Death those who won’t stay Dead.

Fiercely determined to help her father, who is perilously trapped in Death, and save him from the sinister Free Magic entity that has somehow ensnared him, Sabriel must prepare to enter Death herself—and find her destiny.

Does the Old Kingdom series need to be read in order?

The Old Kingdom is not really a book series where you can pick up a book at random. That said, Garth Nix himself recommends the publication order. That said, after the main trilogy, you can read them in the order you want.

How many books are there in the series?

At the time of writing, there are 6 full-length novels in the Old Kingdom’s series. There also a few short stories and novellas.

Has the Old Kingdom books series ended?

Not for now. The Old Kingdom series continues.

One inspiration behind The Old Kingdom

In an interview published in the Harvard Crimson, Garth Nix gave the name of a few authors that inspired the Old Kingdom universe:

THC: What books were inspirational to your world-building or helped define your breed of fantasy and science fiction?

GN: “You could probably mention any significant science fiction or fantasy author in the ’60s and ’70s. Other writers in other genres, especially historical fiction. People like Rosemary Sutcliff, Mary Stuart. Some more obvious things like Robert Graves’s memoir of World War I. That was quite important as there is a sort of World War I trench warfare element to the Old Kingdom. Nonfiction, some of that as well. I’ve always read a lot of history and mythology.”

Is there an adaptation of the Old Kingdom books series?

Not all books are destined to become a TV show or a movie. For the moment, no adaptation of the Old Kingdom is planned.

About the author of the Old Kingdom series

Who is Garth Nix?

Garth Nix is not a pseudonym. Garth Nix is an Australian author born in Melbourne who specializes in children’s and young adult fantasy novels.

Before, Garth Nix worked as a soldier in the Australian Army Reserve, as a bookseller, book sales representative, book editor, and literary agent.

He published his first book, a young adult horror/fantasy novel called The Ragwitch in 1990, before launching the Old Kingdom series a few years later with Sabriel (1995). He became a full-time writer in 2001.

What has Garth Nix written beyond the Old Kingdom series?

Garth Nix is a prolific writer. Beyond the Old Kingdom series, his books also include the Seventh Tower series; The Keys to the Kingdom series; The Left-Handed Booksellers of London series; SF novels Shade’s Children and A Confusion of Prince; and more than 60 short stories! He has also co-written several books with Sean Williams, including the Troubletwisters series.