Where to Start
Wondering where to start with Victoria Goddard's work? Likely the most common starting point is The Hands of the Emperor, though the Greenwing & Dart books or Derring-Do for Beginners are also good places to start. This article by Alexandra Rowland discusses possible places to start:
Reading Order after The Hands of the Emperor
Already read The Hands of the Emperor and wondering where to go next? Victoria Goddard's website has one possible reading order, but her books are all interconnected and there are very few bad choices for what to read next. Each read (and reread) will give you more context on the others.
At the Feet of the Sun
The direct sequel to The Hands of the Emperor is At the Feet of the Sun, and it continues following Kip's perspective after the events of that book. While At the Feet of the Sun can be read directly after The Hands of the Emperor, it may be recommended to read other additional books first. Victoria Goddard described The Return of Fitzroy Angursell as "key" to read before At the Feet of the Sun, and Portrait of a Wide Seas Islander and The Redoubtable Pali Avramapul as providing "excellent context." Both The Return of Fitzroy Angursell and The Redoubtable Pali Avramapul cover events that take place in between The Hands of the Emperor and At the Feet of the Sun, so readers who wish to follow events as they unfold chronologically for the characters may prefer to read those two books first.
- The Return of Fitzroy Angursell (novel): Picks up right where The Hands of the Emperor leaves off, with his Radiancy’s quest. More action-adventure vibes than The Hands of the Emperor. # 1 of The Red Company Reformed series.
- The Redoubtable Pali Avramapul (novel): Pali’s perspective covering the time period from The Hands of the Emperor and continuing after the events in The Return of Fitzroy Angursell. #2 of The Red Company Reformed series, but possibly readable first. Earlier stories about Pali's youth are covered in the Sisters Avramapul books, but these are not required to read The Redoubtable Pali Avramapul.
- Portrait of a Wide Seas Islander (novella): Buru Tovo’s perspective of the events in The Hands of the Emperor through his visit to Solara
Nearly all of the other currently published books will also provide additional perspective and context that will inform your reading of At the Feet of the Sun, so which and how many to read before continuing on to At the Feet of the Sun will be a personal choice. Brief descriptions in the following section will help guide you through the options.
Which other books you choose to read after The Hands of the Emperor and in which order probably depend on what you’re looking for:
For more his Radiancy content consider:
- The Tower at the Edge of the World (short story): Story about his Radiancy’s time as Marwn.
- Petty Treasons (novella): His Radiancy’s perspective on the time period in which Kip first becomes his secretary.
For more Kip content consider:
- Those Who Hold the Fire (novelette): Kip at age 13 learning from Buru Tovo
- Traditional Culture Days at Uni (short story, discord exclusive): Story about university aged Kip.
Other Hands of the Emperor related content:
- Féonie and the Islander Regalia (novelette, discord exclusive): Covers the events of The Hands of the Emperor from the perspective of Kip’s costumer Féonie.
- Terec and the Wild (novelette): Story about the wild mage Conju knew in his youth
- The Game of Courts (novella): Story about how Conju became part of the Imperial Household, the latter end which overlaps with Petty Treasons.
- Deleted scene from the end of The Hands of the Emperor (discord exclusive): Takes place between the regency ceremony and the after party.
More on the Red Company
- Derring-Do for Beginners: The beginnings of the Red Company, with the first meeting of some members.
- In the Company of Gentlemen (short story): An old solder recounts one of the legendary stories of the Red Company.
- The Sisters Avramapul (trilogy of three novellas (one still forthcoming), beginning with The Bride of the Blue Wind): Back story about Pali Avramapul and her sisters. Fairy tale vibes.
More Nine Worlds stuff:
- Greenwing & Dart (series of novels, beginning with Stargazy Pie): A series of mysteries featuring young people returning from university to their hometown of Ragnor Bella. Cozy mystery vibes.
- Stone Speaks to Stone: Short story about Jemis Greenwing's father from Greenwing & Dart.
- Aurelius (to be called) Magnus (novelette): Story about Aurelius Magnus as a young man.
- Till Human Voices Wake Us (novel): Novel about the Lord of Ysthar pretending to his friends that everything is fine, while finishing a magical challenge that could threaten the entire world.
- In the Realms of Gold: Short story collection set on Ysthar.
Other reading order resources and recommendations
Looking for more specific reading order suggestions?
- Victoria Goddard's website has suggestions for both a series based and a chronology based reading order.
- Writingordinaryrealies' reading order flow chart!
- Seekeronthepath's slideshow about what to read on her tumblr!
- Roundedloaf's please just tell me what to read guide!
- toopunkrockforshul's chaos but it's actually not that chaos just atypical reading order
Still not sure?
Feel free to ask in the fan discord for a more personalized answer!