Realm Of The Elderlings – Robin Hobb Books In Order (22+ Book Fantasy Series)

Robin Hobb’s most loved work is the Realm of the Elderlings collection. It started off as one trilogy but evolved into a 6 part collection.

Most of these sections are additional trilogies in the same world but through the eyes of different characters. Although most are thick novels, some are short stories that expand the worldbuilding.

Realm Of The Elderlings - Robin Hobb Books In Order (22+ Book Fantasy Series)

The series itself is an epic adventure. Some follow the concept of royalty and political struggle, while others discuss the subtleties and secrets of magic and mayhem.

Robin Hobb has won multiple awards and nominations for this collection from the British Fantasy Award to the World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement.

In total, she has won 8 critically acclaimed awards and has been nominated for 17.

About The Realm Of The Elderlings

In this world, the Elderlings are people who have been changed due to their connections to Dragons.

They have either consumed their blood or their scales. They are considered myths in this world, until one day they start to return.

Hobb discusses themes of nature, homophobia, shame and control all through the use of magic and nobility.

Allegories for our own lives can be found between the lines of her work, and yet the stories can easily be read as the fun fantasy they are without deep diving into metaphors.

Each series follows a different set of main characters, but their stories are so different that you don’t need to read them in the order described below. They will still make sense, and they don’t often overlap.

The Realm Of The Elderlings In Order

The Farseer Trilogy

The Farseer Trilogy Collection 3 Books Set By Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest)

The Farseer Trilogy follows FitzChivalry Farseer. The bastard child of the King, Fitz lives in the Kingdom of the Six Duchies and is forced to abandon his world to become the king’s personal assassin.

Alone, with no friends and no home, his only link is to the animals he can magically bond with. However, such a gift is considered abhorred by the nobles.

Fitz has to learn about courtly manners and weaponry on his journey to become a royal assassin.

The story discusses themes of family, duty, nature, and hierarchy while also exploring the fun mechanics of magic and new worlds.

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)

The Trilogy Consists Of:


  • Slow Steady Story
  • Fun Characters
  • Old School Fantasy


  • Not Action Packed

The Liveship Traders Trilogy

Books 1-3 of Robin Hobb's The Liveship Traders Trilogy (Complete Set: Ship of Magic, Mad Ship, Ship of Destiny)

The Liveship Traders trilogy takes place around 8 years after the Farseer trilogy. It also takes place near the Six Duchies, but this story expands Hobb’s world as the traders explore far-off lands.

This time the story follows Wintrow, Althea, and the ship itself. Named Vivicia, the ship is made out of Wizardwood, a sentient material and the most precious commodity in the world.

The series consists of mystery, political intrigue, and magical mayhem, and it all starts when 3 successive generations die on the ship.

Under new ownership, schemers come out of the woodwork trying to steal in this moment of vulnerability.

Ship of Magic: The Liveship Traders (Liveship Traders Trilogy Book 1)

The Trilogy Consists Of:


  • Fantastic Pirate Storyline
  • Emotional
  • Multi-POV


  • Some Characters Are Annoying

The Tawny Man Trilogy

The Tawny Man Trilogy 3-Book Bundle: Fool's Errand, Golden Fool, Fool's Fate

Another 15 years pass when we are reunited with Fitz and his story.

The world still persecutes the Witted (or those with magical powers connected to animals), but Fitz is more concerned with his new job.

Prince Dutiful has gone missing just days before his arranged diplomatic wedding.

The Fool is a character found in the previous two series. Now we follow the connecting protagonist back to Fitz where a prophecy can be fulfilled.

In this series, we see previously solidified ideas (created in the other trilogies) tearing apart as new magic becomes known to us – Skill.

This series is as whimsical as the titles. With a protagonist called Fool, you can expect humor and confusion in this heartwarming series. But despite its warming beginnings, there are some haunting moments.

Fool's Errand: The Tawny Man Trilogy Book 1

The Trilogy Consists Of:


  • Slow And Detailed
  • Good Pacing
  • Emotional


  • Not Action Packed

The Rain Wild Chronicles

Robin Hobb The Rain Wild Chronicles Trilogy Collection 4 Books Set Pack NEW

From a 3 part trilogy to a 4 part chronicle, the Rain Wild chronicle shifts the story from humans to dragons.

We follow the dragon keepers – humans who have tied themselves to the fate of dragons – as they search for the lost city of Kelsingrain.

One of the main characters is a young girl who has been harmed by the Rain Wilds’ magic.

Those who are touched by this invisible power are left with mutations such as horns, claws, scales, or even alters.

Her name is Thymara, and her mother is ashamed of this mark of inferiority.

Like Game of Thrones, this series follows multiple people. Each person affects the world in their own way.

Unlike the other stories of quests and grand individuals, this chronicle takes a different turn.

It’s a story about self-discovery, people, and the concept of difference. Magic isn’t the solution, and it isn’t used as a deus ex machina.

Dragon Keeper

The Chronicles Include:


  • Great Metaphors For Neglecting Nature
  • Emotional
  • Fast Paced


  • Political Not Action

The Fitz And The Fool Trilogy

The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy (Realm of the Elderlings, Books 14-16)

The Fitz and the Fool occurs a couple of years after the Tawny Man trilogy ends. The exact time isn’t announced, but some fans have worked out that Fitz may be in his 50s.

Our story begins with Tom Bagerlock, but this isn’t his real name. No, he is Fitz in disguise, on the run from his old life.

A messenger comes looking for him, but before the letter can be sent, he disappears. All that’s left is a bloodied trail.

Who was the messenger? How did they find Fitz? What happened to them?

This series is one of mystery and confusion, as Fitz has to re-enter into the world that he ran away from.

Some of Robin Hobb’s series can be read without touching the others in her collection. This isn’t one of them.

To truly understand the implications of each action, and every change, you need to know the world already created.

This trilogy is a masterpiece designed for people who love to unpick lore and keep the details in their memory.

Fool's Assassin (Fitz and the Fool)

The Trilogy Includes:

The Wilful Princess And The Piebald Prince

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

This title and the following no longer include trilogies. Instead, they are novellas and short stories.

Some books will offer more than one in their bound print, while others will sell them as single small books.

The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince is a prequel to the Farseer Trilogy, however, to understand it, you need to be aware of the places and people from the first series.

Although it should, chronologically, come first in the reading list, you will not appreciate the details or nuances of the story without reading the Farseer trilogy first.

You may prefer to read it once you’ve completed the trilogy, so all the details are fresh in your mind.

The story follows a legend in the Farseer Trilogy, where the Piebald Prince is a Witted and a pretender to the throne.

He is unseated by the brave Farseer line, or so the legend goes. This novella tells us the real accounts of the legend.


  • Beautiful Artwork
  • Delicately Dark Tones
  • Beautiful Prose


  • You need to read the Farseer Trilogy first.

The Inheritance

The Inheritance: And Other Stories (Rain Wilds Chronicles)

The Inheritance follows the Liveship storyline, although it isn’t connected to the characters in the trilogy. Instead, this family trades in different parts of the world.

It’s a story about claiming your inheritance in a world of political confusion and lost documents.


  • Short and Sweet
  • Emotive
  • Can Be Read As A Standalone


  • It would have been nice to weave Liveship Trader stories in this book.


Legends II: Shadows, Gods, and Demons

Homecoming is a short story found in the Legends II collection. In this collection, you’ll also find other well-known writers such as Neil Gaiman and Anne McCaffrey.

Robin Hobb’s story is set in Elderlings, but it takes a concept her other tales haven’t touched on before – the Cursed Shores.

A group of colonizers is sent to dominate this land, but when they arrive they find themselves intoxicated by a mixture of dreams and memories.

The book itself is a great mixture of amazing writers, making it the perfect collection for people who cannot handle long novels. Instead, you get a snippet of insight into different worlds.

You can even use this collection to learn about new authors while exploring old favorites.


  • Perfect Short That Doesn’t Need Large World Explanations
  • Gripping Story
  • Beautiful Written


  • Not Available Outside This Collection Series.

Words Like Coins

Words Like Coins

Although set in the same universe, just like the other novels, it isn’t connected to any plot line. This short story is about pecksies and toys with the idea of myth and reality.

The story is short, so I can’t dive into the details of the plot line. However, when the Pecksies (very similar to pixies) show up, you’ll be grabbing your seat in anticipation.

The anxiety of what they do next will keep you hooked as you explore the micro world of the Six Duchies.


  • Simple Reading
  • Fun Story
  • Suspense


  • Not Connected To Farseer

Blue Boots

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

Blue Boots can only be found in the Songs of Love and Death collection. This collection features short stories from Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, Carrie Vaughn, and more.

This short story follows a pair of blue boots. They were purchased by Timbals’s father, right before he was murdered. Now orphaned, they are the most important item Timbal owns.

This “romantic” storyline follows Timbal and her first love at the naive age of 17.

The characters are somewhat stereotypical, but what can you expect from a short story? It’s a cute tale with a surprising plot twist.


  • Dark
  • Unusual Story For Robin Hobbs
  • Good Twists For Such A Small Story


  • Could Have Used More Humor.

Cat’s Meat

Cat’s Meat is another short story found in The Inheritance short story collection.

This time we follow Rosemary. She’s a single mother abandoned into parenthood. She struggles to find her feet and manages to create an okay life for herself.

At that moment, the baby’s father returns and says he wants to be back in their life. However, the cat doesn’t approve.

The short story is a perfect collection of the main themes within Robin Hobb’s stories – A complex female hero, the flippant cat, and “wit”.


  • Dark
  • Charming
  • Direct


  • Can Only Be Found In The Inheritance Short Story Collection.

Her Father’s Sword

The Book of Swords: Part 1

Her Father’s Sword can only be found in the Book of Sword series edited by Gardner Dozois.

This is Hubb’s least enjoyed short story. It is set before the Red Ship Raiders, meaning you should read it after the second Farseer book in the trilogy.

However, you can wait until the first series is complete before picking up this short story.

The story follows a naive girl called Taura. She looks up to her father beyond reason, and that trust will get her into trouble.

Some people enjoyed the “between the lines” reading of this short story, while others found her naivety and stupidity, well, stupid.


  • New Perspective On Loyalty
  • Small Fitz Cameo
  • Depiction Of Village Life


  • Main Character Isn’t Easy To Sympathize With

Final Thoughts

Robin Hobbs does have other stories not connected to the Realm of the Elderlings world, and she also has a different pen name.

When she writes as Megan Lindholm, her stories are still based in a fantasy world, but they are normally set in a mixture of modern-day worlds or reality.

Robin Hobb’s books, however, are all set in fantastical worlds. For example, the Soldier Son Trilogy isn’t based in the Elderinlings’ world but is still written by Hobbs.

The Realm of the Elderlings is an amazing world, which could be expanded on forever.

Hobbs has created a perfect model to keep the stories going, as each series is separate from the last. New characters and new plotlines could easily fit into the growing world.

That being said, they are three series that need to be read in order. These are The Farseer Trilogy, The Tawny Man Trilogy, and The Fitz and the Fool.

All of these stories use Fitz as the main character. If you don’t know his history, then the subtitles in the story will be lost.

However, if you wanted to read The Rain Wild Chronicles before The Liveship Traders trilogy, the stories will still make sense.

For the best reading experience, choose the order I’ve created above. That way the details will filter into your consciousness as Robin Hobbs wanted.

You will have all the information to create the best shocks and twists for a suspenseful story.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Realm Of The Elderlings Complete?

Robin Hobbs concluded the Realm of the Elderlings series in 2017, however, she has continued to write short stories in the collections mentioned above. Hobbs has stated that no more novels will be produced.

Can I Skip The Rain Wild Chronicles?

Yes, you can skip the Rain Wild Chronicles if you are not interested in the story. However, I recommend reading every series to get a complete view of the world.

Granted, the Rain Wild Chronicles doesn’t contain any Fitz storyline, so it isn’t needed to understand his life or choices.

Does Fitz Have The Skill?

Fitz’s royal bloodline gives him access to the Skill. He gains training after swearing loyalty to King Shrew as part of his secret royal assassin duties.

Why Should I Read The Realm Of The Elderlings?

This collection of stories is perfect for readers who enjoy character-driven storylines filled with slow-burn political intrigue, day-to-day reality, realistic relationships, and subtle magic.

Why Did Robin Hobb Change Her Name?

Many writers change their names so they can create stories in certain styles without upsetting their readers.

For example, if you know a writer always writes in the Elderlings world, and then suddenly her latest novel is set in New York, you may be disappointed.

The change from Margaret Lindholm to Megan Lindholm, however, was a mistake created by her first editor and it simply continued for continuity’s sake.

Why Do They Call Him Fitz?

“Fitz” means “son of” in Anglo-Norman English, and it was used as a prefix to help identify lineage.

This fits Fitz, as his early life was controlled by his bastard nature, without having any real luxuries as a son of the king.“Fitz” is pronounced “Fits”.

YouTube video
Anna Davis