I would recommend reading #1 first. I'm picky about that for any series, so I may not accurately reflect the true effect not doing that will have. It does set up most of the setting and motivation behind the characters, but the books all go in one direction without much reflection of the past (except the one guy, but I don't want to spoil anything by describing him). They mostly go forward where previous places don't play much role in the future of the story.
For anything not in that trilogy, it can be in any order--each are stand-alone books.
Yeah, I think pretty much everyone that's read all the books has The Kingdom of Shadow as the favorite :-P.
Having read them all, I would also recommend reading them in order. If anyone were looking for the correct order for all of them time line wise it'd go like this:
Birthright, Scales of the Serpent, The Veiled Prophet. (The Sin Wars Trilogy).
The Legacy Of Blood (Stand Alone)
The Black Road (Stand Alone)
The Kingdom of Shadow (Interconnected to the next by a character)
Moon of the Spider (Both Have Zayl and Humbart Wessel connecting)
There is of course also the very first book written which is Demons Bane. However, you can't find it as a standalone, and it's also the shortest book. You can either find it as an E-book or in a multi-book compilation called "Diablo Archive" although I forget which books are listed in it since I never bought it.
I would read the Sin War trilogy first and then the Kingdom of Shadow and Moon of the Spider last, with all the other books somewhere in between. The Kingdom of Shadow and the Moon of the Spider are by far the best books in the series.
Originally Posted by fmulder
I may be in the minority here but Moon of the Spider is my favorite.
The Sin War Triology dictates that one must read it in chronological order. You would only know a mere smattering of the storyline from the author's very brief prologue in books two and three. However, all of the other books, while remaining in some chronological order, can be read on their own without doing material damage to one's understanding of the sequence of events. In fact, the books in the other trilogy, which includes the Black Road, tend to be far removed from one another in thematic approach.