Read the Light Novel that Started it all!
Vol 1&2: Aincrad
Vol 3&4: Fairy Dance
Vol 5&6: Phantom Bullet
Vol 7: Mother's Rosary
Vol 8: Early and Late (Excalibur)
Vol 9-13: Alicization
In the year 2022, some six thousand gamers excitedly explore the new Sword Art Online, which manipulates users' brain waves to create a wholly realistic gaming experience, but soon learn it lacks a log-out button and to escape they must conquer all one hundred floors--or die trying.
Linked up and logged into the deadly VMMORPG "Sword Art Online" in both the real and virtual worlds, Kirito is stuck in a hell of one man's making, and like everyone else, unable to escape until the game is beaten. But while some players are crippled by fear and others throw themselves into completing the game, still others relax into everyday life in the face of their cruel predicament and live to the best of their ability...laughing, crying, but always enjoying the game. Among them are four women who make a mark upon the solo adventurer that Kirito has become: Silica, the beast-tamer; Lisbeth, the blacksmith; Yui, the mysterious orphan; and the tragic Sachi, never to be forgotten by the black swordsman...
Kirito has escaped Sword Art Online, the forbidden VRMMORPG of death, and returned to reality. He heads off to find his game partner and lover, Asuna Yuuki. But Asuna never made it back from the nightmare. Lost and desperate, Kirito's only clue to her virtual whereabouts is a mysterious screenshot of Asuna as a fairy trapped in a giant birdcage. His conclusion: She must be trapped within the new, high-powered VRMMORPG, ALfheim Online. Now Kirito must plunge into the world of ALO, where players are fairies who fly gracefully through the air!
Kirito plunges into a suspicious new VRMMORPG called ALfheim Online to rescue Asuna, who never returned from Sword Art Online. ALO offers many features to entertain players in the wake of SAO: ultra-high-end graphics, action-heavy gameplay, a choice of fairy races, and a next-generation flight engine. Playing as a spriggan, Kirito heads for the location of Asuna's prison--the top of the World Tree, the final destination of every player in the game! Along the way, Kirito nearly falls to a plot hatched by the enemy salamanders, just barely surviving the ordeal with the help of a sylph named Leafa and his Navigation Pixie, Yui. But just as Kirito and Leafa make it to the foot of the World Tree, the end of their quest in sight, each realizes the other has a very big secret...
Kirito reenters the world of VRMMOs, this time logging in to Gun Gale Online in order to investigate the Death Gun, an in-game item rumored to be responsible for real-world deaths. He immediately runs into trouble when, after transferring his old avatar into the new game, he discovers that he looks a bit more feminine than he'd anticipated! With the help of Sinon the sniper, he enters the Bullet of Bullets tournament and tries to adapt his old skills to the new gun-based combat of Gun Gale Online. He'll need every friend he can get and every trick in the book, though, to learn the truth about the Death Gun!
In an effort to discover the truth behind Death Gun, Kirito has entered the Bullet of Bullets tournament in Gun Gale Online. Both he and Sinon the sniper girl have made it to the finals, and the reality of what they discover is stranger than anything they could've prepared for. As Sinon is forced to face her own past, lives are on the line once again, and Kirito struggles to connect Death Gun to events in the original SAO game--but can Death Gun's bizarre rampage be stopped in time?
Kirito and Sinon's battle with Death Gun is over, but mere weeks later, something strange is afoot in the next-generation VRMMO ALfheim Online. A new duelist with a custom sword skill is defeating all comers--including Kirito! But when Asuna goes to face this duelist, she receives something she never expected: An invitation to an exclusive guild! But what is their aim? The Mother's Rosary arc begins!
The saga of Sword Art Online continues with three side stories set during the Aincrad and Alfheim eras. The game of death took its toll on every player in a different way--when one turns up dead on the fifty-seventh floor, the game's afoot, and it's up to Asuna and Kirito to crack the case. There's also the story of how Kirito got his Excalibur sword in Alfheim (with a little help from his friends). And when the game of death first began, Kirito learned a difficult lesson--one he would never forget.
Kirito awakens in a vast, fantastical forest filled with towering trees. In his search for clues to the truth of his surroundings, he encounters a young boy who seems to know him. He ought to be a simple NPC, but the depth of his emotions seem no different than a human. As they search for the boy's parents, Kirito finds a peculiar memory returning to him. A memory from his own childhood, of this boy and a girl, too, with golden hair, and a name he should have never forgotten--Alice.
Two years after waking up in a mysterious fantasy world, Kirito and his oddly human NPC friend, Eugeo, continue their quest to become Integrity Knights--and find Alice, who disappeared so long ago and yet has somehow lingered in the back of Kirito's mind. Their journey takes them to the Imperial Swordcraft Academy, where they must train to become two of the top twelve seats in the class to have even a hope of seeing Alice again. Meanwhile, as Asuna desperately searches for Kazuto Kirigaya, she stumbles across the deeper secret of his new world...
Two years into Kirito and Eugeo's quest to reach the Central Cathedral, the pair have finally become elite disciples at the North Centoria Imperial Swordcraft Academy. Now all that's left to do is train for the next tournament, build their relationships with their trainee pages, and do so without violating the Taboo Index. But just because this peaceful world is governed by law and order doesn't mean evil can't fester below the surface...and when it comes time to choose between the rules and what's right, Kirito and Eugeo discover the darker secrets of the Underworld.
After a brief respite, Kirito and Eugeo set off again to climb Central Cathedral-but the powerful Integrity Knights are not about to let them reach the top. Meanwhile, Kirito has learned the dark history of the Underworld and the true stakes of the battle they're fighting, and every step toward Alice brings him closer to an impossible decision...
Following a mighty clash, Kirito and Eugeo find themselves separated for the last leg of their journey to the top of Central Cathedral. Kirito, forced into an unlikely alliance with Alice the Integrity Knight, continues his climb from the outside, while trying not to fall to his death. At the same time, Eugeo must face off against the Integrity Knight Commander himself, Bercouli Synthesis One! Although the journey is nearing its end, they'll soon learn that the cathedral is still full of surprises...
Kirito has faced innumerable hardships in the two long years since he first awoke in the Underworld, but his greatest battle yet lies ahead. As they near Administrator's chamber at the top of Central Cathedral, Kirito and Alice confront a heartrendingly familiar foe on the ninety-ninth floor. The final obstacle standing before them is none other than Eugeo...wearing the armor of an Integrity Knight! Can Kirito's cries reach Eugeo in the tortured recesses of his mind? Or will Administrator have the last laugh?!