A question players often come to, when regarding the magic storyline, is where to start?
Magic: the Gathering has a rich history of 24 years, and with it comes a lot of lore, from books, articles, stories, and Q&As. There are ebooks and hard to find novels, short stories, and AR games. Compilations gave some insight, and podcasts now add more.
But where to start, you ask?
This article is here to help be a guide for where in time, and where in the multiverse, are good places to begin reading. There is a very long timeline for magic's events for the card game, so there are, of course, a variety of options.
New 2015 Story:
Let me repeat that. THIS IS THE BEST PLACE FOR NEW READERS TO BEGIN READING MAGIC STORY.
These stories of planeswalkers (aka: neowalkers)include Jace Beleren, Chandra Nalaar, Nissa Revane, Liliana Vess (alternate comic origin story), and Gideon Jura.
This begins the neowalker storyline, and introduces us to planeswalkers
after the mending has occurred, a shift in the magic in the multiverse,
and making the main characters much more relatable.
From there, read the novel: Agents of Artifice, by Ari Marmel, which is the beginning of interaction between Jace, Liliana, and Tezzeret.
Other important early stories: Ajani's Spark igniting.
Old:Long before Jace and the Gatewatch, Magic was a story of discovery. It began with the tale of two brothers, and their eventual war with each other.
The Brother's War by Jeff Grubb
Most people who play Magic have heard of Urza, and sometimes of his brother, Mishra. This is the story of how the brothers grew up, and found to hate each other, leading to war across the entire world of Dominaria. This is a good story starting point for those who want the old stories- from Revised era sets, with Ice Age, Mirage, and Tempest being relevant to this starting era.
The Thran by J. Robert King
This is a prequel to the Brother's war, and tell the story of a race far before Urza or Mishra. You'd want to start with this book if you plan on reading the entire sage of Urza, the Tempest block novels, all the way to Invasion.
Rath and Storm, edited by Peter Archer.
This story begins with the Rath cycle, the tales of Gerrard Capashen, Sisay, Squee, and Mirri, among the rest of the crew of the Weatherlight flying ship, on the journey against the evincar Volrath.
While this is a middle ground starting point for story, it allows the reader to find a good set of characters to go with, and then delve deeper with Urza, or the Thran, and lead up to the Invasion. Readers can then go back in time and see how Urza or the Thran began, or continue from there, following the crew of the Weatherlight.
The neowalker plot is described further with articles and stories, books and lore pages, which are mostly summarized here.
The more structured Gatewatch story starts with Battle for Zendikar, directly after Origins, which you can find here.
No matter where you begin in these tales, there are many books, articles, and stories from there on out. Please comment for further information, if you're curious for more.