Friday, April 22, 2011

S: Series, Gotta Have Em

Fantasy lovers, readers and writers, expect series.  Between world building, invented civilizations, and the never ending battle between good and evil, fantasy stories have trouble staying between the covers of a four hundred page novel.  Fantasy fans want a story rambling and running through many books.  My first fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, is four books long.  I like a series of three or four books but I've enjoyed many that are ten or more books long.

Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series is still going strong after a dozen heavy tomes. The late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is being finished by the super talented Brandon Sanderson.  I think that series is at number fifteen.  The final installment will hopefully be released at the end of this year.

Harry Potter is YA's answer to fantasy lovers.  I took my second son to at least six midnight release parties for those books.  He was old enough to drive to the last one by himself but I went along anyway.  Fantasy lovers can't wait for the next book in their beloved series to come out.

Romance readers also enjoy series but the stories are different.  Usually, but not always, romance series are stories set in the same place or world but with different protagonists in each book.  Often the couple in a second book is introduced as secondary characters in the previous book.  Couples sometimes make guest appearances in new books in the series, fulfilling a reader's believe in the happily ever after of favorite characters and their relationships.

Readers pick up a second book in a series because they trust the author to create an engaging tale based on the content of the first book.  The author has a responsibility to ramp up the intensity and preserve the integrity of the characters.  The author and publisher also must deliver the series in a timely fashion.  If the reader has to wait to long for the sequel, they can lose interest and find something else to read.

What is your favorite series?  Have you read a series that disappointed after the first few books?  How long have you waited for a sequel and how much time is too long?


  1. I'd say my favourite series is the five book trilogy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Moody Writing

  2. WOT series held the most promise for me but, IMHO, it collapsed of its own weight. With its convoluted plots that seemed to go on forever, I got to the point of Get On With It Already.

    I’ll buy the last copy. No question. But reading it again isn’t in my future.

    Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss is the latest series I would crawl on broken glass to have. The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is another great series. The last book was somewhat disappointing but it is sitting on my oak cabinet, the shelf of honored books.

  3. I found your blog through Alex Cavanaugh. I have two YA series I love, HP and The Hunger Games.
    I'm a new A-Z follower from A-Z challenge.

  4. I find I get attached to characters so I love it when they have a series so I can keep checking in on them to see how they're doing.

    My favorite fantasy series are Harry Potter and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. The Hunger Games Trilogy is also outstanding.

    In non fantasy fiction, I love Robert B. Parker's Spenser series and Sharon Kay Penman's Justin de Quincy series. And, of course, there's my all time favorite writer, Ellen Emerson White's President's Daughter series.

  5. I've run into a few authors who have several years between sequels. By that time I'd forgotten what they were all about.
    Harry Potter was the only exception. The movies probably helped with that one though.

  6. Dune -- the original ones.

    Been enjoying Alex Bledsoe lately.

  7. I don't know if I can make it a series, but I am at least working on a sequel. And Terry Brooks' Shannara series and Preston & Child's Penderegast series are my favorites.

  8. Ok my all time favorite series is Harry Potter, coming in behind that is going to be the entire collection of Star Wars books even though they are not an official series for the most part they are all on a consistent timeline. From there I am working on some series right now. Mercy Thompson series by patricia briggs, The heir trilogy by cinda williams chima was good and I am reading the redwall series and the seven kingdoms series by kristin cashore. I think the hardest thing is waiting for the next book!

    great post!


  9. As of today, my favorite series is Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Love those.

    Have a great weekend. Hope you get to eat all kinds of yummy things.

    Happy Writing :-)