Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group have an interesting topic, one which is kind of sad from a reading perspective but does happen: Second Is Best! “We’ve talked about series that went downhill, and series that are worth it, but which series were best in the middle?”
I really thought this would be an easy selection process. I mean, I immediately thought of several books which became worse the longer the series progressed, but once I started examining my ratings I found they did not quite fit the description, because they had strong concluding volumes. And so the splitting of hairs began.
Finally, I found five picks which I believe are as close to the topic as I can come, though in fairness to several the middle of the series was only slightly better than the beginning/ending.
This old school fantasy featured young King Kelson dealing with rebellion and betrayal. It was fun stuff, especially when I read it back as a teenager. But while The Bishops’ Heir was a good, solid introduction to the plot, The King’s Justice was the high point of the series: The Quest for Saint Camber not really to my liking.
The Powder Mage Trilogy is one of my recent favorites. I love the world, the magic, and all the characters Brian McClellan introduces me to throughout General Tamas’ revolution. It all starts with the very exciting Promise of Blood, gets even better with The Crimson Campaign, then, sort of, coasts to the finish line with The Autumn Republic. Don’t take that to mean I didn’t like book three; it just means I didn’t like it as much as book two, which was the best of the trio.
Another of my recent favorites where book two was just so damn good that it made the beginning and ending of the trilogy pale in comparison.
This is one of those series which you either really like or can’t stand. Not sure why, but from the reviews on Goodreads that is my take on it. As for me, I really enjoyed this less serious (though still bloody and grim) fantasy trilogy. The Grim Company was good fun, and Sword was a damn entertaining grimdark romp, but Dead Man’s Steel was just . . . just okay. Yet another bell curve series.
This is a series which generates strong feeling among its lovers and haters. No doubt, it is a masterpiece of genre blending storytelling by its author; a series which will probably be viewed by some as his masterpiece. As for myself, I really enjoyed the first book, hated the second, then felt that the third, fourth, and fifth book were the pinnacles of The Dark Tower. After The Wind Through the Keyhole, the whole saga just began to slip badly until the ending was (for me) absolutely horrible. Perfect fit for this topic, right?
Agree? Disagree? Tell us why. And what series would you put on your list? Let us all know.