Thursday, March 8, 2012

Waiting for the Next in Series

There's something about reading a series that is so much more enticing than reading a standalone book. The end of a single book, especially if it's a good one, is always bittersweet. Why? Because the book over. Done. Finis. But the end of a book in a series gives you the excitement of looking forward to the next volume, and the hope it will be just as good as--or even better than--the one you finished.

Two summers ago I spent hours reading Anne Perry's two Victorian mystery series featuring William Monk and Thomas Pitt. Last summer I devoured all twenty of the books in Lindsey Davis' Falco series. Last month I finished the three books in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. This week I finished The Dragon's Tooth, the first volume in N. D. Wilson's Ashtown Burials series.

The Dragon's Tooth, a children's fantasy novel by the author of the 100 Cupboards, kept me turning page after page with growing excitement. Want to know more about it? Here is the blurb:

For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone tattoos arrives, demanding a specific room. 
Less than 24 hours later, the old man is dead. The motel has burned, and Daniel is missing. And Cyrus and Antigone are kneeling in a crowded hall, swearing an oath to an order of explorers who have long served as caretakers of the world's secrets, keepers of powerful relics from lost civilizations, and jailers to unkillable criminals who have terrorized the world for millennia. 
When I finished the book, I was thrilled to realize that there are several more (at total of five, I think) in the Ashtown Burials series. But--here's the rub--the rest aren't published yet! It'll be ages and ages before I find out what happens next to Cyrus and Antigone Smith! I love reading books in a series, but a series that's not finished yet? Pure agony.

And the sheer exasperation of not being able to get my hands on the next book reminded me that I've put readers in the same unenviable spot. Road from the West: Book I of the Chronicles of Tancred came out in 2011 and left Tancred and his fellow Crusaders trapped in the city of Antioch surrounded by a besieging army of infidels. Flower of the Desert: Book II of the Chronicles of Tancred is slated to be released at the end of 2012. Have patience, gentle reader! I understand your pain.

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