Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Best Sequels Ever

This week's top ten list assignment from The Broke and the Bookish Blog is the best sequels.  I read A LOT of series so this should be easy...or very very hard.  Here goes:

This is very fresh in my memory which is probably why it's on the list.  Book one in the series was great but it contained a heavy amount of set-up of both plot and characters.  This freed up Before They Are Hanged to  rev up the plot and really cozy up to the characters.  I preferred it to book one.  I am currently reading the final book in the trilogy and so far so fantastic.

2. Queen's Play by Dorothy Dunnett - The Lymond Chronicles
Dorothy Dunnett is an author that deserves more love. The Lymond Chronicles is a particular stand out in historical fiction greatness but book one (The Game of Kings) of the series was nigh near incomprehensible to me (there's a lot of plot and character obfuscation on top of some heavy scottish dialect).  I stuck with the series though and by the time Lymond was racing across the rooftops of Paris in this sequel I was sunk deep in the grip of obsession for this series that's pure barry (according to the internets that's scottish slang for fantastic). 

3. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia
I remember as a child being so excited to find out that there were more Narnia books to read after being obsessed with an animated version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  I love this series and could really put any of the subsequent books on this list and Prince Caspian is probably considered the official sequel to TLTWTW but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for The Horse and His Boy which is the internal chronological sequel. Or something. I love it maybe because I was a little horse mad as a girl, maybe because I love stories where the underdog wins, maybe because I enjoyed that we get to see the Pevensies as Monarchs.  Whatever the reason, it's a favorite.

4. Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
While this may not technically be a sequel to The Curse of Chalion, it's set in the same universe and has some of the same characters so I'm counting it.  This is a really amazing fantasy series with three books. Paladin of Souls is my favorite and won a bunch of awards (Hugo, Locus, Nebula).  This series is that rare mixture of thought-provoking ideas, smashing good story and really awesome characters.

5. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch  - Gentlemen Bastard Series
This series has been pretty great so far and this second book of the series was a good continuation from book one.  Think Ocean's Eleven in a fantasy world resembling Rennaissance Italy with lots of snarky humor.

6. Goblet of Fire and/or The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter Series
Like bajillions of others I adore this series.  These two are my favorites in the series.  I love the triwizard tournament and I appreciated how Rowling did not shrink from taking the series quite dark.  The Half Blood Prince is a favorite because we are properly introduced to the puzzle that is Severus Snape and the fallibility even of our heroes.  

7. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot Series
One of her more intriguing and startling puzzles.  I wish I could have met Agatha Christie and had a good ole chinwag and cup of tea.  She must have been amazing.

This would fall into the category of a sequel in a series but written by someone other than the original creator/author.  The series in this case is Sherlock Holmes and this sequel published a couple years ago is complex and worthy of it's source. Writing a continuation to such an iconic series seems like it would be a very daunting task to take on but not only does he take it on, he kicks some ass.  Nice going Mr. Horowitz!

So for my last two I'm going to switch it up because I'm all about the hate and negativity apparently.  These are two of the worst sequels.

9. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
I loved The Hunger Games.  It was well-plotted with believable, likeable characters and perfectly paced.  My love for book one and it's perfection made Catching Fire very disappointing indeed.  I know a lot of people really love this series.  I wish she had stopped after The Hunger Games.

Pretty much ditto the Catching Fire disappointment above.

So that's it.  This was hard and felt a little like making a list of the best series but a good exercise!  So how about it? What are your favorite (or least favorite) sequels?


  1. Good list, I liked A Horse and His Boy as well.

    1. Thanks! Glad there's another A Horse and His Boy fan!

  2. You have such a great mix of books on your blog (and I love your name)! The Dorothy Dunnet is driving me NUTS because I clearly recognize her name and I looked up her books, but I don't remember anything about them! I am 90% sure I read at least one of Lymond chronicles...guess I'll have to read them again if I've already done so haha! I've honestly not read many others you've listed, I'll have to look them up!

    1. It's been at least 15 years since I read the Dunnett books and I've been thinking about a re-read. Hopefully my glorified memories of it are not squashed!
      I like your name as well by the way! Signed on as a follower as it looks like we have similar tastes in books, TV and movies. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great blog name, and great list! I got bogged down in the first Lymond book, too, but unlike you, I didn't keep going. I've always meant to give them another try someday. Excellent choice for Agatha Christie; I love Murder on the Orient Express! I'm glad you think House of Silk is that good, since it's on my TBR list. And huzzah for HP and for The Horse and His Boy!

    New follower here, by the way. Judging by the stuff you've been reviewing, we have some similar tastes!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I Hope you end up enjoying The House of Silk. I'll have to keep an eye out for the review. I almost put A Wise Man's Fear on my list as well as I did really enjoy it overall but I did really struggle with parts (like the Felurian section) and didn't like it as well as The Name of the Wind. I'll be lined up for book 3 for sure though!