By Lisa Curry
There’s nothing I like better than reading a book I love and finding out it’s the first in a series. Unless maybe it’s reading a book I love and finding out it’s the first in a series in which the next 10 books have already been published, which means I don’t have to wait a whole year before I can read the next one. I can devour them all in rapid succession – and then start waiting for the next one.
I hate waiting for the next one.
Sword Song, the latest book in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales, a ninth-century delight featuring the best protagonist/first-person narrator I’ve ever read, came out early this year. I rushed to buy it the day it was released, finished it in 24 hours, and then lamented that I hadn’t read slower and made the book last longer.
On the upside, Sword Song is book four in a series that was originally planned as a trilogy, and the story’s not over yet.
Waiting for book five is infinitely better than not having anything for which to wait.
Back in the 1990s, I was mad about Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series, set in the Roman Republic just before and during the time of Julius Caesar. Even then, Colleen McCullough seemed like an old woman, and I used to pray constantly that she wouldn’t drop dead between books and never finish the series. When The October Horse, the sixth and final book, was published in 2002, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Imagine my surprise when the seventh book in the Masters of Rome series, Antony and Cleopatra, hit the shelves late last year. I bought it last month while I was at the launch party of another book I’d been waiting a year to read, Murder Melts in Your Mouth, book seven in Nancy Martin’s Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. As soon as I finished Murder, I started Antony and Cleopatra. I’m reading it slow and savoring every word – trying really hard to make it last.
Being surprised by a book you weren’t waiting for in a series you thought was over is sweetest of all.
I’m on page 145 of 551 in Antony and Cleopatra. Even if I read as slow as possible, I’ll finish it before the end of the month. Book five of the Saxon Tales won’t come out until next year, and neither will book eight of the Blackbird Sisters Mysteries.
So help me out here – I need recommendations. What’s your favorite series, who’s the author, and what’s the title of the first book? (Because I hate reading a series out of order even more than I hate waiting for the next book.)