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  1. #1

    Reading an already completed or partially completed fantasy series. Advice?

    After a long, long time of abstaining from reading, Harry Potter has yet again reeled me back in. I finished the last book, got some inspiration, and read through 1984, the Illiad, and Catcher in the Rye. Now it's back to fantasy.

    I'm really interested in starting up a big, epic, fantasy series. Something like Wheel of time, A Song of Ice and Fire, or Memory, Thorn and Sorrow. This thread isn't about recommendations, just advice on how to read the books.

    The only actual series of books I've read while they were being released were Harry Potter, Eragon/Eldest (I know...) and His Dark Materials. Yeah, just a lot of YA stuff, I know. The point is, I've never actually waded through 4-5 giant books of the same characters, same writing style, similar plot arcs, etc.

    Anyone have any advice for this? The simplest would be, "Just go read." I'm just curious if anyone has some insight on suggesting to take some breaks, read some other books inbetween, etc. Stuff like that.

  2. #2
    I tend to read straight through... but if it's one that's difficult to read you may need a break. It really just depends on how you feel.

  3. #3
    I agree with Calissandrya. Don't lock yourself into one approach. Do what feels right at the time. If you finish a book and you want more of that story, go for it. If you don't, don't.

  4. #4
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    I have no problem with it myself, but we're all different. My husband for example, had a look at the 7 Kate Elliott books I have lined up to read and used the word 'intimidating'. It wasn't the thought of the amount of books, but more the idea of being swallowed up in one world for so long that he found intimidating I think.

    Sometimes, though, I'll take a break when reading a series. This is mainly because I tend to read two types of books - fantasy and contemporary fiction. I get antsy if I'm not reading both regularly. So, in the middle of a long fantasy series, I'll read a cont. fic. book to stay non-antsy.

    My suggestion - grab a series, start reading, and see how you're doing. If you need to take a break, do so. But you might find you'll read through quite happily. That's the great thing about books I think - you can put them down and they'll still be there to greet you when you get home. Kinda like dogs, but less....loud and hungry. Oh and they don't lick either.

  5. #5
    My "method" would drive many crazy - I usually am alternating between 3-6 books, rarely reading more than a few hundred pages before reading a bit or so of another (sometimes in Spanish as well as in English!). But I did find myself reading all of The Portable Blake this late night/early morning (couldn't sleep) in about 5 hours. Next, I'll finish reading the final story of Andrzej Sapkowski's The Last Wish, before finishing the anthology Logorrhea and maybe Peter Watts' Blindsight.

    While I wouldn't recommend to do exactly what I like to do, I would suggest varying up a long series with a short stories collection (maybe read 2-3 stories before the next volume in the multi-volume epic, for example) or a short, under 350 page, standalone in whatever field interests you as well. Or if you're reading a military-type fantasy (such as Erikson), you could read some non-fiction on the Romans or the Byzantines or the Ottoman Turks before continuing with the next volume.

    So many ways to do this - aren't you glad I'm muddying the waters here? :P

  6. #6
    I like spaceships cougs's Avatar
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    Often times when I read a large fantasy series i'll order the first 2, maybe 3 books. I'll read through those, and then order the next couple. In those 5 or so days that i'm waiting for the next books to come in I like to take that time to read something different, say some short stories by Matheson/Lovecraft, some Conan stories,a contemporary fiction novel, a sci-fi standalone novel, really anything that isn't fantasy.

    get antsy if I'm not reading both regularly
    I'm the same way, if i read nothing but fantasy for an extended period of time I feel like i am missing on on something. Interjecting different types of reading while i'm engaged in some long fantasy epic keeps me content and happy.

    Of course there are always exceptions, some fantasy series will have you so enthralled that you can't put them down, and you forgo sleep for weeks.
    Last edited by cougs; July 28th, 2007 at 11:40 AM.

  7. #7
    I found i needed break after reading Sean Russell's The One Kingdom...the book kind of left me flat, so i went and read HP book 7 after that one...it was a literal breeze compared to that long trek on the river in The One Kingdom.
    Last edited by krighton; July 28th, 2007 at 10:28 AM.

  8. #8
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krighton View Post
    I found i needed break after reading Sean Russell's The One Kingdom...the book kind of left me flat, so i went and read HP book 7 after that one...it was a literal breeze compared to that long trek on the river in The One Kingdom.
    Oh no...there's a long trek on a river?

    ~beats head~

    Noooo. !!

    If it's anything like the long trek through the jungle (x3-5) in Pinto's The Chosen I'll cry.

    ~stares at The One Kingdom in dismay~

    Err...right. Back on topic.

  9. #9
    Like others have said, take it as you go. Sometimes upon finishing a book in a series I immediately go out, buy the next one and read it. At other times, I'll read a book by a different author in between- and at other times, I'll leave a space of a few months between series books. Just do what feels natural.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Severn View Post
    Oh no...there's a long trek on a river?

    ~beats head~

    Noooo. !!

    If it's anything like the long trek through the jungle (x3-5) in Pinto's The Chosen I'll cry.

    ~stares at The One Kingdom in dismay~

    Err...right. Back on topic.
    hopefully that wasn't spoilage, but, it pretty much encompases 93%, or so, of the entire novel....not that it's a 'bad' thing, it was a pretty good read, but not sure it's enough for me to want the read the rest of the series. And I thought someone on one of the threads said book 2 was a long trek through a swamp....
    Last edited by krighton; July 28th, 2007 at 06:42 PM.

  11. #11
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krighton View Post
    hopefully that wasn't spoilage, but, it pretty much encompases 93%, or so, of the entire novel....not that it's a 'bad' thing, it was a pretty good read, but not sure it's enough for me to want the read the rest of the series. And I thought someone on one of the threads said book 2 was a long trek through a swamp....
    Oh hell...

    'tis not spoilerage...it's scene setting, and lets me know what I'm in for.

    (Sorry to hijack your thread, Ghost)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Severn View Post
    Oh hell...

    'tis not spoilerage...it's scene setting, and lets me know what I'm in for.

    (Sorry to hijack your thread, Ghost)
    i'm still backpeddling after recommending (without reading) American Gods to my daughter (after seeing many wonderous reviews)..........read the first few chapters and had to slam on the brakes on that one, a bit too 'mature' for the kids i think.

  13. #13
    Sith Lord DarthV's Avatar
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    Just go read. If you're getting tired of the same characters, then jump to something else. I prefer to read completed series, but I have broken one up by reading something else in between.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Severn View Post
    Oh hell...

    'tis not spoilerage...it's scene setting, and lets me know what I'm in for.

    (Sorry to hijack your thread, Ghost)
    Hey, just think of it as one of those Seinfeld episodes where the entire show takes place in a single situation...Chinese restaurant, for example.

  15. #15
    ^ Fay-lim. Ok, its Phill. Phellim's Avatar
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    If you jump into a long fantasy series, and you're not used to doing this, then I would suggest taking a break from reading altogether in between installments. I dont want to hear any cries of "Blasphemy!", I just mean watch some TV, go for a walk, post on this forum, or maybe read another book (a stand-alone from a different genre perhaps).

    This should help you from feeling overwhelmed and you can work your way up to a trilogy a week as you progress.

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