I am an absolute sucker for a series and, whilst I love that first book that makes you fall in love with the world and want to plunge yourself in further, there is nothing quite like revisiting a world you already adore.
Today, I’ve chosen to go with sequels, which I think are my favourite part in any series. The world is no longer new and confusing, but at the same time not chaotic and too ‘heavy’ like you find in epic, dramatic finales. I always find that the second read in a series is where the story develops, where you get a better feel for who that characters are and, more often that not, get your heart absolutely destroyed. For this stack, I picked three sequels from three series that I absolutely adore – all of which left me completely emotionally ruined.
Flambards: The Edge of the Cloud by K.M. Peyton.
Flambards was, I think, probably my favourite series growing up. It’s one of the few series that I can remember having an absolutely profound affect on me and one that I reread and reread, to the extent that every book in this series had a cover that is barely hanging on! This series follows Christina Parsons, an orphan who is basically ferried around her different family members. As the series opens, she is sent to Flambards to live with her mother’s half-brother who runs a hunting lodge and is generally horrible, as is his oldest son Mark, both of who plan to marry Mark to Christina to use her wealth to rejuvinate Flambards which is falling apart. In book two, Christina runs away with the youngest son, William, who refuses to follow his family’s obsession with horses and instead is enamoured with machines, particularly planes. This book also follows the opening of WW1, and – God – let me tell you I am already tearing up thinking about this read. William is my favourite character, and this book is probably one of my favourites of all time. I just cannot express how much this series means to me!
The City of Brass: The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
This is a series I have been discovering over lockdown and am absolutely obsessed! The magical world of djinn and the awful politics that surround the city of Daevabad is completely intoxicating and I am racing towards the end. In this read, we get to explore more of Nahri and Ali’s relationship, and the world of secrets that this court has created absolutely destroyed me. I cried continuously whilst reading this, and need to finish the finale, just in the hope that I can have some sort of emotional recovery.
The Dark Artifices: The Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare.
For me, this was the best book in this series. Whilst I really enjoyed the Dark Artifices as a whole, I feel like I had several issues with the finale, particularly the downfall of Annabel, who I felt like was more complicated than the painted ‘baddie’ she became. The sequel in this series, however, is much more character driven, and focuses much more on the relationships between characters. For me, this is where Clare shines, and this book completely took my breath away. It wasn’t grand. It wasn’t far fetched. But it felt so much more tangible and credible. I almost wish that the series had ended with this read, just because I felt a bit deflated with the finale – not to say I didn’t enjoy it, just that I didn’t love it to the extent that I did this one.
And there we have it! What sequels or finales did you absolutely adore and would put in your stack?