How long is too long for a book series?
I’m sure we all have those books where, while the ending may be satisfying, we just want to continue living in their world even after the last page. Then there are series that seem as if they would never end — Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series spans fourteen novels, a prequel, and a companion book when it was originally envisioned as only a six-book series!
Then there’s J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, with a new play, new spin-off movies and stories, and a continually expanding universe courtesy of the author herself. J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels set in Middle-Earth reach far more than just the tale of the hobbit in his hole in the ground and the one ring that would rule them all, what with the companion books, short stories, and appendixes.
It got me thinking as to how long an ideal series would last for me to be satisfied with the story, world, and characters. Stand-alone books are fine and dandy, but I’m also an avid fan of fantasy, a genre that’s known for trilogies and series. For instance, David Dalglish’s Shadowdance series wrapped up after six books, with a bit of a tease that there could be more, but the author was content to allow the readers to use their imaginations. He probably could pick up the same world again in the future but, for now, it’s resting, and I’m okay with that.
What about you? How long are your preferred series? Do you prefer stand-alone books instead?