There’s a review of Jack of Ravens here which raises some very interesting issues.
What I’ve been working on for the last few years is an epic story covering more than two thousand years of human history, numerous mythologies, a huge cast of characters with complex motives and inter-relations, an enormous range of antagonists, monsters, creatures and Fabulous Beasts, each with their own history, and a fair smattering of mysticism, psychology and philosophy thrown into the mix.
Unlike, say, The Wheel of Time, where the books are successively numbered so you know exactly which one to read next, I’ve told this fantasy tale over a trilogy of trilogies – the Age of Misrule, Dark Age and Kingdom of the Serpent sequences.
I’ve attempted to provide background information so new readers can drop into the story pretty much anywhere, but I think I’ve got to face up to the fact that they can’t. If you’re a new reader to Jack of Ravens, you’re just not going to get the depth, subtelty and interplay unless you’ve read Age of Misrule. You’ll certainly get a rattling good yarn, but it will lack what I intended as the author.
The problem is, the trilogies have each been packaged in such a radically different way that the casual reader would find it hard to tell that they’re all part of this massive canvas – although the excellent design for the Age of Misrule Omnibus has brought it in line with Jack of Ravens.
What I think I need to do now is get the word out more that this is one big, sprawling story. I’d hate for a reader to come to the books under the false pretences of thinking they’re starting a standalone trilogy (and only in fantasy can you use those words…) and be disappointed.