I found this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic to be an intriguing one. Normally I’m not a big fan of sequels (or worse yet, trilogies!) because they seem like an excuse for an author to get two books out of a one-book idea. On the plus side, though, they’re also an opportunity for readers to spend a little more time with a beloved character or a familiar world. So I think I’ll set aside my frustration with those ubiquitous trilogies and list seven sequels that I really liked!
1. Megan Whalen Turner, The Queen of Attolia — When I first read The Thief, I remember thinking that it was good but not great…until I got to the very end and realized how brilliantly Turner had been stringing me along the whole time! It was great starting book #2 and knowing that Turner would continue to amaze and impress me — which she did.
2. D.E. Stevenson, Miss Buncle Married — You know how sometimes you just want to cuddle up on your couch with a blanket, a hot beverage, and a lovely little book that conjures up a simpler time? Well, both Miss Buncle’s Book and this sequel are perfect choices! If you enjoy cozy, romantic stories set in the English countryside in the early 20th century, you will definitely enjoy these books. And Sourcebooks is finally releasing book #3 of the series (The Two Mrs. Abbotts) in January!
3. Lauren Willig, The Masque of the Black Tulip — The Pink Carnation series has ten installments so far, but this one remains one of my favorites. The central characters, Henrietta and Miles, seem to exist in their own little world of fluffy, zany adorableness. I really enjoyed the espionage aspect of the book as well, especially the introduction of the sinister, enigmatic Lord Vaughn.
4. Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book — Though The Eyre Affair could have stood on its own, this book really opened up Thursday Next’s world in all sorts of creative, delightful ways. I loved Fforde’s take on Miss Havisham (so much more entertaining than Dickens’ original!) and the violent feuds that broke out over the plot of Wuthering Heights.
5. Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown — OK, I might be cheating here, because technically this is a companion novel rather than a sequel. It fleshes out the story of legendary dragon-slayer Aerin, which was alluded to many times in The Blue Sword. I loved both of these books growing up and wish that McKinley had set many more novels in the world of Damar. In fact, I really need to reread them one of these days!
6. Ellis Peters, One Corpse Too Many — I liked book #1 of the Brother Cadfael series (A Morbid Taste for Bones) well enough, but this is the book that completely won me over. It’s a compelling plot based on true events (King Stephen’s capture of Shrewsbury during the civil war with Empress Maud), and it introduces one of my favorite fictional gentlemen of all time!
7. Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door — Again, this one’s not really a sequel, but it does follow up with the two main characters from Anna and the French Kiss, so I’m counting it! I absolutely loved both of Perkins’ novels, which are part swoonworthy romance, part coming-of-age story. Can’t WAIT for Isla and the Happily Ever After, which is supposed to be coming out next year!