I’ve spent a good part of the past few years in researching, devising and finally writing an adult epic fantasy trilogy. So far, for A Seared Sky, books 1 and 2 are written and edited and, now I’ve started writing book 3, I’m looking at publication of the first book. I delayed publication as I’m aware that the initial books of trilogies have been released to readers in the past only for them to learn that the story is incomplete and for those following books never to actually appear. By waiting to publish book 1 until I’ve actually started writing book 3, I hope to provide potential readers with the confidence that this is a story that will be completed.
My request here, however, is for the views of readers on the introductions to books 2 and 3. There is more than one convention at work and I’d love to know what readers actually prefer. Do you want a synopsis of the previous book (book 1 when reading book 2; book 2 when reading book 3)? This sometimes takes the form of a descriptive opening chapter, sometimes a prologue. Or do you prefer that the books each start as if the previous books have been read and remembered, with a few references to past events to jog the memory? Or, indeed, do you prefer an entirely different approach? If so, what?
Those are my questions and I really would appreciate your input. Please be as detailed or brief as you wish. It’s your opinions I seek here.