Favorite Book in a Trilogy


Journeyed there and back again
Ok my tagline/subject is off. But basically what is your favorite book number in general or specific Trilogy/Tetralogy/Pentology/Hexalogy (no more than six) Fantasy or Science Fiction book, or Movie (yeah Im medium jumping... so what I think some movie trilogies like star wars can be very literary, while.....Superman....isn't... DON"T include superman movies)

no unplanned sequels followed by unplanned sequels. (I don't think Matrix counts in this, but im not sure.)

In general I'd say book two....you have Two Towers (LOTR, and its Return of the King for the movie version since I think its more cinematically structured) Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars) Queen of Swords (Sword Trilogy~ Michael Moorcock) The MAd Gods Amulet (Runestaff Tetralogy-Micahel Moorcock) etc. etc.

Outliers tha prove the rule. I can only think of a few, so Ill name them all.
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, (No 1 on the worlds longest Trilogy (6) man its a close call, I REALLY liked Restaurant but..)
I didn't like A Wise man's Son, but I like the first one by Patrick Rothfuss (another no1)

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
I don't necessarily think this is quite on your topic, but I was recently going back over some old reviews I'd written, and what struck me was that Corvus (volume 2 of Paul Kearney's Macht trilogy) was a really good book, much better than the others in the trilogy. I'm not saying it's a favorite book of all time, just that it stood out.

I don't have a lot to add, other than that. I'm one of those people who reads all the volumes of a published series that are available, in a row. So I often forget which events happen in which books, and that makes it hard to actually answer your question. Like, all of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time books are a blur to me. Unfortunately, this is also true of Black Company, the first 6 Thomas Covenant novels, and any number of other series that I like. (I do remember that the Sword of Truth books got progressively worse...)

Arya Stark

Philosophizes with Kellhus
I'm with Sneaky. I tend to read them consecutively. I can't usually tell you where one book ends and one begins. I CAN tell you what happens in the beginning of the first book and end of the last book though.


Super Moderator
Staff member
It will be different for different series. I read Wheel of Time all in a row, and honestly, hand on heart, cannot remember what event happened in which book, it all kind of jumbles into one giant book in my mind!

I do tend to remember the worst books in a trilogy though, rather than the best ones. For example, the last book in the Farseer trilogy was relatively poor compared to the other (imo). I don't even need to mention the last book in the Gormenghsat trilogy. Do I?


Journeyed there and back again
I don't know.... I don't think I've finished enough trilogies to extrapolate a coherent answer. I think it really just depends on the author. Lots and lots of trilogies and series have been produced - you can't really say 2nd or 3rd books are best when there's this huge amount of literature you haven't read. You can state trends like this based on your own personal reading experiences but just keep in mind that you're very likely wrong since you're looking at only one data set. Obviously you're trying to get a cohesive answer, but that's proving to be very difficult, seeing as how no one has been straightforward. That's because there isn't a straightforward answer. We all have a very subjective opinion so the answer could be radically different depending on who you ask. Here's a list of series's I've read and what I would consider the best book in each:

Monarchies of God - 1st or 2nd book - both are so good I can't decide
Liveship Traders - All 3 books are equally good
Farseer Trilogy - 2nd book
Malazan - really just depends on who you ask. I'd say 3rd, 5th, or 6th
Song of Ice and Fire - 1st or 3rd
Mistborn - 1st or 3rd
Ender Quartet - 2nd (kind of blew all the others out of the water)

As you can see that's not very helpful.